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 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.

    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 Recruiter provides the final candidate with the proper forms for a criminal background check (including the Background Check Authorization to Release Information Form), and advises them to contact the UC Davis Police Department to schedule fingerprinting for the Live Scan criminal background check.

    The preferred method to schedule a fingerprinting appointment is online at https://police.ucdavis.edu/live-scan or the final candidate can call (530) 752-6859 for UC Davis Police in Davis or call the UCD Campus Police at (916) 734-3841 in Sacramento.
    >   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 they will complete a criminal background check.

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

    The results are then received by Human Resources (HR) and reviewed.

    After HR receives 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 Authorization to Release Information Form from the department they want to volunteer with (or from the Background Check Coordinator with HR if the department does not have it), and submits the completed form to the Background Check Coordinator via secured fax line at 530-752-3667, so that the Background Check Coordinator may initiate the background check with a third party vendor, Universal Background Screening (Universal), no fingerprinting is required.

    The results are then received by HR and reviewed.

    After HR receives 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, Externship):
  • All positions at UCD Health are deemed critical.

    For Student and Staff Positions:
    The final candidate receives an email from a third party vendor, Universal, and provides information online to Universal to begin the criminal background check. No fingerprinting is necessary.

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

    For Reclassification of Staff Positions at UCD Health:
    A criminal background check will be required if the employee has not cleared a background check by Universal within 24 months or a Live Scan background check since their most recent date of hire by UCD/UCD Health.

    The employee will receive and email from HR, Compensation at UCD Health asking them to complete a Background Check Authorization Form and submit it back to HR, so that HR may initiate the background check with Universal.

    After HR receives the employee’s criminal background check results, it will notify the department on whether they have cleared the criminal background check.

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

    After the results are received, the volunteer will receive notification in a Volunteer Services Dashboard on what the next step is that they need to take.

    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 Training and Development, so that they may initiate the background check with Universal.

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

Fingerprinting for UC Davis Health Positions

Some positions at UCD Health require fingerprinting through Live Scan:

  • Fingerprinting Process
  • Live Scan Appointments for Positions at UC Davis Health:
    Recruitment Coordinators 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 Live Scan criminal background check.

    The preferred method to schedule a fingerprinting appointment is online at https://police.ucdavis.edu/live-scan.

    Or the final candidate can call (530) 752-6859 for UC Davis Campus Police in Davis or call the UCD Campus Police at (916) 734-3841 in Sacramento.

    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 they will complete a criminal background check.

    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 in an individual’s criminal background check will not automatically result in a job offer being rescinded.

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 hiring process may proceed and the final candidate will be cleared.

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

If after an individualized assessment the University determines that the final candidate is disqualified for the position they applied for 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 will notify 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 will request that the final candidate provide:
    Evidence challenging the accuracy of the criminal background check report; and/or
    Evidence of rehabilitation and/or mitigating circumstances.

    If the final candidate does not reply to the Pre-Adverse Action Notice, the University will make a final determination based on the information available, as to whether the final candidate is still eligible to hold the position applied for based on an individualized assessment.

    If the final candidate does reply to the Pre-Adverse Action Notice, the University will review the information provided as to whether the final candidate is still eligible to hold the position applied for based on an individualized assessment.

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

    If after an individualized assessment the University determines that the final candidate is disqualified for the position they applied for 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.

    Live Scan 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 (“Universal”) is the other method.  Universal is a third party vendor used by 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 Live Scan Appointment for fingerprinting, if applicable?
  • Davis Campus Positions: The Recruiter advises you to schedule an appointment by scheduling online at:  https://police.ucdavis.edu/live-scan.
    Alternatively, you can call (530) 752-6859 for UC Davis Campus Police in Davis or call the UCD Campus Police at (916) 734-3841 in Sacramento, but the online schedule process is recommended.
    UCD Health Positions:

    For New Hires:
    A Recruitment Coordinator provides you with a Background Check Authorization to Release Information Form, and advises you to schedule an appointment by scheduling online at: https://police.ucdavis.edu/live-scan. Alternatively, you can call (530) 752-6859 for UC Davis Campus Police in Davis or call the UCD Campus Police at (916) 734-3841 in Sacramento, but the online schedule process is recommended.

    For Reclassifications:
    Human Resources (HR) Compensation provides you (as a current UCD Health employee) with a Background Check Authorization to Release Information Form, and advises you to schedule an appointment by scheduling online at: https://police.ucdavis.edu/live-scan. Alternatively, you can call UC Davis Police Department in either Davis at (530) 752-6859 or in Sacramento at (916) 734-3841, but the online schedule process is recommended.
  • Do I need to schedule a criminal background check with Universal, if applicable?
  • For New Hires:
    No, instead you will receive an email from Universal requesting information, and then the criminal background check will be initiated. No fingerprinting is needed.

    For Reclassifications at UCD Health:
    No, you will receive an email from HR, Compensation at UCD Health asking you to complete a Background Check Authorization Form and submit it back to HR, so that HR may initiate the background check with Universal.

    For Volunteer Positions at UCD Campus:
    No, the volunteer receives a Background Check Authorization to Release Information Form from the department they want to volunteer with, and submits the completed form to Background Check Coordinator via a secured fax line at 530-752-3667, so that the Background Check Coordinator may initiate the background check with Universal.

    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, you download the Externship Packet, which includes a Background Check Authorization to Release Information Form that you need to fill out and submit back to your placement department. 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 so that they may initiate the background check with Universal.
  • How long does it take for a criminal background check to be completed?
  • Live Scan: Typically takes about a week or two, sometimes longer. Please see the California Department of Justice website for more information at: https://oag.ca.gov/fingerprints.

    Universal: Typically takes a few business days.

    Criminal background checks containing potentially disqualifying information (See below) will add time to the process so that a thorough and complete analysis is performed in each situation.
  • 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 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 are the following:
    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 are the following:
    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 $400.00 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’s employment, the hiring process may proceed and the final candidate has then been determined to have cleared their criminal background check.

    If the University determines that there is potentially disqualifying information the University will send the final candidate a Pre-Adverse Action Notice.

    Pre-Adverse Action Notice:
    A Pre-Adverse Action Notice will notify 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 for the position they applied for. The University will request that the final candidate provide either:
    1) Evidence challenging the accuracy of the criminal background check report, or
    2) Evidence of rehabilitation and/or mitigating circumstances within five (5) business days.

    If, within five (5) business day, 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 have five (5) additional business days to respond to the notice.  The University will consider the information submitted by the final candidate before making a final decision.

    If the final candidate does not reply to the Pre-Adverse Action Notice, the University will make a final determination based on the information available, as to whether the final candidate is still eligible to hold the position applied for based on an individualized assessment.

    If the final candidate does reply to the Pre-Adverse Action Notice, the University will review the information provided as to whether the final candidate is still eligible to hold the position applied for based on an individualized assessment.    
  • 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 they applied for, then the final candidate has cleared their criminal background check.

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

    Adverse Action Notice:
    An Adverse Action Notice will notify 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 completed a criminal background check, do I need to do another one?
  • If you completed a Live Scan criminal background check at the University and have remained continuously employed, you most likely will not need to complete another criminal background check.

    If you completed a Universal criminal background check, but it has been more than 24 months, you will need to complete another Universal criminal background check when applying for another job that is designated as a critical, or when being reclassified or other such personnel events.
  • Will Subsequent Arrests and Convictions be disclosed to the University?
  • If a final candidate completed a Live Scan criminal background check, the University will receive Subsequent Arrest and Conviction Notifications from the California Department of Justice.