Policies and Procedures Manual

Chapter 5: Personnel

05:07:01   Background Check

Related Policies and Guideline

TBR Guideline P-010 Personnel Transactions and Recommended Forms


Northeast State Community College is committed to providing a safe working environment for employees and protecting the college’s tangible and intangible assets. This policy is written to safeguard the College’s resources by establishing and maintaining sound business controls that will deter and detect any potential misuse of college resources. The College uses background and/or reference checks as screening tools in carrying out this commitment.   

This policy applies to all new hires at all sites including full-time, part-time, temporary, or contracted (Adjunct) employees of Northeast State Community College. Adjunct employees who are returning but who have had a three-year (fiscal year) break in service will also be subject to a background check.


Pursuant to Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) Guideline No. P-010 Personnel Transactions and Recommended Forms, background checks of candidates are recommended for all new hires and/or for specified positions. Circumstances may arise for which background checks of current employees may be necessary. This process ensures that individuals are selected or retained who are best able to serve the institution.

A background check should be requested on all new employees considered as full-time, part time, temporary, and Adjunct Faculty. Former Adjunct faculty with a three-year break in service will also be subject to a background check. All offers and contracts will be contingent upon a return of a clear background check. Refusal to consent to a background check will be considered and processed the same as an adverse background check. 

Background Checks may include, but are not limited to:

  • Federal Criminal History (Felony): Searches all of the names in all jurisdictions of the candidate/employee’s residence for the previous seven years.
  • Multi-jurisdictional History Record (Felony & Misdemeanor): Searches all of the names in all jurisdictions of the candidates/employee’s residence for the previous seven years .
  • National Sexual Offender Database: Searches National Sex Offender Registries
  • Motor Vehicle Report: Verifies the state of license issuance, violations, accidents, suspensions, and revocation history.
  • Social Security Number Trace: Verifies provided addresses and sole ownership of said number.
  • Employment Verification: Verifies prior employment(s).
  • Consumer Report (Credit Report History): May be conducted on positions of trust (i.e., managing large scale financial funds for the College) and provides information regarding an individual’s credit worthiness, standing, and capacity.

The College has determined what types(s) of checks are required for each position based upon the responsibilities of the position. These include, but are not limited to, positions that have access to grand master keys, money, security-sensitive areas, and confidential information; positions that have the capability to create, delete, or alter records; and positions that are responsible for the care or instruction of children.

Employment Education Sex
Faculty X X X X X X X  
Admin/Professional X X X X X X X  
Adjunct X X X X X X X  
Temp X X X     X X  

Note: At this time we will not conduct background checks for any student contract.

  • Individuals subject to background checks must be made aware of this practice at the earliest possible stage in the employment process. Appointment of or continued employment in a specified position is contingent upon an acceptable background check.
  • The Human Resources Office is responsible for ensuring that the Disclosure and Authorization Form required by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) is completed and forwarded to the candidate/employee. No background check may be requested until this form is completed. If the candidate/employee refuses to sign the Disclosure and Authorization Form, no further consideration will be given to this candidate/employee.
  • The Human Resources Office will fax or send via software the background check request to the background check agency (outside agency).
  • Once received; the Director of Human Resources will review and evaluate any adverse information on the background check report. This information will be discussed with the Director of Human Resources first, and then, as appropriate, the applicable Vice President and/or the President.
  • In determining suitability for employment where there is a record of criminal conviction, consideration shall be given to such issues as the specific duties of the position, the number of offenses and circumstances of each, how long ago the conviction occurred, whether the circumstances arose out of an employment situation, and the accuracy of the explanation on the application. If the report contains information upon which it is determined that the candidate/employee does not possess the qualifications or characteristics necessary to perform the duties of the employment offer, promotion, or reclassification, the position will be rescinded.
  • If adverse action is to be taken based in whole or in part on the information obtained from the background check, the Human Resources Office must provide the candidate/employee a copy of the background check report.

The Director of Human Resources will serve as the custodian of the records for background check results. Results on individuals who become employees should be kept in the employee’s personnel file. Background checks on individuals who are not placed in a position should be kept in the Human Resources Records Office with the search materials. 


In the event of a staffing emergency and a need to have an individual report to work prior to receiving the background check back, an exception can be requested to the Director of Human Resources or for adjuncts, the Director of Evening Services. The applicable vice president must approve all requests to start employment prior to return of a clear background check.


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Divisional Review Responsibilities Checklist: Human Resources

Revision History: July 2015; Jan. 2016; March 2017; Edited April 2020