Required Clearance Information
PENNSYLVANIA STATE CRIMINAL HISTORY RECORD
Required by Act 34 of 1985 and Act 114 of 2006, as amended, for all prospective employees of public schools, private schools and their contractors’ employees who will work in direct contact with children. Also required for “student teacher candidates”. This is one of three required background checks or clearances.
To be provided by the applicant and reviewed by the school (or higher education administrator) prior to the applicant working in a position in which he will have direct contact with children.
Criminal history reports shall be no more than one (1) year old at the time of employment.See Act 114 of 2006 for further detailed information on PA background check requirements.
Following are procedures for obtaining the PA State Police background clearance.
Fee: $10.00 payable to Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
The Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Clearance application can be submitted online. Once you enter the link below you will be directed to the Child Welfare Portal where you must create an account or log in if you already have an account. Note: you will need an email address to create an account.
The Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Clearance certificate will no longer be issued on ivory marble security paper. ALL Child Abuse History Clearance results will be issued on plain white paper as of December 31, 2014.
Child Abuse History Clearance Online: https://www.compass.state.pa.us/CWIS
Finger Printing APPLICANT PROCEDURES
Fee: $28.75; All applicants will now receive an unofficial copy of their report. Fee is payable to 3M Cogent.
The fingerprint-based background check is a multiple-step process, as follows:Registration – The applicant must register prior to going to the fingerprint site. Walk in service without prior registration will not be provided at any fingerprinting location. Registration is completed online or over the phone. Registration is available online 24 hours/day, seven days per week at pa.cogentid.com.
- Telephonic registration is available at 1-888-439-2486 Monday through Friday, 8am to 6pm EST. During the registration process, all demographic data for the applicant is collected (name, address, SSN, etc.); there is no data entry required or allowed at the fingerprint collection site. Any corrections to this data must be made prior to being fingerprinted.
- Payment – The applicant will pay a fee of $28.75 for the fingerprint service and to secure an unofficial copy of the Criminal History Record. Applicants may make their payment online using a credit card or debit card during the registration process. Money orders or cashier’s checks payable to 3M Cogent will be accepted on site for those applicants who do not have the means to pay electronically. No cash transactions or personal checks are allowed.
- Fingerprint Locations – After registration, the applicant proceeds to the fingerprint site of their choice for fingerprinting. 3M Cogent has established over 80 sites across the Commonwealth. The location of the fingerprint sites and days and hours of operation for each site are posted on 3M Cogent’s website at www.pa.cogentid.com. The location of fingerprint sites may change over time; applicants are encouraged to confirm the site location nearest to their location. PDE encourages entities where access to the fingerprint location is more than 20 miles away to contact 3M Cogent and suggest areas where another closer site could be established.
- Fingerprinting – At the fingerprint site the Applicant Livescan Operators (ALO) manage the fingerprint collection process. The fingerprint transaction begins when the ALO reviews the applicant’s qualified State or Federal photo ID before processing the applicant’s transaction. A list of approved ID type may be found on the 3M Cogent website at www.pa.cogentid.com. Applicants will not be processed if they cannot produce an acceptable photo ID. After the identity of the applicant has been established, all ten fingers are scanned to complete the process. The entire fingerprint capture process should take no more than three to five minutes.
- Report Access – To begin the registration process, applicants check a box to confirm that school entities are authorized to review their official report electronically. For the public or private school or higher education institution to access the official report via the electronic system, applicants must present their Registration ID to the hiring entity. This process allows an applicant to provide multiple potential employers with their Registration ID, as the report is linked to the Registration ID number and not assigned to a specific school. To retrieve this personalized number, applicants can return to the Cogent registration website and select “Proof of Transaction (Receipts)”. Applicants will enter their personal information in the lower portion of that screen to obtain their receipt with the Registration ID at the top.
School entities are not permitted to print a copy of an applicant’s report for the applicant’s personal reference. Applicants will receive a paper copy of their CHRI report. The paper copy will not be regarded as the official report; but, it will provide an applicant with a copy of the information that the school administrator will see when the report is reviewed. The applicant may share the paper copy of the CHRI with prospective employers. However, the school is required to review the official CHRI online and print a file copy of the CHRI if the applicant is hired by the school or their contractor, or if the applicant is approved for student teaching.