How to Request a Background Check
The university conducts criminal background checks on all employees prior to hire. This includes student, faculty, classified and administrative/professional (A&P), and casual employee positions. In addition a background check is required for paid or unpaid affiliated positions that require patient care; child care or contact with minors; direct access to information resources or information resource technologies; access to pharmaceuticals, controlled substances, cash, checks, or credit cards.
A background check may be conducted on applicants who are finalists under consideration for a position or on the final candidate post-offer, pre-hire. All required checks must be conducted before the employee begins work. In addition, a new check is required if an employee returns to employment after a break in service longer than 4 ½ months for classified and A&P or one year for faculty, student, and casual employees. The reference chart provided below can help you determine when a background check is required.
An HR Contact for the hiring department can create a request in the online Background Check Administration (BCA) system and invite the applicant to authorize the check electronically. If you prefer to give the applicant a paper form, you will ask the finalist to complete a Criminal Background Check Form. An HR Contact can then enter the request and the authorization into Background Check Administration system. When the background check request has been authorized in BCA, Human Resource Services will request and review the applicant’s official criminal record.
The hiring department reviews any criminal history that was disclosed by the applicant and takes any relevant criminal history into consideration in the hiring decision. Human Resource Services will review any information found on the official criminal record, and communicate the findings to the hiring department. Conviction information must be considered on a case-by-case basis taking into consideration the type and severity of the offense, the time passed since the offense, and whether the offense is relevant to the duties of the position. An individual cannot automatically be excluded from hire because he or she has a previous conviction. Please refer to the page Review Criminal History and Relevance to Job Requirements for detailed information before disqualifying a candidate based upon criminal history.
Verifying Applicant Identity
A representative of the hiring department must verify the identity of the applicant before a background check can be requested. Normally this is done by viewing a photo ID provided by the applicant. If the applicant is not able to provide the verification in person, ask the applicant to complete an Applicant Identification and Verification Form.
This step is required by the Fair Credit Reporting Act, and is intended to prevent the release of information unless it has been authorized by the individual.
The University complies with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regulations, 16 CFR Part 681. If the University is notified of an address discrepancy during the course of a criminal background check, the University will follow FTC guidelines.
Cost and Type of Background Check Required
All criminal history background checks will include a search of the National Sex Offender Registry database. State of Texas criminal history records must be checked for all new hires who reside in Texas. If the person has lived outside of the State of Texas within the past seven years, a national check through the vendor is required.
If the applicant or employee is age 25 or younger, the vendor check is required if the person has lived outside of Texas at any time since age 17. The vendor will collect information for the State of Texas and any other state in which the person resided. A national check through the vendor is required for all faculty, Administrative and Professional (A&P, code 1000), and other specific positions. If a vendor check is not otherwise required and the person has lived in Texas for the past seven years, the check will be made through the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) website. The hiring department can request a vendor check for any hire, even if it is not required. See the reference chart below to determine which type of check will be conducted.
The cost of the background check will be billed to the hiring department.
- State of Texas (DPS) check: $6.50
- National Sex Offender Registry check: $4.00
- Vendor check, which includes Sex Offender Registry check: $32.50, plus any additional charges from the states or agencies that provide information
Employees and Volunteers at Youth Camps
Background Checks for Youth Camps
This policy applies to any event that meets all or part of four or more days and has five or more youths participating. Any event that is held on The University of Texas at Austin property or is sponsored by the University is covered.
Any employee, university affiliate, volunteer, or student observer who will be present at the camp or event must have the following background checks:
- Workers who live in Texas
- State of Texas (DPS)
- National Sex Offender Registry check
- Workers who have lived outside of Texas in the past seven years
- State of Texas (DPS)
- Vendor check (Includes National Sex Offender Registry check)
- International workers
- International background check through the vendor only if the worker has resided outside of the United States at some time since age 14 and the worker’s visa was issued or reviewed prior to 10/24/11
Youth Camp workers must have the required background check on a yearly basis. The background checks must be complete before the worker can take Child Protection Training. For more information, refer to the University of Texas System policy on Criminal Background Checks.
Child Protection Training
The 82nd session of the Texas Legislature enacted SB 1414 entitled “AN ACT relating to sexual abuse and child molestation training and examination for employees of certain programs for minors held on campuses of institutions of higher education; providing penalties.” The key requirement of this legislation is that all personnel (employees, volunteers, and personnel of third party) of camps/programs for minors held by/at The University of Texas System campus property are required to undergo criminal background checks as well as training and examination to enhance their sensitivity to the warning signs of sexual abuse and child molestation as stated in Texas Education Code, Section 51.976.
The training and examination program is required for camps/programs for minors that meet ALL of the following criteria:
- Held on the UT Austin campus OR operated by UT Austin anywhere;
- Have recreational, athletic, religious, or educational activities for the campers/participants; and
- Have campers/participants who are minors (under the age of 18) and are not employees of UT Austin.
For more information, refer to the Minors on Campus website, specifically the links to Training and Background Check.
Human Resource Services can help verify your applicant’s employment history and education. To request this service, the hiring department should create a request in the Background Check Administration (BCA) and fax a Background Check Request for Education and Employment Verification form to Human Resource Services. Indicate on the request form which verification is needed. Employment Verification includes verification of employment dates, title, and salary information at up to three previous employers (within the past seven years). Education Verification checks the highest degree, highest level of education, or licensure/certification. The cost of verifying education and employment information will be the vendor’s standard rate plus any fees charged by the agencies who provide the information.
- Education and Employment $35.00
- Education Only $20.00
- Employment Only $25.00
- Plus any additional charges from the states or agencies that provide information.
*If the applicant or employee has lived outside the State of Texas in the past 7 years, a vendor check is required. If the applicant/employee is age 25 or younger, a vendor check is required if residing outside Texas at any time since age 17.
|Position||Type of Check(s) Required||New Check Required After Break In Service|
|Classified||Texas DPS*||4 month (120 days) break in service|
|A&P or code 1000||Vendor||4 month (120 days) break in service|
|Faculty||Vendor||1 year (365 days) break in service|
|Student||Texas DPS*||1 year (365 days) break in service|
|Casual Employee||Texas DPS or Vendor||4 months or 1 year, depending upon the position job code|
|Youth Camp Employee or Volunteer||Texas DPS* and National Sex Offender Registry||1 year (365 days) break in service|
|Employee of UT Affiliated Organization (if designated security sensitive in HRMS)||Texas DPS*||1 year (365 days) break in service|
|Adjunct/Clinical Worker (follows faculty requirements)||Vendor||1 year (365 days) break in service|
|Independent Contractor (if designated security sensitive in HRMS)||Vendor||1 year (365 days) break in service|
|Employee of Contractor (if designated security sensitive in HRMS)||Texas DPS*||1 year (365 days) break in service|
|Employee of Governmental Agency||Texas DPS*||1 year (365 days) break in service|
|Visiting Researcher/Scholar (follows faculty requirements)||Vendor||1 year (365 days) break in service|
|Research Affiliate (follows faculty requirements)||Vendor||1 year (365 days) break in service|
|Visiting Student Worker (if designated security sensitive in HRMS)||Texas DPS*||1 year (365 days) break in service|
|Volunteer (if designated security sensitive in HRMS)||Texas DPS*||1 year (365 days) break in service|
|Visitors (if required by law)||Texas DPS*||1 year (365 days) break in service|
|Other University Affiliated Position (if designated security sensitive)||Texas DPS*||1 year (365 days) break in service|
If you have any questions regarding background checks you may contact the Human Resource Service Center.