Background Checks

Background check options

Indiana University provides Programs Involving Children (PIC) with the option below to fulfill the background check requirements as stated in the PIC (PS-01) policy.

Frequently asked questions about background checks

How long does it take to process a background check?

  • Typically it does not take more than a few days to complete a background check through HireRight. In certain cases the process may take longer but this is rare.

Who is responsible for ensuring all background checks are up to date in accordance with the PIC policy?

  • This is the responsibility of the individual departments. Please contact University Human Resources, or IU Public Safety at, if you have a question about the validity of a particular background check.
  • Additional HireRight quick reference guides can be found on the IU Human Resources website.

Is there a list of other companies from whom the university will accept background checks if an employee or volunteer has already completed one within the last five years?

  • For IU programs, all staff, faculty, academic, temporary/hourly employees, students, and volunteers must have a background check through HireRight, the designated university vendor.
  • For outside organizations using IU facilities, a Facility Use Agreement or other appropriate document stating they will comply with the policy, including background checks, must be signed. At this time, there is no requirement to check which background check company an outside organization uses. However, the background checks must still conform to the five-year requirement to be valid and checked, including a national criminal database check and a national sex offender registry check. If the outside organization has questions about compliance, please direct it to IU Public Safety at

An outside organization is requesting to see background check information performed on volunteers, how do they get this information?

  • Outside organization are not able to obtain the detailed background check results from IU on any individuals. IU will not disclose the personal information and contents of a background check to any outside organization.
  • Background checks performed through HireRight do not provide certificates. In order for an outside organization to see the results of a HireRight background check, the individual must contact HireRight and request the results so they can provide them to the outside organization.

Will students working with minors be required to have a background check?

  • Yes. Students working with a program involving children as a volunteer or an employee must have a standard background check (not a limited check) available from HireRight.

Will volunteers need background checks?

  • Yes. Volunteers working with children must have a standard background check completed. The only exception is for programs that have received approval to operate under the “large, occasional events and performances” program standards. More information about this type of program is available here.
  • Departments/units can set up volunteers and students for a self-pay option in HireRight by logging in to the HireRight "Self-Pay for Students and Volunteers" site. The student or volunteer will receive an email to complete the check once the initiator submits. That student or volunteer will then need to contact HireRight directly for a copy of their check. Please contact IU Public Safety at for any questions about the process.

I have international students or individuals participating in my program involving children, do I need to run background checks on them?

  • If the person has been in the U.S. for a year or more, a background check is required. A background check should be run on the person’s current U.S. address.
  • If the person has been in the U.S. for less than a year, please contact IU Public Safety at, for further guidance on how this person may participate.

Do guests such as lecturers and speakers have to be checked?

  • The program must determine the degree to which the guest has access to children. If the guest is working with children and has direct contact with them, a background check is required. If the guest is just speaking to a large group and is accompanied by program staff at all times, a background check may not be necessary. Please consult with IU Public Safety at, if you are unsure if a speaker or lecturer needs a background check.

What about temporary, formerly hourly, employees?

  • As of April 1, 2012, the IU Human Resources policy regarding background checks has been revised to require background checks for all new temporary, formerly hourly, employees.

Do staff or faculty members who have worked at the university for a long time need background checks?

  • Yes. Anyone working with children must have a background check at least every five years, regardless of how long they have been working at IU. If a university employee has not had a standard check in the last five years, a background check must be completed in order for them to continue participating in a program involving children.

What about programs using buildings where regular employees are working, physical plant staff takes care of maintenance, or IT staff takes care of computers? Will those employees need background checks?

  • Only staff working with children must have a background check at this time. The department should consider access to children and supervision of children to ensure that other university employees or outside contractors are properly supervised or checked when they are in the vicinity of children. If the person in question will not have close contact with children, they do not typically need a background check. If you have questions whether an individual needs a check please contact IU Public Safety at to help make this determination.

How can I check a volunteer's name in the sex offender registry?

What should I do if I identify a volunteer in the sex offender registry while checking before a "large, discrete, occasional" event?

  • When a potential volunteer is found to be a sex offender, this information should be documented and immediately reported to the Superintendent of Public Safety at for notification and record-keeping. The offender's name and contact information should be included. The offender will be notified by a member of IU Public Safety that they cannot participate in the program. IU Public Safety will also inform program organizers that this person is not eligible to volunteer and should not be permitted to participate.

Do I have to check minors in the sex offender registry if they are volunteering for a program that has been designated as "large, discrete, occasional"?

  • Yes. Under PIC policy minors are treated the same as other volunteers and must be checked in the National Sex Offender Registry. It is possible for minors to be listed as registered sex offenders under the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act.