1. What is the difference between the National Child Protection Act (NCPA) and the Volunteers for Children Act?
Names you may hear that refer to the same federal law and its amendment are as follows: the National Child Protection Act, the Foley Act, and the Volunteers for Children Act. These laws are sometimes named for sponsors or persons who supported the new laws or amendments. For the purposes of the available criminal history information, these different names refer to the same basic law. Section 943.0542 of the 1999 Florida Statutes was enacted to implement this federal legislation.
2. On what legislation is the VECHS program based?
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement initiated the VECHS program in 1999, after the Florida Legislature enacted section 943.0542 of the Florida Statutes (1999). This statute is based upon the National Child Protection Act (NCPA), as amended. The federal guidelines for the NCPA offer further interpretations of the NCPA, along with mandates for states that choose to implement corresponding legislation and programs. The federal guidelines apply to the interpretation of our legislation in Florida, and therefore, to the implementation of the VECHS program.
Although FDLE desires to offer the broadest services and protection available under the authorizing legislation, we are not permitted to expand the parameters of the governing laws.
3. What is a “qualified entity”? Who can obtain criminal history record checks under the NCPA and section 943.0542, Florida Statutes?
To be qualified to participate in the VECHS program, an entity must provide some type of “care” or “care placement services” for children, the elderly, or the disabled, even if only as a limited part of the entity’s overall business. Once qualified to participate in the program, an entity may request criminal history information on all current and prospective employees and volunteers, not only those who work with vulnerable persons. A qualified entity may also request criminal history information on employees or volunteers who have or who seek to have unsupervised access to the populations described above.
“Qualified entities” are authorized to obtain criminal history record information as described under the NCPA and related federal guidelines. Under the NCPA and our Florida statute, a “qualified entity” is a business or organization, whether public, private, for profit, not-for-profit, or voluntary, that provides care or care placement services, including a business or organization that licenses or certifies others to provide care or care placement services. “Care” means the provision of care, treatment, education, training, instruction, supervision, or recreation to children, the elderly, or individuals with disabilities.
4. If I am now required to only obtain state criminal history record checks, can I request the additional national check through the VECHS program?
This program does not apply to those entities or persons currently required to have criminal history record checks under other statutory provisions. These entities and persons should continue to follow the statutory mandates that specifically apply to them. One exception to this might be for entities now required to obtain only state record checks on some or all of their employees or volunteers. If these entities wish to also obtain national record checks on the same employees or volunteers, the VECHS program may be able to assist by processing their required state checks, along with the national checks, through one system.
If an entity is required to obtain state and national checks on only specific types of employees or volunteers, the VECHS program may be able to process requests for state and national checks on the entity’s other employees or volunteers.
5. Who are considered “children, the elderly, or individuals with disabilities” under the applicable laws and the VECHS program?
The term “child” means any unmarried person under 18 years of age, who has not been emancipated by order of the court. An “elderly person” is a person who is 60 years of age or older. “Individuals with disabilities” are persons with a mental or physical impairment who require assistance to perform one or more daily living tasks.
6. How can my organization become a qualified entity?
If you believe your business or organization meets the criteria of a “qualified entity”, you may download and complete a copy of the Qualified Entity Application and the User Agreement from http://www.fdle.state.fl.us/content/getdoc/9023f5ac-2c0c-465c-995c-f949db57d0dd/VECHS.aspx. Or you may contact the VECHS Unit at the Florida Department of Law Enforcement at (850) 410-VECHS (850-410-8324), to request a copy of each document be mailed to you.
Your next step would be to complete the application, explaining what functions the entity performs that would serve children, elderly or disabled persons, and whether the requests for criminal history records would be for your entity’s employees or volunteers. You would then have an authorized representative of the entity sign the User Agreement, stating that your entity will abide by all laws, regulations, and instructions pertaining to this program, particularly that your entity will use the criminal history information supplied through the program only to screen your entity’s employees and volunteers.
When you have completed the Qualified Entity Application and User Agreement and obtained the necessary signatures from a representative of your entity, you will need to send the originals of both documents to the VECHS Unit. We will accept an initial faxed copy of both documents, to expedite the qualifying process. However, prior to forwarding fingerprint cards to your entity or processing any requests for criminal history record checks, we will need the original, signed application and agreement from your entity.
7. What happens once I submit my Qualified Entity Application and User Agreement?
FDLE staff will review the application. If it is determined that your organization meets the requirements, FDLE will provide you with:
•Instructions regarding how to submit the fingerprint cards and payments for the criminal history information.
•Fingerprint cards on which the employees or volunteers will have their fingerprints rolled.
•A Waiver form must be signed by the employee or volunteer.
8. If my entity is governmental and we currently obtain some state and national checks for certain employees, can we use our current ORI number to receive state and national criminal history checks on other employees or volunteers through the VECHS program?
No, you may not use any ORI Number you have been assigned previously to process your requests for record checks through the VECHS Program. Upon your approval to participate in the VECHS program, depending upon the volume of fingerprint cards you predict you will need, FDLE will either provide you with fingerprint cards preprinted with the VECHS Program ORI Number, or we will request the FBI to issue your agency a new ORI number and to mail you new fingerprint cards preprinted with this new number for your use with the VECHS Program.
9. If my organization is approved to participate in the VECHS program, will my organization be required to obtain criminal history record checks on my current or prospective employees and volunteers?
Participation in the VECHS program is strictly voluntary for those organizations that are not otherwise required to obtain criminal history record checks on their employees and volunteers. The NCPA does not replace the existing Florida statutes that mandate state and national criminal history record checks for employees of specified caretaker programs, which include, but are not limited to the following: school district instructional and non-instructional personnel; nursing home administrators and financial officers; and child care, substance abuse, mental health, and developmental service programs. If your organization is presently required to obtain criminal history checks on employees and/or volunteers, you must continue to do so under the applicable Florida law.
10. Is there a fee for this service?
Yes. There are both State and National fees associated with conducting background checks through VECHS. Electronic Fingerprint Submission by IDENTICO LLC is rated as $47.25 for volunteers and $54.25 for employees. Screening is made on live scan equipment.
11. What will I receive when I submit the request for criminal history check
If FDLE qualifies your entity to participate in the VECHS program, and your entity submits authorized requests and payment for criminal history record information to FDLE, FDLE/the FBI will provide either of the following to your entity, for each criminal history record request:
a) a notification that the individual as described the fingerprint card does not have a criminal history record; or
b) a copy of the individual’s criminal history record. In addition, FDLE will advise the entity if the individual is subject to a Florida warrant for arrest or a Florida Domestic Violence injunction and what agency has the warrant for injunction.
12. How long will it take me to get the results?
The NCPA requires FDLE and the FBI to make a reasonable effort to return your criminal history information within 15 business days. This does not include mail time. Currently, FDLE processes Florida record checks within approximately five or less business days from the date appropriate requests for criminal history record checks and payments are received. FDLE is constantly exploring alternative ways to reduce this turnaround time. Errors on the fingerprint cards or in the amount of the payment may require additional time to process the requests or may require the requests to be returned to your correction.
FDLE is able to obtain both state and national responses more quickly if the fingerprints are submitted in an automated form from a live scan device. These devices are expected to become more and more available to applicants over the next few years. They allow for the fingerprints to be sent immediately to FDLE. The FDLE and the FBI processing are completed in about three working days, at which time the customer can retrieve state and national results on the applicant.
13. How should my organization use the results of our requests for criminal history records check?
You will need to review the information to determine if there is any reason that the employee or volunteer should not be allowed to work with children, the elderly, or the disabled. If no criminal history record is found, you should not necessarily assume that there are no risks to employing or using the volunteer services of the individual. Simply stated, “no record” means that he or she does not have an arrest or conviction known to FDLE or the FBI. Other recommended practices would include checking former places of employment, conducting neighborhood interviews, obtaining information from local law enforcement agencies, and asking for more information from individual.
If the employee or volunteer has a criminal record, you should evaluate whether the individual should be permitted contact with children, the elderly, or the disabled. Neither the National Child Protection Act nor Florida law governing the VECHS program defines specific criteria to use during this evaluation of an entity’s employee or volunteer. Therefore, FDLE does not set specific criteria either.
Background screening by your organization may already be covered under other statutory provisions. Your organization will need to comply with all required screening criteria under these laws. If these laws apply to you, and if your organization should decide to disqualify an individual during the screening process the employee or volunteer may have a right to contest or request an exemption from the disqualification. Please consult with your legal representative for more advice on these provisions and how they apply to your organization.
The U.S. Department of Justice has published a document that might be helpful to your organization as you screen your current and prospective employees and volunteers: Guidelines for the Screening of Persons Working with Children, the Elderly, and Individuals with Disabilities in need of support. (April 1998).
Juvenile Justice Clearinghouse (NCJRS)
P. O. Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
Fax-on-Demand: 1-800-638-8736 (restrictions apply)
You may also exchange the results of your state and national criminal history record checks with those of other qualified entities, if the employee or volunteer has agreed to this in the Waiver form signed at the time of fingerprinting, and if youfollow specific procedures in recording the exchange of the information. This exchange of information, depending on its timeliness, may assist you and other qualified entities in reducing the costs of criminal history records checks on the same persons. It may also assist all qualified entities in screening out those employees or volunteers who should not be in contact with vulnerable individuals.
14. Can I get information from other qualified entities if they have already checked my employees and volunteers?
You may obtain criminal history information from other qualified entities, if the employee or volunteer agreed to this on the Waiver form required to be signed when he/she was fingerprinted, and if the transfer of information is recorded by the other qualified entity on its Dissemination Log. The restrictions on this process described in the User Agreement qualified entities must sign.
15. For what period of time should I rely on the criminal history record that I received on employee or volunteer?
The criminal history repository is a dynamic file with new arrests added daily and changes frequently. Currency of information is critical because the qualified entities will want to know about all arrests, no matter how recent. On the practical side, however, the qualified entities will not be able to request the criminal history information daily. Each qualified entity will have to determine how frequently its employees or volunteers need to be checked. The qualified entity will also need to determine whether criminal history information available from another qualified entity is too old to use for its screening purposes.
16. What if there is no disposition in the criminal history record showing what happened in court?
When the court disposition of a Florida arrest is sent to FDLE, it is added to the criminal history record. If there is an arrest in the Florida criminal history record of the employee or volunteer that does not reflect a court disposition, FDLE will not have any further information on that specific arrest. The qualified entity may determine if the nature of the arrest is something that it would be concerned about if the employee or volunteer were convicted. If the court disposition is important, the qualified entity may call the Clerk of Court in the county where the arrest took place. The Clerk will retrieve and provide the court disposition if one is available. There may be a charge for this service depending on which county you contact. FDLE has a list of phone numbers for Florida Clerk of Court. This will be provided to qualified entities.
When the court disposition on an arrest from another state is missing, the same process can be followed. FDLE, however, does not have a listing for all of the Clerks of Court or their equivalent in other states. If the qualified entity needs the court disposition in these cases, it will be necessary to work with the repository in the state of arrest or contact the court which heard the case.
17. Why aren’t sealed and expunged data returned to VECHS entities?
Florida law restricts the dissemination of sealed and expunged data to agencies and purposes outlined in the law itself. See s. 943.0585 (4)(a), Florida Statutes for more details.
18. Is it possible that VECHS agencies will be able to access criminal history records with terminals connected directly to FDLE?
VECHS entities are allowed to access criminal record information only after the submission of descriptive and fingerprint information on the employee or volunteer. There is no direct terminal access for this access. However, VECHS entities can submit the data from a “livescan” device which transfers the data electronically to FDLE and allows the electronic transfer of results in two or three working days.
19. Can I contact my local law enforcement to do VECHS check?
Law enforcement agencies are not authorized to conduct searches for VECHS entities through the Florida Crime Information Center. If they do so, the agency could be cut off and not allowed to access state or national criminal information systems. Local agencies may provide data from local systems. The only authorized way for the VECHS entity to obtain state or national criminal information is through the submission of fingerprint card or through approved live scan vendors.
20. How often will VECHS audits be performed?
There is not a scheduled time for VECHS audits. They will be scheduled periodically and a sample of agencies will be audited. Some audits may be conducted via a telephone interview, a letter asking specific questions or an on-site audit. When questions arise regarding the confidentiality or the security of information from a specific qualified entity, FDLE may conduct an audit of the entity to ensure the all provision in the user agreement are being enforced.
21. If I deny a person the opportunity to volunteer with or be employed by the qualified entity, may I give a copy of the FDLE and FBI criminal record to this applicant? What if the applicant indicated that record is incorrect?
If a person challenges his or her opportunity to volunteer or be employed, and the reason for the decision was based on criminal history results, the person can be shown the criminal history record after ensuring the identity of the requestor. If the challenge results in civil litigation, a copy of the record can be provided for the purpose of a hearing, but cannot be part of any record or file available to the public.
If the person believes his or her criminal record is in error, he or she may contact FDLE in correcting the record.
22. Does FDLE maintain the records of all arrests, including Notices to appear and direct files?
FDLE’s criminal record repository contains information on all arrested persons in Florida where the arresting agency submitted a fingerprint at the time of the arrest. For the most part, this means that all felony and serious misdemeanor arrests are available. However, if there was not an arrest but, rather, a Notice to Appear was issued or the State Attorney issued a Direct File, this information would not be “fingerprint based” and therefore not be contained in the criminal repository.
23. Does FDLE maintain a record of all criminal history records in the nation or just for the state of Florida?
The FDLE repository contains Florida arrest information only. Arrests by the federal government or another state are not included in the Florida repository. VECHS customers are eligible for the out-of-state criminal record information and will be provided it either directly from FBI or FDLE.
24. May VECHS fingerprints be submitted electronically from livescan device?
Live scan devices allow for fingerprint information to be sent to FDLE electronically which speeds up the entire process. The descriptive data on the applicant as well as the fingerprints are sent in electronically to FDLE. The state and national criminal record search results are packaged together for each applicant and are made available to the regulatory agency within two to three working days.
If your organization is a private school in need for criminal history search on staff and volunteers, or maybe background checks are required for your school in order to participate in scholarship programs, then VECHS program run by Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) is exactly what you need.
VECHS (Volunteer and Employee Criminal History System) program had been established by FDLE to assist with checking the background of persons who work or volunteer with children, the elderly, or the disabled under the National Child Protection Act (1993), as amended, and section 943.0542, Florida Statutes (1999). VECHS program is created for entities not required to obtain Level 2 background screening clearance according to statutory provision.
First of all contact The Florida Department of Education (DOE) Office of Independent Education and Parental Choice and verify who exactly in your organization is required to be fingerprinted. Next step is the enrollment into VECHS program and this is how you do it. Private schools are authorized to participate in FDLE’s Volunteer and Employee Criminal History System (VECHS) because of the service they offer to Children. VECHS is a voluntary program — however; under the provisions of Section 1002.421, F.S., private schools participating in scholarship programs must conduct criminal history record checks on employees and contracted personnel. Those criminal history checks will be conducted through the FDLE VECHS program.
Enrollment materials include the VECHS Application and User Agreement. Both of these documents must be submitted to FDLE via mail as they must be signed by the appropriate school authority. The forms may be printed from the internet, completed, signed and mailed to FDLE.FDLE will mail these forms to private schools upon request.
Here is the description of what is involved in screening process after your entity is signed up. You will be provided with a packet of information from the VECHS program. It will include:
A cover letter giving your account numbers to use. These are your Qualified Entity Numbers. One is for employees and contracted personnel and the other is for volunteers. While s. 1002.421, F.S. indicates that, in order to receive scholarship money, employees and contracted personnel must submit fingerprints, some schools may want to check volunteers as well. Using the volunteer entity number for checking volunteers will result in a reduced fee.
Forms and information for submitting fingerprints electronically. These forms are required regardless of whether your private school purchases a livescan device or if the employees and contracted personnel go to a “service provider” or another livescan device owner and have the fingerprints taken and submitted by this company.
Fingerprint cards and instructions on how to complete them. As of July 1, 2007, submissions for employees and contracted personnel must be made electronically. You have the choice of continuing to submit your volunteers via hard card fingerprint card or you can submit them electronically.
A Private Schools Waiver Agreement and Statement to be signed by each employee, contracted person or volunteer that you submit.
Contacts for criminal record repositories in other states which are useful in obtaining additional criminal history information.
Florida Clerks of Court and their contact information. This contact information may be needed when there is an arrest in Florida but the criminal record does not indicate whether the offender was convicted.
Instructions as to how a person can obtain his or her own criminal record for review and possible correction, which may be given to an employee, contracted person or volunteer.
A sample dissemination log which must be used if a private school shares criminal history information with another private school. Private schools may NOT share criminal history information with any VECHS entities except other private schools registered with VECHS. Private schools are the only VECHS entities authorized to receive sealed information and expunge notifications.
Similarly, private schools may not use criminal history results obtained for employees or contracted personnel for volunteers or vice versa. If a volunteer becomes an employee, that person’s fingerprints should be submitted again under the Employee Qualified Entity Number; the volunteer results should NOT be used to screen the candidate as an employee. Likewise, employee results should not be used to screen a person for a volunteer position. The rules for criminal history information sharing are included in the User Agreement, signed by all private schools participating in the VECHS program.
∗ Reminders of important provisions regarding the VECHS program.
∗ Fingerprint card submission checklist.
∗ Results definitions.
∗Instructions for procedures for “name‐based” searches from the FBI to be used when the subject’s fingerprints are rejected twice based on poor fingerprint quality.
Another question, what does the law mean when it says that fingerprints must be submitted electronically?
As of July 1, 2007, s. 1002.421, F.S. requires all fingerprint submissions for employees and contracted personnel be made electronically. Fingerprints submitted “electronically” are fingerprints taken on a “livescan” device and submitted electronically to FDLE. It can also include fingerprints taken with ink on a hard copy fingerprint card that are subsequently scanned and submitted electronically to FDLE. These electronic submissions are processed through FDLE’s Civil Workflow Control System.
Go ahead and ask, what is the Civil Workflow Control System (CWCS)?
The Civil Workflow Control System (CWCS), pronounced “QUICKS”, is an automated system used to receive process and respond to electronic applicant submissions. Processing that once took several weeks with fingerprint cards now takes 24 – 72 hours with electronic submissions. CWCS allows different types of applicants to be scanned on a single device and allows input from a variety of livescan devices that adhere to FDLE and FBI standards and requirements.
Very natural question you may have, so what do I need to do to start submitting electronically?
∗ First, you must already be a registered VECHS entity.
∗ Second, you must complete the CWCS VECHS Customer Registration Form and return it to FDLE. Once the information is registered in our systems, you will receive an e‐mail notification that you can start submitting electronically.
∗ Third, you must make arrangement to be fingerprinted on a livescan device
You may ask where can I get fingerprinted on a livescan device and submit electronically.
Private schools have the following options in submitting fingerprints electronically:
∗ Purchase own livescan device. While the cost may be prohibitive it can be cost effective depending on the number of submissions necessary for your school.
∗ Use “service providers” like IDENTICO LLC to submit fingerprints electronically on your behalf.
∗ Inquire to other livescan device owners, such as local school boards, if they are willing to assist with your electronic submissions.
We know the biggest question you have, what are the costs associated with criminal history record checks for private school employees and contracted personnel?
The fee may vary from vendor to vendor, but certainly consider IDENTICO LLC as the most competitive livescan vendor with aggressive pricing. Our standard individual VECHS Employee screening rate is $54.25 and VECHS Volunteer screening rate is only $47.25. There are some discounts available for larger groups, and it worth to consider since there is no traveling fee for groups of 10 or more employees at single location. We’ll come to you and fingerprint all teachers and volunteers with convenience and efficiency you haven’t seen before.
So you paid for the screening and fingerprinting, and you want to know how would you receive and view the criminal history results after submitting electronically?
Criminal history results for electronic submissions are posted to FDLE’s secure mail application called “CertifiedMail”. Once the criminal history results are ready, the private school will receive an e‐mail notification, containing the link to the application. The viewing of criminal history results will occur within this secure application.
There are several more frequently asked questions on fingerprinting for private schools in Florida; therefore our further questions will be in FAQ format.
What is meant by “retention of applicant fingerprints for reverse searches” and “arrest hit notifications”?
Section 1002.421, F.S. instructs FDLE to retain fingerprints submitted by the private school on or after July 1, 2007. Incoming Florida arrest fingerprints are searched against these retained private school fingerprints. If a fingerprint match is made on an individual, FDLE notifies the private school that the employee or contracted person was arrested, and provides the name of the county where the arrest occurred as well as contact information for the arresting agency. It is important to note fingerprints submitted prior to July 1, 2007, were not retained
What are the fees associated with the retention of prints?
The fee for the retention of applicant fingerprints is $6 per year per applicant. The retention of the fingerprints eliminates the necessity to have a future state criminal history record recheck at a cost of $24, since all incoming Florida arrest information is continuously compared to the retained applicant database. If a recheck is required, it would only need to be for a national criminal history record check.
To whom may my private school release criminal history information?
With the permission of the applicant, the criminal history information may be shared with other private schools registered with VECHS. Each VECHS private school agrees to only release criminal history information after confirming with FDLE the private school to which they are releasing the information is a current, registered VECHS entity. Such dissemination of criminal history information must be logged by noting what record was released, to whom it was released, and on what date it was released. Also, private schools are required to release the criminal history information to the Department of Education personnel consistent with the applicant’s approval on the waiver form.
Are owners under the same requirements as private school employees and contracted personnel?
The provisions in s.1002.42(2)(c)1, F.S., were not changed. Private school owners must have fingerprints taken and sent to FDLE for a state‐level criminal history record check upon taking ownership. FDLE will return the state criminal record or an indication that there is not a state record to the school so that it can be made available for public inspection and sent by the school to DOE. The owner fingerprint submissions must be on a fingerprint card that clearly indicates, “State check only”.
The owner’s fingerprint submission may not be submitted with the VECHS account information. If state and national criminal record checks are required as a part of scholarship funding, the owner will have to submit under VECHS in addition to the State Level check defined in s.1002.42 (2)(c) 1 F.S.
Now let us explain the definition of the word Criminal History Background Check: The term “background check” has been used interchangeably with “criminal history check” or “criminal history background check” which has caused some confusion. From the FDLE perspective, a background check is a criminal history record check to determine if a person has been arrested and/or convicted of a crime. Although some companies use the phrase background check to include drivers record checks, credit checks, or interviews with neighbors and employers, for purposes of this paper, it includes the search of following databases:
∗ The Florida Computerized Criminal History Central Repository for Florida Arrests (STATE CHECK);
∗ The Florida Computerized Criminal History Central Repository for Florida arrests AND the national criminal history database at the FBI for federal arrests and arrests from other states (STATE AND NATIONAL CHECK)
∗ The Florida Crime Information Center for warrants and domestic violence injunctions (HOT FILES CHECK)
The national check is based on the submission of fingerprints. For State checks, submissions maybe based on a name (or descriptors) or fingerprints.
Level 1 and Level 2 Background checks: Level 1 and Level 2 Background Checks are terms used in Florida Statutes to convey the method of the criminal record check and the extent of the data searched, however, the terms may also refer to certain disqualifying offenses if certain statutes are used as reference. Level 1 and Level 2 are terms that pertain only to Florida and are not used by the FBI or other states. They are defined in Chapter 435, F.S., but are used elsewhere in statute without definition and appear not to be associated with all of the provisions in chapter 435.
∗ Level 1 generally refers to state only name based check AND an employment history check
∗ Level 2 generally refers to a state and national fingerprint based check and consideration of disqualifying offenses, and applies to those employees designated by law as holding positions of responsibility or trust. Section 435.04, mandates that Level 2 background security investigations be conducted on employees, defined as individuals required by law to be fingerprinted pursuant to Chapter 435
It should be noted that both the state and national criminal history databases can be searched for arrests, warrants, and other information pertaining to an individual, however neither database has the capability of searching for specific offenses on an individual records
What is the difference between the National Child Protection Act and Volunteers for Children Act?
Names you may hear that refer to the same federal law and its amendment are as follows: the National Child Protection Act, the Foley Act, and the Volunteers for Children Act. These laws are sometimes named for sponsors or persons who supported the new laws or amendments. For the purposes of the available criminal history information, these different names refer to the same basic law. Section 943.0542 of the 1999 Florida Statutes was enacted to implement this Federal legislation.
On what legislation the VECHS program based?
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement initiated the VECHS program in 1999, after the Florida Legislature enacted section 943.0542 of the Florida Statutes (1999). This statute is based upon the National Child Protection Act (NCPA), as amended. The federal guidelines for the NCPA offer further interpretations of the NCPA, along with mandates for states that chose to implement corresponding legislation and programs.
The federal guidelines apply to the interpretation of our legislation in Florida, and therefore, to the implementation of the VECHS program. Although FDLE desires to offer the broadest services and protection available under the authorizing legislation, we are not permitted to expand the coverage of the governing laws.
Please visit http://www.myidentico.com/answers-to-all-frequently-asked-questions-about-vechs-program/ for more details on VECHS program.
As FDLE authorized live scan vendor IDENTICO LLC does everything possible to support children and student safety in the communities and schools. If you are the entity approved to use VECHS screening, please contact us with any questions or quote requests. We’ll do everything possible to keep the cost of services affordable and the quality above standards. Please call (954) 239-8590/ toll-free (888) 988-8969 or visit our official webpage for more information on all background screening and fingerprinting needs.
You have heard about mobile fingerprinting services, but not sure if this service is effective or applicable to your personal or business situation. IDENTICO LLC is FDLE approved live scan vendor with ability to serve your organization with mobile unit, at your location and at your convenience. We are not reading your mind, but if you need to complete any of the followings, then you need to contact us today:
- You or your staff are required to get fingerprinted on live scan equipment in order to be compliant with AHCA, DCF, Department of Elderly Affairs, Medicaid Provider Services or VECHS requirement on background screening
- You believe that it will be great if live scan fingerprinting company will come to your location and conducts a level 2 background check on all employees in one session
- You are located and need fingerprinting in Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach or Martin County and thinking about getting fingerprinted ASAP
- You found out that IDENTICO doesn’t charge a traveling fee if there are 10 or more individuals to be fingerprinted at single location, but even if there are less than 10 people the traveling fee can be as less as $14
- Don’t be surprise to find out, that our Mobile Fingerprinting unit can fingerprint up-to 85 persons/ day in one single session
- And most importantly here is the schedule of fee for live scan submissions as well as printing on hard copy fingerprint cards:
– AHCA (Agency for Healthcare Administration) Level 2 Live Scan Background Screening includes all healthcare providers – $80.00/Person, Includes State & Federal Fees, Taxes, IDENTICO Processing fee.
– DCF (Department of Children and Families) Level 2 Live Scan Background Screening. For personnel in Childcare, Mental Health, Developmentally Disabled Care, and Summer Camp programs- $62.00/Person, Includes State & Federal Fees, Taxes, IDENTICO Processing fee. Consumer must present a valid OCA# number issued by regional DCF office.
– APD (Agency for Persons with Disabilities) Level 2 Live Scan Background Screening, including CDC+, Medicaid Waiver, Support Coordinators and Group Homes–$80.00/Person, Includes State & Federal Fees, Taxes, IDENTICO Processing fee. Consumer must present a valid OCA# number issued by regional DCF office.
– DOEA (Department of Elderly Affairs) Level 2 Live Scan Background Screening for Aging Network Providers & Volunteers, Long-Term Care Ombudsman Volunteers- $62/Person, Includes State & Federal Fees, Taxes, IDENTICO Processing fee.
– DBPR (Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulations). Level 2 Live Scan Background Screening for Real Estate Sales and Brokers, Real Estate Appraisers, General Contractor, Community Association Managers, Alcoholic, Beverages and Tobacco, Home Inspectors, Mold Remediation or Assessment, Talent Agents, Athlete Agents, Employee Leasing, Slot Machine, Yacht and ship brokers License Applicants-$54.25/Person, Includes State & Federal Fees, Taxes, IDENTICO Processing fee.
– DOACS (Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services) Division of Licensing, Security and Firearm (D & G) License, Private Investigator (C or CC License), Pawn broker, and all other F.S. 493 applicants- $48.25/Person, Includes State & Federal Fees, Taxes, IDENTICO Processing fee.
– DHSMV (Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles) Level 2 Live Scan Background Screening for Motor vehicle, mobile home and recreational vehicle dealers’ licensees, Commercial driving school instructors, agents and employees- $57.25/Person, Includes State & Federal Fees, Taxes, IDENTICO Processing fee.
– Legal Name Change Petitioners in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach County Courts • FDLE criminal history expunction or sealing- $54.25/Person, Includes State & Federal Fees, Taxes, IDENTICO Processing fee.
– VECHS (Volunteer & Employee Criminal History System) for qualified entities providing some type of “care” or “care placement services” for children, the elderly or the disabled- $47.25/Person for Volunteers and $54.25/person for Employees, Includes State & Federal Fees, Taxes, IDENTICO Processing fee.
-FBI criminal history checks for out of country Immigration or legal matters requiring fingerprinting-12$ for hard copy fingerprinting.
– Public and Private School Employees and Contractors. Consumer must present a valid ORI#, OCA# or VECHS number. Fees may vary, please contact us for accurate quote.
-Professional and Non-Professional Guardian Program in Dade-Broward-Palm Beach- $54.25/Person, Includes State & Federal Fees, Taxes, IDENTICO Processing fee.
– Standard FBI Applicant fingerprint card (FD-258) fingerprinting for Federal and State Banking/Investment permits/licenses- 15$ for hard copy fingerprinting.
For more information or to schedule your appointment please contact us today at (954) 239-8590 or visit our official website www.myidentico.com, for more information. Our office is located at 3948 Pembroke Road, Suite E, Pembroke Park, FL, 33021, and if you decide to use our in office services feel free to visit us. We have an open-door no appointment is required policy, however if you would like to schedule an appointment at certain time, please visit http://www.myidentico.com/hitappoint/ and we’ll serve you first regardless of any wait line.
The Medicaid Provider Re-enrollment Application Packet consists of:
• A Florida Medicaid Provider Reenrollment Application
• A Medicaid Provider Agreement
• Fingerprint Cards (or proof of exemption from fingerprinting)
In addition, applicants should attach any supporting documentation necessary to show proof of valid licensure, ownership of a tax id, a name change, change in ownership, or any other documentation supporting continued eligibility for enrollment in Florida Medicaid.
Criminal History Screening – Florida Medicaid requires criminal history screening for both enrolling and re-enrolling Medicaid providers. The following individuals are required to be listed in question 3 and to submit to a criminal history check:
• All partners or shareholders with an ownership interest of five percent or more
• All officers (this includes the president, vice president, etc.)
• All directors (this is the board of directors)
• Financial records custodian
• Medical records custodian
• All billing agents who are employees of the provider
• All managing employees or affiliated persons, including pharmacy managers
• All individuals authorized to sign on the account used for electronic funds transfer
If an individual belongs to more than one of the above categories, they only require one criminal history check.
Each applicant seeking to participate in the Medicaid program must submit a complete set of fingerprints for each person declared on an initial or renewal application for the purpose of conducting a criminal history record check.
In an effort to streamline the background screening process, AHCA is now encouraging providers to use vendors like IDENTICO who offers electronic fingerprint scanning services. This process avoids the traditional fingerprint card process where finger prints are “rolled” in ink onto an FBI fingerprint card and mailed hard copy with a check for processing. This improves accuracy with fewer rejections (no ink smudges) and improves timeliness of the background investigation process.
This enhancement to the provider enrollment process allows providers to enroll without mailing any hard copy documentation. Rather, with electronic scanning of fingerprints handled by approved vendors, applicants may submit their application and all remaining supporting documents through the online Enrollment Wizard.
The following provides detailed information on how to take advantage of this new option:
Level of Screening Required
Provider applicants to Florida Medicaid require a Level 2 screening which involves a fingerprint check of state and federal criminal history information conducted through the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
Submission of Fingerprints
All provider applicants are encouraged to submit their fingerprints electronically.
Forms of Electronic Screening
The most common form of electronic screening involves use of a LiveScan device which is a type of equipment used to directly capture fingerprints through a scanning function. Persons being screened place their hands directly on the scanner for reading. Fingerprint scanning using a LiveScan device provides faster results and generally costs less than hard card scanning as there is less handling involved. LiveScan capture also produces a better quality print, so has a lower rejection rate of illegible prints (no ink smudging, etc).
IDENTICO LLC- the LiveScan vendor approved to submit fingerprint requests through the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE). The cost of services is $54.25 and it includes state and federal criminal history search fees imposed by FDLE and FBI. The LiveScan screening is available at our office locations at 3948 Pembroke Road, Suite E, Pembroke Park, FL, 33021 or through mobile services where the vendor will either come to the provider location (based on certain volumes and fees) or another pre-arranged location.
To ensure the results of your screening are delivered to Florida Medicaid and not to AHCA’s Division of Health Quality Assurance, be sure to use the correct account number, or ORI, assigned to Florida Medicaid. The ORI which should be used for Medicaid Enrollment and Re-Enrollment is FL922013Z.
Hard card scanning is a method of submitting a traditional fingerprint card where fingerprints are “rolled” in ink onto an FBI fingerprint card. Cards may be converted to “electronic” by using a machine that scans the cards. There is typically a fee associated with “rolling the prints” as a high degree of skill is required to achieve the necessary quality. Hard cards for Florida Medicaid screening must be supplied by Florida Medicaid because they must include the preprinted ORI# to assure results are returned to Florida Medicaid. The completed cards must be mailed along with a check or money order for $43.25 per card to the Medicaid fiscal agent for processing at: P.O. Box 7070, Tallahassee, FL 32314-7070. Be sure to include your application tracking number or Medicaid ID so the cards may be applied to the correct records. To request a supply of fingerprint cards, contact the fiscal agent at 1-800-289-779, Option 4.
Exemptions to Submission of Fingerprints:
• Individuals who successfully submitted a fingerprint card to Florida Medicaid within the previous twelve months. Attach a list of all persons requesting this exemption including full name and social security number.
• Individuals who successfully completed both a state and national criminal history check (level 1 and level 2) within the previous twelve months through another state agency or department. Attach proof on letterhead from the state department or agency that required the background screening showing all of the following: the individual’s name, social security number, type of screening, date screening was completed, and the results.
• Not-for-Profit Board of Directors – Certain directors of not-for-profit organizations are exempt from background screening for Medicaid under Subsection 409.907 (8)(a), F.S.. Submit a completed Organization Affidavit for Exemption from Medicaid Criminal History Check including a list of the names and social security numbers for any directors requesting this exemption.
Accuracy of statements contained in any exemption request will be subject to verification by Medicaid.
Rejected Fingerprint Cards – Fingerprint cards that are rejected by the FBI will be returned directly to Medicaid Contract Management. Rejected fingerprint cards will be accompanied by a United States Department of Justice Form 1-17 A, Rev 5-2-96, or Form 1-12, Rev 4-28-97, that lists the various reasons a fingerprint card may be rejected. If a fingerprint card is rejected, it will be necessary for the applicant to obtain and submit a new fingerprint card. In order to preclude duplicate payments and to receive a complete FBI record, the applicant must submit the rejected fingerprint card along with the new fingerprint card. Failure to submit a new fingerprint card will result in denial of a pending reenrollment or termination of an active provider.
NOTE: Providers who have had a fingerprint card rejected by the FBI are encouraged to request the law enforcement office supply a letter declaring the prints to be the best obtainable prints when they are re-fingerprinted. If the second card also rejects, the best prints letter will facilitate a manual search of the FBI records in lieu of submitting a third fingerprint card.
IDENTICO LLC has fingerprinted hundreds of physicians from various health care groups as part of their Medicaid Provider Re-enrollment Application. Most fingerprinting had been made on our mobile units. We came to clinics, hospitals, mental health facilities etc. and fingerprinted doctors and provider’s administration.
IDENTICO is FDLE authorized Live Scan vendor serving South Florida. With any question related to Level 2 background checks please call us at (954) 239-8590 or visit us online at www.myidentico.com for more information. We provide Mobile Fingerprinting Services and would come to your facility to fingerprint any size groups. Visit our office located at 3948 Pembroke Road, Suite E, Pembroke Park, FL, 33021 for all fingerprinting, background screening or drug testing needs.
Criminal History Requirements
Criminal history checks are required for both enrolling and re-enrolling Medicaid providers. The following individuals in each provider organization are required to have criminal history checks:
All partners or shareholders with an ownership interest of five percent or more;
All officers (this includes the president, vice president, etc.);
All directors (this is the board of directors);
Financial records custodian;
All billing agents;
All managing employees or affiliated persons, including pharmacy managers;
All individuals authorized to sign on the account used for electronic funds transfer.
If individuals belong to more than one of the above categories, they only require one criminal history check.
Fingerprint Cards Requirements
The criminal history check is conducted based on the applicants’ fingerprints. Applicants are required to submit a copy of their fingerprints on the fingerprint card included in the Florida Medicaid Provider Enrollment Application package.Providers may not use other types of fingerprint cards. Additional cards can be obtained from the fiscal agent or any area Medicaid office.
Payment for Criminal History Check
Provider applicants are required to submit a check made payable to the Agency for Health Care Administration for each fingerprint card submitted with the Enrollment Application.
Criminal History Check Process
The fiscal agent submits the fingerprint cards to FDLE. FDLE conducts a state criminal-background investigation that is called a Level 1 check. FDLE forwards the fingerprints to the FBI for a national criminal-history record check. This is called a Level 2 check.
Rejected Fingerprint Cards
Applicant fingerprint cards that are rejected by the FBI will be returned directly to Medicaid Contract Management. Rejected fingerprint cards will be accompanied by a United States Department of Justice Form 1-17 A, Rev 5-2-96, or Form 1-12, Rev 4-28-97, that lists the various reasons a fingerprint card may be rejected. If a fingerprint card is rejected, it will be necessary for the applicant to submit a new fingerprint card.
In order to preclude duplicate payments and to receive a complete FBI record, the applicant must submit the rejected fingerprint card along with a new fingerprint card to Medicaid. If the second card is rejected and returned by the FBI, additional payment will be required before a third submission. Failure to successfully submit a new fingerprint card may result in denial of a pending enrollment or termination of an active provider.
Exemption For Board Members
Board members of a not-for-profit corporation or organization are exempt from the criminal history check if they meet all of the following criteria:
Serve solely in a voluntary capacity; Do not regularly take part in the day-to-day operational decisions of the corporation or organization; Receive no remuneration from the corporation or organization for their service on the board of directors; Have no financial interest in the corporation or organization; and Have no family members with financial interest in the corporation or organization.
To obtain the exemption, the corporation or organization must submit a NonProfit Organization Volunteer Board Member Affidavit for Exemption from Medicaid Criminal History Checks along with a list of the board members’ names and social security numbers. The Non-Profit Organization Volunteer Board Member Affidavit for Exemption from Medicaid Criminal History Checks is an attachment to the Florida Medicaid Provider Enrollment Application, AHCA Form 2200-0003, F.A.C.
Note: A Non-Profit Organization Volunteer Board Member Affidavit for Exemption from Medicaid Criminal History Checks may be obtained from the Medicaid fiscal agent by calling Provider Enrollment at 800-289-7799 and selecting Option 4 or by downloading the form from the Medicaid fiscal agent’s Web Portal at http://mymedicaid-florida.com. Click on Public Information for Providers, then on Provider Support, and then on Enrollment.
Exemption for Providers
The following providers are exempt from the criminal history check:
Hospitals licensed under Chapter 395, Florida Statutes. (This exemption does not apply to the physicians’ groups, laboratories, pharmacies, or other non-institutional providers that are not licensed under Chapter 395, but are owned by or affiliated with the hospital.)
Nursing facilities, hospices, assisted living facilities, and adult family care homes licensed under Chapter 400, Florida Statutes. (This exemption does not apply to the physicians’ groups, laboratories, pharmacies, durable medical equipment companies or other non-institutional providers not licensed under Chapter 400, but are owned by or affiliated with the nursing facilities, hospices and assisted living facilities.)
Units of local government. (This exemption does not apply to nongovernmental providers and entities that contract with the local government to provide Medicaid services. The contracted entities are responsible for the cost of the criminal history checks for all applicable staff and management.)
Any business that derives more than 50 percent of its revenue from the sale of goods to the final consumer AND either the business or its
controlling parent is required to file a form 10-K or similar statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission OR the business has a net
worth of $50 million or more. (This exception is designed primarily to exclude large pharmaceutical companies. The business must submit its
annual report including audited financial statements or 10-K Form with the exemption request.)
To obtain the exemption, the provider must submit an FDLE Criminal History Check and Fingerprinting Exemption Request. The FDLE Criminal History Check and Fingerprinting Exemption Request is an attachment to the Florida Medicaid Provider Enrollment Application, AHCA Form 2200-0003, which is incorporated by reference in 59G-5.010, F.A.C.
Note: An Exemption Request form may be obtained from the Medicaid fiscal agent by calling Provider Enrollment at 800-289-7799 and selecting Option 4 or by downloading the form from the Medicaid fiscal agent’s Web Portal at http://mymedicaid-florida.com. Click on Public Information for Providers, then on Provider Support, and then on Enrollment.
Exemption for Government Entities with Previous Criminal History Checks
If a government agency or government-owned facility already obtains criminal history checks on its employees, Medicaid does not require another check if the following criteria are met:
The government agency or government-owned facility submits documentation in the form of a letter or official form from the screening agency, which specifies the applicant’s name and dates of the FDLE and FBI criminal history checks;
The previously completed criminal history check is no more than 12 months old as of the date of receipt of the application; and Medicaid reserves the right, on a case-by-case basis, to reject any criminal history check deemed questionable, or to require that a new criminal history check be completed and the appropriate fee submitted to cover payment required by FDLE.
Criminal history check exemption policies for government agencies apply to hospital taxing districts, such as the North Broward Hospital District; state agencies, such as county health departments; and state university system facilities, such as the University of Florida, Shands Teaching Hospital.
Exemption for DCF License
Criminal history checks are not required for medical foster care or private transportation providers who have a Florida Department of Children and Families license.
Exemption for Physicians, RNs and ARNPs
Criminal history checks are not required for physicians, podiatrists, chiropractors, registered nurses, and advanced registered nurse practitioners who are currently licensed through the Florida Department of Health (DOH). If an Alabama or Georgia provider is designated as an in-state provider and has a current Florida DOH license, then a criminal history check is not required. However, if the provider does not have a valid Florida DOH license; then a fingerprint card and a criminal history check is required.
Criminal History Check by Other Agencies
Medicaid accepts criminal history checks conducted by other Florida agencies or departments that have been completed within 12 months of receipt of the application. The provider must submit a letter or official form from the agency that conducted the criminal history check with the Enrollment Application. The letter or form must specify the applicant’s name, Social Security Number, date the criminal history check was completed, the level of the screening and the results. Medicaid Provider Enrollment will review the information and approve or deny
At this time Florida Medicaid Provider Enrollment is managed by third party vendor -HP. The submission of fingerprints for Medicaid Provider Services Level 2 Background Check is allowed by two methods. IDENTICO LLC– is FDLE approved live scan vendor provides physicians’ groups, laboratories, pharmacies and other non-institutional providers that are not licensed under Chapter 395, but are owned by or affiliated with the hospital, with solutions to comply with fingerprinting and background screening requirements of Medicaid Enrollment.
a) We can collect and submit fingerprints electronically on our Live Scan Equipment, at your location or ours. This way fingerprint cards are not required, we provide all necessary prove of individuals transaction records, including the TCN numbers. The cost of such screening is $54.25/person, you don’t have to send $43.25 check to AHCA, and this fee is included in our rate. Traveling fees may apply for mobile fingerprinting appointments.
b) We can capture fingerprints old fashion way on hard-copy fingerprint card. The client has to provide us specifically pre-printed cards made exclusively for Medicaid Provider Services. Such fingerprint cards can be requested from Medicaid Enrollment. The fee is $15/card, you would have to attach $43.25 fee payable to AHCA along with your enrollment application and the card. Traveling fees may apply for mobile fingerprinting appointments. Hard copy method is recommended for individuals with poor quality fingerprints, such prints have a high change to be denied by FBI as illegible.
Please contact us for more information. Visit our official website www.myidentico.com or call us today (954) 239-8590. We have an open door policy at our office located at 3948 Pembroke Road, Suite E, Pembroke Park, FL, 33021, however if you would like to schedule an appointment at certain time, please visit http://www.myidentico.com/hitappoint/ and we’ll serve you first regardless of any wait line.
Mobile unit appointments need to be scheduled by phone only .
The chief compliant officer for one of the Florida’s largest Health Care networks contacted us and requested more information about options on how hospital staff can be fingerprinted as part of Level 2 Background Screening.
Currently the Level 2 Background Clearance is required by AHCA only for hospital staff working within mental health or psychiatric units, hospitals’ CEO and CFO. However, we wanted to provide our potential client with all possible options, especially counting that network includes several children’s hospitals and NICU units.
Dear, South Florida’s Leading Health Care Network.
We wanted to make a sufficiently broad research, including advice from a legal consultant before we responded with set of solutions IDENTICO may offer to your organization which includes numerous hospitals.
The answers were in FAQ format, and we decided to share it will all readers who may find these solutions interesting and appropriate for own healthcare facility.
1. What does Level 2 Background Check refers to?
Level 2 Background Check is the term used in Florida Statutes to convey the method of the criminal history record check and the extent of the data searched. However, the terms may also refer to certain disqualifying offenses if certain statutes are referenced. Level 2 is the term that pertains only to Florida and is not used by the FBI or other states. They are defined in Chapter 435, Florida Statutes (F.S.), but are used elsewhere in statute without definition and appear not to be associated with all of the provisions in Chapter 435, F.S.
Level 2 generally refers to a state and national fingerprint based check and consideration of disqualifying offenses, and applies to those employees designated by law as holding positions of responsibility or trust. Section 435.04, F.S., mandates Level 2 security background investigations are conducted on employees, defined as individuals required by law to be fingerprinted pursuant to Chapter 435, F.S.
It should be noted that both the state and national criminal history databases can be searched for arrests, warrants, and other information pertaining to an individual. However, neither database has the capability of searching for specific offenses within an individual record.
2. Is there a presumption against negligent hiring when an employer conducts a background investigation of a prospective employee?
Yes. Pursuant to Section 768.096, F.S., in the case of an intentional tort, an employer is presumed not to have been negligent in hiring an employee if before hiring the employee, the employer conducted a background investigation of the prospective employee and the information did not reveal any information that reasonably demonstrated unsuitability of the prospective employee for the work to be performed or for general employment. The background investigation must include a criminal background investigation.
The statute specifically provides if an employer requests and obtains from FDLE a state criminal history record check; the employer has satisfied the criminal background investigation requirement for the presumption.
3. What are the requirements for a national criminal history record check?
National Check: The following must be in place, as required by the FBI, to receive a national criminal history record check:
- A statute must exist as a result of a legislative enactment;
- It must require the fingerprinting of applicants who are subject to a national criminal history record check;
- It must expressly (“submit to the FBI”) or by implication (“submit for a national check”) authorize the use of FBI records for the screening of applicants;
- It must identify the specific category(ies) of licensees/employees falling within its authority;
- It must not be against public policy;
- It may not authorize receipt of the criminal history record information by a private entity;
- The recipient of the criminal history record check results must be a governmental entity;
- The entity must sign a User Agreement indicating it will comply with the terms and conditions set forth in rule by the FBI; and
- The fingerprint submission must be first processed through the state repository for a search of its records.
4. What information from a state and national criminal history background check can be disclosed to a private employer?
Pursuant to federal law, regulatory and employing agencies may not share any information obtained from a state and national criminal history record check with a private entity. However, these agencies can indicate whether or not the person is eligible for licensing or employment based on their established criteria. Prior to being granted access to the records, authorized agencies must sign a Criminal Justice or Non-Criminal Justice User Agreement with FDLE agreeing to abide by state and federal law.
5. Can a copy of the FDLE and FBI criminal record be provided to applicants if they are denied employment, licensing, or the opportunity to volunteer?
Yes. Applicants may be shown their own criminal record. A copy may also be provided, however, applicants must be cautioned the record may not be used for any other purpose. Applicants are not allowed to provide a copy of the record to any other organization.
6. Is sealed or expunged information released as part of a criminal history record check?
Sealed information is disseminated only to those agencies authorized by provisions in Section 943.059, F.S. Agencies not specified in the statutes are not provided sealed criminal history information. Expunged criminal history information is not disseminated. However, a notification that a record has been expunged is provided to agencies consistent with provisions in Section 943.0585, F.S. Agencies not specified in the statutes are not provided the expunged notification.
7. If a state and national criminal history record check is conducted, is it necessary to conduct a separate check of the sex offender registry for registered sex offenders?
No. If the state and national fingerprint based criminal his story record check is completed, the agency will be notified of all persons designated as sexual predators or offenders in Florida and in the national system.
8. What is the Civil Workflow Control System (CWCS)?
Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) developed the Civil Workflow Control System (CWCS). CWCS, pronounced “QUICKS”, is an automated system used to receive, process and respond to electronic requests for applicant criminal history record checks. Processing that once took several weeks with fingerprint cards now takes 24 to 72 hours with electronic submissions. CWCS allows different types of applicants to be scanned on a single device and allows input from a variety of livescan devices that adhere to FDLE and FBI standards and requirements.
9. How long does it take to complete a state and national criminal history record check when fingerprints are submitted electronically?
Typically, state and national criminal history record checks are completed within two to three working days of receiving the electronic submission. When a transaction is complete within the CWCS system, the results are posted to Certified Mail, a secure FDLE web mail application. The results will include both state and national criminal history information, as well as any warrants and other information related to the individual.
A result notification email is sent to the email address designated by the customer and will contain a link to this Certified Mail application. This notification will also contain descriptive information specific to the transaction.
10. When can a non-governmental agency receive the results of a state and national background check?
Non-governmental entities are not authorized to receive both state and national criminal history information under statutory licensing and employment provisions. The only time non-governmental entities are eligible to obtain national criminal history information is through the VECHS program.
11. What is the Volunteer and Employee Criminal History System (VECHS) program?
The VECHS program allows for qualified entities to obtain state and national criminal history record checks on individuals working with children, the elderly or the disabled.
12. What is a “qualified entity”? Who can obtain criminal history background checks under the VECHS and Section 943.0542, Florida Statutes?
To qualify for the VECHS Program, an entity must provide some type of “care” or “care placement services” for children, the elderly or the disabled; even if it is only a limited part of the entity’s overall business. Once qualified to participate in the program, an entity may request criminal history information on all current and prospective employees and volunteers, not only those who work with vulnerable persons. A qualified entity may also request criminal history information on employees or volunteers who have or who seek to have unsupervised access to the populations described above.
“Qualified entities” are authorized to obtain criminal history record information as described under the NCPA and related federal guidelines. Under the NCPA and Florida statute, a “qualified entity” is a business or organization, whether public, private, for profit, not-for-profit, or voluntary, that provides care or care placement services, including a business or organization that licenses or certifies others to provide care or care placement services. “Care” means the provision of care, treatment, education, training, instruction, supervision, or recreation to children, the elderly, or individuals with disabilities.
13. How does an organization enroll in the VECHS program?
If an entity meets the criteria of a “qualified entity”, they may download and complete a copy of the VECHS Qualified Entity Application and the VECHS User Agreement at http://www.fdle.state.fl.us/BackgroundChecks or contact the VECHS Unit at (850) 410-VECHS (850-410-8324), to request a copy of each document.
14. Can qualified entities share criminal history information with other qualified entities?
Yes. Criminal history information may be obtained from other VECHS entities, if the employee or volunteer agrees to this on the VECHS Waiver Statement and Agreement form, required to be signed when he/she was fingerprinted, and if the transfer of information is recorded by the other qualified entity on its Dissemination Log. The restrictions on this process are described in the User Agreement. Entities must contact the VECHS Unit at (850) 410-8324 for entity verification before sharing criminal history information.
We believe the FAQ was able to expose all key points of FBI Level 2 Background Screening. Here are the solutions your Health Care Network may decide to implement with IDENTICO’s involvement:
a) Community Mental Health & Crisis Stabilization Units- Level 2 is required by AHCA, FS 435.04 & 394.875 (Adults) and DCF FS 394, 435.04 (mental health facilities and programs providing care for children). Owner / Administrator, Financial Officer, Employees and Contractors Providing Personal Care/Services, Employees that have access to client property, funds or living areas, Directors, Professional Clinicians, Staff Members and Volunteers.
b) Hospital, Surgery Centers and Diagnostic-imaging centers – only CEOs and CFOs are required by Florida Law to go through statutory background screening. Fortunately VECHS program makes FBI Level 2 screening available for all Staff Members. This type of organizations have a high chance to fit under the description of “qualified entity” and establishing VECHS number shall not be very challenging. Each entity will have a separate VECHS “E” (Employee) and “V” (Volunteer) number. As a live-scan vendor IDENTICO will keep that information on file ready for every screening.
c) The cost. If your Health Care Network elects to follow with such screening procedures, and IDENTICO is granted with an opportunity to exclusively offer the screening services, we will put all efforts to make the process as convenient and cost effective as possible. Our mobile units have the capacity to travel to all South Florida locations, no stress or hassle for employees. Our technicians are trained and certified. We possess both liability and property insurance, IDENTICO is liable for any damages which may possibly occur to costly live scan equipment, client facilities or employees during the scope of our services. Keeping potential volume and value of having your Health Network as the client in our mind, we are willing to be highly competitive and flexible with payment option and rates, and will be honored with opportunity to discuss it private meeting.
We assume there may be several questions you may need to be answered, therefore feel free to contact us anytime.
Office: (954) 239-8590
Fax: (954) 367-2256
There are approximately 15 federal laws that permit criminal background checks for civil (i.e., employment and licensing) purposes. Fingerprinting, either through electronic “live scans” or paper and ink “hard cards,” is required for all federal criminal background checks conducted for employment and licensing purposes.
Three of these laws permit nursing facilities to seek criminal background checks on employees and job applicants. Two of the three laws, as amended, authorize nursing facilities to seek FBI criminal background information regardless of whether the state where the facility is located has enacted its own law to permit access to state criminal background records. The third law authorizes nursing facilities to seek federal criminal background checks if the state where the facility is located has enacted a law to authorize access to state criminal background information.
Current procedures under all three federal laws require nursing facilities to channel requests for FBI criminal background information through a designated state agency.
Summaries of each law’s major provisions, advantages and limitations follow.
I. Public Law 105-277
Section 124 of Pub. L. 105-277, enacted in 1998, enables nursing facilities (“NFs”) and home health care agencies (“HHAs”) to request fingerprint-based national criminal history checks by the FBI for employees or job applicants for positions involving direct patient care. The NF or HHA seeking the background check must contact the designated state agency to obtain fingerprint cards and then must send the completed cards along with additional information from the applicant back to the state agency for processing. The state agency then will check its own criminal history record information (CHRI) and will forward the fingerprint cards to the FBI for a check of the FBI records. If any CHRI is found by the state, FBI, or both, the designated state agency will forward it to the NF or HHA for its use in making an employment determination for the applicant.
Pub. L. 105-277 does not require states to enact implementing legislation before NFs and HHAs can request federal criminal background checks of employees or job applicants. This is intended to give all NFs and HHAs nationwide the ability to seek access to the CHRI retained by the FBI. The statute does not specify that a law enforcement agency must take the individual’s fingerprints, therefore it may be permissible for a private company to perform the actual fingerprinting.
II. National Child Protection Act of 1993
The National Child Protection Act of 1993, 42 U.S.C. § 5119a, was amended by the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, Pub. L. 103-322 § 320928, to allow for federal criminal background checks of individuals who work for, own, or operate a business that provides care to the elderly or individuals with disabilities, as well as those who are responsible for the safety and well-being of children. This statute was amended again in 1998 by the Volunteers for Children Act, Pub. L. 105-251 § 222, to allow for federal criminal background checks even when the state does not have an authorizing statute or regulations.
Under this law, “qualified entities” (as designated by the state) may request federal criminal background checks of a “provider” pursuant to specified guidelines. If a state has a statute or regulations that require qualified entities to request such federal background checks, the state procedures must be followed in addition to the federal guidelines. A “qualified entity” is defined as a business or organization, whether public, private, for-profit, not-for-profit, or voluntary that provides (or licenses or certifies others to provide) care or care placement services to children, the elderly, or individuals with disabilities. A “provider” is defined as any person who: is an employee, an applicant for employment, or a volunteer for a qualified entity; is an owner or operator of a qualified entity; or has or may have unsupervised access to a child to whom the qualified entity provides child care. Thus, under this statute, federal criminal background checks may be obtained for owners, operators, employees, volunteers, and job applicants of entities that provide health care services to children, the elderly or disabled. It should be noted that as long as the entity is “qualified,” all of its employees and volunteers are amenable to backgrounding.
Therefore, the scope of employees and/or job applicants for whom criminal background checks can be sought is broader than under Pub. L. 105-277. Under both statutes, the health care employer submits the applicant’s fingerprints and identification information to the designated state agency for processing. However, the NCPA, as amended, requires that the state agency make the determination of the applicant’s fitness for the job, not the employer. Both statutes allow for federal criminal background checks in the absence of state implementing legislation.
III. Public Law 92-544
Passed by Congress in 1972, Pub. L. 92-544 is an appropriations statute that provides funding to the FBI for acquiring, collecting, classifying, preserving, and exchanging identification records with duly authorized officials of the federal government, the states,cities, and other institutions. Under this federal law, health care employers have the ability to obtain federal criminal background checks of employees and job applicants, under certain conditions. First, there must be a state law authorizing health care employers to request such background checks from state and local government officials. Second, the authorizing state statute must be approved by the Attorney General of the United States.
Regulations implementing this law give the Director of the FBI the power and authority of the Attorney General to approve and conduct exchanges of identification records with officials of state and local governments for employment and licensing purposes if authorized by a state statute that has met the approval of the Attorney General. See 28 C.F.R. § 0.85(j). Pub. L. 92-544 and its implementing regulation do not provide guidelines for obtaining federal criminal background checks. Presumably, such guidelines or procedures would be established under the enabling (or other) state statute.
The FBI, consistent with several legal opinions from the U.S. Department of Justice, has established the mandatory elements of a state statute enacted under the auspices of Pub. L. 92-544. The state statute must:
(1) Exist as a result of a legislative enactment;
(2) Require that the criminal background check be fingerprint-based;
(3) Authorize the submission of fingerprints to the State Identification Bureau for forwarding to the FBI for a national criminal history check;
(4) Identify the categories of licensees amenable to backgrounding; and
(5) Provide that an authorized government agency be the recipient of the results of the record check.
Pub. L. 92-544 does not allow federal criminal records to be shared directly with health care employers. Like the NCPA, as amended, Pub. L. 92-544 requires that the state agency make the determination of the applicant’s fitness for the job, not the employer.
Public Law 105-277
The steps for conducting a background check include:
(1) The NF or HHA contacts the state Control Terminal Officer (“CTO”) and/or State Identification Bureau (“SIB”) to request fingerprint cards (which bear a state-of-origin number for tracking purposes);
(2) The NF or HHA gives the fingerprint cards to the applicant;
(3) The applicant goes to the local police department or sheriff’s office to get fingerprinted, which involves:
(a) Providing his/her name, address, and date of birth as they appear on a government document (e.g., a driver’s license);
(b) Certifying that he/she has not been convicted of a crime and is not under indictment for a crime, or describing the crime and facts involved; and
(c) Having his/her fingerprints “rolled” onto the fingerprint cards;
(4) The applicant returns the fingerprint cards and supporting information to the NF or HHA;
(5) The NF or HHA sends the fingerprint cards, supporting information, and FBI fee (currently $24) to the state agency (e.g., CFO, SIB) or other agency designated by the Attorney General no more than 7 business days after the fingerprints were taken;
(6) The FBI conducts a check of its criminal history records (which include records of serious state offenses) and provides the results of the search to the submitting state agency;
(7) The state agency receives the federal results from the FBI and forwards them with the state results to the NF or HHA; and
(8) The NF or HHA makes the determination whether the applicant has a criminal record which would adversely affect the employment decision. In other words, the facility does not get a yes/no answer on whether to hire the individual. The statute provides immunity to the NF or HHA for making this determination based on incomplete or inaccurate information.
*Note: the local law enforcement agency and state agency may charge separate fees. Although the statute is silent as to additional fees, the FBI has concluded that such fingerprinting and processing fees are not limited by federal law.
National Child Protection Act of 1993
The steps for conducting a background check include:
(1) The NF or HHA must seek and obtain from the appropriate state agency “qualified entity” status under 42 U.S.C. § 5119(a)(1).
(2) The qualified entity obtains from the provider (i.e., employee or applicant):
(1) Fingerprints (presumably taken at a local law enforcement agency or by a private company);
(a) A signed statement to the qualified entity that:
(1) Contains the name, address, and date of birth of the provider as it appears on a valid I.D.;
(i) The provider has not been convicted and is not under pending indictment for a crime, or a description of the crime and conviction must be given;
(ii) Notifies the provider that the qualified entity may request a background check;
(iii) Notifies the provider of the provider’s rights to: obtain a copy of any background check report, challenge the accuracy and completeness of any information contained in any report, and obtain a prompt decision on that challenge before a final determination is made by the state agency; and
(iv) Notifies the provider that before the background check is complete, the qualified entity may restrict the provider’s access to a person to whom the qualified entity provides care;
(3) The qualified entity submits the background check request, provider’s finger-prints and supporting documentation to the state agency designated to report, receive, or disseminate background check information (an “authorized agency”);
(4) The authorized agency will review state records and also transmit the fingerprints to the FBI for a national check (which will be returned to the state). The state will make a reasonable effort to provide a consolidated response to the request within 15 days;
(5) The authorized agency makes a determination whether the provider has been convicted of, or is under indictment for, a crime that bears upon the provider’s fitness to be responsible for the safety and well-being of children, the elderly, or individuals with disabilities, and conveys that determination to the qualified entity. The qualified entity then notifies the provider of the determination.
We have elected to post this information for your consideration, just to outline that Florida House Bill 7069 effective August 1,2010 regarding Level 2 background screening standards for AHCA, DCF, APD, DOH and DOEA was just a one step above made by Florida legislators to match Public Law 92-544. The primary reason is to increase the quality and security level of services provided to our elderly, minor, disabled and vulnerable population.
If the Nursing or Health Care facility where you work or manage is located in Miami, Broward, Palm Beach or Martin counties, please call IDENTICO LLC today, for in office or mobile live scan fingerprinting appointment. IDENTICO is FDLE approved Live Scan vendor, and we use electronic fingerprinting solutions in transmitting your fingerprints for FBI Level 2 Background Check and regulatory state agency will get the results of screening in as less as 72 hours.
Visit our official website www.myidentico.com or call us today (954) 239-8590. We have an open door policy at our office located at 3948 Pembroke Road, Suite E, Pembroke Park, FL, 33021, however if you would like to schedule an appointment at certain time, please visit http://www.myidentico.com/hitappoint/ and we’ll serve you first regardless of any wait line.