To ensure that individuals are selected who possess the qualifications to perform the duties of the position most effectively and who are best able to serve the University's interests, the University requires job-related background information on final candidates for critical positions and employees who are promoted into critical positions. Background checks are also required for employees being transferred or reclassified into a critical position from a non-critical position. Background checks may include, but are not limited to, confirmation of an individual's identity, review of an individual's criminal conviction record, if any, or verification of any license, certificate, or degree required for appointment.

Types of Background Checks

 

For Your Information

The University requires that licensed independent practitioners, allied health practitioners, and other health care providers of services to its students are appropriately licensed, and/or credentialed and privileged in accordance with the requirements of the University of California and other regulatory agencies as applicable. All patient care providers who are being proposed as candidates to fill vacancies at the University of California student health and counseling centers must have their clinical credentials verified and fingerprint background check completed (see Criminal Conviction Records) prior to beginning employment, and credentials renewed periodically as required while employed.

The University of California, Santa Barbara strives to provide the safest possible work environment; to protect key organizational assets such as people, property, and personal or other sensitive information; and to enable hiring authorities to make prudent employment decisions for career, limited appointment, contract, and student employee positions designated as critical based upon more comprehensive job-related information as consistent with Systemwide Personnel Policies for Staff Members - Policy 21.E: Background Checks (revised 2/3/17).

To support these efforts and to minimize risk to the University, a criminal history background check, which is conducted as a Universal (our University standard) or as a Live Scan background check, is required for the candidate recommended for hire into a critical position. An offer of employment must be contingent upon completion of a satisfactory criminal history background check.

As of Monday, June 1, 2020, UNIVERSAL became UC Santa Barbara's standard for criminal history background checks, used for approximately 90% of all employees.

To place a Universal order for a non-TAM (Talent Acquisition Manager) hire:

  • If the department does not have a Universal account: 
  1. Complete the Background Check Processing Request.
  2. Have the candidate complete the Authorization to Release Information for the department's records.
  3. Upon receipt of the completed Background Check Processing Request. Human Resources will place the Universal background check order.
  • If the department has a Universal account:
  1. Login at https://portal7.universalbackground.com/
  2. Click on New
  3. Select e-Forms Invitation from the drop-down menu and complete the form
  • Select Background Check Package - Standard Criminal Check (Note: Other packages are available only for clinicians and employees who have driving as a regular part of their job.)
  • Complete all required fields, including Position/Job (Position Number)
  • Enter the Employee ID if the request is for an existing employee

To place a Universal order for a hire being processed in TAM (Talent Acquisition Manager):

  • If the department has a Universal account, please initiate the Pre-Employment Check in TAM once the job offer has been accepted and follow the above steps after being redirected to the Universal site.
  • If the department doesn't have a Universal account, the department's recruiter will initiate the Pre-Employment Check in TAM.

Note: Live Scan California DOJ (Department of Justice)/FBI background checks continue to be required for the following positions only.

  • Senior Management Group (SMG) positions
  • Designated officials
  • Positions with Career Tracks (CT) grade of M3 or M4
  • Clinicians and child care workers 
  • Positions with master key access  
  • Positions which have the ability to cause physical harm to others
  • Positions with significant check-writing authority and/or access to significant cash or cash equivalents (e.g., $10,000+; does not include cash drawers)
  • Positions with universal access to personally identifying information

Required Forms for Live Scan (Fingerprint) Background Checks

  • Background Check Processing Request
  • Authorization to Release Information
  • Request for Live Scan Services  (Important Note: The Request for Live Scan Service form is only available from Human Resources. If the candidate/employee attends their appointment without this form in hand, the Live Scan operator can charge the candidate/employee for the full cost of the rolling fee plus the Live Scan processing fee.)

Live Scan Locations:

  • A California city police or a California county sheriff's department. Click here for a "local" list.  For other listings by county, visit: https://oag.ca.gov/fingerprints/locations.
  • UCSB-approved Mobile Live Scan Operator. Click here for details.
    • Accu-Prints
    • Lori's Mobile Notary Services & Fingerprinting

For questions regarding the background check process, submit email to backgroundcheck@hr.ucsb.edu. For more information regarding background checks, please visit hr.ucsb.edu/employment/hiring/background-checks

A 'critical position' at UCSB will require a Live Scan California DOJ (Department of Justice)/FBI background check. A critical position will fit one or more of the following criteria.

  • SMG Position
  • Designated Official
  • Career Tracks grade of M3 or M4
  • Clinician and/ or a Child Care Worker
  • A position with master key access (e.g. a Sr. Custodian)
  • A position which has the ability to cause physical harm to others
  • Significant check-writing authority and/or access to significant cash/ cash equivalents (e.g., $10,000+; does not include cash drawers)
  • A position with universal access to personally identifying information
 

The California Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1988 requires employers to monitor the public driving record of employees who drive as part of their employment. In order to comply with this law, UCSB participates in the California Department of Motor Vehicles Employer Pull Notice (EPN) Program.

The goals of this program are to protect public safety, verify that each driver has a valid driver’s license, identify problem drivers, and minimize risk to the University. State law prescribes criminal penalties for employing or continuing to employ as a driver, a person with a disqualifying action taken against his or her license.

POLICY AND INFORMATION

NOTICES AND FORMS

For Your Information - CANRA


California’s Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act (“CANRA”) requires employers, including the University, to identify “Mandated Reporters” (individuals required to report observed or suspected child abuse or neglect to designated law enforcement or social service agencies) and secure, as a condition of employment, acknowledgement of their status and reporting obligations.

To report observed or suspected child abuse or neglect, contact the  
University Compliance Hotline, 800-403-4744

To affirm compliance with these statutory requirements, we ask that your departments:

  • Have their Mandated Reporters (i.e., all licensed health professionals and all employees assigned to campus police departments, child care centers, day camps, K-12 programs, and other areas as applicable) complete and sign the CANRA Acknowledgement Form.
  • Have their newly identified Mandated Reporters (i.e., athletic coaches, including graduate assistants; and postsecondary employees and administrators whose duties bring them into regular contact with children, or who supervise such employees or administrators) complete and sign the CANRA Acknowledgement Form.
  • Maintain the List of Mandated Reporters with Signed Certifications report. The spreadsheet is intended for departments to document that they have identified Mandated Reporters and to confirm that signed Statement Forms are on file for these positions.
  • Determine what, if any, training is necessary and appropriate to advise their Mandated Reporters on the subject of child abuse and neglect identification and reporting and of their obligations under the Act. 

To access the UC/Praesidium CANRA training, please contact one of the following individuals:

Ron Betancourt (ron.betancourt@ehs.ucsb.edu, ext. 5837)

Note: While the training will not be automatically tracked in the UC Learning Center, you are invited to enter it as self-reported training.

Questions?  Please contact:

June Betancourt ( june.betancourt@ucsb.edu , ext. 5728) for academic employees

Melinda Crawford ( melinda.crawford@hr.ucsb.edu, ext. 5781) for non-academic employees

For additional information and resources:

UC Policy on Reporting Child Abuse and Neglect (CANRA)

California Mandatory Violence Law, Cal. Penal Code §§ 11160-11163.6

Dependent Adults and Elders, Cal. Welfare & Institutions Code § 15630

California Department of Social Services: Hotlines and Other Resources

California Department of Justice

Mandated Reporter Training: Child Abuse Mandated Reporter Training Project

CDC Website on Child Maltreatment Prevention

California Attorney General Citizen’s Guide to Preventing Elder Abuse

Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act Information

Clery Act Report and Requirements of the Clery Act

Certain positions may require pre-employment physicals. The offer of a position is conditional upon the candidate’s successful completion of the pre-employment physical to establish both fitness to perform the job duties for which they have applied and their fitness to perform these duties without endangering the health and safety of themselves or others.

For Your Information - Reference Checks


General guidance is provided below for campus managers on best practices for conducting reference checks as well as responding to reference checks.  Please contact your department's Employment Recruiter if you have additional questions on reference checks.

Note for external employers: UC Santa Barbara uses The Work Number® to provide automated employment and income verifications for our employees.  More information available on the Business & Financial Services web page

General Guidance- Conducting Reference Checks

Before extending a job offer to your final candidate, it is critical that you conduct a reference check, even if the finalist is a current UCSB or UC employee.  During the reference check, you should obtain work history information and objective feedback on the candidate’s qualifications, past performance and attendance.  You should not ask questions outside of the scope of appropriate subject matter for a reference check, e.g., protected medical leaves, medical conditions, personal beliefs, protected category status or union activity.  You should ask the same questions of all references.  You are encouraged to use HR’s Reference Check Form (link) as an outline for your conversation with the manager/supervisor.  You may also contact the professional or personal references provided by the candidate, but keep in mind that personal references are usually not helpful as these may be relatives or friends who do not have direct experience with the candidate’s workplace performance.

Before making reference calls, contact the candidate and advise him/her that you will be conducting the calls.  The candidate may wish to give advance notice to their current or former employer and encourage them to be responsive to your call.  If the candidate has requested that you not contact a certain reference on their application and still does not agree to you contacting a former employer now that they are a finalist, you should discuss this with your Employment Recruiter before continuing further in the hiring process with this candidate. In most cases, we do not recommend proceeding with an employment offer if you are not able to conduct a reference check with a former employer.

Specific guidance on how to conduct a reference check phone call is available in Conducting Reference Check Calls.

Reference Check- External Employer

Hiring managers should always conduct a reference check for new hires to UCSB.  A minimum of two former managers/supervisors should be contacted, if possible, in addition to any references listed by the candidate.  Where the employee is self-employed, ask for at least two current or former clients to contact as references.

If the external employer asks you for a release or authorization from the employee to talk to you, you can fax or scan and send the employee’s application form which includes the release in the final section labeled “Agreement.”  (You can let the employer know that the employee’s signature is provided electronically upon submission of the application.)'

If a current or former employer refuses to return your calls or answer your questions, this is a flag that something may be problematic about this candidate’s employment history.  You are encouraged to follow up with the candidate to discuss your inability to reach a reference and evaluate their explanation.  If you continue to have concerns, discuss the possibility of disqualifying this candidate from consideration with your Employment Recruiter.

Reference Check- UCSB Employee

Hiring managers should always conduct a reference check for a current or former UCSB employee with the employee’s home department(s).  Even if you know the employee, you should conduct the reference check.  As part of the reference check, arrange time to meet with the manager/supervisor and review the employee’s personnel file. 

Reference Check- UC Employee

Hiring managers should always conduct a reference check for a current or former UC employee working at another UC location.  As part of the reference check call with the manager/supervisor at the other location, you can ask him/her to review the contents of the employee’s personnel file with you over the phone, e.g., performance evaluations, awards, training certificates, any corrective or progressive disciplinary actions.  If for some reason the manager/supervisor at the other location is unwilling to talk with you or review the personnel file with you, please ask your Employment Recruiter for assistance. 

Reference Check- Using the Internet

Many of you may consider using the Internet as part of the job applicant screening process.  While Linkedin is considered an appropriate resource for reference checks, there are potential risks in running general searches of an employee by name or looking up information about an applicant on Facebook or other social media sites.   In particular, there are potential risks related to discrimination, information reliability and privacy violations when using Internet information to screen applicants.  It is critical to understand the risks when you consider whether or not to use Internet information as part of the recruiting process.  To avoid allegations of discrimination or bias in the recruitment process, do not run a general internet search to prescreen applicants or learn more about candidates before interviews.  After you have completed your recruitment interviews, it may be appropriate to review information on Linkedin or other relevant web sites, e.g., employee’s current employer web site.   You are strongly urged to confer with your Employment Recruiter before using Internet information in any way that serves as the basis for selecting or eliminating a candidate.

General Guidance - Responding to Reference Checks

If a current or former employee in your department has applied for another position, you may be contacted for a reference.  In general, your responses should be honest, fair and accurate.   You should not comment on subject matter outside the scope of the employee’s qualifications, past performance and attendance, e.g., protected medical leaves, medical conditions, personal beliefs, protected category status or union activity.  You should also not provide negative or critical information about the employee unless the information is based on credible evidence and the information has been clearly communicated to the employee, e.g., documented corrective action or progressive discipline.

Other types of requests for background information or access to contents of an employee’s file, including security clearance requests, should be handled in accordance with “How to Respond to Information Requests." (link).

Reference Check by External Employer

Managers should direct all external employers to  The Work Number® to provide automated employment and income verification for our employees. More information is available on the Business & Financial Services web page.  If you are asked to provide additional information beyond  The Work Number® employment verification, ask the external employer to provide you with a copy of a signed release from the employee authorizing you to share information.  You should not provide information to an external employer without this signed release.  A signed release should generally include a statement authorizing you/UCSB to release any and all information (or specific, limited information) relating to the candidate’s employment with the University and state that the University will be held harmless from any and all liability that may potentially result from the release and/or use of such information.

An external employer that asks to review the employee’s personnel file may only do so if the review of the file is explicitly within the scope of the signed release.  In addition, do not provide a copy or scan and send a copy of the personnel file to an external employer unless this is explicitly within the scope of the signed release.

Reference Check by UCSB Department

If you are contacted by another UCSB manager/supervisor conducting a reference check on a current or former employee, you are authorized to provide responsive information, e.g., work history information and objective feedback on the candidate’s qualifications, past performance, attendance and eligibility for rehire.  Upon request, you should provide the manager/supervisor with an opportunity to review the employee’s personnel file.  You may not give the file or a copy of the file to the hiring department during the reference check process.  The hiring department is not entitled to take possession of the employee’s personnel file until after the hiring is completed and the employee has started employment in the new department.   More information about transferring Personnel Files to the new home department is available here.

Reference Check by UC Campus or Lab

If you are contacted by a manager/supervisor from another UC location conducting a reference check on a current or former employee, you are authorized to release the same information as you would to a UCSB campus department, above.  Upon request, you can review the contents of employee’s personnel file with the manager/supervisor over the phone.  You may not mail or scan and send a copy of the file to the other location during the reference check process.  The new UC location hiring department is not entitled to take possession of the employee’s personnel file until after the hiring is completed and the employee has started employment at that location in the new department.   More information about transferring Personnel Files to another UC location is available here