UC IRVINE ADMINISTRATIVE POLICIES AND PROCEDURES

Human Resources

Sec. 300-10: Background Check Procedures

Responsible Office: Human Resources
Revised:
June 2003

References / Resources

  • Personnel Policies for Staff Members:
  • Personnel Procedures for UCI Staff Members:
    • 3, Types of Appointment
    • 20, Recruitment
    • 21, Appointment
    • 30, Salary
    • 36, Classification of Positions
    • 70, Complaint Resolution: Professional and Support Staff (PSS) and Managers and Senior Professionals (MSP) I-VII
    • 80, Staff Personnel Records
    • 81, Reasonable Accommodation
  • UC Business and Finance Bulletin
    • BUS-49 Cashiering Responsibilities and Guidelines
  • UC Records Retention Schedule
  • UCI Administrative Policies & Procedures
    • Section 720-11, Privacy of and Access to Information (Excluding Student Records) - Guidelines
  • UCI Delegations of Authority
    • IDA336, Classification Authority for Professional/Support Staff and Managers/Senior Positions

Contact: Human Resources at HRQuestions@uci.edu or (949) 824-5210

A pre-employment check of a candidate's background serves as an important part of the selection process and is conducted to promote a safe work environment; protect key organizational assets such as people, property, and information; and enables the hiring authority to make prudent hiring decisions based upon more comprehensive job-related information.

A. Responsibilities

  1. The Chancellor has delegated authority (IDA336) to the Assistant Vice Chancellor-Human Resources and the Assistant Director, Human Resources, UCI Medical Center to designate certain positions/functions, including positions whose employees may be covered by a Memorandum of Understanding with an exclusive bargaining agent and contract positions, as critical and subject to a background check as a condition of employment.
  2. Vice Chancellors and deans are responsible for working with Human Resources to identify the categories of background checks and corresponding functional responsibilities for which the checks will be conducted and for ensuring that positions with critical or sensitive functions are designated as " critical" within their units.
  3. Departments are responsible for complying with these procedures during recruitment processes, when contemplating assigning an employee new and/or additional responsibilities, as well as for paying the costs of required background checks.
  4. Human Resources is responsible for providing appropriate release forms to the hiring authority, notifying the applicant/employee at least three days prior to beginning the background check, and for coordinating the background check process. (The actual background check is conducted by an outside vendor.)

B. Criteria

Some of the criteria for identifying a position/function as critical, and therefore possibly require a background check, are:

  • Key control, master key and/or other access to residences or other facilities
  • Direct responsibility for the care, safety, and/or security of a human
  • Direct responsibility for the safety and security of personal or University property.
  • Direct access to or responsibility for cash, checks, or University property, disbursements or receipts
  • Direct access to or responsibility for controlled substances and/or hazardous materials/chemicals
  • Authority for committing University financial resources
  • Responsibility for operating University-owned vehicles, or other vehicles operated for University business
  • Responsibility for operating University-owned machinery or toxic systems in the course of the normal job duties that could cause accidental death, injury, or health problems
  • Access to secured and/or confidential data files, essential electronic information resources, and/or confidential information
  • Public safety
  • Ship’s crew
  • Direct contact with minors
  • A requirement for a professional license, certificate or degree, the absence of which would expose the University to legal liability and/or adverse public reaction
  • Direct access to and/or responsibility for information affecting national security

C. Categories of Background Checks

The categories of background checks include, but are not limited to:

  • Confirmation of a person's identity
  • Review of criminal conviction records
  • Verification of educational degree, license, or certificate required for the position
  • Review of Department of Motor Vehicles records
  • Drug testing as required by law
  • Department of Justice fingerprint scan

D. Initiating a Background Check

The department head shall obtain a signed authorization to release information from final candidate(s)/ employees(s) prior to initiating a background check request.

  1. Recruitment

    When initiating a recruitment (internal or external), the hiring authority indicates on the requisition that the position is critical and, therefore, subject to a background check. The Human Resources Employment Representative provides appropriate release forms to the hiring authority, notifies the applicant/employee at least three days prior to beginning the background check, and coordinates the background check process. (The actual background check is conducted by an outside vendor.)

    All recruitment information shall carry appropriate language stating that a pre-employment check will be conducted; that employment is conditioned on successful completion of the check; and that the employee will be released if the employer is not satisfied with the results of the background check.

    A background check should be initiated prior to the offer of employment and any offer made contingent on the results of the preemployment investigation.

  2. Adding Responsibilities to an Incumbent's Position

    When a department head contemplates assigning a current employee new or expanded functions, level and scope of duties, and/or responsibility that would result in the designation of the position as critical, a background check is required prior to the assignment of such duties. The department head should discuss the anticipated duties with the employee and inform the employee that a background check is required prior to the assignment of such duties and that if negative job-related information is received pertaining to the anticipated duties, they will not be assigned.

    The Employment Representative provides appropriate release forms to the hiring authority, notifies the applicant/employee at least three days prior to beginning the background check, and coordinates the background check process. (The actual background check is conducted by an outside vendor.)

  3. Classification of a New Position or Reclassification of an Existing Position

    If a position has been assigned expanded functions, level and scope of duties, and/or responsibility that include any of the criteria identifying a position as critical, when that position is considered for classification review, the request for classification review indicates that the position is critical and, therefore, subject to a background check.

    If the position being reviewed is a filled position, the request for classification review must be accompanied by a statement that a background check was completed on the incumbent prior to the assignment on the "critical" duties.

    If no background check was completed prior to the assignment of the "critical" duties, the department head must provide the employee with a written statement saying that, although the employee may have been performing activities identified as critical, if a check on the employee’s background reveals negative job-related information the 'critical' functions, duties, and/or responsibilities will be removed from the employee's position, and if that removal warrants, the position will not be reclassified.

    The Employment Representative provides appropriate release forms to the hiring authority, notifies the applicant/employee at least three days prior to beginning the background check, and coordinates the background check process. (The actual background check is conducted by an outside vendor.)

E. Background Check Results

The Employment Representative notifies the hiring authority of the job-related results of the check. In instances where negative information is obtained, the Employment Representative, in consultation with the assigned Human Resources Consultant, works with the department to assess the potential risks and liabilities of moving forward with the intended action. The Employment Representative makes a recommendation to the department, based on the assessment.

Applicants/employees may indicate on the Background Check Authorization form that they wish to receive a completed copy of their background check. The Employment Representative will send the requestor a copy.

In instances where the candidate/employee disputes the accuracy of the information provided by the vendor agency, the Employment Representative may authorize a second check to verify the accuracy of the information. The intended action is placed on "hold" until the disputed information is verified for accuracy.

In all instances, the decision to move forward is the responsibility of the department authority. If, however, the best interests of the University appear to be at risk because of the department's decision, Human Resources may request a review of the decision by the appropriate Academic Dean or Vice Chancellor in consultation with the Risk Manager.

F. Record Keeping

Human Resources serves as the Office of Record for any records or other information generated by background checks. The material will be maintained in accordance with state and federal laws as well as university policies and procedures on privacy (see Section 720-11), and will be disposed of in accordance with the UC Records Retention Schedule.

G. Reports

Departments will be asked annually to review the listing of critical positions and determine if additions, deletions, or revisions are necessary.

Human Resources will submit to the Director, Internal Audit/the Controller/the Campus Risk Manager an annual summary report of all background checks. The report will also include specific disposition of recruitments for which negative job-related background information was received.