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?
How long will my clearances last? When will I need to reapply?
All three clearances are valid for five years from the date on the clearance results.
If I already received my three required clearances, such as through my church or through my academic program, can I present these to IUP?
Any person who has obtained the required clearances may transfer or provide services to another subsidiary or branch established and supervised by the same organization, or serve in a volunteer capacity for any program, service or activity, during the length of time the person's certification is current (within five year timeframe). 23 Pa.C.S. § 6344.3(f)(1).
Any employee who begins employment with a new agency, institution, organization or other entity that is responsible for the care, supervision, guidance or control and routine interaction with children shall be required to obtain a new certification of compliance. 23 Pa.C.S. § 6344.3(f)(2).
Volunteer clearances cannot be used for employment.
IUP-HR, in accordance with the above Pennsylvania statute, will follow the guidelines below regarding substitutions of clearance 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 "firstname.lastname@example.org" 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 .
IdentoGo processes your Federal (FBI) Fingerprint Criminal Background Check (Criminal History Report). Personal information is only stored in the secure IdentoGo database. No
personal data is accessible to IUP-HR through IdentoGo, 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 IdentoGo 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
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.
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
I was offered a student worker position on campus (student employment). How do I start my clearances?
Rehires: Log in to MyIUP > Personal Information > Employee Background Clearance Progress
If all three clearances have a status of “Complete,” print the screen and include with your profile sheet and hire paperwork to Payroll Services, G11 Sutton Hall.
If any of your clearances have a status of “Incomplete,” please send an e-mail to the Office of Human Resources (email@example.com). A representative there will review
your situation and recommend the appropriate course of action for you to ensure you complete your clearance.
New hires: All student employment positions should be posted and applied for online via Hire-A-Hawk. Student supervisors have been trained
to send information to the Office of Human Resources regarding new student hires through the Hire-A-Hawk hiring process. The Office of Human Resources initiates the background clearance process within 24 hours of receipt of the Hire-A-Hawk notice.
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:
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 "firstname.lastname@example.org". *
Please be sure to check your junk/spam folders for these e-mails.
What is the status of my clearances?
You should see (3) Clearances listed: DPW Child Abuse Check; FED. Criminal History Record Info; PA State Police Criminal Back. Check.
If any clearances are not listed or another message appears or for any questions regarding your clearances, please contact the Office of Human Resources at 724-357-2431.
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:
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 877-343-0494.
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.
We will scan the results into our system and return the originals to you using the return address on the envelope.
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 (email@example.com)
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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 877-343-0494 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
If you need technical assistance with the Department of Human Services
site, please contact their HelpDesk at 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
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.
Does IUP-HR automatically receive the results of my FBI Fingerprinting clearance?
Yes. The directions for registration on the IdentoGo website, found on your NEOGOV Onboarding checklist, state to enter the address for the Office of Human Resources as your mailing address to ensure the results are sent directly to our office.
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: The fingerprinting results letter would have been mailed directly to your home
address. The Office of Human Resources requires applicants to present the original to be scanned into our
files and promptly returned to you. o request another copy of your results, please contact the Department of Human Services at 877-371-5422, #4 then #1. Copies of results letter issues prior to November 2017 are no longer issued due to a change in vendor.