What Does a Background Check After Offer Letter Mean?
Being asked to undergo a background check after receiving a job offer is standard practice, if the check is passed the job only needs to be accepted by the individual.
Table of Contents
Many individuals that are trying to get jobs in education may be surprised that their education background check failed.
Although this can be a major setback, in many cases it will simply be because a mistake was made.
In this situation, knowing how to fix a teaching background check and resubmit the information can help individuals get to the next stage in the hiring process as soon as possible. It can also help to know the federal employment background check disqualifiers, and then run a background check on yourself first to find out if you have any offenses that need addressed.
This complete guide outlines how to restore a teaching certification in the event that the education background check failed.
The education background check is more thorough than the average background check that many individuals will be used to for other jobs.
Unlike a typical pre-employment background check that is performed by a private company, the background check for jobs in education is performed by government agencies. So, the process for searching how do you know if you failed a employer background check should be very similar to other public employment or a government job background check.
In order to be a teacher, all individuals must meet the requirements set by the federal government to work in child care.1 One of these requirements is to pass a federal background check that is performed by the FBI and oftentimes checked again by the state police or a similar agency.2
The teacher background check is extremely thorough due to its use of a fingerprint-based check, as opposed to the name-based searches that most people will be used to.
Individuals can fail a teacher background check for many different reasons. Most commonly it will be an issue with the individual’s criminal history. Unlike jobs in the private sector, schools can not create their own list of disqualifying offenses for background checks and instead rely on those dictated by state and federal law.
Any disqualifying offense committed at any time will cause the background check to be failed.
It is also important to keep in mind that since the background check is performed by the FBI, state laws will not affect what is uncovered during the criminal history check. For example, individuals living in a 7-year state may have had past convictions sealed, however, the FBI will be able to view these records regardless and what is found will come into play. This is because federal checks are only subject to laws dictated by the FCRA and are able to essentially ignore state laws regarding background checks and criminal records.4
Individuals who fail a teacher background check for any reason will be notified by the board in charge of hiring teachers. If the problem is with the background check, the individual must be notified in writing of what specific elements of the check resulted in the check being failed.
The best thing to do if your education background check failed is to file an appeal. This can be done through the state teachers association in most cases.
Keep in mind that appealing has a low chance of success unless the failure was the result of incorrect information or a mistake of some kind. Information on the teaching background check and the appeals process in each state can be found using the list below.
|Education Background Check in All 50 States||Educator Background Check Requirements and Information|
|Education Background Check in Alabama||Alabama DOE Applicant Processing Services|
|Education Background Check in Alaska||Fingerprint Card/Employment Verification|
|Education Background Check in Arizona||Educator Certification: Fingerprint Clearance Card (IVP)|
|Education Background Check in Arkansas||Arkansas Background Check Process|
|Education Background Check in California||California Fingerprint Information|
|Education Background Check in Colorado||Colorado Fingerprint Requirements|
|Education Background Check in Connecticut||School Employees Criminal Record Check|
|Education Background Check in Delaware||Criminal Background Check for Public School Related Employment|
|Education Background Check in Florida||Fingerprint Processing Instructions|
|Education Background Check in Georgia||Georgia Criminal Background Check System (GCHEXS)|
|Education Background Check in Hawaii||Hawaii Preparation Program Affiliation Agreement (AA)|
|Education Background Check in Idaho||Idaho Background Investigation Check|
|Education Background Check in Illinois||Illinois Criminal History Records Checks|
|Education Background Check in Indiana||Indiana PLA Criminal Background Check Instructions|
|Education Background Check in Iowa||Iowa Board of Educational Examiners Background Checks|
|Education Background Check in Kansas||Kansas Teacher Licensure (TL)|
|Education Background Check in Kentucky||Applying for a New Certification in Kentucky|
|Education Background Check in Louisiana||Louisiana Department of Education’s Educator Certification Portal|
|Education Background Check in Maine||Maine Child Care Background Check Information (come back)|
|Education Background Check in Maryland||Maryland Child Care Background Check Information|
|Education Background Check in Massachusetts||Background Checks: Criminal History Record Information (CHRI)|
|Education Background Check in Michigan||Revised School Code Criminal History Check|
|Education Background Check in Minnesota||Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension Background Checks|
|Education Background Check in Mississippi||Mississippi Criminal History Record Checks|
|Education Background Check in Missouri||Fingerprinting Background Check for Educator Certification|
|Education Background Check in Montana||Montana Criminal History Background Check|
|Education Background Check in Nebraska||Nebraska Child Care Background Check Information|
|Education Background Check in Nevada||Nevada Department of Education Background Process|
|Education Background Check in New Hampshire||New Hampshire School Employee and Designated School Volunteer Criminal History Records Check|
|Education Background Check in New Jersey||New Jersey Department of Education Criminal History Record Check|
|Education Background Check in New Mexico||New Mexico Background Check Process|
|Education Background Check in New York||New York Criminal History Background Checks for School Employees|
|Education Background Check in North Carolina||North Carolina DHHS Criminal Background Checks|
|Education Background Check in North Dakota||North Dakota ESPB Background Checks|
|Education Background Check in Ohio||Ohio Child Department of Education Background Check FAQs|
|Education Background Check in Oklahoma||Background Checks for School Employment|
|Education Background Check in Oregon||Oregon Teacher Standards and Practices Commission|
|Education Background Check in Pennsylvania||Pennsylvania Child Care Background Check Information (come back)|
|Education Background Check in Rhode Island||Rhode Island Background Check Guide|
|Education Background Check in South Carolina||South Carolina Criminal Background Check: Register|
|Education Background Check South Dakota||South Dakota Background Check Requirements|
|Education Background Check in Tennessee||Tennessee Child Care Background Check Information (go back)|
|Education Background Check in Texas||Texas National Criminal History Checks|
|Education Background Check in Utah||Utah Fingerprinting, Background Check, and Educator Ethics Review|
|Education Background Check in Vermont||Vermont Child Care Background Check Information (go back)|
|Education Background Check in Virginia||Code of Virginia Education Fingerprinting Required on Teachers, Officers and Employees|
|Education Background Check in Washington||Washington Department of Children, Youth, & Families Background Check Requirements|
|Education Background Check in West Virginia||West Virginia Department of Education Background Check|
|Education Background Check in Wisconsin||Wisconsin Child Care Background Check Information|
|Education Background Check in Wyoming||Wyoming Professional Teaching Standards Board PTSB Application Tip|
A teacher background check consists of checks with both the state agency in charge of background checks, usually the state police or a similar agency and a federal criminal history check through the FBI.
These checks ensure that previously convicted criminals, particularly those who’ve committed crimes against children, are not allowed to hold teaching certifications in the state.
The exact checks that must be performed at a minimum are as follows:
Keep in mind that the above checks only cover the federal requirements for teachers and do not include the various checks that certain states may require in addition to the above.
The most common way for an individual to have an education background check failed is to be dishonest about some aspect of the check.
Besides specific crimes being considered automatic disqualifiers, individuals who lied about past crimes will also be disqualified.
This can be frustrating for many individuals, especially because even if the crime is not a disqualifier in itself, failure to mention a past conviction is cause for an automatic fail.
There are other ways to fail an education background check, most notably including incorrect information even if by accident. Something as simple as entering the wrong social security number can cause an automatic fail as the FBI will not be able to properly verify the individual’s identity.
Although this is not an ideal situation, not all hope is lost if this happens. Occurrences like these are the precise reason why appeals exist for education background checks. Still, it is important to verify all information possible before submitting the background check as the appeals process can take a significant amount of time to complete, even for simple mistakes.
Individuals can have an education background check failed due to a misdemeanor on their record. Although not all misdemeanors are considered disqualifying offenses, specific kinds of misdemeanors will result in an automatic fail. Most notably, most violent misdemeanors are disqualifiers as well as any crimes of a sexual nature or crimes involving children.
Individuals will always know if they passed a background check or not. This is because the FCRA requires that anyone who fails a background check be notified in writing of the specific reason for the failure. If the background check was failed, individuals should receive a letter in the mail explaining the circumstances as well as steps on how to appeal the decision.
If there is no response at all, individuals should contact where they applied an inquiry as it is likely the result of a miscommunication such as a phone number or address being incorrect.
Any individual who is nervous about background check, especially those undergoing education background check should conduct a background check on themselves first. Not only is this easy and quick to perform, but it will allow individuals to see the exact same information as the background check service or government agency.
By knowing what to expect individuals can avoid silly mistakes like forgetting to disclose certain crimes. More notably, this will allow individuals to fix any potential mistakes. Although rare, mistakes on background checks do happen and can drastically affect an individual’s chances of getting a job.
Individuals can use the search bar at the top of this page to perform a public records search on themselves for free. Other options include hiring a private background check service for a fee or undergoing an FBI background check, which is the most thorough and expensive option.
Most individuals that have a failed background check after job offer can be confused. This is because background checks are paid for by the company, so most employers will not bother performing a background check unless they intend to hire the individual.
When this happens, the appeals process is usually the only chance of still getting hired. The appeals process varies but will usually be done directly with the employer.
In the case of an education background check failed, a successful appeal is usually only possible if information was incorrect. This is because there are strict laws regarding hiring teachers that have been convicted of certain crimes, while private employers may be able to make an exception, the same can not be said for teachers.
Many employers will offer an individual a job before the background check has been completed. When this happens the job offer is usually dependent on the results of the background check. If the background check is failed the job offer is rescinded automatically.
Many people waiting on the results wonder how long does a background check take for a government job? The answer to that depends on your record and how easily the information can be accessed, but it is usually around 2-4 weeks.
Disputing a failed background check is a fairly common practice and one that is required by law to be available to individuals who have undergone a background check.
The exact steps will vary based on who performed the check but in general the first step is to contact the agency that performed the check. In the case of an education background check failed, the letter that indicates the check is failed will also include the basic steps to appeal.
Very few states expressly prohibit pre-offer background checks. However, very few companies will perform this practice due to the potential legal issues it may cause.
Conducting a background check before the individual is offered a job can put the employer in a position that leaves them open to discrimination law suits. Mainly, discrimination against an individual due to their criminal history.
In some cases, a failed background check may be the result of a mistaken identity. In this case, it is important to know how to fix your background check mistake as soon as possible. This will usually entail contacting the background check agency and providing identity verification, often with a photo ID and a social security number.
The background check is usually the last step in the hiring process, so very little will happen after. In most cases the job offer will have been extended before the background check so the only thing left to do is accept the job and begin training.
When it comes to teaching background checks the steps immediately following a successful check will vary based on the state and school district.
Education background checks can be extremely stressful due to how hard individuals must work to become educators. Finding out an education background check failed can be extremely frustrating so individuals should always first perform a check on themselves to avoid any surprises.
Being asked to undergo a background check after receiving a job offer is standard practice, if the check is passed the job only needs to be accepted by the individual.
Any incorrect information on a background check should be corrected immediately with the agency that performed the check.
Fixing a minor discrepancy in a background check is fairly simple and will usually involve contacting the agency that performed the check and explaining the situation and what needs to be fixed.
Most companies will not hire an individual until a background check has been completed. However, individuals can be fired for committing a crime that would be a disqualifier on a background check if they committed the crime after being hired.
There should always be a response after a background check as it is required by law. If there is no response, reach out to the employer to see if there is a communication issue.
Criminal background checks can be disputed with the company that performed the check.
Bad background checks can be cleared with the company that performed it, individuals with mistakes on their check should contact the company as soon as possible.
The hiring will be dependent on the results of the check in most cases. Very few employers will bother performing a background check on an individual that they do not plan on hiring.
Incorrect information should be fixed as soon as possible by contacting the agency that conducted the background check.
1Office of Child Care. (2020, May 16). Child Care Background Check. Background Check – What You Need To Know. Retrieved September 29, 2022, from <https://childcare.gov/consumer-education/background-checks-what-you-need-to-know>
2Federal Bureau of Investigation. (2016, May 3). Identity History Summary Checks. Identity History Summary Checks (Rap Sheets). Retrieved September 29, 2022, from <https://www.fbi.gov/how-we-can-help-you/need-an-fbi-service-or-more-information/identity-history-summary-checks>
3Child Care Technical Assistance Network. (2016). Criminal Background Checks – Disqualifying Crimes. CCDF Fundamentals – Disqualifying Crimes. Retrieved September 29, 2022, from <https://childcareta.acf.hhs.gov/ccdf-fundamentals/disqualifying-crimes>
4Federal Trade Commission. (2013, July 19). FTC Fair Credit Reporting Act. Fair Credit Reporting Act. Retrieved September 29, 2022, from <https://www.ftc.gov/legal-library/browse/statutes/fair-credit-reporting-act>
5Federal Bureau of Investigation. (2016, June 3). Firearm-Related Challenge (Appeal) and Voluntary Appeal File (VAF). National Background Check System – Appeals. Retrieved September 29, 2022, from <https://www.fbi.gov/how-we-can-help-you/need-an-fbi-service-or-more-information/nics/national-instant-criminal-background-check-system-nics-appeals-vaf>