Background Checks - Programs Involving Youth at ISU

The Youth Activities, Pre-Collegiate Programs and Camps (YAP), Children in the Workplace and ISU Volunteers policies require background checks for faculty, staff, students, and volunteers working with youth. The type of interaction an employee or volunteer will have with youth determines the type of background check performed on each person. Various levels of background checks (National Sex Offender Registry, Criminal Record Check and Motor Vehicle Record Check) are required for employees and volunteers who will have interaction with youth and vulnerable populations. Background checks for ISU youth programs or individuals supervising youth are required annually and at no cost to departments/units.

All youth program staff (paid employees and volunteers) or youth supervisors must have an approved background check on file prior to interacting with youth under the following circumstances:

  • Interaction with youth in a public/group setting when a university activity is specificaly offered for children or the youth activity (regardless of sponsorship) takes place on ISU owned or leased property
  • When an individual has supervisory responsibilities for youth participants or youth programs
  • Involvement in an overnight youth program
  • Unsupervised or one-on-one contact with a youth program participant
  • Interaction involving physical contact with a youth program participant (i.e. sports, dance, etc.)
  • Driving responsibilities for youth (which also requires a motor vehicle record check)
  • Involvement by anyone for whom state law requires a criminal background check (mandatory reporters such as teachers, medical professionals, etc.)

Background Check Requests - Youth Programs

Program leaders are responsible for ensuring completion of background checks and maintaining records for all personnel including volunteers prior to interacting with youth at an ISU youth program.  At a minimum, this must include a check of the National Sex Offender Registry. An individual who has been convicted of an offense for which he/she must register with the Iowa or National Sex Offender Registry may not serve in any capacity for an ISU youth program or any youth program held on ISU property.   For Sponsored and Endorsed programs and ISU Athletics Third Party Camps and Clinics, a Background Check Request form must be submitted to the Office of Risk Management (orm@iastate.edu) at least three weeks in advance of the program start date. 

Upon receipt of the Background Check Request form, ORM will order background checks for each person listed through the General Information Services (GIS) third party vendor web portal.  GIS will then send an e-mail invitation to each person ("applicant") who needs a background check.  The e-mail will come from isu@geninfo.com and will contain a link to the GIS web portal.

Applicants will provide GIS with personal information and their disclosure and authorization online via the GIS applicant portal.  To complete the online disclosure and authorization, applicants will provide their social security number, date of birth, residential history, and driver's license information (if transporting minors in a youth program/event).

It is important that each person provides their personal information as soon as possible upon receipt of the e-mail from GIS, so we may proceed with the approval of youth program staff.  Failure to provide the information requested within 7 business days may result in an applicant's denial to participate in a youth program.

Youth program leaders, camp directors and volunteer opportunity supervisors are notified in writing by ORM staff when employee and volunteer background checks have been processed. If an individual is denied, the program leader(s) will not be informed of why he/she was denied, just that he/she is not allowed to work with youth. Results specific to an individual criminal background check are available only to that specific indivdual upon request through GIS.

Background Check Requests - Job Shadow(s) and Internship(s)

Job shadows and internships for individuals who are under the age of eighteen(18) will generally have background check requirements for individuals interacting/supervising youth as outlined in either the Youth Activities, Pre-Collegiate Programs and Camps and/or the Children in the Workplace policies and procedures.  These opportunities require department chair or unit director approval, written parental permission consent agreement, background check for the youth supervisor and other opportunity participants over the age of 18, and if the student will enter a hazardous area (lab), safety protocol review by Environmental Health and Safety.  Internships should be approved through the Office of the Provost prior to the Office of Risk Management providing parental agreements and background checks.

Background Check Requests - Volunteers

ISU volunteers must have an approved background check on file prior to interacting with youth in accordance with requirements of the policies for Youth Activities, Pre-Collegiate Programs and Camps (YAP) and Children in the Workplace.

Questions regarding your department's/unit's use of volunteers?
Contact the ISU Volunteer Administrator at orm@iastate.edu or 4-7711.

Background Check Requests - Children in the Workplace

For situations subject to the Children in the Workplace policy, if the individual serving as a host is not the child’s parent, the ISU employee and any others who will have responsibility for the child must have an approved background check.

Background Check Request form - Children in the Workplace

Background Check Requests - Institutional Review Board (IRB) Research Projects

ISU research projects with youth participating as human subjects must comply only with the background check requirements of the Youth Activities, Pre-Collegiate Programs and Camps (YAP) policy.

Personnel involved in conducting research projects must have an approved background check prior to any interaction or direct contact with youth research subjects. Principal investigators and faculty supervisors are given the responsibility to ensure that background checks are completed as needed for research staff. The process for requesting background checks is outlined in the Youth Activities, Pre-Collegiate Programs and Camps Procedures.

Reporting of Criminal Arrest, Citation, or Conviction

Youth activity/program employees or volunteers must report any criminal arrest, citation, or conviction to the program leader immediately upon such arrest or conviction. The program leader must take the information to the Office of Risk Management (volunteers) or Human Resources Services (employees) for consideration of the suitability of the employee/volunteer to continue to work or perform volunteer services with youth in the program. Failure to do so may result in disciplinary action or discontinuance of services.

Third Party Program Background Checks

‘Third Party’ is defined as an individual, organization or entity that is external to Iowa State University (i.e. not employed by Iowa State University; not an ISU department or unit).  Program leaders for Third Party programs are responsible for ensuring completion of background checks and maintaining records for all personnel including volunteers working at a Youth Program on ISU property.  At a minimum, this must include a check of the National Sex Offender Registry. An individual who has been convicted of an offense for which he/she must register with the Iowa or National Sex Offender Registry may not serve in any capacity for a youth program at ISU. The Office of Risk Management reserves the right to review compliance with background screening requirements.