We think it’s a good practice to occasionally review and re-answer some common questions that we hear from students. This week we want to revisit questions students have asked about why they need to undergo a background check before they start clinical work, as well as their general questions about student background screening.


Q. Why does my school/program require that I get a background check?

A: In 2004, the Joint Commission passed a standard that staff, students and volunteers who work in the same capacity as staff that provide care, treatment and services obtain criminal background checks when required by law and regulation and organization policy.

While student background are done for the above reason, there are benefits to having a background check prior to beginning your program. If a student happens to have a criminal record, he/she may not be able to get a professional license once the academic program is completed. Student background checks can help students know if they will be able to work in the field after they graduate or not.


Q. What is a background check?

A. Also referred to as a background investigation, a background check consists of looking up and compiling somebody’s criminal records and commercial records. The information gathered is not the same for all background checks. What is included depends on the needs of each clinical site, and these needs vary by site.


Q. Why do I have to do a drug screening test as part of my background check?

In addition to the background investigation, your school or program may require additional things from you. A couple of the most common additional requirements are a drug screening test and documentation of your immunizations.


Q How long will it take to process my background check?

A. We hear this a lot, and the answer is that the amount of time it takes to process a background check is variable. Your background check through VerifyStudents by Corporate Screening may be completed in as little as three or fewer business days. However, not all background checks are completed that quickly due to reasons out of our control. For example, at times, it takes longer to access court records, and extra time is needed to verify information.