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Policy Title Background Investigations

Boise State University Policy #7005
Effective Date: May 14, 2010
Revised: October 1, 2012; December 2013

To secure the safety and well-being of campus community members and institutional assets.

Additional Authority:
Idaho Code Title 72 Chapter 17, Employer Alcohol and Drug-free Workplace Act
Fair Credit Reporting Act, 15 U.S.C. §1681 et seq.
Payment Card Industry Standards

Applies to new employees, current employees applying for or being transferred into a different position, and volunteers who work in areas as defined in the policy. All employees are subject to the “Subsequent Notification Requirement” outlined in section V of this policy.

Responsible Party:
Human Resource Services, 426-1616

Applicant – An individual applying for a position not currently held at the University. Applicants can be new to the university or current employees applying for or being transferred into a different position.

Background Investigation – A background investigation consists of one or more verification processes, including a criminal conviction check, credit check, and/or motor vehicle check.

Convictions – For purposes of this policy, the term conviction will be interpreted to include pleas of no contest, deferred adjudications, judge or jury trial convictions, guilty pleas and similar dispositions.

Criminal Conviction Check – A review of an employee’s background to include criminal records (misdemeanor or felony convictions), sex offender registries and the OFAC (Office of Foreign Assets Control of the U.S. Department of Treasury) Terrorist Watch list. Criminal background checks will be conducted in the cities and counties of known residences where an applicant lived or worked for the past ten years and will include all available sex offender registries in those areas.

Fair Credit Reporting Act – The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), enforced by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC), is designed to promote accuracy and ensure the privacy of the information used in consumer reports and investigative consumer reports. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which enforces the FCRA, treats criminal background checks as investigative consumer reports.

Minor Traffic Violations – Moving violations or traffic infractions that do not involve alcohol, controlled substances, or reckless or aggressive driving.

Final Candidate– For purposes of this policy, “final candidate” includes:
a. An individual who has never been employed by Boise State University;
b. An individual who is employed by Boise State University who changed positions as the result of a promotion (excluding promotions in rank);
c. An individual who is employed by Boise State University who is reclassified or transferred into a different position; or
d. An individual who was previously employed by Boise State University but has had a break in service greater than – 12 months.

Personally Identifiable Information – The combination of an individual’s first and last name plus one or more of the following:

a. Social Security Number;
b. Bank account number; or
c. Credit card number.

Volunteer – A person not employed by Boise State but who voluntarily performs a service.

Student – anyone enrolled at Boise State University at least half time (as defined by university policy). For the purposes of this policy, “student” includes all Student Employee Positions as defined in BSU Policy #7000, Section VI.


  • I.  Policy Statement
  • In an effort to secure the safety and well-being of campus community members and institutional assets, Boise State University seeks to ensure that potential employees or volunteers have no history of criminal convictions or poor judgment relevant to employment or volunteer responsibilities.
  • II.  Criminal Conviction Check
    • A.  Criminal conviction checks will be conducted on:
      • 1.  All new employees or employees rehired with a break in service greater than 12 months, and current employees applying for or being transferred into a different position.
      • 2.  Volunteers, for the purposes of this policy, include:
        • a)  Volunteers providing housing for minor undergraduate students;
        • b)  Unsupervised volunteers assisting with activities that include minors and/or at-risk adults;
        • c)  Volunteers spending the night in a situation where minors and/or at risk adults are present; and
        • d)  Volunteers in childcare facilities.
      • 3.  Student Employees appointed to positions that include at least one of the following:
        • a)  Supervision of or regular interaction with vulnerable individuals or minors under the age of 16; or
        • b)  Direct access to or control of cash, checks, credit card account information, or personally identifiable information which might enable identity theft; or
        • c)  Possession of building master key(s), access to laboratory facilities, access to regulated facilities, or dorms; or
        • d)  Regular operation of University vehicles; or
        • e)  Direct access to or responsibility for controlled substances or hazardous materials.
    • B.  Disqualifying Criminal Convictions
      • 1.  For employment or volunteer positions involving supervision of or regular contact with minors under the age of 16 or vulnerable adults, a criminal history involving any of the following offenses will result in the automatic disqualification of the volunteer / final candidate or termination/reassignment of current employees:
        • a)  Conviction for any crime against or involving a child or vulnerable adult including but not limited to child abuse, neglect, abandonment, or sexual crimes of any nature, or
        • b)  Conviction for any other crime the University reasonably believes could endanger a vulnerable person or minor under the age of 16.
    • C.  Other Criminal Convictions
      • 1.  With the exception of the above, a prior criminal conviction does not automatically disqualify an individual from employment, promotion, transfer or a volunteer position. The criminal history will be evaluated for relevance to the specific position responsibilities. The evaluation may include, but is not limited to:
        • a)  Falsification of application material pertaining to the conviction(s);
        • b)  Length of time that has passed since conviction(s) occurred;
        • c)  Individual’s age at the time the crime was committed;
        • d)  Employment record subsequent to conviction;
        • e)  Length of University service and performance (for promotions and transfers);
        • f)  Number and gravity of crimes committed and the nature of the crime(s) in relationship to the nature of the work to be performed; and
        • g)  Relationship of the crime committed to the responsibilities of the position desired.
  • III.  Credit Checks
    • A.  Credit checks will be conducted on final candidates whose position:
      • 1.  Routinely requires handling large amounts of cash or provides access to university systems that contain personally identifiable information, or
      • 2.  Gives responsibility for or grants authority over large sums of money, or
      • 3.  Is at a senior management level where the individual’s ability to manage her/his personal obligations may be indicative of her/his ability to manage the affairs of the University’s.
    • B.  Disqualification Based on Credit Check
      • 1.  In accordance with federal law, the University cannot deny employment to, terminate the employment of, or discriminate with respect to employment against a person that is or has been a debtor or is associated with a debtor under the Bankruptcy Act solely because of bankruptcy.
      • 2.  The University will consider a final candidate’s financial history in conjunction with reference checks, criminal convictions, and work history in determining whether a final candidate is eligible for employment or transfer into a position in which a credit check is required.
  • IV.  Motor Vehicle Record Checks
    • A.  Motor vehicle record checks will be conducted on final candidates in positions that:
      • 1.  Are responsible for operating a university-owned or controlled vehicle for any purpose;
      • 2.  Are responsible for transporting students, clients or others in a private vehicle on a routine basis; or
      • 3.  Are responsible for transporting minors under the age of 16 at any time.
    • B.  Disqualifying Criteria:  Based on an employee’s MVR, or disclosure of the MVR by the employee to management, the following disqualifies a Final Candidate from being considered for a position where operating a motor vehicle is a primary job function.
      • 1.  Accumulated on their Idaho driver’s license record, nine (9) or more points within the past (36) months (see IDPA 39.02.71); or
      • 2.  Accumulated on their out-of-state or international driver’s license record a total of one-half the points that would trigger suspension or revocation of the driver’s license; or
      • 3.  A suspended or revoked driver’s license within the past three (3) years for driving-related conduct whether or not involving a University Vehicle; or
      • 4.  A conviction, plea of guilty, withheld judgment, or other determination of fault (“Conviction”) for an alcohol or drug-related offense while driving within the past (3) years; or
      • 5.  Two (2) or more convictions, pleas of guilty, withheld judgments, or determinations of fault (“Conviction”) for alcohol or drug related offences while driving.
    • C.  With the exception of the above, a poor driving record does not automatically disqualify an individual from employment, promotion, transfer or a volunteer position. The driving record will be evaluated (utilizing the university’s Office of Risk Management & Insurance Motor Vehicle Record Evaluation Tools) for relevance to the position, time since last violation, and type of driving involved.
  • V.  Subsequent Notification Requirement
    • A.  As a condition of continued employment, every employee must inform HRS within (2) two business days if he/she is charged with any crime other than a minor traffic violation (except for positions that have operating motor vehicles as a primary job function). Exceptions may be considered based upon individual circumstances.
    • B.  Upon learning of the arrest of or filing of criminal charges against an employee, the appropriate Vice President, University Counsel and the Assistant Vice President of Human Resource Services, or their delegated representatives, will make a determination as to whether the employee may continue to perform his/her job responsibilities or should be placed on administrative leave to allow the university opportunity to determine appropriate employment action to be taken. Corrective action may include discipline up to and including termination pursuant to State Board of Education policy; Idaho State Code § 67-5309; IDAPA and/or relevant university policies. This determination is informed by the following factors:
      • 1. Whether the employee complied with the mandatory notification requirement, above;
      • 2.  The gravity and nature of the charges in relationship to the employee’s job responsibilities
      • 3.  Length of University service and performance while employed; and
      • 4.  Prior criminal convictions.
  • VI. Procedures
    • A.  Supervisors are responsible for determining whether the positions reporting to the supervisor entail any of the responsibilities listed in Sections II, III, IV and V of this policy, and as such requires a background investigation. Supervisors should work with Human Resource Services in the event that they are uncertain whether a particular position requires a background investigation.
    • B.  Supervisors must work with Human Resource Services to ensure that all such position descriptions and job announcements clearly disclose that a final offer of employment is contingent upon successful completion of a background investigation and determination by the University that the information it contains does not disqualify the individual.
    • C.  At the time a final candidate is identified, the hiring supervisor will provide the candidate with a background investigation agreement. The candidate must complete the form in full and return to the hiring supervisor. The hiring supervisor will then submit the form to Human Resource Services for processing.
    • D.  Candidates seeking positions that require a credit check or other information provided by a consumer reporting agency have rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) that must be safeguarded by the University.
      • 1.  In accordance with FCRA requirements, the University will:
        • a)  Disclose its intent to conduct a credit check for purposes of making an employment decision;
        • b)  Provide the final candidate with a summary of his/her rights under the FCRA;
        • c)  Inform the final candidate of his/her right to request additional information on the nature of the report and the means by which the information will be obtained;
        • d)  Obtain written authorization from the final candidate; and
        • e)  Inform the final candidate that if the report contains information not disclosed by the employee, the University may take adverse action.
    • E.  Notification of Intent to Take Adverse Action
    • If a background check report yields information that may form the basis for an adverse action, the University will provide a copy of the report to the final candidate. The final candidate will then have (5) five business days to contest the accuracy of that information. If the final candidate fails to disprove the accuracy of the information to the reasonable satisfaction of the University, the University may then take adverse action. In doing so, the University will notify the final candidate of:
      • 1.  The name, address, and telephone number of the consumer reporting agency that provided the information, and that the consumer reporting agency did not make the adverse decision and is not able to explain why the decision was made;
      • 2. His/Her right to obtain a free copy of his/her file from the consumer reporting agency within 60 days; and
      • 3. His/Her right to dispute the accuracy or completeness of any information with the consumer reporting agency.
    • F. Once the accuracy of adverse information has been verified, the Assistant Vice President of Human Resource Services, the appropriate Vice President, and University Counsel, or their designated representatives, will make a determination whether the individual is eligible for employment based on all of the facts and circumstances, including:
      • 1.  Relevance of adverse information to specific position responsibilities;
      • 2.  Falsification of application materials pertaining to the adverse information; and
      • 3.  Circumstances relating to the adverse event.
    • G. Due to potential conflicts of interest and confidentiality concerns, information gathered in the course of any background investigation will not be disclosed to search committees or employees assigned to the department, college or unit conducting the search. Human Resource Services will only inform hiring managers whether, based on the results of the background investigation, an offer of employment may be extended to the candidate.