For Applicants and Employees

Background checks are used to evaluate individuals for employment, volunteer and residency purposes; the information provided by an individual in order to conduct the background check, in addition to any information discovered as a result of the background check is held in great confidence. The information will not be used to discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability, age, veteran’s status, sexual orientation or gender identity. Furthermore, a previous criminal conviction will not automatically disqualify an applicant from consideration for employment with the University; NC State will provide an individualized assessment before disqualifying a candidate for employment, taking into consideration a multitude of factors.

Who must complete a background check?

  • Final Candidates for faculty, EHRA non-faculty, SHRA staff, unpaid appointments, and post-doctoral positions, as well as final candidates for temporary appointments, are subject to background checks once an offer of employment has been accepted. Some student positions may also require background checks based on the nature of duties.
  • Current employees who change jobs due to a promotion, lateral transfer, or reassignment or who assume new duties that make a background check appropriate will need an updated background check. Current employees are also required to report any conviction to the University within five (5) days of the conviction and the University may require a background check to affirm the information.
  • Non Employee/Non-Student Residents who wish to reside in University controlled housing (dormitory, research station, etc.) with an NC State employee are also subject to background checks as a condition of residency.
  • Volunteers who have been selected to participate in a university-sponsored program that is offered to minors may also be subject to a background check prior to participation.

When and how are background checks performed?

  • After a candidate has undergone the initial vetting process, been selected for hire, and has accepted a contingent offer, a background check is performed.
  • NC State uses an electronic process to securely gather background check information. To begin the background check process, your hiring department’s HR Representative must enter the action (hire/transfer/promotion, etc.) into the HR system. This entry triggers the vendor-linked system to send an email invitation to the candidates to access the online background check and disclosure release forms, hosted by our approved background check vendor.
  • Once the form is submitted, the background check process takes about 3-5 business days. In some cases, particularly when a candidate has lived in states outside of North Carolina, background checks may take up to two weeks.
  • After the completion of a background check by the vendor, the Background Check Program reviews the information provided and endorses the candidate profile as applicable. When the check is endorsed, the hiring department will be notified to proceed with completing the job hire action with the candidate.
  • In cases of non-endorsement, the candidate and HR initiator will be notified as appropriate.
  • Per university regulation (REG 05.55.08), most candidates will have a background check conducted. For candidates whose jobs have additional duties such as cash-handling or driving a university vehicle, we may run additional checks such as credit checks or motor vehicle records, respectively.”

What if I have difficulty with the electronic background check form?

As a part of NC State’s dedication to excellence, we work hard to ensure that your interaction with our program is a positive one. We continually adapt our processes to improve our security and privacy procedures and to ensure that the background check form is easy to access and complete. We recognize that some of the security elements within our process may complicate access to the form. If you do experience difficulty accessing or completing the form, please review the information below for solutions to common complications:

  • If you do not receive the email(s) that include the link and/or your temporary user ID and password please follow the instructions below:
    • Check your SPAM folder for the access email (the email with instructions and a link to the form). You should also check your SPAM folder for an email containing your temporary user ID and password if you do not have an active Unity ID (i.e. you are not a current student or employee at NC State, or have been separated from NC State affiliation for more than 30 days). This user ID and password will allow you to access your electronic form.
    • Ensure that your email address is correct by checking with your hiring department’s HR Representative (if you are not sure who this is, please contact your supervisor).
      •     If the email address was incorrect, provide your corrected email address to the HR Representative who will report it to the Background Check Program. Once the email has been corrected, the emails will be re-sent.
  • If you run into any difficulty while accessing or completing your background check application, please review our Step-by-Step Guide: How to Complete the Electronic Background Check Form. This guide will explain how to access the form, what information should be gathered prior to filling out the form, and then walk through each section of each page of the form.

If you continue to have difficulty after reviewing the appropriate help documents, please contact the Background Check Program for assistance. We are available to provide assistance with completing the electronic form, answering any questions, and making appointments for on-site assistance at 919-513-2283 or during normal business hours, excluding holidays.

How does NC State evaluate background check results?

NC State is committed to diversity, inclusion and equal opportunity.

The existence of a criminal record does not automatically disqualify a candidate from consideration. NC State evaluates criminal history results considering 1) relatedness to the job being hired to perform, 2) the potential risk to the safety of students, employees, or the community, 3) and the potential risk to property or assets of NC State. 

In each background check assessment, the Background Check Program evaluates the following:

  • Time since the criminal conduct
  • Nature and gravity of the criminal conduct
  • Pattern(s) of criminal conduct
  • Proof of rehabilitation after conviction
  • Job relatedness

Please reach out to the Background Check Program if you have any questions.


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