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Background Checks

Welcome to the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s Background Clearance Page

The purpose of this page is to ensure administrators and applicants are aware of 24 P.S. §1-111, as amended, and Chapter 8 of the State Board of Education Regulations concerning criminal history background checks.  In addition, the procedures to be followed for obtaining background checks are included in this web page.  We recommend that administrators and applicants become familiar with both the law and regulation.

Act 114 of 2006 specifies that all applicants for employment with public and private schools including employees of independent contractors, but excluding employees who do not have direct contact with students undergo background checks.  In addition, Act 114 extended the background check requirements to include student teacher candidates.  As of April 1, 2007, the following three background checks are required: 

  1. Pennsylvania State Police Request for Criminal Records Check (Act 34).  Applies to individuals hired as of January 1, 1986. 
  2. Department of Public Welfare Child Abuse History Clearance (Act 151)
  3. Federal Criminal History Record Information (CHRI) in a manner prescribed by the Department of Education.

The Department of Education has outlined procedures for obtaining the federal criminal history record information from the FBI.  Those procedures will change as of December 1, 2008.  The new procedures and the process for obtaining the PA State Police Criminal Records Check and the Department are included in this webpage.  In addition, Frequently Asked Questions and Answers are also included to assist school administrators and applicants with the process.

For details, see the Background Clearance homepage.