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Background Checks

Find out about background checks and when to use them.

Background checks help ensure a safe work environment and the protection of key organizational assets, including people, property, and information. Per UCOP policy a position that is defined as "critical" requires a background check.  When creating a job description the VC area must determine if a position is critical and designate it to receive a background check.  This applies for people hired, promoted, reclassified, or transferred into certain staff positions designated as "critical."

Steps

  1. Use the UCOP policy 21.E. Appointment - Background Checks - Systemwide Guidelines on Designating Critical Positions to determine if your position is a critical position.
  2. Once you've determined the type of background check you want to do, see Background Check Forms to download the applicable form. If necessary contact Human Resources to assist you with the process and forms.  Always wait for the results before offering employment to a candidate.

Also see How to Conduct Reference Checks.

Cost

Departments are responsible for the cost of background checks, which vary based on the kind of check and the agency that conducts it. Generally, Human Resources works with two kinds of agencies:

Department of Justice (DOJ)

  • Method: DOJ uses laser-scanning technology to check fingerprints against state and FBI criminal conviction records.
  • DOJ (California-only check) - $52
  • DOJ & FBI (National check) - $69

Consumer reporting agency

  • Method: Reporting agencies use the individual's Social Security number, name(s), date of birth, or driver's license number to verify identity and other requested information.
  • Fees can vary depending on the location of the applicant and the nature of the request.  On average, fees are about:
    • County criminal record search: $5.25 per county
    • License verification: $6 per license
    • Driving record: $3.02 per state
    • Education verification: $6.84 per degree or institution
    • Employment verification: $6.95 per employer
    • Federal criminal record search: $3 per federal district
    • Social Security number trace: $0.65
    • Statewide criminal record search: $6.81 per state
Note: Other fees may apply for other kinds of checks.
Notice: This is a summary of campus business services. In case of conflict in interpretation, the actual policies apply.