Criminal History Checks Policies & Procedures


National Service Criminal History Checks (NSCHC)

The Virginia Service Commission requires the following criminal history checks for all covered positions. An individual in a covered position is a person who receives a living allowance, stipend, education award, and/or salary through a national service program, including all AmeriCorps members and grant-funded staff.

PLEASE NOTE: The Virginia Service Commission requires the use of CNCS-approved vendors Truescreen and Fieldprint. The state check is not required to meet CNCS requirements for Virginia if a grantee obtains an NSOPW check from Truescreen, obtains any required state checks that are available from Truescreen, and conducts a Fieldprint fingerprint-based FBI check.

* Vulnerable populations include children 17 years of age or younger, persons age 60 and older, and/or people with disabilities. Recurring access is defined as “the ability on more than one occasion to approach, observe, or communicate with an individual through physical proximity or other means, including but not limited to electronic or telephonic communication.”  Episodic Access is access to a vulnerable population that is not a regular, scheduled, and anticipated component of an individual’s service activities.

* It is not necessary to redo the NSCHC for individuals who serve consecutive terms of service with the same program, so long as:

  1. the break in service does not exceed 120 days and
  2. the original check is compliant for the covered position in which the individual will be serving. You must retain documentation of the original check results.

Conducting NSCHC

- Required Steps –

  • Verify the identity of the applicant through government-issued photo identification
  • Obtain written consent from the applicant to conduct the checks – Truescreen and Fieldprint obtain and document consent from the applicant for criminal history checks
  • Document that the applicant understands that his or her selection is contingent on the results of the checks
  • A Truescreen NSOPW and any applicable State of Residence checks using Truescreen MUST BE COMPLETED BEFORE THE START OF SERVICE
  • The Fieldprint FBI Check must be initiated by the start of service
  • Provide and document accompaniment while checks are pending when service involves vulnerable populations
  • Adjudicate all checks
  • Provide an opportunity for the applicant to challenge the results of the checks
  • Maintain the results of the checks in a confidential manner
  • Ensure that members are reimbursed if necessary

Truescreen NSOPW

An NSOPW check must be completed and adjudicated through the Truecreen system BEFORE a member starts service. Any hours or expenses accrued before an NSOPW check was conducted will be disallowed.

To order an applicant’s check, you will provide the applicant’s email, anticipated start date, and whether the individual has access to vulnerable populations. After you have ordered the check, an email will be automatically sent to the applicant to create an account, complete identification forms, and sign disclosures. The applicant will be required to submit a digital signature and upload a government-issued photo identification. Truescreen will run the checks and notify you when the check is complete.

You must review the applicant’s uploaded ID and review and adjudicate the results in the Truescreen system.

Virginia State Criminal Repository Check –

The CNCS-approved repository for Virginia Background Checks is Virginia State Police, Bureau of Administration & Support Service. Use Form SP-167 to order a criminal history records check.

* The Virginia state check is not required to meet CNCS requirements for Virginia if a grantee obtains an NSOPW check from Truescreen, obtains any required state checks that are available from Truescreen, and conducts a fingerprint-based FBI check.

- State of Residence Check – A State of Residence Check should be ordered through Truescreen if it is available. Any check ordered using Truescreen must be completed and adjudicated before the start of service.

  • PLEASE NOTE: The state where an applicant resides is the state that the individual identifies as his/her place of residence at the moment of application. There is no measure of how long an individual has resided at the location that a program is required to validate to establish the correct state of residence.

- Fieldprint FBI Fingerprint-based Check – You will need to provide your Fieldprint code to the applicant. The applicant will set up an account, complete information, sign agreements, and set up a Livescan fingerprint appointment. You will receive an email when the applicant’s check is complete. You must log in to your portal to view and adjudicate the results of the check.

  • PLEASE NOTE: For Fieldprint, grant recipient adjudication must be made outside the Fieldprint system. This means that printing the Fieldprint adjudication results is not an adequate adjudication of the results. You must indicate who reviewed the results, when they reviewed the results, and their final determination of the applicant's fitness for service. An initial and date on the printout of the results would be an example of an adequate adjudication.

- VA CPS Check - Results of the check are sent directly to the program headquarters or Human Resource Department. The Central Registry Unit in the Virginia Department of Social Services has waived the processing fee for AmeriCorps members.

The Child Protective Services Form can be found here:

- Please note that the following individuals are ineligible to serve or work in a covered position:

  • Anyone who is listed, or required to be listed, on a sex offender registry
  • Anyone convicted of murder
  • Anyone who refuses to undergo the NSCHC
  • Anyone who makes a false statement in connection with a program’s inquiry concerning the person’s criminal history

-Accompaniment - Accompaniment is required for individuals in covered positions with recurring access to vulnerable populations while checks are pending. A person is accompanied when he or she is in the physical presence of a person cleared for access to a vulnerable population. A program may elect to cease accompaniment of the individual when it has received results clearing the individual from either the state component or the FBI component.

Accompaniment must be documented on a member’s timesheet. Documentation must include the date, time(s), and name of the accompanier.

* Effective January 1, 2020, programs must receive results from both components before electing to cease accompaniment.

-Required Annual Training - Program Directors are required to complete the CNCS NSCHC E-course annually and send certifications of completion to VSC.

Author: ovcs_admin