Franklin & Marshall College Franklin & Marshall College

Background Check Policy

Criminal Background Checks

for members of the Franklin & Marshall community

Newly Appointed Staff Members-- The College completes a background check on behalf of newly appointed members of the exempt and non-exempt professional staff and College volunteers, to help assure the safety of members of the campus community. Franklin & Marshall conducts a criminal records check, including a search of a Sex Offender Registry. Background checks are conducted immediately upon hire and before a newly appointed staff member may begin working on campus. All full-time, part-time, temporary, and unpaid (volunteer) staff appointments are contingent upon satisfactory completion of a criminal records check. The newly appointed staff member is required to provide written authorization for the criminal records check as a condition of continued employment. Human Resources initiates and coordinates these checks.

Those Working with Minors-- The College also conducts a criminal records check and check of a Sex Offender Registry for Franklin & Marshall faculty, professional staff, College volunteers, and Franklin & Marshall students who, during the course of their College employment or in conjunction with their educational program, will supervise non-F&M students who are under the age of 18 or have not yet completed high school. Franklin & Marshall faculty, professional staff, and College volunteers must notify Human Resources at least 2 months in advance of when they will begin their work with a minor. Human Resources will then initiate the background check. Franklin & Marshall students are to notify the Office of the Dean of the College at least 2 months in advance of their work with minors, so a background check can be initiated.  (See the Protection of Minors Policy, available from, for related information.)

Criminal background checks include:

  • validation of the individual’s Social Security Number,
  • a search for felony and misdemeanor convictions from the records of up to 10 county criminal courts, from the past 7 years,
  • a check of the Sex Offender Registry

Authorization forms--


Child Abuse Clearance and Additional Checks

Additional records checks may be required when a member of the faculty, staff, College volunteer, or Franklin & Marshall student will be performing service in a K – 12 school, depending on the policies of that school. Such checks may include a child abuse clearance, Pennsylvania criminal background check, and/or FBI fingerprint clearance. Anyone working in a K – 12 school in conjunction with their Franklin & Marshall employment or course of study is to follow the policies of the K – 12 school.

Forms and instructions for additional checks, if required --


Consumer Credit History

The College conducts a consumer credit history check for staff hired to work in the Business Office, Finance Office, or Investment Office, and for staff who will receive, handle, or manage cash on behalf of the College. The individual may not begin his/her College employment until the check is completed. Human Resources coordinates these checks.


Education Verification

The College verifies credentials if a professional license or a degree is required for the position for which a member of the professional staff has been hired. Human Resources coordinates these checks.


Motor Vehicle Records Check

The College conducts a motor vehicle / driving records check for faculty, professional staff, students, and volunteers who must drive a College or personal vehicle for College business. A 3-year driving history is obtained. Such checks are conducted per the College’s Vehicle Safety Policy (available from

College-required background / records checks are conducted at the College’s expense.



If a member of the College’s staff is convicted of a relevant felony or misdemeanor during the course of his/her employment, the employee is to promptly report the conviction to the Director or Associate Director, Human Resources. Relevant convictions are those that may negatively impact the individual’s ability to safely and effectively perform all job duties. Self-reports will be evaluated as summarized below.

Employees should see the Vehicle Safety Policy, the Protection of Minors Policy, and the Policy on Alcohol and Drugs for additional, related information.


Fair Credit Reporting Act

The College uses a Consumer Reporting Agency to obtain background information, and does so in compliance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act and Consumer Credit Reform Act of 1996. The College only initiates a background check after first providing notice to the individual, and obtaining the individual’s written authorization. Individuals receive notice of their rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act and Consumer Credit Reform Act at the time the background check is initiated. The College then coordinates the check through a Consumer Reporting Agency.



Criminal records reports for College employees are returned to Human Resources by the Consumer Reporting Agency, and are kept in locked, confidential files in the Human Resources office, separate from employees’ personnel files (criminal records reports for part-time personnel employed within the Floyd Institute are maintained by the Office Manager, Floyd Institute). Reports are shared by Human Resources only on a strict need-to-know basis, and only relevant information from reports is shared. If a report includes information about a felony or misdemeanor conviction relevant to the position for which the staff member has been appointed or holds, information regarding the conviction may be shared, as necessary, with the employee’s manager and/or Senior Officer. Human Resources may consult with legal counsel when appropriate. The least amount of information necessary will be shared.  The Office of the Dean of the College maintains reports for students.



When considering the appropriateness of continued employment, the individual’s manager and/or Senior Officer and the Director, Human Resources will consider felony and misdemeanor convictions to the extent they relate to suitability for employment in the position for which the individual has been appointed or holds. Felony or misdemeanor convictions relevant to the position for which an employee has been hired or currently holds may be grounds for immediate discharge.

Questions to be considered when determining relevance include:

  • What type of offense was committed that led to the conviction (assess the nature and gravity of the crime)?
  • Do the facts of the conviction reflect conduct that is related to the position for which the individual has been hired or currently holds?
  • Is there a reasonable basis for believing the individual will present a safety or security risk to others, based on the nature of the conviction and the position for which he/she has been hired?
  • Is there more than one conviction, or a pattern of criminal activity for which the individual has been convicted?
  • How long ago did the conviction(s) occur?
  • What was the age of the individual when the criminal activity occurred?
  • Based on the nature of the conviction, is it reasonable to assume the individual may not be able to competently perform all job functions?
  • Have positive, credible references been provided by those with whom the individual has been employed since the conviction?
  • Does state or federal law limit an employer’s use of the conviction as grounds for discharge?

If the College, in its sole discretion, elects to terminate employment based in whole or in part on an individual’s records as obtained from a Consumer Reporting Agency, the College will provide the individual with the following information:

  • In accordance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act and Consumer Credit Reform Act, before taking any adverse action, the College will provide the individual with a copy of the records report; a description of his/her rights under the Act; and a statement notifying the individual that the College is considering taking adverse action based on a records report. The individual will be given a reasonable opportunity to submit information to Human Resources disputing the accuracy or completeness of the report before a final decision is made regarding continued employment.
  • When a final determination of adverse action is made, the College will advise the individual, in writing, of the adverse action, and provide the name, address, and telephone number of the Consumer Reporting Agency and a statement that the Consumer Reporting Agency did not make the decision to take adverse action against the employee and is unable to provide the employee with specific reasons why the adverse action is being taken.
  • The individual will also be notified of his/her right to obtain the criminal records report from the Consumer Reporting Agency and to dispute its contents.

As noted above, the College conducts a criminal background check for current employees, College volunteers, and students who will work with minors in conjunction with their responsibilities to Franklin & Marshall. If a records check reveals a criminal conviction which raises concerns about an individual’s ability to safely interact with a minor, the individual’s manager and/or Senior Officer; the Provost or his/her designee (for faculty) or the Dean of the College or his/her designee (for students); and the Director, Human Resources, will determine whether the individual is permitted to interact with a minor. The sponsor of the program or event involving minors may also be consulted as appropriate, as well as legal counsel, with the least amount of information necessary being shared. The safety and well-being of the minor will be the highest consideration when making a determination. The individual may be prohibited from interacting with a minor in conjunction with his/her responsibilities to Franklin & Marshall based on prior relevant felony or misdemeanor convictions. Additional employment actions may be taken based on the nature of the conviction and the individual’s position with the College. Faculty matters will be handled per procedures outlined in the Faculty Handbook. In the event adverse action is taken, the individual will be provided with the notices referenced above.

Employment Applications / Falsification of Records

If a member of the College’s staff did not disclose a conviction on his/her Franklin & Marshall College application for employment and is found to have been convicted of a criminal offense, employment will generally be terminated immediately, to the extent permitted by law, due to falsification of an employment record.


Training - Child Abuse Prevention and Reporting

for faculty, professional staff, and F&M students who will interact with a minor in the course of their employment or academic program

Members of the Franklin & Marshall faculty and staff, as well as Franklin & Marshall students, are required to:

1.     complete an online child abuse prevention course,

2.     print and give their certificate of course completion to the Franklin & Marshall staff member or faculty member coordinating the program involving minors,


3.     successfully complete a criminal background check

before interacting with a minor under age 18 during the course of their College employment or educational program.

The online training course must be completed at least once every two years by faculty, staff, and Franklin & Marshall students who interact with non-F&M students under age 18 during the course of their employment or educational program.

The Franklin & Marshall staff or faculty member overseeing the program or event involving minors is responsible for assuring this online training course is completed by all faculty, staff, and F&M students who will interact with minors.  Certificates of course completion are then to be forwarded to the Human Resources office.

Please visit for more information.


Please access the online training course as follows:

  1. Go to
  2. First-time users should select the option to ‘Create new account’ on the right side of the screen.
    1. Enter registration code: 0474-3959-XY12
    2. Create a username and password, and then provide the requested information to create a user profile (you do not need to provide an ‘employee ID’).
  3. Once you are on the eLearning home page, click on the course title: 'Sexual Misconduct: How Teachers and Other Educators Can Protect our Children (Higher Ed. Version)'.
  4. Click on the course topics to launch the presentation. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the course.
  5. After completing the online course, please print and save your certificate of completion. You may be asked to verify that you completed this course by showing your certificate of completion.

If you revisit, log in using the username and password you created in step 2.

If you have any problems accessing this course, please feel free to contact the United Educators help desk: email: , phone: 301.830.4587.

Policy Maintained by: Human Resources, Director

Last Reviewed: August 12, 2014