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How to Request a Background Check

The university requires a criminal background check, including a sex offender registry check, on applicants for employment, current employees, and university affiliates as required by university policy and state and federal requirements. The type of check performed will vary according to the position. The reference chart provided below can help you determine which type of background check is required.

When is a Background Check Required?

This is a brief summary of the background check requirements. For detailed explanation of the requirements, see the information below or refer to the university policy.

A criminal history background check is required when:

Applicant

You must request a criminal background check 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 must be requested on applicants who are finalists under consideration for a position or on the final candidate post-offer, pre-hire. Note that the applicant requirement applies to current employees. Current employees are subject to a criminal background check when applying to another position at the university, if the previous background check was conducted more than one year ago or if the previous check did not include all of the checks required for the new position. In addition a new check will be required if the current employee is applying to a position that is in a different dean or vice president’s portfolio. All required checks must be complete before the employee begins work.

Current Employee

When applying to a position at the university, current employees are subject to the same requirements as other applicants. You must request a new background check when a current employee is moving to a new position under a different dean or vice president.  

In addition, a new check is required if an employee returns to employment after a break in service of six months or longer. If the break is fewer than six months, a new check is required if the background check on file was performed more than one year ago. Also, if the background check on file did not include all of the required types of checks, you must request a new check. HR Contacts or HR Contact Delegates can search the background check history for a current or previous employee under the Utilities tab of the Background Check Administration (BCA) system.

Requesting a Background Check

An HR Contact or HR Contact Delegate for the hiring department creates a request in the online Background Check Administration (BCA) system and invites the applicant or employee to authorize the check electronically. If the applicant or employee prefers not to provide the information electronically,  you will ask them to complete a Criminal Background Check Form. An HR Contact or Delegate can then enter the request and the authorization into Background Check Administration system. When the background check request has been authorized in BCA, Human Resources will request the applicant’s official criminal record, and will contact the hiring department once the official record has been reviewed.

For more information about the Background Check Administration system, download the BCA Overview (PDF).

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 Resources 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.

Address Discrepancies

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. If the applicant or employee has lived only in the State of Texas within the past seven years, the criminal history check will be through the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS). If the person has lived outside of the State of Texas within the past seven years, a national check through the vendor is required. When 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.

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.

Youth Camps and Child Care Facilities

Background Checks for Youth Camps

Operators of youth camps must ensure all employees and final applicants who will work at the camp, and all volunteers and student observers, who will regularly or frequently be at the camp undergo a criminal background check to be conducted each year. The check must be conducted prior to permitting an individual to work, volunteer, or observe. Volunteers and student observers who are not subject to a check must not have unsupervised access to campers.

This policy applies to any youth program that meets all of these conditions:

Any employee, university affiliate, volunteer, or student observer who will be present at the camp or event must have the following background checks:

 

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.

Child Protection Training for Youth Camps

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:

For more information, refer to the Minors on Campus website.

Background Checks for Child Care Facilities

Child-care facilities must ensure criminal background checks are conducted prior to permitting the individual to work, assist, or be present at the facility and at least every two years thereafter for:

The facility will use the following sources in conducting a background check:

Optional Background Check Services

Human Resources 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 Resources. 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.  

Background Check Reference Chart

A National Sex Offender Registry check is always required and will automatically be performed with any criminal history background check. A new check is required if an employee returns to employment after a break in service of six months or longer. If the break is shorter than six months, a new check is required if the background check on file was performed more than one year ago. Also, if the background check on file did not include all of the required types of checks, a new check must be requested. 

*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
Classified Texas DPS*
A&P or code 1000 Vendor
Faculty Vendor
Student Texas DPS*
Casual Employee Texas DPS or Vendor
Youth Camp Employee or Volunteer Texas DPS*
Child Care Facility Worker Texas DPS*, FBI, DFPS
Employee of UT Affiliated Organization (if designated security sensitive in HRMS) Texas DPS*
Adjunct/Clinical Worker (follows faculty requirements) Vendor
Independent Contractor (if designated security sensitive in HRMS) Vendor
Employee of Contractor (if designated security sensitive in HRMS) Texas DPS*
Employee of Governmental Agency Texas DPS*
Visiting Researcher/Scholar (follows faculty requirements) Vendor
Research Affiliate (follows faculty requirements) Vendor
Visiting Student Worker (if designated security sensitive in HRMS) Texas DPS*
Volunteer (if designated security sensitive in HRMS) Texas DPS*
Visitors (if required by law) Texas DPS*
Other University Affiliated Position (if designated security sensitive) Texas DPS*

If you have any questions regarding background checks you may contact the Human Resource Service Center.