Indiana University provides Programs Involving Children (PIC) with two different options in order to fulfill the background check requirements as stated in the PIC (PS-01) policy.
Background checks processed through GIS must be paid for and processed through an IU department/unit's account. All university employees must obtain a background check through the university’s vendor, GIS, for the purpose of programs involving children.
GIS may be used to process volunteer and student background checks, if an IU account will be used to pay the cost. If non-employed students or volunteers are processed through GIS the department must pay for the check initially but may, if the department or program determines it necessary, have the individual reimburse the department.
Additional information and questions concerning GIS can be found here: University Human Resources.
Departments/programs have the ability to make individual volunteers and students responsible for processing and paying for their own checks using Backgroundchecks.com. Employees however, cannot be processed through Backgroundchecks.com.
IU has an agreement with Backgroundchecks.com to provide a special price and package, allowing programs to comply with the PIC policy and defer some program costs to the volunteers. It is important to use the provided URL, background checks not processed through this URL will not meet university standards.
Once a check is submitted by the volunteer/student it will be processed by Backgroundchecks.com and adjudicated by the IU Office of Public Safety. Departments and program supervisors cannot initiate or monitor background checks through Backgroundchecks.com.
Frequently Asked Questions
- General background check questions
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 GIS or Backgroundchecks.com. 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 email@example.com, if you have a question about the validity of a particular background check.
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 a designated university vendor, GIS or Backgroundchecks.com.
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 Backgroundchecks.com produce a certificate and detailed report that can be printed and provided to the outside organization by the student or volunteers that requested the check.
- Background checks performed through GIS do not provide certificates. In order for an outside organization to see the results of a GIS background check, the individual must contact GIS and request the results so they can provide them to the outside organization.
- Individuals needing background checks
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 GIS or Backgroundchecks.com.
Will volunteers need background checks?
- Yes. Volunteers working with children must have a standard background check completed. The only exception is for program that have received approval to operate under the "large, discrete, occasional" program standards. For more information on this type of program please check here: PIC Program Types
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 ran 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 email@example.com, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org, 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 University Human Resources policy regarding background check has been revised to require background checks for all new temporary, formerly hourly, employees.
What about staff or faculty members who have worked at the university for a long time, do they 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 building where regular employees are working or physical plant staff takes care of maintenance or IT staff take 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 email@example.com, to help make this determination.
How do I complete a background check through Backgroundchecks.com?
- The designated Indiana University URL link must be used. Volunteers and students who will have a background check processed through Backgroundchecks.com will be taken to the appropriate IU site to complete the process.
- Instructions for processing a background check through Backgroundchecks.com can be found here: Quick Guide
How do I know if I should use Backgroundchecks.com?
- The university has two background check options: GIS, which is typically used to conduct background checks on IU employees; and Backgroundchecks.com, which is typically used for students, volunteers, and other non-employees. Contact and confirm with your department/program that you should use Backgroundchecks.com.
- Make sure a previous check isn't still valid. If you had an IU standard check completed within the last 5 years, you may not have to submit to another check. Please contact IU Public Safety at firstname.lastname@example.org, if you have a question as to whether a previous check is still valid.
As a department/program what am I responsible for when Backgroundchecks.com is used?
- If your department/program will be using Backgroundchecks.com to comply with the PIC policy, certifications should be collected from all volunteers and students as proof of the check and that the person has met University standards to work with children.
- Each completed check will be assigned a grade by the IU Office of Public Safety, you should ensure the certificates you receive are assigned the appropriate grade to work with children.
- Meets IU PIC policy criteria -- This grade indicates the individual has been approved to work with children for IU programs and activities.
- Does not meet IU PIC policy criteria -- This grade indicates the individual does not meet IU standards to work with children as a part of an IU program or activity.
- In Process or Pending -- These grades indicate the background check has not completed processing.
- Sex Offender Registry check
How can I check a volunteer's name in the Sex Offender Registry?
- First your department/program must have approval from the Superintendent of Public Safety to operate under the "large, discrete, occasional" program standards. To learn more about this program type please check: Types of PIC Programs.
- The full name, date of birth, and address of the individual are required to complete this check.
- A sex offender registry check can be completed, at no cost, at the Dru Sjodin National Sex Offender Registry Public Website: 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 email@example.com, 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.