Background Checks

Introduction

In March 2005, pre-employment screening policies were implemented by the Arizona Board of Regents to create a safe and secure workplace and to ensure that employees at the three Arizona state Universities are qualified for the positions for which they are hired. As a result, pre-employment screening is now required of every finalist, which includes verification of academic credentials, work history and licenses.

Effective August 1, 2006, the University of Arizona Pre-Employment Screening Policy was amended to comply with Arizona Revised Statute 15-1649, which requires finalists hired into security- or safety-sensitive positions to undergo a fingerprint-based criminal background check. All other finalists in non-security- or safety-sensitive positions must undergo a name-based criminal background check. Motor Vehicle Records (MVR) checks are conducted in conjunction with both criminal background checks.

The hiring department is responsible for the cost associated with this service. The finalist for a security- or safety-sensitive position will be required to pay between $5.00 to $12.00 to have their fingerprints rolled by a local law enforcement agency or a nearby fingerprint service company.

Department Billing Rates

Name of Service

2022 Approved Rate (effective 2/15/2022)

Fingerprint-Based Criminal Record Check + MVR

$92

Name-Based Criminal Record Check + MVR

$100

Motor Vehicle Record (MVR) ONLY

$41

Dual Check (Fingerprint + Name-Based + MVR)

$151

International*

$122

Education Verification

$29

*An additional rate charge for an international check will apply if the finalist has an international history.

The Division of Human Resources must receive a complete request from the department and complete documentation from the finalist before a check can be initiated.

Other Types of Pre-Employment Checks (Department)

Under Arizona Board of Regents (ABOR) policy 6-709, University departments are responsible for ensuring that a Standard Pre-Employment Screening is conducted on all temporary and regular appointed and staff new hires. This includes verification of education credentials, professional licenses and work history.

Departments are advised to also conduct their own professional reference checks since relevant job performance questions are not easily standardized and hiring authorities are in the best position to evaluate the reference information collected.

University of Arizona hiring officials and/or employee supervisors may review official personnel records.  For more information, see the Access to and Release of Personnel Records and Information Policy or contact Human Resources Employee Records at records@email.arizona.edu or by voicemail to 520-621-5970.

If a position requires a specific professional or technical license such as a licensed practical nurse, contact the responsible licensing board (local or national) to verify that the candidate has a current and valid license.

The best-informed hiring decisions encompass vigorous reference checking in order to achieve best-fit selection and to minimize liability for negligent hiring. It is recommended that the hiring department check the professional references of all relevant positions listed on the application or resume including the work dates and job titles of candidates.

Below are some quick guidelines for conducting reference checks. More information can be found in the Guide to Successful Searches.

  1. Comply with all federal and state laws and regulations.
  2. Verify that the finalist has consented to reference checking.
  3. Identify the relevant references to contact, not necessarily the references the finalist would prefer to have contacted. For maximum objectivity, obtain several references from a cross-section of current and former supervisors, peers, direct reports and customers.
  4. Inform the finalist when you are ready to begin reference checking.
  5. Conduct the reference check by phone or in person.
  6. Plan and ask the same behavior-based and job-related questions of all finalists.
  7. Do not accept “off the record” statements; ask for another reference who can speak to the issue on the record.
  8. Ask the contacted reference for names of other collateral references who also know the work record of the finalist.
  9. Evaluate the information collected that is relevant to qualifications.
  10. Maintain confidentiality. The gathered information is privy to the selection committee and is to be used only for recruitment purposes. Wherever possible, reference checks should be conducted by the hiring supervisor.
  11. Document all contacts and relevant information received and retain them in the departmental search file for three years.

Applicants authorize the University to conduct pre-employment screening when they certify their information on the application form. If an institution or individual requires written consent in order to verify reference information, the department can provide a copy of the certification page of the application or request that the candidate complete an "Employment Reference Release Form".

Criminal Background and MVD Checks (HR)

Under Arizona Revised Statute 15-1649 and the University of Arizona’s Pre-Employment Screening Policy 103.1, the finalist for positions not designated as security or safety-sensitive will be subject to a name-based criminal background check. Employment is contingent upon the satisfactory outcome of the criminal background check.

Name-based criminal background checks shall be conducted on outside finalists for new positions as well as individuals currently employed by the University who are hired, transferred, promoted, or reclassified into a non-security- or safety-sensitive position. A Motor Vehicle Records (MVR) check will also be conducted in conjunction with the criminal background check.

When a finalist for a change of position (such as transfer, reassignment, or reclassification), or a finalist previously employed by the University has had a name-based or fingerprint-based criminal background check within the past twelve months, Human Resources may exempt the department from conducting a duplicate check at the time of the internal change or rehire.

Student employees, graduate assistants/associates, affiliates, associates and volunteers are not subject to criminal background checks unless they are performing in a security- or safety-sensitive position.

  1. Before posting a position in Talent, the hiring department shall ensure the security sensitive status of the position is correct in UAccess.  If the position needs to be updated, the hiring department will submit a Manager Self Service (MSS) Position Create/Modify transaction.  If a position is not marked as security sensitive, a name-based criminal check will apply.
  2. The hiring department shall indicate on the job posting in Talent that a name-based criminal background check is required.
  3. When a department hiring authority extends a job offer to a finalist, the finalist shall receive and sign a letter of offer that includes a statement that reads, “this employment offer is contingent upon the successful outcome of pre-employment screening that may be required under University policy”.
  4. After a finalist accepts a job offer, the hiring department shall initiate a MSS transaction in UAccess Employee.  Name-based background checks are currently launched from MSS New Hire or Job Change (Position/Assignment Change or Position Life Cycle) transactions for all staff and appointed personnel not in a security sensitive position.  To submit a request without one of those transactions (such as for MSS Exceptions, the hiring department shall submit a MSS Request Background Check.  The initiator is required to provide a department contact and billing information for the background check when completing the MSS form.
  5. Upon final approval of the MSS transaction by Human Resources, a name-based and MVR background check request will be initiated for review.
  6. Human Resources will generate an email to the finalist to notify him/her to complete the applicable consent and disclosure forms.
  7. Upon receipt of the consent and disclosure forms, Human Resources will then submit a request for a name-based criminal background check to the approved vendor.
  8. The vendor will conduct a background check of MVR, SSN, sexual offender and criminal conviction records.
  9. Human Resources will receive the results of the name-based criminal background and MVR checks and will notify the hiring department as described below.
    1. No Relevant Adverse Information Uncovered
      If the information received from the criminal and MVR checks does not indicate a need for adverse employment action, the hiring department will receive an email notification that the finalist is eligible for hire.
    2. Adverse Information Uncovered
      If relevant adverse information is confirmed, Human Resources will contact the dean, director or department head to determine if adverse information could disqualify the finalist from further consideration. Human Resources will also notify the finalist of their right to review the report information and submit an appeal as provided under the Fair Credit Reporting Act
      If the finalist is not eligible for hire, Human Resources will notify the department as to the action to be taken and advise the department about selecting another candidate or reposting the position as appropriate.

Evidence of criminal convictions or other adverse information will not automatically disqualify a finalist from consideration. When Human Resources evaluates whether to employ an individual with a criminal history, considerations include relevance of a criminal conviction to the job duties to be performed, the nature and seriousness of the offense, the finalist’s work history since the conviction, the date of the most recent offense and the truthfulness of the information provided by the finalist.

Under Arizona Revised Statute 15-1649 and University policy, the finalist for a designated security- or safety-sensitive position, or a finalist who discloses that they have been convicted of a felony, shall submit a full set of fingerprints to the University for the purpose of obtaining a state and federal criminal records check. Employment is contingent upon the satisfactory outcome of the criminal background check.

Fingerprint-based criminal background checks shall be conducted on outside finalists for new positions as well as individuals currently employed by the University who are hired, promoted, reclassified or transferred into a security- or safety-sensitive position at the University of Arizona. A Motor Vehicle Records (MVR) check will also be conducted in conjunction with a criminal background check.

When a finalist for a change of position (such as reclassification, promotion, transfer or other similar change) or a finalist previously employed by the University has had a fingerprint-based criminal background check in the previous twelve months, Human Resources may exempt the department from conducting a duplicate check at the time of the internal change or rehire.

Student employees, graduate assistants/associates, affiliates, associates and volunteers in security- or safety-sensitive positions or departments shall also be subject to a fingerprint-based criminal background check.

Security- or Safety-Sensitive positions include:

  • University administrators and others with significant financial oversight responsibilities (president; provost; vice provosts; deans; vice presidents; assistant and associate vice provosts, vice presidents and deans; department heads; and department directors; and business managers.)  For consistency, all positions covered by the Conditions of Administrative Service (University Handbook for Appointed Personnel, Chapter 5) are security sensitive.  Also, all University staff positions at the Manager & Leader V level or in the job codes of Administrative Operations Professional (level III, IV or V) or Administrative Operations Manager (all levels - I through V) are security sensitive. (Note:  As of January 26, 2020, no new University positions are categorized as business managers) 
  • positions with unsupervised contact with minors who are not enrolled students at the University of Arizona;
  • positions with direct access to select biological/biochemical agents, as defined by the USA Patriot Act of 2001;
  • positions with unrestricted access to residence hall private rooms;
  • any finalist who discloses a prior felony conviction in the pre-employment screening process;
  • other positions requested by a dean or vice president to be designated as “security- or safety-sensitive” and approved by Human Resources
  1. Before posting a position in Talent, the hiring department shall ensure the security sensitive status of the position is correct in UAccess.  If the position needs to be updated, the hiring department will submit a Manager Self-Service (MSS) Position/Create Modify transaction.  If a position is approved for security sensitive status by Human Resources, a fingerprint-based criminal check will apply.  
  2. The hiring department shall indicate on the job posting in Talent that a position is “security- or safety-sensitive” and a fingerprint-based criminal check is required.
  3. When a department hiring authority extends a job offer to a finalist, the finalist shall receive and sign a letter of offer that includes a statement that reads “this employment offer is contingent upon the successful outcome of pre-employment screening that may be required under University policy”.
  4. Fingerprint-background checks are currently launched from MSS New Hire or Job Change (Position/Assignment Change or Position Life Cycle) transactions for all staff, appointed personnel, student employees, graduate assistants/associates in security sensitive positions.  MSS Additional Job transactions also launch background checks for student employees in security sensitive positions.  To submit a request without one of those transactions, such as for MSS Exception or Title Management requests (e.g. additional jobs or adding an Administrator - UHAP Chapter 5) the hiring department shall submit a MSS Request Background Check.  The initiator is required to provide a department contact and billing information for the background check when completing the MSS form.
  5. Upon final approval of the MSS transaction by Human Resources, a fingerprint-based and MVR background check will be initiated for review. 
  6. Human Resources will generate an email notification to the finalist to provide information on the process and to advise a fingerprint packet will be mailed.
  7. Human Resources will forward a fingerprint packet to the finalist.  The fingerprint packet contains a required FBI notification of applicant privacy rights, a fingerprint card, forms, and instructions on getting fingerprinted and requests the finalist to return the completed fingerprint packet to Human Resources in the self-addressed envelope provided in the fingerprint packet.  The envelope is to be sealed by their fingerprint technician.
  8. Upon receipt of the completed fingerprint packet, including the fingerprint card and consent form, Human Resources shall forward the finalist’s fingerprint card to the Arizona Department of Public Service (DPS) and submit a separate request for a MVR check to the approved vendor.
  9. DPS shall conduct a state-wide criminal background check and forward the finalist’s fingerprints to the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) for a federal criminal background check.
  10. Human Resources will receive the results of the fingerprint-based criminal background and MVR checks and will notify the hiring department as described below.
    1. No Relevant Adverse Information Uncovered
      ​If information received from the criminal and MVR checks do not indicate a need for adverse employment action, the hiring department will receive an email notification that the finalist is eligible for hire.
    2. Adverse Information Uncovered
      Human Resources provides finalists the right to review and challenge his/her criminal history record if they deem the information has been inaccurately reported.  Each finalist will be offered five (5) business days upon notification to provide the University authentic documentation that reports the criminal history information accurately and completely.  This information must be provided prior to a determination of suitability for finalists in a security- or safety-sensitive position. If the finalist is not eligible for hire, Human Resources will notify the department and advise the department about selecting another candidate or reposting the position as appropriate.
  • Evidence of criminal convictions or other adverse information will not automatically disqualify a finalist from consideration. When Human Resources evaluates whether to employ an individual with a criminal history, considerations include relevance of a criminal conviction to the job duties to be performed, the nature and seriousness of the offense, the finalist’s work history since the conviction, the date of the most recent offense and the truthfulness of the information provided by the finalist.

Under Arizona Board of Regents (ABOR) policy 6-709, the University policies on Pre-Employment Screening and Fleet Safety, a Motor Vehicle Records (MVR) check must be obtained when an individual is authorized to use a University or private motor vehicle to conduct University business.

Criminal Record Plus MVR Checks 

MVR checks will be conducted on finalists for all staff and appointed personnel positions in conjunction with the name-based or fingerprint-based criminal background check.  MVR checks will also be conducted on student employees, graduate Assistant/associates, and DCCs in security or safety-sensitive positions in conjunction with their fingerprint-based criminal background check.

MVR Only Checks - Designated Campus Colleagues (DCC)

  1. To initiate a MVR Only check for a new DCC, the sponsoring department will submit a MSS Campus Colleague Request.  If the driving question is marked 'yes', the initiator will need to provide a department contact and billing information for the MVR check.  A MVR Only check will automatically initiate to Human Resources for review and processing upon final approval of the Campus Colleague Request.
  2. To initiate a MVR Only check for an active DCC, the sponsoring department shall complete a MSS Request Background Check transaction in UAccess.  (Note:  MSS Request Background Check transactions require Job Data Change Approver provisioning.)
  3. Human Resources will generate an email to the DCC with forms and instructions.
  4. Upon receipt of the consent and disclosure forms, Human Resources will then submit a request for a MVR Only background check to the approved vendor.
  5. Human Resources will classify the results of the MVR check as described below and will notify the department and Risk Management Services of the results.

MVR Only Checks - Student Employee and Graduate Assistant/Associate Employee

  1. To initiate a MVR Only check for an active student worker, the sponsoring department shall complete a MSS Request Background Check transaction in UAccess.  (Note:  MSS Request Background Check transactions require Job Data Change Approver provisioning.)
  2. Human Resources will generate an email to the student worker with forms and instructions.
  3. Upon receipt of the consent and disclosure forms, Human Resources will then submit a request for a MVR Only background check to the approved vendor.
  4. Human Resources will classify the results of the MVR check as described below and will notify the department and Risk Management Services of the results.

MVR Check Review

MVR checks shall be based on the guidelines below.

  • Drivers must have a valid U.S. driver's license.  Foreign driver's licenses and international driver's licenses are not acceptable for driving on University business.

  • Drivers of standard vehicles (sedans, pickups, golf carts, etc., that do not require special licensing) must be at least 18 years of age and have been licensed for a minimum of two years prior to driving on University business.  A learning driving permit does not count toward the two year minimum driving experience requirement.

  • A standard MVR review includes the most recent 39 month period.  Citations that are more than 39 months in the past are not included in the review.

  • Drivers will be classified as acceptable, conditional or unacceptable based on their licensing status and citation history. 

Additional requirements, including those specific to high occupancy vehicles (HOVs) and commercial driver's licenses (CDLs), are available in the Fleet Safety Policy.  Questions about the University's Fleet Safety Policy or driving requirements may be directed to Risk Management Services

Note:  All employees, DCCs and students are also required to complete safety training and driver registration prior to operating a personal or University vehicle on University business.

In order to ensure employment practices at the University are consistent, fair and aligned with pre-employment screening requirements, all non-competitive positions must be posted in Talent and will follow the same steps as outlined above for a name-based criminal background check or fingerprint-based background check.  MVR checks are conducted in conjunction with both name-based and fingerprint-based criminal background checks.

An employee who accepts or is reassigned to a new or additional position in the same or different department is subject to a criminal background check equivalent to the requirements of the new position.

An employee who is promoted, transferred, reassigned or reclassified is subject to a criminal background check equivalent to the requirements of the position unless an equivalent criminal background check was conducted at the time of hire or as a result of a prior promotion, transfer, reclassification or reassignment.

An employee who performs security- or safety-sensitive duties as a result of the addition of new job responsibilities, shall be subject to a fingerprint-based criminal check unless the employee previously underwent a fingerprint-based criminal background check in the same department.

A fingerprint-based criminal check is conducted on student employees, graduate assistant/associates and DCC Affiliates, Associates and Volunteers who perform security- or safety sensitive positions or have disclosed a felony conviction on pre-employment forms. 

An employee or DCC who performs security- or safety-sensitive duties as a result of the addition of new responsibilities shall be submit to a fingerprint-based criminal check unless the employee previously underwent a fingerprint-based criminal check in the same department.

Department representatives should work with the hiring authority to determine when student employees, graduate assistants/associates, affiliates, associates, or volunteers are performing security- or safety-sensitive duties such as those involving unsupervised contact with minors.  The department representative shall ensure the security sensitive status of the position is correct in UAccess.  If a position needs to be updated, the department representative will submit a MSS Position Create/Modify transaction.

  1. Background checks are currently launched directly from a MSS New Hire, Job Change, Student Additional Job or Campus Colleague Request transaction if the student worker's position or the DCC request is marked as security sensitive.  To initiate a background check without one of those MSS transactions, the department will need to submit a MSS Request Background Check in UAccess.  (Note:  MSS Request Background Check transactions require Job Data Change Approver provisioning.)
  2. Upon final approval of the MSS transaction by Human Resources, a fingerprint-based and MVR background check will be initiated for review.
  3. Human Resources will generate an email notification to the individual to provide information on the process and advise a fingerprint packet will be mailed.
  4. Human Resources will forward a fingerprint packet to the finalist.  The fingerprint packet contains a required FBI notification of applicant privacy rights, a fingerprint card, forms, and instructions on getting fingerprinted and requests the finalist to return the completed fingerprint packet to Human Resources in the self- addressed envelope provided in the fingerprint packet.  The envelope is to be sealed by their fingerprint technician.
  5. Upon receipt of the completed fingerprint packet, including fingerprint card and consent form, Human Resources shall forward the finalist’s fingerprint card to the Arizona Department of Public Service (DPS) and submit a separate request for a Motor Vehicle Report (MVR) check to the approved vendor.
  6. DPS shall conduct a state-wide criminal background check and forward the finalist's fingerprints to the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) for a federal criminal background check.
  7. Upon receipt of results of the criminal and MVR background checks, Human Resources will follow the same steps outlined above for fingerprint-based criminal background checks and Motor Vehicle Records Checks.