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 the University of Arizona Police Department or other law enforcement agency or a nearby fingerprint service company.

Department Billing Rates

Name of Service

2019 Approved Rate

Fingerprint-Based Criminal Record Check + MVR

$75

Name-Based Criminal Record Check + MVR

$69

Motor Vehicle Record (MVR) ONLY

$37

Dual Check (Fingerprint + Name-Based + MVR)

$107

International*

$69

Education Verification

$36

*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 classified 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 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.

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.

Applicants authorize the University to conduct pre-employment screening when they certify their information on the UA Careers 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".

  1. The hiring department shall indicate on the job posting that a name-based criminal background check is required.
  2. 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”.
  3. After a finalist accepts a job offer, the hiring department shall change the finalist's applicant status from “Interviewed” to “Offer Accepted" and request the named-based criminal background check in the UACareers system. This will generate a notification to Human Resources to begin the name-based criminal background and MVR checks.
  4. Upon receipt of the background check request in the UACareers system from the hiring department, Human Resources will generate an email to the finalist to notify him/her to complete the on-line consent and disclosure forms.
  5. 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.
  6. The vendor will conduct a background check of MVR, SSN, sexual offender and criminal conviction records. The average turnaround time is two or three business days.
  7. 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. The hiring department shall submit the appropriate hiring request or job change and supporting documentation to Human Resources in UAccess for processing. (If there is an urgent need to begin the hiring process, a department may submit the new hire request in advance, however the employment offer remains contingent upon the successful outcome of pre-employment screening required under University policy.)
    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:

  • senior level administrators (president, provost, vice provost, deans, vice presidents, assistant and associate vice provosts, vice presidents and deans, department heads and department directors, including interim and acting);
  • business managers, business manager, seniors, and other senior level finance and business-related financial administrative positions;
  • 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;
  • positions with direct patient care;
  • 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”. (See Request Form)
  1. The hiring department shall indicate on the job posting that the position is designated as “security- or safety-sensitive” when completing the on-line UACareers job posting (based on job title, department, or job duties performed by the finalist).
  2. 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”.
  3. After a finalist accepts a job offer, the hiring department shall change the finalist’s applicant status from “Interviewed” to “Offer Accepted" and request the fingerprint-based criminal background check in the UACareers system. This will generate a notification to Human Resources to begin the fingerprint-based criminal background and MVR checks.
  4. Upon receipt of the background check request in the UA Careers system, Human Resources will forward a fingerprint packet to the candidate that includes the consent and disclosure forms, a fingerprint instruction sheet, a fingerprint card, a fingerprint verification form and a Human Resources self-addressed envelope. The instructions direct the finalist to hand-carry or mail the completed fingerprint packet documents and fingerprint card in the envelope sealed by the fingerprint technician to Human Resources.  Because the finalist's fingerprints will be used to check the criminal history records of the FBI, the fingerprint packet includes a required FBI notification of applicant privacy rights.
  5. 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 with the University vendor or the University's Risk Management Services.
  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. Total turnaround time is generally four to six weeks.
  7. Human Resources will receive the results of the fingerprint-based criminal background check and MVR results 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. The hiring department shall submit the appropriate hiring request or job change and supporting documentation to Human Resources in UAccess for processing. (If there is an urgent need to begin the hiring process, a department may submit the new hire request in advance, however the employment remains contingent upon successful outcome of pre-employment screening required under University policy.)
    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 and University policy, 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.

MVR checks will be conducted on the finalist for all temporary and regular classified and appointed personnel positions in conjunction with criminal background check activities.

MVR checks will also be conducted on student employees, graduate assistants/associates employees, affiliates, associates or volunteers whose job duties include driving on University business or whom are performing in security- or safety-sensitive positions. To submit a MVR check outside of the UA Careers system, Departments submit the online request for background check form to Human Resources.

MVR checks shall be conducted based on the guidelines below:

  • Arizona Driver License: If the finalist has possessed a current Arizona Driver's License for a minimum of 39 months, a check of the finalist’s Arizona driving record will be conducted.
  • Out-of-State License: If the finalist currently resides out of state and/or has not possessed an Arizona Driver License for at least 39 months, a check of the finalist’s prior driving record will be conducted.
  • Notification: Upon receipt of the Motor Vehicle Report (MVR) check, Human Resources will notify the department representative regarding any driving restrictions required of the individual.

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 the University’s UACareers applicant system 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 a new or additional position in another department is subject to a criminal background check equivalent to the requirements of the new position.

An employee who accepts a promotion, new assignment, or reclassification in their home department is subject to a criminal background check equivalent to the requirements of the new position unless an equivalent criminal background check was conducted at the time of hire or as a result of a prior reclassification, promotion or reassignment action within the same department.

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.

Individuals such as student employees, graduate assistants/associates, affiliates, associates and volunteers are not subject to a criminal background check unless they are performing in security- or safety-sensitive positions or work in a security- or safety-sensitive 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.

  1. To request a fingerprint-based criminal check for security- or safety-sensitive positions that are not maintained in the UACareers system, submit an on-line “Request Criminal Background Check Form” to Human Resources.
    Note: Access to the on-line background check request form is currently limited to departmental representatives with access to similar secure sites such as the FML calculator. Contact Human Resources 520-626-0715 to request access.
  2. Human Resources will forward a fingerprint packet to the candidate that includes the consent and disclosure forms, a fingerprint instruction sheet, a fingerprint card, a fingerprint verification form and a Human Resources self-addressed envelope. The instructions direct the finalist to hand-carry or mail the completed fingerprint packet documents and fingerprint card in the envelope sealed by the fingerprint technician to Human Resources. The finalist may also come in person to Human Resources at the University Services Building, Room 114, to pick up their fingerprint packet if Human Resources is notified in advance.
  3. 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 with the University vendor or the University's Risk Management Services.
  4. 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.  Total turnaround time is generally four to six weeks.
  5. Upon receipt of results of the state and federal criminal background checks, Human Resources will follow the same steps outlined above for fingerprint-based criminal background checks.  Upon receipt of the Motor Vehicle Report (MVR), Human Resources will notify the department representative regarding driving restrictions required of the individual.