Office of Academic Personnel

Academic Personnel Background Check Procedures

Please refer to HR 2017-17 (PDF) for the comprehensive CSU system wide Background Check Policy.

  • Overview

    The California State University Background Check Policy (HR 2017-17) requires a background check to be conducted on all final candidate(s) considered for hire once CSU makes a conditional offer of employment. Current employees are subject to background checks if they are voluntarily under consideration for new positions that the CSU has designated as “sensitive”. This includes all temporary, probationary, intermittent, and at-will employees. Background checks are not required for involuntary reassignments or reclassifications or other employment changes that do not result in the employee moving into a different position.

    Student workers are to be background checked only if they are employed or being considered for employment in a position in which a background check is required by law or that the CSU has designated as sensitive or the position is a Teaching Associate and is listed as the instructor of record. Consultants, independent contractors, and employees of auxiliaries or outside entities must undergo background checks if required by law or if the work they will be performing meets the CSU definition of sensitive.

    In addition, background checks including fingerprinting are required for all counselor faculty and individuals (new hires, current employees, volunteers, consultants, employees of auxiliaries, outside entities and independent contractors) who perform work involving regular or direct contact with minor children, including at CSU-hosted recreational programs (e.g. youth activities).

    Sensitive Positions are those designated by the CSU as requiring heightened scrutiny of individuals holding the position, based on potential for harm to children, concerns for the safety and security of people, animals, or property, or heightened risk of financial loss to the CSU or individuals in the university community.

    Background checks are required when
    • Federal or state law requires a background check.
    • A current employee is voluntarily moving into a position for which a background check is required by law or if they are voluntarily moving into a “sensitive” position.
    • Student employees have access to level 1 data or are classified as Teaching Associates and are listed as the instructor of record on a course.
    • Volunteers must have background checks if they will have duties and responsibilities that would require a background check if performed by a CSU employee.
    • Independent Contractors, consultants, auxiliaries and outside entities who operate under the CSU name or on CSU property are responsible for ensuring that their employees have had background checks if they perform duties that would require the checks if performed by CSU employees.
    Background checks are NOT required for
    • FERP employees, unless they voluntarily move into positions that would require a background check.
    • Current employees, unless they voluntarily move into a position that requires a background check.
    • Employees rehired at the same campus who have had a CSU background check performed in the previous 12 months.
    • Employees re-appointed to the same position at the same campus within 12 months.
  • Types of Background Checks
    Required
    • Criminal Records Check (including State/National Sexual Offender Registry Check)
    • Education Verification
    • Employment Verification
    • Reference Checks
    • Fingerprinting (Fingerprinting is required for Chico State counselors, and all individuals (new hires, current employees, volunteers, consultants, employees of auxiliaries, outside entities and independent contractors) who perform work involving regular or direct contact with minor children, including at CSU-hosted recreational programs (e.g. youth activities). Fingerprinting is also required for positions in which background checks are required by law.)
    Optional (checks that may be done if job-related)
  • Campus Responsibilities
    Campus Departments

    Campus departments will be responsible for working with the appropriate individual/department to determine whether a position will be performing sensitive work which would require the candidate to need a background check. This determination must be made BEFORE the position is advertised or any recruiting/services begin.

    Office of Academic Personnel

    The Office of Academic Personnel will coordinate and review background checks for state-side Unit 3 and Unit 11 employees and Special Consultants hired through Academic Personnel. This office will also be responsible for determining whether any Unit 3, Unit 11 and/or Special Consultant positions are performing sensitive work which would subject the candidate to a background check. The OAPL Background Check Processor will notify the Risk Manager of all records checks that have findings that may inhibit a candidate from being hired. The Background Check Processor serves in the role as Records Custodian for Background Check Results performed on the state-side (with exception to Live Scans, which are housed the University Police Department). While background check results are retained electronically through a secure, CSU approved, third party vendor (Accurate Background), as the Custodian of Record, the Background Check Processor will be required to ensure that should records arrive on campus, they be kept in a location that is secure and separate from the employee’s official personnel file. The Background Check Processor will also be responsible for maintaining and destroying the Criminal Offender Record Information no later than the termination of the new hire’s employment or two (2) years from rejection due to the Criminal Offender Record Information.

    In addition to the basic background check, some positions (for example, coaches) will undergo the State/National Sexual Offender Registry Check, per HR2017-17. The determination must be made BEFORE the position is advertised and the posted position description shall state that the position has been designated to be a sensitive position. The individual in the sensitive position/assignment must successfully complete the background check BEFORE they are hired to work in this capacity unless a contingent start has been approved by the Office of Academic Personnel.

    Procurement

    The Procurement office will work with departments to ensure that independent contractors provide verification that they have completed all required background checks.

    Background Check Review Committee

    The Background Check Review Committee consists of the following: AVP of Staff Human Resources, Risk Manager, Chief of Police, and the AVP of Academic Personnel (when reviewing results for Unit 3 and Unit 11 employees and Special Consultants hired through the Office of Academic Personnel). The AVP of Staff Human Resources will be notified by the Background Check Processor of all criminal records checks with findings. Criminal records checks with findings will be brought to the Background Check Review Committee. The Background Check Review Committee will review the results of criminal offender records information to assess and make a decision on the final candidate’s suitability for the position based on the results of the entire background check. The AVP of Academic Personnel will only be required to meet with the Committee when Unit 3 and Unit 11 employees or Special Consultant hired through the Office of Academic Personnel records are being reviewed for employment consideration.

    University Police Department

    The University Police Department will review (Live Scan) results received from DOJ/FBI. The Chief of Police or designee will serve as the Records Custodian for all fingerprint records. Results of all criminal records checks will be sent to the AVP of Staff Human Resources when an applicant has a finding on their background check report.

  • Background Check Process

    Unit 3 Faculty appointments and Unit 11 appointments

    1. Hiring Department selects final candidates and requests authorization to extend an offer.
    2. OAPL will notify of approval to hire and request candidate name, and non-CSU, Chico email address from hiring unit.
    3. OAPL initiates the appropriate background check process through Accurate Background. If fingerprinting is required for the position, the selected candidate will need to contact Blue Oak Mobile LiveScan and Notary(opens in new window) to schedule an appointment and follow the directions on their website. OAPL will provide the candidate with the appropriate paperwork to complete.
    4. Findings are returned to the OAPL Background Check Processor. If the OAPL Background Check Processor is not available, the HR Background Check Processor will review the findings.
    5. OAPL Background Check Processor reviews results and moves to ‘meets requirements’ when appropriate.
    6. OAPL Background Check Processor notifies the Risk Manager of any findings for review and consideration.
    7. The Risk Manager convenes the Background Check Review Committee if results of the background check are findings that may disqualify a candidate from employment. If adverse action is to be taken on a candidate, the Background Check Processor will initiate the pre-adverse action notice and action notice (when applicable).
    8. OAPL will notify hiring department when a candidate is cleared for hire. Final decisions are logged in the appropriate systems.
    Volunteers
    1. OAPL Background Check Processor will be notified of background checks necessary for Volunteers.
    2. OAPL Background Check Processor contacts the candidate and initiates the appropriate background check process through Accurate Background or Blue Oak Mobile LiveSan and Notary(opens in new window). If the faculty volunteer duties require a background check per the background check policy (such as being listed as the instructor of record on a class), please submit a background request to academicpersonnel@csuchico.edu with a personal email of the volunteer and the anticipated start date.  Once they have cleared, the volunteer form should then be submitted.
    3. Findings are returned to the OAPL Background Check Processor.
    4. When no findings are reported, OAPL Background Check Processor transitions candidate to “meets requirements” in the Accurate Background database and notifies the Hiring Manager of the clearance.
    5. When findings are reported, OAPL Background Check Processor notifies AVP of Staff Human Resources and engages the Background Check Committee.
    6. Background Check Review Committee reviews findings. If the Committee determines that the findings will not disqualify an individual for employment consideration the AVP of Staff Human Resources will notify the OAPL Background Check Processor. If the Committee determines that the findings appear to disqualify an individual for employment consideration, the OAPL Background Check Processor will initiate the pre-adverse action notice and action notice (when applicable) through Accurate Background.
    7. OAPL Background Check Processor will notify the Hiring Manager when a candidate is cleared for hire. Final decisions are logged in the appropriate systems.
    Auxiliary Employees working on campus

    AVP of Staff Human Resources will send an annual notice to local Auxiliary Directors notifying/reminding them of the Chico State Background Check policy.

  • Criminal Background Escalation/Adverse Action Process

    When adverse information is found as a result of the criminal records check, applicants must be notified and given an opportunity to review the criminal records check results and submit an explanation through an appeal process as outlined below.

    1. Pre-Adverse Action Notice: The campus must first provide a Pre-Adverse Action Notice to the applicant, including a copy of the report together with a copy of “A Summary of Your Rights Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act.”  This is handled by Accurate Background.
    2. Five Business Days to Request Review: When notified of the intended adverse action, the applicant shall be given five (5) business days to request, in writing, clarification or further review of the decision. The campus Decision Maker(s) must wait five (5) business days after notice is provided and consider the applicant’s appeal before making a final decision.
    3. Adverse Action Notice: The campus may finalize its decision to disqualify the applicant if, after five (5) business days, no additional information has been presented establishing that disqualification based on the initial results of the check is inappropriate. If the decision is finalized, the campus will notify the individual of the non-selection using the Adverse Action Notice.
  • Education Verification Process
    New Unit 3 appointments

    Hiring Committee will verify degree/education prior to requesting authorization to extend an offer. OAPL has access to the National Student Clearinghouse and will, upon request, perform a search for records to assist in verification – however, records are not always readily found (especially for non-resident applicants). Contact the Recruitment Specialist to request a National Student Clearinghouse check. Official transcripts are required by the University within 90 days of initial appointment to a department. Transcripts must cover all work for the highest degree obtained and for any work done subsequent to the completion of the last degree.

  • Employment Verification Process

    Unit 3 Appointments

    Before a contingent offer of employment is extended to a candidate, reference checks and employment verification must be conducted. A minimum of three reference checks are required for tenure-track hires, and a minimum of two reference checks are required for new lecturer hires. At least one reference must be an employment verification from a former employer, preferably an individual who was responsible for performance evaluations of the candidate’s most recent employment. Reference checks can only be conducted by a Search Committee Member, Department Chair or Program Coordinator, or an Administrator.

  • Optional (checks that may be done if determined to be job-related)

    If determined to be job-related, the campus will review the candidate’s credit report history check, motor vehicle records/licensing check, professional licensing, certification, and/or credential verification.

    State/National Sexual Offender Registry

    For all employment positions with regular or direct contact with minors, the campus will verify if applicants have been included in any state or federal sexual offender registry. Campuses may access records from the Megan’s Law(opens in new window) website to conduct a California state sexual offender registry check. For a national sexual offender registry search, campuses may access the U.S. Department of Justice’s(opens in new window) website and/or the Federal Bureau of Investigation.