Frequently Asked Questions

  • General Background Check Process

    Why is there a change to the University Background Checking Policy requiring additional background checks?

    Act 153, an amendment to PA Title 23: Ch.63: Child Protective Services, was signed into law and effective December 31, 2014. This new law requires employees, contractors, and volunteers within institutions of higher learning to complete ACT 151 PA Child Abuse Registry, ACT 34 PA State Criminal Clearance and Act 114 FBI Federal Criminal Fingerprinting clearance. Please follow this link for further explanation.

    Is anyone exempt from background checking?

    1. Volunteers under the age of 18 are NOT required to obtain any clearances.
    2. Student volunteers are NOT required to obtain clearances if:
    • he/she is currently enrolled in a school
    • he/she is not responsible for a child's welfare
    • he/she is volunteering for an event occurring on school grounds
    • the event is sponsored by the school at which he/she is enrolled as a student
    • the event is not for children who are in the care of a child-care service

    How long will my clearances last? When will I need to reapply?

    All three clearances are valid for 5 years from the date on the clearance results.

    If I received my three required clearances outside of IUP, such as through my church or my child’s school, can I present these to IUP?

    At this time, IUP-HR cannot accept copies or originals of clearances processed for organizations other than for IUP or for another Pennsylvania State System school.

    If you had your clearances processed for employment or related to an academic program requirement at IUP or for another State System school, you may present the clearances if you meet all three criteria listed below:  

    • The clearances are less than three years old.
    • The clearances must be the specific clearances required under this new law. Note: Department of Education FBI fingerprint clearances are not able to be accepted by our IUP-HR, per Pennsylvania State System legal counsel. New fingerprints must be collected with IUP-HR through the Department of Public Welfare.
    • You can provide the original clearance documentation via postal mail or in person to the Office of Human Resources. For clearances processed by another State System school, IUP-HR will work with the sister school to verify results. 

    If I or my recent hire had pre-employment background checks completed in 2014 or prior, is only the FBI Fingerprinting Clearance required for 2015?

    All current IUP faculty, staff, student workers, contractors, and volunteers will need to complete all three new required background clearances for 2015 regardless of when your previous pre-employment background check was run through Human Resources. These new clearances include: Act 151 Child Abuse Registry, Act 34 State Criminal Clearance, and Act 114 FBI Fingerprinting Clearance.

    Who is “Justifacts"?

    Justifacts is IUP’s background checking vendor.  E-mail notifications from "noreply@justifacts.com" contain the links and payment codes to complete both the Act 151 Child Abuse Registry and Act 34 State Criminal Clearance. The links contained in these e-mails are only valid for 72 hours, so your IMMEDIATE attention is needed for timely completion.

    Depending on your e-mail filtering system, the e-mails may arrive in your "junk" or "spam" folders.

     

    Is my information secure? Who has access to my personal information that I provide as part of the clearance process?

    Justifacts processes your Pennsylvania State Police Criminal Background Check (SP4‐164) and Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Clearance Form (CY‐113) through their secure website. Personal information reported to Justifacts is stored in the Justifacts database—only accessible to IUP-HR, and it is not maintained as part of IUP personnel files.

    COGENT processes your Federal (FBI) Fingerprint Criminal Background Check (Criminal History Report). Personal information is only stored in the secure COGENT database. No personal data is accessible to IUP-HR through COGENT, and it is not maintained as part of IUP personnel files.

    Am I financially responsible for the payment of any clearances?

    No. At this time, the university is covering all background clearance expenses for faculty, staff, student workers, contractors, and volunteers. You will receive payment codes from our background checking vendor, Justifacts, and for the COGENT website to complete payment.

    Is there a Credit Check being conducted as part of the background clearance process with Justifacts?

    The process with Justifacts includes a statement that an applicant going through our background checks is considered a “consumer” under the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Individuals going through the background clearance process do have rights as a consumer under the Fair Credit Reporting Act—which includes requesting from our vendor, Justifacts, a copy of your background report, or disputing information in your report. Steps to begin that process can be found towards the bottom of the Justifacts home page.

    You may see references to the Fair Credit Reporting Act in the Justifacts disclosures online, but no credit check will be conducted by IUP, or Justifacts, as part of this process. Only the three checks required by the new law are being performed. 

    What if I know that I have a reportable offense on my background checks or I am arrested or convicted after my checks are completed?

    Related to the protection of minors on campus, all current employees are required to report to the Office of Human Resources if they have been arrested or convicted of crimes enumerated in the Child Protective Services Law, 23 Pa.C.S. §6344(c).

    As of December 31, 2014, employees must contact our Human Resources Office if you have been 1) arrested for or convicted of a reportable offense, or if you have been 2) “founded” or indicated as a perpetrator in a report of child abuse.

    If you are convicted of a reportable offense after you complete background checking, you must provide such written notice to Human Resources within 72 hours of the arrest, conviction, or notification that you have been listed as a perpetrator in the statewide database.

    Failure to make a written notification as required by law could be a misdemeanor of the third degree and could subject you to discipline up to and including termination. Contact our Human Resources Office for more information.

    What if a reportable offense shows on my background clearance? Will I be fired?

    Each background clearance is reviewed by Human Resources on a case-by-case basis to consider the type of offense, how long ago it happened, and your duties at IUP. In cases where the background investigation will result in an adverse employment or appointment decision:

    • The university will provide a copy of the report to the individual, as well as all required notifications pursuant to the Fair Credit Reporting Act and other applicable laws.
    • The individual must be given a reasonable opportunity (at least five [5] business days) to submit information to the Human Resources designee disputing the accuracy and/or completeness of the report before a final employment or appointment decision can be made. 
    • For current employees, to the extent applicable, the university shall follow the disciplinary processes outlined in relevant Collective Bargaining Agreements (faculty, administrators, or staff) or university or Board of Governors’ policy.

    What is the deadline to complete the clearances?

    • For current employees (including current student employees): The deadline was December 31, 2015.
    • For existing volunteers: The deadline is July 1, 2016.
    • For new hires/re-hires: Prior to start, but you may work provisionally for up to 90 days provided all clearances are in progress as verified by HR. HR will verify with the hiring manager/supervisor that background checks are in progress and the employee may begin working. No one can be hired or start to work until HR has verified that all clearances are in progress. 
    • For new volunteers: As of July 1, 2015, prior to service; however, you may work provisionally for up to 30 days. HR will verify with the hiring manager/supervisor that background checks are in progress and the employee may begin working. No volunteer can start to work until HR has verified that all clearances are in progress. 

    I was offered a student worker position on campus (student employment). How do I start my clearances?

    Rehires: If you have previously worked for the university prior to this new position and have completed background clearances, submit your completed profile sheet to Payroll Services, G11 Sutton Hall.

    Newhires: If you have never worked for the university in any capacity before and never completed background clearances, your supervisor needs to submit the Background Clearance Request online form, located on the Human Resources website, under Policies > Background Investigation Policy. Once HR receives the clearance request from your supervisor, instructions will be e-mailed to you from "noreply@justifacts.com". *Please be sure to check your junk/spam folders for these e-mails.

    I am a volunteer for IUP. Do I need to complete clearances?

    Volunteers under the age of 18 are NOT required to obtain any clearances.

    Student volunteers are NOT required to obtain clearances if:

    • he/she is currently enrolled in a school
    • he/she is not responsible for a child's welfare
    • he/she is volunteering for an event occurring on school grounds
    • the event is sponsored by the school at which he/she is enrolled as a student
    • the event is not for children who are in the care of a child-care service

     

    If you do not fall into any of the categories listed above, you WILL NEED TO COMPLETE CLEARANCES. Your supervisor needs to submit the Background Clearance Request online form, located on the Human Resources website, under Policies > Background Investigation Policy.   Once HR receives the clearance request from your supervisor, instructions will be e-mailed to you from "noreply@justifacts.com". * Please be sure to check your junk/spam folders for these e-mails.

    What is the status of my clearances?

    1. Log in to your MyIUP Account using your network credentials.

    2. Click on Personal Info.

    3. Click on "Employee background clearance progress" in the PERSONAL INFORMATION content block.

    You should see (3) Clearances listed: DPW Child Abuse Check; FED. Criminal History Record Info; PA State Police Criminal Back. Check.

    • A status of "Complete" means you have applied and the results were provided to the Office of Human Resources.
    • A status of "Incomplete" means either you have not applied for the clearance or the results were not provided to the Office of Human Resources.

    If any clearances are not listed or another message appears or for any questions regarding your clearances, please contact your designated HR Representative based on the first letter of your last name:

    Last Names A‐F: Brittany Weaver Brittany.Weaver@iup.edu
    Last Names G‐K: Laura Slebodnick Laura.Slebodnick@iup.edu
    Last Names L‐P: Anna Shively Anna.Shively@iup.edu
    Last Names Q‐U: Angela Phillips Angela.Phillips@iup.edu
    Last Names V‐Z: Beth Fleek Beth.Fleek@iup.edu

    I applied for my PA Child Abuse clearance, but the status is still showing as incomplete. Why?

    A status of “Incomplete” for the PA Child Abuse clearance could mean one of three things:

    1. You did not complete the application in its entirety. 
      1. If you did, you would have received an e-mail from noreply@pa.gov confirming your application was successfully received.
    2. You did not upload your results to the Justifacts website. 
      1. You should have received an e-mail from Justifacts with the instructions and links to upload your results, as well as an e-mail from noreply@pa.gov when your results were ready to be uploaded. 
      2. You will continue to receive reminder e-mails from Justifacts until the results are uploaded.
      3. * Please check your SPAM/JUNK folders for these e-mails.
    3. You did not bring your paper copy into the Office of Human Resources.
      1. In lieu of uploading to the Justifacts website, the Office of Human Resources will accept the original paper copy of your results, which will be scanned to our system to be uploaded to the Justifacts website.

    It has been longer than two weeks, and I have not received en e-mail saying my results are ready to be uploaded. Who should I contact?

    First, check your JUNK/SPAM folders for these e-mails. If you still cannot locate them, please call the Department of Human Services/Childline at (877) 371-5422.

    Can I just mail/scan/fax copies of my clearances to HR?

    The IUP Office of Human Resources only accepts original results for each clearance.

    However, if you are unable to present your clearances to the IUP Office of Human Resources in person, you can mail your original results to our office at the below address. 

    • Office of Human Resources, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, 1011 South Drive, G8 Sutton Hall, Indiana, PA 15705

    We will scan the results into our system and return the originals to you using the return address on the envelope.

    I can't find the initial e-mail with the information to get started. Who should I contact?

    Please e-mail Brittany Weaver at BWeaver@iup.edu to have your e-mail with links or instructions re-sent to you.

    I found my e-mail from Justifacts, but my links have expired. What do I do now?

    Please contact your designated HR Representative based on the first letter of your last name:
    Last Names A‐F: Brittany Weaver Brittany.Weaver@iup.edu
    Last Names G‐K: Laura Slebodnick Laura.Slebodnick@iup.edu
    Last Names L‐P: Anna Shively Anna.Shively@iup.edu
    Last Names Q‐U: Angela Phillips Angela.Phillips@iup.edu
    Last Names V‐Z: Beth Fleek Beth.Fleek@iup.edu

    Your representative will send you a new e-mail with active links. Immediate attention is required as the links are only valid for 72 hours.

    I continue to receive reminder e-mails from Justifacts to upload my PA Child Abuse Clearance results, but I have not received the results page yet. What do I do?

    You will continue to receive weekly reminders from Justifacts to upload your clearance results.   Please keep these e-mails as they provide you with the link to upload the final result page.

    The PA Department of Human Services (DHS) will send you an e-mail (noreply@pa.gov) when your clearance results have been completed and updated to your DHS account. Results may take up to two weeks to receive. You will need to log into your DHS account on the COMPASS website and download this PDF file to your desktop/computer. Once you have the file saved, refer to the links in the Justifacts reminder e-mails to upload the file into the Justifacts website.

    How do I upload my Child Abuse clearance results to the Justifacts website?

    You will receive an e-mail from our vendor, Justifacts, (DoNotReply12@Justifacts.com) with the subject, “How to Upload Pa Child Abuse Certificate for Indiana University of Pennsylvania.”  This e-mail contains instructions for the final three steps for this clearance:

    Step 1: Notification that Child Abuse certificate is complete

    Step 2: Accessing your Child Abuse certificate

    Step 3: Uploading the Child Abuse certificate to the Justifacts website.

    Justifacts will continue to send reminders via e-mail until you upload the Child Abuse clearance certificate. You have 90 days from your date of hire to upload your Child Abuse certificate to the Justifacts website.

    You will receive an e-mail from the COMPASS website (noreply@pa.gov) when your COMPASS application has been completed and the Child Abuse certificate is ready to be uploaded. 

    It has been longer than two weeks, and I have not received my Child Abuse clearance results to upload. Who should I contact?

    Please call the Dept of Human Services/Childline at (877) 371-5422 or visit the COMPASS website [Keystone ID/password required for logon].

    I'm having a technical issue with the Justifacts site or with the Department of Human Services site. Who should I contact?

    IUP-HR and IUP-IT are not able to offer technical assistance for either Justifacts or the Department of Human Services site.

    If you need technical assistance with the Justifacts links or site, please contact Sarah Trusilo at 412-712-1555 or strusilo@justifacts.com.

    If you need technical assistance with the Department of Human Services site, please contact their HelpDesk at 877-371-5422 or 877-343-0494.

    I can't find the paycode that Justifacts sent me for the Child Abuse Clearance. Who should I contact?

    Please contact Sarah Trusilo at 412-712-1555 or strusilo@justifacts.com.

    I didn't receive the results for the Act 34 PA State Criminal clearance. How does IUP-HR receive those results?

    Results of the Act 34 PA State Criminal Record check are automatically uploaded to the Justifacts website.  HR Personnel will document the date of the clearance for our records. No further action is necessary on your part.

    How do I begin the process for the Act 114 FBI Fingerprinting clearance?

    The detailed instructions are attached in the e-mail you received either from IUP-HR or Justifacts.

    There are three basic steps to completing this clearance:

    1. Register for fingerprinting through COGENT/PA Dept of Human Services website.
    2. Get fingerprinted
      1. If you are located on or near the IUP Main campus in Indiana, PA, schedule an appointment through the IUP Office of Human Resources scheduling site to be fingerprinted.
      2. If you are NOT located on or near the IUP Main campus in Indiana, PA, find a fingerprinting location near you.
        • If you are located in Pennsylvania: Click on the “Find a Fingerprint Location” link under the “Useful Links” in the lower left corner of the COGENT website.
        • If you are NOT located in Pennsylvania:
          - Download a set of fingerprint cards from the FBI website.
          - Find a local police jurisdiction or State Police barracks which can help you take ink-based fingerprints. (Any fees associated with this service are the responsibility of the employee)
          - Mail the completed cards, a copy of your registration receipt to
          3M Cogent
          Attn: Fingerprint Card Scan PA DPW
          639 N Rosemead Blvd
          Pasadena, CA 91107
    3. Bring your results into the Office of Human Resources (does not apply if you are mailing fingerprinting cards)

    I am not located on or near the IUP main campus and cannot complete fingerprinting at the IUP-HR office. How can I complete fingerprinting?

    If you are NOT located on or near the IUP Main campus in Indiana, PA, you can find a fingerprinting location near you.

    • If you are located in Pennsylvania: Click on the “Find a Fingerprint Location” link under the “Useful Links” in the lower left corner of the COGENT website.
    • If you are NOT located in Pennsylvania:
      - Download a set of fingerprint cards from the FBI website.
      - Find a local police jurisdiction or State Police barracks which can help you take ink-based fingerprints. (Any fees associated with this service are the responsibility of the employee)
      - Mail the completed cards, a copy of your registration receipt to
      3M Cogent
      Attn: Fingerprint Card Scan PA DPW
      639 N Rosemead Blvd
      Pasadena, CA 91107

    My fingerprints were rejected the first time that I applied. What do I need to do now?

    Schedule another fingerprinting appointment (see answer for "How do I begin the process for the Act 114 FBI Fingerprinting clearance?"). 

    Bring the “rejection letter” from COGENT to your appointment. Our staff needs to code the second fingerprinting attempt differently than if it was your first time.

    Does IUP-HR automatically receive the results of my FBI Fingerprinting clearance?

    No. The IUP Office of Human Resources does NOT receive original or copies of results of the FBI Fingerprinting clearance. Each applicant must present original results to our office within 90 days after their first day of work.

    I just received my FBI Fingerprint results (Blue form) in the mail. What do I do next?

    Bring the original FBI Fingerprint results to our HR department. We are located in G8 Sutton Hall. We scan your results and give originals back to you.

    If you’re not on campus, you can mail the results to: Office of Human Resources, G8 Sutton Hall, 1011 South Drive, Indiana PA 15705. Our staff will scan the paper results and mail them back to the return address on the envelope. 

    It has been two weeks, and I have not received the results for the FBI Fingerprinting Clearance. What should I do now?

    Please contact The Dept of Human Services/Childline at (877) 371‐5422 / Option #7.

    Can I get my fingerprints done in the HR department for an organization that is not affiliated with IUP?

    The IUP Office of Human Resources only completes clearances for IUP employment and volunteer purposes.

    How can I get a copy of my clearances that I received through IUP?

    Due to the volume of applicants, IUP-HR is not able to provide copies of any clearances.  Please refer to the specific clearance below for instructions on obtaining a copy.

    Act 34: PA State Criminal Records Check: On the bottom of the Justifacts website homepage, click the "Request copy of Report" button. You will complete a short questionnaire followed by a link to a form to complete and mail/e-mail/fax to Justifacts along with copies of identification. A fee may be incurred for this request. You may also call (412) 712-1555 to request a copy.

    Act 151: PA Dept of Human Services Child Abuse History: Hard copies are mailed to your home address only if you selected "mail me a copy of my results" during the online application.  Otherwise, you may call the Department of Human Services/Childline at (877) 343-0494 or visit the COMPASS website [Keystone ID/password required for logon].

    Act 114: Federal Criminal History: These results are mailed directly to the address which was entered into COGENT's online registration system. To request another copy of your results, please contact the Department of Human Services at (877) 371-5422.