Background Checks

To comply with Fayetteville Policies and Procedures 402.1, all persons hired as employees must submit to a criminal background and sex offender registry check. Further, all graduate students appointed as graduate assistants and volunteers who perform responsibilities similar to paid employees will require a check. In addition, substance abuse testing and financial history checks may also be required for certain positions.

Exception: for undergraduate student workers, checks are only required for positions performing duties listed under Section I.A.2, of the policy.

Each position will have language in the job announcement indicating that a background and sex offender registry check, substance abuse test, financial history or combination of these checks is required.

Schedule A contains a complete list of position titles and the required checks.

Background checks will be conducted once a candidate becomes a finalist for a position. Unless prior completion of the check is required by law for the position, hiring units may make an offer of employment that is expressly conditioned on completion of a criminal background check, financial history check, substance abuse test, or a combination of these checks that is fully satisfactory in the sole discretion of the University.

Employees, graduate assistants and volunteers should not begin their assigned duties until the applicable background checks are complete.

Request a background check

Frequently Asked Questions

The screenings are determined based on the duties of the position and the business necessity to manage risk.

This package, which searches a national criminal database and the national sex offender registry, will be used for new hires into positions that have not previously required a background check. The results of these background checks can be received within a day, if not sooner.

This package, which checks criminal records at the county level and the national sex offender registry, will continue to be used to conduct criminal background checks on employees performing the duties outlined in FPP 402.1; section I.A.2. The county-based checks may take several business days to complete. Offers of employment or assistantship may be made contingent on a successful background check.

Positions requiring substance abuse testing and/or financial history checks are outlined in FPP 402.1. Most faculty, graduate assistant and student hourly positions will not be subject to these additional screenings.


All positions (including faculty and graduate assistants) shall have, at the minimum, a national criminal background check and a check for registered sex offender status.

The county-based criminal background checks are also required when:

This position performs duties in the Departments of Finance and Administration, Development, Enrollment Services, Student Financial Aid, UA Connect or Information Technology Services that are security sensitive at such a level that they have broad access to or permanent retention of confidential information, e.g., Social Security numbers or system-wide passwords (employee or student). For example:

  • Positions that have the ability to view or access any information housed in enterprise systems that contain sensitive information
  • Positions that perform enterprise application development
  • Positions that have physical and administrative access to campus data infrastructure systems
  • Positions that are "forensic" investigators including those involved in the investigation of computer or network security breaches
  • Positions with broad access to sensitive student information with market value, such as financial aid administrators



This position (including faculty positions) provides care or supervision to minors (persons under 18), patients, mentally ill or developmentally disabled persons, or similar populations, as a primary job duty. Positions include, but are not limited to:

  • Child care workers (Note: Checks for childcare workers must be renewed at least every five years.)
  • Healthcare providers such as physicians and nurses
  • Clinical psychologists, social workers or licensed professional counselors
  • Pharmacists and pharmacy technicians


The position handles cash funds, including credit card processing, as a primary job duty.

(Note: Positions which only have access to one credit card at a time when processing or facilitating a transaction may be excluded.)



This is a non-faculty position designated as a safety officer or that operates facilities distributing hazardous substances.



A criminal background check is required by law for this position.


The following positions require finalists to successfully complete the county-based criminal background check, sex offender registry check and substance abuse testing:

Positions in a non-academic unit that include, but are not limited to:

  • Electricians including high voltage, low voltage and alarm electricians
  • Power distribution workers
  • Boiler/chiller operators
  • Utility maintenance workers
  • Institutional service assistants with regular access to personal spaces such as residence halls, Greek houses and athletic locker rooms
  • Environmental compliance workers
  • Environmental Health and Safety employees

This position has regular access to personal spaces such as residence halls, Greek houses or athletic locker rooms. Positions include, but are not limited to, institutional services assistants and resident assistants.

This is a university police or other security position.

This position is a senior administrator who is assigned a level of responsibility and authority that provides broad access to sensitive or protected university information, is granted high level authority for transaction approval, is in an executive position for which there is limited supervision or oversight, or whose conduct bears significantly on the university's reputation. Positions include Chancellor, Vice Chancellors, Deans, Vice Provosts and Associate Vice Chancellors.

This is a bus and/or van driver (primary job duties) position or otherwise requires a Commercial Driver's License.

This position operates heavy equipment such as tractors, trailers, backhoes, front-end loaders, dump trucks and other heavy mechanized equipment

Positions that require substance abuse testing by law.

In consultation with Human Resources that require substance abuse testing as job related and a business necessity, such as all positions in Facilities Management.


Financial/credit checks are required when:

This position has extensive cash management duties with access to cardholder data sets or access to the cardholder data processing or storage environment as a primary job duty.

This is a senior financial administrator who is assigned a level of responsibility and authority that provides financial oversight or is granted high level authority for transaction approval.

In consultation with Human Resources that require financial/credit testing as job related and a business necessity.


Faculty and graduate assistants will now require background checks in part because of their direct involvement with students both inside and outside of the classroom, sometimes in positions of authority. Note that sometimes graduate assistants may move in and out of roles that entail student contact without going through formal hiring processes.

The expenses for background checks and substance abuse testing will be budgeted centrally and vendor payments will be managed by Human Resources.

Most covered positions do not require re-checking incumbents. However, periodic re-checks may be required by law or as determined by the vice chancellor after consultation with HR. For more information, contact an HR Expert.

The hiring department’s role is a three-step process:

  1. Ensure position descriptions indicate the appropriate required background checks.  
    • (NOTE: Human Resources will monitor position job postings to ensure the correct background checks are indicated.)
  2. Initiate the background check on the selected finalist(s). Unless prior completion is required by law, hiring units may make an offer of employment that is expressly conditioned on completion of a criminal background check, financial history check, substance abuse test, or a combination of these checks that is fully satisfactory in the sole discretion of the University.
    • Checks must also be conducted for volunteers with responsibilities similar to paid employees.
  3. Wait for background check results to be received and reviewed before allowing the individual to begin work.

Individuals subject to background checks must give their authorization to begin the process. The hiring department initiates the authorization process by submitting a background check request to Human Resources. This request may be submitted in one of two ways:

This is the best way to initiate a background check. Background check can be selected as a stand-alone step or as a parallel step in conjunction with an offer.

For volunteers or individuals hired outside of Workday, the hiring department submits the finalist’s name and email address to initiate the process for the selected background check. Cost center information is not required.


Human Resources confirms the necessary checks and submits a new order to the background check vendor. The background check vendor contacts the individual via email to invite them to complete the authorization. The background checks process begins once the individual’s authorization is submitted electronically.

Human Resources will administer the background check process for faculty, staff, hourly employees and graduate assistants once the hiring department initiates the process.

  • Human Resources will notify hiring managers when background checks are complete or if adverse information is identified.
  • In those situations, where adverse information is identified in the background check, human resources works with the relevant units to evaluate whether the individual should be disqualified for the position, consistent with the campus and UA System background check policies.
  • Any adverse action taken pursuant to a negative background check follows the notification procedures required under the campus and UA system policies.

In addition to the county-based criminal background checks and checks for registered sex offender status, all new employees who provide care or supervision of minors as part of their job responsibilities must receive a copy of Fayetteville Policies and Procedures 217.1, Protection of Minors on Campus, and the employee must acknowledge in writing that he or she has read and understands the policy. Further, the new employee must complete a live or on-line training program on protecting minors, including child maltreatment reporting, prior to the performance of job duties. Contact Human Resources at (479) 575-5351for additional information about these requirements.

To the extent permitted by law, if an individual has been subject to a background check as a condition of university employment, a new check is not required if the individual has undergone a background check of the type applicable to the new position within the past two years, and the individual has remained continuously employed, in good standing, by the University (allowing for regular seasonal breaks of six months or less) since the check was conducted.