Pre-Employment Background Check (Procedure)

Policy Approve By
Dr. Dean O. Stenehjem, Superintedent
Policy Date (original policy date)
Policy Prepared By
Administrative Team
Policy Category


To ensure compliance with the Revised Code of Washington (RCW) 28A.400.303, all prospective new hires are subject to a record check through the Washington State Patrol and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Prospective staff must also sign reference check authorization forms allowing WSSB to contact former employers as well as school employers regarding prior acts of sexual misconduct. The Washington State Sexual Misconduct Disclosure Release will authorize current and past school district employers, including employers outside of Washington State, to disclose sexual misconduct, if any, and make available all documents in the employer’s personnel, investigative or other files related to the sexual misconduct.  The applicant is not prohibited from employment in Washington State if the laws or policies of another state prohibit disclosure of this information, or if the out-of-state district denies the request.

NOTE:  This procedure applies to ALL employees, not just those working directly with children. Background checks for volunteer is covered under separate Volunteer policy.


Inform all prospective hires during the interview process that they will be required to have a national fingerprint check conducted through the Federal Bureau of Investigation and a background check through the Washington State Patrol.

Obtain consent from all prospective hires to perform a pre-employment background check.  Consent is given when they sign the Background/Criminal History Information form.

Prior to employment of any unsupervised staff member or volunteer, the Washington State School for the Blind will require the applicant to disclose whether he/she has been:

  1. Convicted of any crime against persons;
  2. Found in any dependency action under RCW 13.34 to have sexually assaulted or exploited any minor or to have physically abused any minor;

  3. Found by a court in a domestic relations proceeding under Title 26 RCW to have sexually abused or exploited any minor or to have physically abused any minor;

  4. Found in any disciplinary board final decision to have sexually abused or exploited any minor or to have physically abused any minor: or

  5. Convicted of a crime related to drugs: manufacture, delivery, or possession with intent to manufacture or deliver a controlled substance.

The disclosure will be made in writing and signed by the applicant and sworn to under penalty of perjury. The disclosure will specify all crimes committed against persons.

A conditional appointment letter will be sent to the new hire which will include the following language:

This is a conditional offer of employment based upon a clear Washington State and FBI criminal background check through the OSPI. In addition, as background checks are a condition of employment, you will be responsible for all applicable fingerprinting fees.

Applicants may be employed on a conditional basis pending the outcome of the background check and may begin conditional employment once proof that fingerprints have been submitted.  Information obtained from background inquiries will not necessarily preclude employment, but will be considered in determining the applicant character; suitability and competence to perform in the position applied for and may result in the denial of employment. Applicants are required to sign a release authorizing inquiry.  Failure to do so shall disqualify the applicant from employment in these positions.

Human Resources will notify the supervisor of clearance for hiring.  If there are any findings on the background report, the Superintendent will be notified.  The Superintendent will determine whether to proceed with the hire.

OSPI maintains records for two years.  The Superintendent may waive the requirement if the new hire has had a background clearance from the OSPI within the previous two years.