Background and fingerprint investigations are used to identify prior criminal convictions, confirm the candidates' qualifications, and credentials (for some candidates, e.g. Faculty/Administrators).
All regular full-time and part-time positions being filled at Northern Arizona University will require a Criminal County Conviction Investigation covering the previous seven years and an Employment History Investigation for the past seven years. Additionally, all regular full-time and part-time faculty positions require an Education Credentials Verification. A fingerprint check may also be required and applies to all classifications of employee at the university to include regular, temporary, faculty, student, etc. A fingerprint check will be required for new hires in the following instances: 1) if the candidate is hired into a Safety/Security Sensitive identified position and/or 2) a candidate has disclosed a prior conviction during the hiring process.
Current regular employees are exempt from this process with the following exceptions: 1) when an employee terminates employment with the University and returns after six months a background investigation, and possibly a fingerprint check, must be completed regardless of whether an investigation was done previously. 2) current employees transferred into a Safety/Security Sensitive position or that have disclosed a conviction may be required to complete a background check and/or fingerprint check if the check(s) had not been completed in a previous role.
In accordance with ABOR Policy #6-709 and ARS 15-1649, all individuals hired into a Safety Security Sensitive positions will be required to satisfactorily complete a background investigation and fingerprint check. For information regarding Safety/Security Sensitive positions, refer to NAU Policy # 1.085. To assist departments in determining if a position is a Safety/Security Sensitive position, we recommend that you use the Safety/Security Sensitive Position Identification Tool . If you have any questions, please contact the Employment team.
At any point in this process, the Employment team is available to assist you.
- The initial job posting will include a statement regarding the required background investigation and possibly a fingerprint check, as applicable.
- Any job advertisements will state that the finalist will undergo a required background investigation and possibly a fingerprint check, as applicable.
- The final candidate will be asked to sign a Background Release and Authorization Form to authorize the background investigation. Refusal to sign this authorization will remove the individual from consideration.
Certain positions requiring the management, expenditure, and investment of large sums of funds on behalf of Northern Arizona University, in addition to all Police Officer positions, will require a credit background investigation. If a credit background investigation is desired by the department, the candidate must sign the Background Check Authorization to Obtain a Consumer Report. These candidates must receive a copy the Summary of Your Rights Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act which is provided with the Authorization form. These candidates must receive a copy the Summary of Your Rights Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act which is provided with the Authorization form.Please call the Employment team if you are unsure if the posted position(s) should have this type of background investigation.
- If the final candidate is filling a position that has been identified as Safety/Security Sensitive (refer to Policy #1.085) a fingerprint check is required. To initiate this process, please go to http://hr.nau.edu/apps/fs/ to schedule an appointment.
- Once the candidate has signed and returned the appropriate release/consent forms, complete the Background Check Request Form. A standard check or a standard check without employment is the minimum requirement. When selecting this package, the NAU Hiring Department is responsible for verifying 7 years of employment history. This option is required for all regular full and part time hires.. Additionally, Faculty must require the standard package that includes a credentials check and employment check or they can select the standard package that includes a credential check without employment. The department would be responsible for verifying 7 years of employment history.
- Once you have completed Background Check Request Form fax it with the application and resume to American Background at 866-390-1627.
- Results: Turnaround times average 3-5 business days. Click here for Tips to Facilitate a Speedy Background Check Completion. Depending on the complexity (number of counties and/or employers that must be investigated) response times may vary. Requests that include investigations in foreign countries can take considerably longer.
The results will be reported to the Human Resources Department. Once received, the Employment team member for your department will contact you with the results of the investigation. If the results prove relevant and negative, a Human Resources Specialist will contact the Hiring Official to discuss the results. It is important to remember that any individual has a right to privacy and the information contained in these investigations should not be shared beyond the responsible Hiring Official. The Screening Committee’s desire to know the results of the investigation is in direct conflict with the legal responsibility of the institution to protect the rights of the individual. The Screening Committee will be informed by the Screening Committee Chair or the Hiring Official that the results of the investigation cannot be made available to the committee, but that the investigation uncovered information that, should the applicant be hired, would put the University and its students, staff and/or faculty at risk.
The Hiring Official has the responsibility of removing from consideration any individual whose background investigation information proves to be unacceptable. Exceptions must be approved through the appropriate Vice President or Provost.
- Once acceptable results have been communicated to the Hiring Official, an offer can be made. An offer contingent upon satisfactory background investigation results may be made by the Hiring Official prior to receiving the results from Human Resources. Human Resources recommends that these contingent offers be made in writing. However, in no case can the employee begin working prior to receipt of the investigation results.
- The original signed authorization and release/consent forms will be returned to the Human Resources/Affirmative Action Office along with the Hire Smart packet or Faculty job search information and will be subject to the Arizona state records retention requirements. The results of the background investigation will be retained with the hiring packet and will not become part of the new employee's file.
For more information regarding the NAU Policy and Procedures, please refer to Policy #1.08 of the NAU Policies and Procedures Manual.
- Invoicing is completed by American Background twice per month as follows:
Mailing Date (Approx.)
1st thru 15th
16th thru end of month
Billing questions can be directed to American Background’s Client Care Services at 1-866-266-3444.
- CANCELLATIONS - if it is determined that an initiated background check needs to be cancelled, and the notification to cancel is within a reasonable amount of time, e.g. within two hours, please contact American Background at 866.266.3444. Departments will otherwise be charged any applicable fees.
Human Resources Department:
- Human Resources is responsible for maintaining a continuing contract for background investigation services with a reputable external firm or firms.
- Human Resources will be responsible for assisting and educating screening committees on their responsibilities and liabilities relative to background investigations and the information contained therein. In addition, the Human Resources department will, upon request, instruct screening committees on the process.
- Human Resources will maintain a web application that is as user friendly and confidential as possible to provide on demand background check forms and information. This application will include types and costs of background investigation services available.
- Human Resources will assist Hiring Officials in identifying risk factor criteria related to positions for which extra levels of background investigations would be prudent. (Credit, Credentials, Licenses or Certifications, etc.)
- Human Resources is responsible for maintaining an interface with the designated background investigation company related to the request and receipt of information.
- Human Resources is responsible for all legal compliance as well as modifications of the program based on changes to the law, and assurance of confidential handling of the materials obtained through background investigations.
- The Hiring Official has the responsibility for insuring that a background investigation is completed before a job offer is made.
- The Hiring Official is responsible for utilizing risk factor criteria in assessing the relevancy of specific background investigation findings for the position being filled. This should be done in consultation with the Human Resources Department to determine if an additional level of background investigation is warranted above the mandatory criminal and employment investigation.
- If the Hiring Official selects the standard package without employment they are responsible for verifying seven years of employment history.
- The selected background investigation company is responsible for accurately reporting findings to the university within the timeframe to which they have contractually committed.
- The company shall keep the Human Resources Department apprised of any legal requirements or changes to the law that impact background investigations.
- The company shall operate within legally defined boundaries regulating the industry.
- A Billing Report will be generated by American Background twice monthly - see schedule above.