Criminal Background Check


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Criminal Background Check

Incoming students should initiate a background check only upon directions from the department. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, criminal background checks may take longer to complete, especially for out of state searches. Please allow enough time if you have lived out state.

All background checks must be ordered from CastleBranch within the designated semester deadlines:

  • Fall Admissions: May 15 – July 15
  • Spring Admissions: October 1 – December 1
  • Summer Admissions: February 15 – April 15

CastleBranch

  • The background checks are conducted by CastleBranch, a firm specializing in background checks for healthcare workers. Employment verification is required by the clinical agencies as part of the background check.
  • Cost of the criminal background check will be the responsibility for all students.
  • Instructions for obtaining your background check will be provided to you by the department.
  • Results of all background checks are reviewed by the Health Sciences Compliance Coordinator.
  • Attention: Some employers and institutions charge a service fee for employment and education verifications. These fees normally will not exceed $15.00. When a service fee is required, CastleBranch passes this fee to the applicant. The applicant must agree to the additional fee in order to proceed with the background check.

Purpose

Community Standards for criminal background checks were developed in conjunction with the Healthcare Workforce Alliance of Central Texas (HWACT) to meet clinical agency compliance with Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) standards pertaining to human resource management and to comply with state and federal laws. JCAHO requires verification of competency of all individuals who have direct contact with patients or employees; this includes students doing clinical rotations in the facility. Competency extends beyond technical skills to an individual’s criminal history.

Implementation

Successful completion of a criminal background check is required for admission and continuation in all Health Sciences Programs. Students will be given specific directions from the program about how to obtain the background check. Do not submit order to CastleBranch until you receive directions from the department.

Background checks will be honored for the duration of the student’s enrollment in the clinical program if the participating student has not had a break in the enrollment of a Health Science class. A break in enrollment is defined as nonattendance of one full semester or more. The above information must be verifiable through the college/school and must be sent to the clinical agency.

Criminal Background Check

Successful completion of a criminal background check is required for admission and continuation in all Health Sciences Programs. The background checks will include a seven year multi-county felony and related misdemeanor criminal record search, a two standard seven year employment history references search, a sanction check and an identity verification.

The following histories will disqualify an individual from consideration for admission because the student would not be eligible for clinical placement:

  • Registered sex offenders
  • Health and Human Services – Office of Inspector General list of excluded individuals, U.S. General Services Administration excluded parties list, Employee Misconduct Registry, U.S. Treasury – Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) List of Specially Designated Nationals (SDN), Texas Health and Human Services Commission (TX HHSC), Office of Inspector General (OIG), Exclusion List
  • Felony convictions
  • Felony deferred adjudications involving crimes against persons (physical or sexual abuse)
  • Known or observed abuse or neglect of patients/clients/customers.
  • Observed or proven theft
  • Convictions of violent acts (misdemeanor or felony)
  • Misapplication of fiduciary property or property of a financial institution (Class A misdemeanor or felony)
  • Securing execution of a document by deception (Class A misdemeanor or felony)
  • Violence in the workplace.
  • Ineligibility for rehire

For students accepted to a clinical program with access to a licensing/registry body review process:

  • If an individual does not meet one or more of the aforementioned standards, she/he may pursue a declaratory order process with her/his licensing/registry body. If the licensing/registry body approves the individual to take the licensing/credentialing exam, the individual may participate in the clinical rotation.

Disclaimers

  • Successful completion of a criminal background check for a Health Sciences Program does not ensure eligibility for licensure or future employment.
  • Clinical agencies can establish more stringent standards, if they so desire, to meet regulatory requirements for their facility.
  • Clinical agencies can conduct additional background checks at their discretion.
  • If a student is found to be ineligible for clinical placement any time during the program, the student is unable to meet clinical learning objectives and will be withdrawn pending resolution of the situation.

Frequently Asked Questions

When is a background check ordered?

A background check should NOT be ordered until you have been given instructions on how to do so from your program. Typically this is done a month or two before the start of your first semester in the program.

All background checks are done through CastleBranch. No other background checks will be accepted.

What backgrounds result in ineligibility?

The following histories will disqualify an individual from consideration for admission because the student would not be eligible for clinical placement:

  • Registered sex offenders
  • Health and Human Services – Office of Inspector General list of excluded individuals, U.S. General Services Administration excluded parties list, Employee Misconduct Registry, U.S. Treasury – Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) List of Specially Designated Nationals (SDN), Texas Health and Human Services Commission (TX HHSC), Office of Inspector General (OIG), Exclusion List
  • Felony convictions
  • Felony deferred adjudications involving crimes against persons (physical or sexual abuse)
  • Known or observed abuse or neglect of patients/clients/customers.
  • Observed or proven theft
  • Convictions of violent acts (misdemeanor or felony)
  • Misapplication of fiduciary property or property of a financial institution (Class A misdemeanor or felony)
  • Securing execution of a document by deception (Class A misdemeanor or felony)
  • Violence in the workplace.
  • Ineligibility for rehire

Why should something that may have happened 20 years ago affect a student’s eligibility for a Health Sciences program?

Clinical agencies are required to protect the safety of patients in their facilities. Students who wish to pursue certain Health Sciences degrees have the option to appeal their ineligibility to the appropriate licensing/credentialing organizations by way of a declaratory order process.

Please contact the Health Sciences Compliance Coordinator at lenloe@austincc.edu for a current list of programs that have a review process.

Why should anything other than a student’s academic performance matter to ACC?

Clinical rotations are the hallmark to ACC’s Health Sciences programs, and students have significant patient contact during these rotations, which take place at hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare agencies throughout the area.

If a student’s criminal background check includes a disqualifying history, do they have an avenue of appeal?

Yes, there are several Health Sciences programs that have licensing/registry bodies that can review a student’s background check prior to enrolling in a program. If the licensing/registry body approves the individual for the body’s licensing/credentialing exam, the individual is then eligible to participate in clinical rotations and can be admitted to ACC’s Health Sciences programs.

Please contact the Health Sciences Compliance coordinator at lenloe@austincc.edu for more information.

What are a student’s transfer options to other programs at ACC if declared ineligible to continue in Health Sciences?

ACC offers a wide variety of education opportunities outside Health Sciences. Students can explore these with an ACC counselor or advisor.

If you have any other questions regarding criminal background checks, please contact Lisa Enloe, Health Sciences Compliance Coordinator at lenloe@austincc.edu.

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