What Background Checks Do Schools Use?

What Background Checks Do Schools Use?

When it comes to ensuring the safety and integrity of educational environments, schools are particularly diligent in conducting background checks on employees and volunteers. The question, “What background checks do schools use?” highlights the need for comprehensive screening processes that are fast, affordable, and compliant with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and local and state laws. Prospective clients in the education sector seeking a new background screening provider should prioritize these qualities to protect their students and uphold the school’s reputation.

The Importance of Background Checks in Schools

Background checks in educational settings serve several critical purposes:

  • Ensuring Child Safety: Protecting students from potential harm is the paramount concern, requiring thorough vetting of anyone who comes into contact with children.
  • Maintaining a Safe Educational Environment: Schools are committed to creating a secure environment where students can learn and thrive without the threat of violence or misconduct.
  • Verifying Qualifications: Confirming the credentials and qualifications of teachers and staff to ensure they meet the educational standards and requirements.
  • Regulatory Compliance: Adhering to state and federal regulations mandating background checks for school employees and volunteers.

How Background Checks Work in Schools

The background check process for schools involves several key steps, designed to cover all necessary aspects of an individual’s background:

  1. Consent and Collection of Information: Initiating the process with the individual’s consent and collecting essential details like name, date of birth, and Social Security number.
  2. Comprehensive Research: Accessing public and private records to compile data on criminal history, employment history, educational background, and motor vehicle records.
  3. Verification: Directly verifying employment and education claims by contacting previous institutions and employers.
  4. Compilation of Report: Preparing a detailed report that summarizes the findings, highlighting any areas of concern.

Common Components of a Typical School Background Check

  • Social Security Trace: Confirms identity and traces address history.
  • Criminal Records Check: Searches for any criminal history, including sex offender registries, at the county, state, and federal levels.
  • Employment Verification: Confirms past employment in educational or other relevant fields.
  • Education Verification: Validates degrees, certifications, and teacher qualifications.
  • Credit History Check: Assesses financial responsibility, when relevant.
  • Motor Vehicle Records: Reviews driving history, especially important for positions that involve transporting students.

Developing a Background Screening Program

Schools must tailor their background screening programs to the specific requirements of the positions being filled and the level of responsibility assigned to the individual. The depth and breadth of a background check can vary, influenced by the role, the direct interaction with students, and regulatory requirements specific to the education sector.

How Far Back Does a Background Check Go?

Typically, the lookback period for a school background check can range from 7 to 10 years for criminal history, depending on state laws and the nature of the position. However, certain offenses, especially those involving children, may necessitate a more extended review period.

What Typically Shows Up in the Results

The results of a school background check can include a wide range of information, from clean records to disclosures of past criminal offenses, discrepancies in employment history, falsified educational qualifications, and driving history. Each finding is crucial for assessing the suitability of an individual to work in a school setting.


Understanding “What background checks do schools use?” is essential for educational institutions committed to safeguarding their students and ensuring a safe, productive learning environment. For schools seeking a dependable background screening provider, EDIFY Background Screening offers the expertise, technology, and adaptability needed to conduct thorough background investigations efficiently and affordably.

We encourage educational institutions to consider EDIFY Background Screening as their partner in fulfilling their background check requirements. With our commitment to accuracy, compliance, and timely service, we ensure that your school’s background screening needs are met with the utmost care and professionalism. Contact us at 336-283-0237 or visit www.edifyscreening.com to learn more about how we can assist in conducting comprehensive and compliant background checks for your educational institution.

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