Background Checks

Section: 
Human Resources
Policy Number: 
303
Effective: 
Tuesday, January 1, 2019
Last Revised: 
Tuesday, August 27, 2019
Policy: 

South Puget Sound Community College believes that hiring qualified individuals contributes to our overall strategic success. Conducting background checks on prospective employees serves as an important part of the selection process.

South Puget Sound Community College will consider convictions within the guidelines of the law. Prospective employees or volunteers with a conviction(s) on their record will be considered on a case-by-case basis for appointment.

In collaboration with the senior hiring administrator, the Chief Human Resource Officer (CHRO) and Chair of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee will take into consideration the department and position, the nature and gravity of the offense, and the time that has passed since the conviction. Any applicant that is not appointed because of a prior conviction may appeal the decision in writing to the CHRO within 14 calendar days of receiving written notice of the decision.

Purpose: 

To ensure South Puget Sound Community College promotes a safe and secure work and learning environment for our current and future employees and students.

In order to provide a safe and secure environment for the campus community consistent with Washington law, including RCW 43.43.815 (Conviction Records Furnished to Employer), RCW 43.43.830-845 (Child and Adult Abuse Information Act) RCW 10.97 (Criminal Records Privacy Act), RCW 9.96A.020, (Employment, Occupational Licensing by Public Entity, Prior Felony Conviction No Disqualification – Exceptions); RCW 49.94 (Job Applicants – Criminal Records); and WAC 162-12-14 (Pre-employment Inquiries), South Puget Sound Community College will conduct pre-employment background verifications on final candidates recommended for full-time and  part-time permanent positions, as well as hourly/temporary, volunteers, independent contractors and specific student employment positions.

Conviction data records will be obtained through a contracted company that conducts criminal background checks both in state and globally.  In addition, SPSCC may for certain positions, require credit reports.

To Whom Does This Policy Apply: 

This policy applies to all finalist candidates for full-time and part-time permanent positions, as well as hourly/temporary, specific student appointments (see Student Employment Exceptions below), independent contractors and volunteers. 

Student Employment Exceptions

Two additional conditions of employment pertain to student employees. A pre-employment background check is required if a student employee will or may work in the following areas as part of their employment:

  1. Any prospective student employee who will or may have unsupervised access to children under sixteen years of age or developmentally disabled persons or vulnerable adults during the course of his or her employment with the college.
  1. Any prospective student employee who will or may drive a state or college owned vehicle during the course of his or her employment with the college.