Today we’re going to get back to basics and discuss background checks. Sometimes students are confused about what a background check consists of, and why a check is done.
First thing to know is that a background check is also known as a background investigation. It is the process of looking up and gathering information from criminal records and commercial records that pertain to a specific person.
What is investigated in a background check varies. There are several considerations that need to be taken into account. The first is the program the student is enrolled (or seeking to enroll) in. Background requirements for nursing students may be different from those of students enrolled in medical school or in a paramedic program.
The next is the requirements of the clinical sites the school works with. Allied Health programs typically require that the student background checks meet the clinical site’s needs, and each site may have different requisites.
What is generated at the end of the investigation by a background screening company is called a consumer report. The use of consumer reports is regulated by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). The FCRA provides rules and procedures regarding the use of the reports, adverse decision, notification to applicants, and destruction and safekeeping of records. In addition to federal law, there are also state laws and other standards.
A school’s requirements may also include ancillary items. Examples of these include drug screening and proof of immunizations.