Procedure for Background Checks

University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Effective July 1, 2014


It is the policy of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga to perform a background check on all individuals recommended for hire into regular and temporary positions (faculty and staff).  Additionally, UT Safety Policy SA0575 requires that background checks are performed for all individuals associated with programs in which minor children are participants. 

This statement explains procedures to be followed by departments to ensure that required background checks are obtained.  Additional information regarding Programs with Minors may be found at Safety and Risk Management.


  1. New hires into regular staff positions:

    All regular staff positions are posted online through UT Jobs (Taleo).  As a candidate is advanced through a series of step/statuses during the selection process, the online applicant system will generate an email to the final candidate selected for a position requesting applicant to log into their online account and complete the Background Check Authorization Form.

  2. New regular faculty hires:

    During the interview process, the hiring department should have candidates complete the Background Check Authorization Form.  Departments should send the Background Check Authorization Form ONLY for the candidate selected for hire to Human Resources for processing, with the position and department printed at the top of the form.

  3. New hires into temporary staff and faculty (adjunct instructor) positions:

    Departments are responsible for submitting hiring paperwork, with signatures from manager/department head, to the Office of Human Resources in advance of the hire date.

    Hiring paperwork includes the following forms: (1) Initial hire/rehire (2) Personal data (3) Direct deposit (4) I-9 and accompanying documentation (5) W-4 Withholding Tax (6) Background Check Authorization Form

  4. Covered Adults associated with Programs with Minors:

    Program Directors are responsible to ensure that an authorized Background Check is performed for each Covered Adult associated with Programs with Minors as prescribed by UT Safety Policy SA0575. Program Directors or other individuals completing the Program Registration Form are responsible to verify with Human Resources that background checks have been performed on individuals who have been identified as Covered Adults under UT Safety Policy SA0575. Each Covered Adult must complete the Background Check Authorization Form and submit it to their Program Director. 

    The Program Director will send background check release forms and other documents in the Program for Minors Registration Packet to the Designated Official (Safety and Risk Management) 30 days prior to the start of a Covered Program. Safety and Risk Management will submit background check release forms to Human Resources for processing.

  5. Alternative background checks:

    Certain categories of employees are required by statute or hiring regulations of partner organizations such as Hamilton County School system to obtain background checks through vendors other than that used by the Office of Human Resources for normal background checks. With prior approval by the Director of Human Resources, such alternative background checks will be accepted so long as they are at least as extensive as standard check for the particular category of employment.

  6. Confidentiality:

    Background information must be regarded as confidential and protected against unauthorized disclosure.

  7. Decision not to hire:

    Decisions for staff hires will reside with the Director of Human Resources. Decisions for faculty hires will reside with the Provost. A decision not to hire based on results of any background check, including any approved alternative background check, will not be made without approval of the Director of Human Resources or designee (staff hires) or the Provost or designee (faculty hires).

  8. Payment for background checks:

    For new regular and temporary hires:  The University will cover the cost of background checks for regular and temporary hires, except in the case of Auxiliary, grant-funded and self-funding units.  The Office of Human Resources will bill back those departments via transfer voucher.

    For Covered Adults:  The department will be responsible for the cost of background checks.  The Office of Human Resources will bill back departments via transfer voucher.

  9. Validity of prior background checks:

    Background checks for rehired faculty and staff shall be considered valid for four (4) years, provided previous background check was consistent with requirements for class of employment for which individual is hired (regular, temporary/adjunct and Programs with Minors).