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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. This applies for people hired, promoted, reclassified, or transferred into certain staff positions designated as "critical" which includes, but is not limited to, positions that have access to cars, keys, cash, children, computers, and sensitive information.


  1. Use the UCOP policy 21.E. Appointment - Background Checks - Systemwide Guidelines on Designating Critical Positions and the description above to determine if your position is a critical position.
  2. Once you've determined the type of background check you want to do, navigate to Talent Support Services to download the applicable form. If necessary contact Human Resources to assist you with the process and forms. Job offer and start date are contingent to the results of the background check.

Also see How to Conduct Reference Checks.


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 & FBI (National check) - $72

Consumer reporting agency

  • Method: Reporting agencies use the individual's Social Security number, name(s), date of birth, or driver license number to verify identity and other requested information.
  • Fees vary depending on the location of the applicant and the level of service (county, state, district, and agency fees may apply).  A processing fee of $25 is charged in addition to consumer reporting agency fees.
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.