Background Check Procedures
Please refer to HR 2017-17 for the comprehensive CSU system wide Background Check Policy.
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. 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 are required for 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 camps (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 check 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.
- 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.
- Criminal Records Check (including State/National Sexual Offender Registry Check)
- Education Verification
- Employment Verification
- Reference Checks
- Fingerprinting (Fingerprinting is required for all employees and volunteers who have direct contact with minor children in a recreational program or camp operated by the CSU or on CSU Property. Fingerprinting is also required for positions in which background checks are required by law.)
Optional (checks that may be done if job-related)
- Credit History Check
- Motor Vehicle Records/Licensing Check
- Professional Licensing, Certification, and/or Credential Verification
- State/National Sexual Offender Registry Check
Campus departments will be responsible for working with the appropriate individual/department to determine whether a position will be performing sensitive work which would subject the candidate to a background check. This determination must be made BEFORE the position is advertised or any recruiting/services begin.
For faculty and academic student employees, information regarding positions MUST be provided on the Job Card request during the approval process in PageUp.
Background Check Processing
Background Checks will be coordinated by Human Resources for Staff, MPP, Student Employees, Special Consultants and Volunteers. In addition to the basic background check, some positions (for example, coaches) will undergo the State/National Sexual Offender Registry Check, per HR2017-17.
Faculty Affairs will coordinate background checks for Faculty (except Coaches) and Academic Student Employees (UAW)).
Human Resources and Faculty Affairs will be responsible for reviewing results of all background checks performed for stateside employment. The Background Check Processor will notify the AVP for Staff Human Resources or the AVP for Faculty Affairs of all records checks that have findings that may inhibit a candidate from being hired. The Background Check Processors serve in the role of Records Custodian for Background Check Results performed on the state-side (with the exception to Live Scans which are housed in 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 the record be stored on campus and 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.
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 for Staff Human Resources, Chief of Police, and the AVP for Faculty Affairs (when reviewing results for Unit 3 and Unit 11 employees and Special Consultants hired through the Office of Faculty Affairs). 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 for Faculty Affairs 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.
Human Resources will review (Live Scan) results received from DOJ/FBI. The designated record custodian(s) in Human Resources serve as the record custodian for the results. Results of all criminal records checks will be sent to the Staff Human Resources record custodian when an applicant has a finding on their background check report.
MPP/Staff appointments (including Special Consultants and Casual Workers)
- Hiring Department selects final candidate and notifies HR Consultant.
- HR Consultant extends a contingent offer of employment to the candidate.
- HR Consultant initiates the appropriate background check process through Accurate Background. If fingerprinting is required for the position, the selected candidate will be given a LiveScan form and complete the fingerprinting process with University Police department.
- The HR Consultant review Accurate background to determine if any finding are present in the background check.
- When no findings are reported, the HR Consultant transitions the candidate to “meets requirements” in the Accurate Background database, notifies the hiring department of the clearance and updates the Background Check summary information in PeopleSoft
- When findings are reported, the HR Consultant notifies AVP for Human Resources and engages the Background Check Committee.
- Background Check Review Committee reviews findings. If the Committee determines that the findings will not disqualify an individual for employment consideration the AVP for Human Resources will notify the HR Consultant. If the Committee determines that the findings appear to disqualify an individual for employment consideration, the HR Consultant will initiate the pre-adverse action notice and action notice (when applicable) through Accurate Background.
Faculty (CFA) appointments
- Hiring Department selects final candidates and following appropriate procedures to inform Faculty Affairs of nomination.
- After review of the nomination request, Faculty Affairs initiates the appropriate background check process through Accurate Background. Reminder, this does not replace requirements stated in APM 301 or APM 306.
- Background findings are returned to the Faculty Affairs for review and adjudication
- Faculty Affairs reviews results and moves to ‘meets requirements’ when appropriate.
- AVP for Faculty Affairs convenes the Background Check Review Committee if results of background check has findings that may disqualify a candidate from employment. If adverse action is to be taken on a candidate, Faculty Affairs will initiate the pre-adverse action notice and action notice (when applicable).
- Faculty Affairs will flag a nominee and begin the onboarding process when a candidate is cleared for hire. Final decisions are logged in PageUp and in PeopleSoft.
Student Employees (both represented and unrepresented)
Students’ educational relationship with the university is predominant. The CSU is required to conduct a background check on student workers if they are being considered for a position in which a background check is required by law or assignment.
- The HR Technical Analyst or Faculty Affairs will be notified of a student hire that requires a background check by the hiring department.
- The HR Technical Analyst or Faculty Affairs will initiate the appropriate background check process through Accurate Background for LiveScan if required.
- The background findings will be reviewed by appropriate office.
- The HR Technical Analyst will be notified of background checks necessary for Student Employees and Volunteers.
- The HR Technical Analyst will contact the candidate and initiate the appropriate background check process through Accurate Background or LiveScan if required. Faculty Affairs will contact candidates and initiate the background check process for those hired through Faculty Affairs.
- The HR Technical Analyst or Faculty Affairs will review the findings.
When no findings are reported, the HR Technical Analyst transitions candidate to “meets requirements” in the Accurate Background database and notifies the volunteer/student and the Hiring Manager of the clearance.
- When findings are reported, Background Check Processor notifies AVP for Human Resources and engages the Background Check Committee.
- Background Check Review Committee reviews findings. If the Committee determines that the findings will not disqualify an individual for employment consideration the AVP for Human Resources will notify the HR Technical Analyst. If the Committee determines that the findings appear to disqualify an individual for employment consideration, the HR Technical Analyst will initiate the pre-adverse action notice and action notice (when applicable) through Accurate Background.
- All final decisions are logged in PeopleSoft.
Auxiliary Employees working on campus
AVP of Staff Human Resources will send an annual notice to local Auxiliary Directors notifying/reminding them of the Fresno State Background Check policy.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
The HR Consultant will review findings for education verification, when used as a qualifying factor for the position and/or if listed on a candidate’s application. Every attempt should be made to verify employment relevant to the position for the previous five (5) years. Exceptions can be made for current CSU, Fresno staff moving into another position on campus.
If Accurate Background is unable to verify education and/or employment when used as a qualifying factor for the position, the HR Consultant will perform the necessary education and employment checks.
New Unit 3 appointments
Hiring Committee will verify degree/education prior to requesting an Authorization to Extend an Offer.
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 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 website and/or the Federal Bureau of Investigation.