Criminal background checks are conducted to ensure the continuing safety of our workforce, constituencies and community members, and the security of University resources.

When a criminal background check contains criminal history, we take a holistic approach and conduct an individualized assessment. This approach balances the interests of the individual and the University.

Criminal Background Checks are performed after the final candidate is given an offer of employment contingent on clearing the criminal background check and any other requirements (e.g., pre-employment health screening).

Purpose of Criminal Background Check

UC Davis and UC Davis Health are committed to providing a safe and secure environment to students, patients, employees, affiliates, and visitors; to protect University assets, to make prudent employment decisions, and to be a place of integrity.  In order to fulfill its commitment, the University conducts criminal background checks on individuals in critical positions.

The following positions have been designated as “critical” by the University and require background checks:

  • All Senior Management Group (SMG) positions.
  • All Manager and Senior Professionals (MSP) positions.
  • All positions that require a professional license, certificate, or degree, the absence of which would expose the University to legal liability and/or negative public reaction.
  • All positions that are required by law, regulation or a contract/grant between a third party and the University to undergo a background check.
  • All UC Davis Health Positions.
  • Other critical student and staff positions involve the following duties or responsibilities:
  • Possession of building master keys for access to residences, offices, or other facilities.

    Direct responsibility for the care, safety and security of people, including children and minors, or property, including personal and University.

    Direct access to or responsibility for controlled substances (as defined in BFB-BUS-50); access to certain high risk hazardous chemicals, biological or radioactive/nuclear materials for which background checks are required by federal or state regulations or access to any other hazardous material specifically designated by the UC Executive Director of Environmental Health and Safety.

    Direct access to and/or responsibility for protected, personal, or other restricted or sensitive institutional information, including information on students, faculty, staff, or other University constituents, and IT resources that process, transmit or store restricted or sensitive institutional information.

    Responsibility for operating commercial vehicles, machinery or toxic systems that could result in accidental death, injury or health problems.

    Direct access to and/or responsibility for information affecting national security.

    Direct access to or responsibility for cash, cash equivalents, checks, credit/debit cards, University property, disbursements or receipts (as defined in BUS-49, Section III.C.).

    Authority for committing the financial resources of the University through contracts or agreements.

    Positions at Central Human Resources who review LiveScan background checks as part of their job, such as ELR staff.

    Volunteers
    Are subject to criminal background checks in advance of their assignments when they involve critical duties or responsibilities. The Volunteer Policy, PPM 380-08 Volunteer Services contains additional information. All volunteers at UC Davis Health must undergo a criminal background check.

UC Davis Police Department
Administers a separate background check process for Police Officers, Public Safety Dispatchers and Aggie Hosts.

Procedure for Requesting a Criminal Background Check for a Position:

  • Procedure at UC Davis Campus for Employment
  • A Department determines if a particular position is deemed critical by completing a Background Check Worksheet. The Worksheet is retained in a department file.

    For critical positions, a conditional offer is provided to the candidate contingent upon successful completion of the criminal background check. The criminal background check is initiated through Universal Background Screening (no fingerprinting required). The final candidate receives an email directly from Universal Background Screening and provides information online to Universal to conduct the criminal background check.

    Select positions may require a LiveScan fingerprinting background check. These positions are uncommon, and the Recruiter will notify the candidate of a LiveScan requirement. See below for details about the fingerprinting process.

    Background check results are received and reviewed by Human Resources (HR). After HR reviews the final candidate’s criminal background check results, it will notify the department on whether the individual has cleared the criminal background check.
  • Procedure at UC Davis Campus for Volunteer Positions
  • The volunteer receives a Background Check Form from the department with which they want to volunteer (or from the Background Check Coordinator if the department does not have it), and submits the completed form to the Background Check Coordinator. Please reach out to the Background Check Coordinator to be provided a secured link for form submission. The Background Check Coordinator then initiates the background check with a third party vendor, Universal Background Screening (no fingerprinting required).

    The results are then received and reviewed by Human Resources (HR). After HR reviews the final candidate’s criminal background check results, it will notify the department on whether the individual has cleared the criminal background check.   
  • Procedure at UCD Health (Student/Staff Positions, Volunteers, Externs)
  • All positions at UCD Health are deemed critical and are subject to a criminal background check.

    For Student and Staff Positions:
    A conditional offer of employment is provided to the candidate contingent upon successful completion of the criminal background check. The criminal background check is initiated through Universal Background Screening (no fingerprinting required). The final candidate receives an email directly from Universal Background Screening and provides information online to Universal to conduct the criminal background check.

    After HR receives and reviews the final candidate’s criminal background check results, it will notify the department on whether the individual has cleared the criminal background check.

    For Volunteer Positions:
    The volunteer candidate receives a link to contact Universal Background Screening to initiate the background check on their “Onboarding Dashboard” with Volunteer Services.

    After the results are received and reviewed, the volunteer will be notified in a Volunteer Services Dashboard regarding next steps needed.

    For Externship Positions:
    Externship candidates download the Externship Packet. The packet includes a Background Check Authorization to Release Information Form. The externship candidate submits all of the completed forms to their placement department. The department then submits the Background Check Authorization to Release Information Form along with a clearance form to Learning and Development, so that L&D may initiate the background check with Universal.

    After HR receives and reviews the externship candidate’s criminal background check results, the placement department is notified by Learning and Development on whether the externship candidate has cleared their background check.

Fingerprinting for UC Davis Campus and Health Positions

Some positions require fingerprinting through LiveScan: These positions are limited. These would include positions that are required by law, regulation or a contract/grant between a third party and the University to undergo a criminal background check. For employees in Central Human Resources who review LiveScan background checks as part of their job (e.g., ELR staff), a LiveScan is ordered in addition to Universal.

  • Fingerprinting Process at UC Davis Health
  • LiveScan Appointments:
    Recruiting staff provide the final candidate with the Background Check Authorization to Release Information Form, and the final candidate makes an appointment with the UC Davis Police Department to schedule fingerprinting for the LiveScan criminal background check.

    The preferred method for scheduling a fingerprinting appointment is online at https://police.ucdavis.edu/live-scanAlternatively, the final candidate can call UC Davis Campus Police in Davis at (530) 752-6859, or UC Davis Campus Police in Sacramento at (916) 734-3841.

    For off-site locations (e.g. Bodega Marine Laboratory, Tahoe Environmental Research Center or employees with remote work locations) please contact your Talent Acquisition Partner to address how the criminal background check may be completed.

    The final candidate takes their Background Check Authorization to Release Information Form to their appointment, and at the conclusion of their appointment is provided a copy of this form by UCDPD.

Criminal Background Checks that Reveal a Criminal Conviction History

A criminal background check reports criminal convictions since age 18 and pending criminal charges. A criminal conviction history reported in an individual’s criminal background check will not automatically result in a rescinded job offer.

The University will determine whether a criminal background check contains any conflicting and/or potentially disqualifying information.  A similar process is followed for individuals who undergo background checks for volunteer assignments, externships, and other such roles. If the University determines that a criminal background check does not contain information that would disqualify the final candidate’s employment, the candidate is cleared and the hiring process may proceed.

If the University determines that there is any conflicting and/or potentially disqualifying information, the University sends the final candidate a Pre-Adverse Action Notice.

If after an individualized assessment the University determines that the final candidate is disqualified from the position for which they applied, solely or in part because of the their criminal history found in their criminal background check report, then the final candidate is not cleared and is sent an Adverse Action Notice. 

  • Pre-Adverse Action Notice Process
  • A Pre-Adverse Action Notice notifies a final candidate that there is conflicting and/or potentially disqualifying information found in their criminal history as reflected in their criminal background check report.

    The University requests that the final candidate provides the following information within five (5) business days:
    Evidence challenging the accuracy of the criminal background check report; and/or
    Evidence of rehabilitation and/or mitigating circumstances.

    If the final candidate responds to the University in writing that they dispute the accuracy of the conviction history in the criminal background check report that is the basis for a preliminary decision to rescind the offer, and that the final candidate is taking specific steps to obtain evidence supporting that assertion, then the final candidate will be granted five (5) additional business days to respond to the notice.

    Information submitted by the final candidate is taken into consideration during the individualized assessment to make a final determination as to whether the final candidate is still eligible for the position to which they applied. If the final candidate does not submit any additional information, the University conducts the individualized assessment and makes a final determination based on the available information.


    If after an individualized assessment the University determines that the final candidate is not disqualified from the position to which they applied, then the final candidate is cleared.

    If after an individualized assessment the University determines that the final candidate is disqualified from the position to which they applied, solely or in part because of the their criminal history found in their criminal background check report, then the final candidate is not cleared and is sent an Adverse Action Notice.​​

Criminal Background Check FAQs for Final Candidates

 

  • Why do I need to submit to a criminal background check, if I have been already offered a position?
  • Criminal background checks are required for final candidates that are under consideration for hire/appointment into a critical position, as designated by policy and local procedure.

    For critical positions, a department will provide the final candidate with a conditional offer, contingent upon successful clearance of a criminal background check.

    By conducting criminal background checks, UC Davis and UC Davis Health promote a safe and secure environment.
  • What kind of criminal background checks are conducted?
  • At UC Davis and UC Davis Health, two methods of criminal background checks are administered. Final candidates will be notified which method they will undergo for their criminal background check.

    LiveScan is one method. It requires an individual to be fingerprinted and criminal records are searched by the California Department of Justice (DOJ).

    Universal Background Screening is the other method. Universal is a third party vendor used by several UC locations, including UC Davis Campus/UC Davis Health, and it relies on an online process to search criminal records. No fingerprinting is required for Universal.
  • How do I schedule a LiveScan appointment for fingerprinting, if applicable?
  • Davis Campus Positions: The Recruiter will recommend that you schedule an appointment online at https://police.ucdavis.edu/live-scanAlternatively, you can call UC Davis Campus Police in Davis at (530) 752-6859, or UC Davis Campus Police in Sacramento at (916) 734-3841.
    UCD Health Positions:

    For New Hires:
    A Recruitment Coordinator provides you with a Background Check Authorization to Release Information Form, and recommends that you schedule an appointment online at https://police.ucdavis.edu/live-scan. Alternatively, you can call UC Davis Campus Police in Davis at (530) 752-6859, or UC Davis Campus Police in Sacramento at (916) 734-3841.
  • Do I need to schedule a criminal background check with Universal, if applicable?
  • For New Hires:
    No, the new hire receives an email from Universal requesting information to initiate the criminal background check. No fingerprinting appointment is needed.

    For Volunteer Positions at UCD Campus:
    No, the volunteer receives a Background Check Form from the department with which they want to volunteer and submits the completed form to Background Check Coordinator to initiate the background check. Please email the Background Check Coordinator to request a secure link to submit the form. 

    For Volunteer Positions at UCD Health:
    No, the volunteer receives a link to contact Universal to initiate the background check on their “Onboarding Dashboard” administered by Volunteer Services.

    For Externship Positions at UCD Health:
    No, the extern downloads the Externship Packet, which includes a Background Check Authorization to Release Information Form to complete and submit to your placement department as a part of the full packet. Once the placement department has approved the externship packet, the department submits the completed Background Check Authorization to Release Information Form, and an externship clearance form, to Training and Development for initiation of the Universal background check.
  • How long does it take for a criminal background check to be completed?
  • LiveScan results typically arrive in one to two weeks, sometimes longer. Please see the California Department of Justice website for more information.

    Universal results typically arrive in a few business days.

    Criminal background checks containing potentially disqualifying information may require additional processing time to ensure a thorough and complete individualized assessment.
  • What should I do if I have a misdemeanor and/or felony convictions and/or pending criminal charges?
  • If asked to disclose these on an authorization form, you are expected to disclose them. A misrepresentation or lack of disclosure by you can be cause for disqualification. As addressed below and on the authorization forms, certain convictions do not and should not be disclosed.
  • What convictions am I required to disclose?
  • Convictions since your 18th birthday that must be disclosed include:
    Felony conviction by any court,
    Felony conviction reduced to a Misdemeanor by any court,
    Misdemeanor conviction by any court, or
    Pending criminal charges.
  • What convictions do I NOT have to disclose?
  • Convictions that do not need to be disclosed include:
    Misdemeanor while under the age of 18 may be omitted if the record was sealed under California Penal Code 1203.45,
    Convictions that have been judicially dismissed or ordered sealed as described under California Labor Code Section 432.7(a)(1),
    Minor traffic violations where the fine imposed was $400 or less,
    Any offense that was finally settled in Juvenile Court or referred to the youth authority, or
    Any conviction specified in California Health and Safety Code Section 11361.5 which pertains to marijuana offenses.
  • Will my job offer be automatically withdrawn, if my criminal background check discloses convictions/pending criminal charges?
  • No, the University will determine whether a criminal background check contains any conflicting and/or potentially disqualifying information.

    A similar process is followed for individuals seeking to be volunteers, externs or similar roles.

    If the University determines that a criminal background check does not contain information that would disqualify the final candidate from employment, the final candidate is cleared and the hiring process may proceed.

    If the University determines that there is potentially disqualifying information the University will send the final candidate a Pre-Adverse Action Notice. Refer to the Pre-Adverse Action Notice Process section above for detailed information.
  • What will the Individualized Assessment take into consideration?
  • The individualized assessment will take into account the following:
    Whether the law prohibits the individual from holding a position based on the nature of the conviction;
    The nature and gravity of the offense;
    The length of time that has passed since the offense occurred and/or the completion of the sentence;
    The nature of the position applied for and the relevancy of the conviction to the position;
    Evidence of rehabilitation and/or mitigation;
    Whether the candidate is bonded under a federal, state, or local bonding program;
    Any explanation provided by the final candidate.
  • How can I provide evidence of mitigation or rehabilitation?
  • Evidence of mitigation and/or rehabilitation can be shown by, but not limited to any of the following ways:
    Evidence showing that at least one year has passed since release from any correctional institution without subsequent conviction of a crime;
    Evidence that shows compliance with terms and conditions of probation/parole.
    Certificates of completion of sentencing requirements;
    Letters of reference. Including but not limited to: letters by current/previous employers, letters from volunteer organizations, and letters from other members of the community. 
  • What happens after the Individualized Assessment?
  • If after an individualized assessment the University determines that the final candidate is not disqualified for the position to which they applied, then the final candidate is cleared and the hiring process may proceed.

    If after an individualized assessment the University determines that the final candidate is disqualified for the position for which they applied, solely or in part because of the their criminal history found in their criminal background check report, then the final candidate is not cleared and is sent an Adverse Action Notice. This notice informs a final candidate of the University’s decision to deny the final candidate’s employment solely or in part because of their criminal history as reflected in their criminal background check report. 
  • I am currently a UC Davis/UC Davis Health employee, and previously completed a criminal background check. Do I need to complete another one?
  • For UC Davis Campus, if you completed a LiveScan criminal background check at the University and have remained continuously employed, you most likely will not need to complete another criminal background check.

    For UC Davis Health, if you previously completed a Universal criminal background check, you will need to complete another Universal criminal background check when applying for another job that is designated as critical (all positions at UC Davis Health are deemed critical). If you previously completed a LiveScan criminal background check, you will need to complete a new Universal criminal background check when applying for another job designated as critical (all positions at UC Davis Health are deemed critical).
  • Will Subsequent Arrests and Convictions be disclosed to the University?
  • If a final candidate completes a LiveScan criminal background check, the University will receive Subsequent Arrest and Disposition Notifications from the California Department of Justice for the duration of employment.