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​Act 4: Impact on Background Check Renewal Period & Process

On Feb. 16, 2016, Governor Tom Wolf signed into law Act 4, which included important amendments to Section 111 of the School Code concerning background checks.

Prior to Act 4 of 2016, background checks more than 12 months old could not be used for prospective school staff and service providers; however, Act 153 of 2015 amending the Child Protective Services Law (CPSL) required Section 111 checks be renewed every 60 months. The passing of Act 4 aligns the School Code with the new CPSL requirement and permits any of the three required background checks to be used by potential applicants for up to 5 years (i.e., 60 months).

Currently, background check results are stored in the PA Safe Check Systems for five years.  School administrators are required to login to their PA Safe Check account to review applicant’s results.  Applicants are responsible for providing the UEID #’s to the school administrators.

Under the current PA Safe Check system, school administrators will have the ability to review CHRI reports from IDEMIA for up to five years.  However, if an applicant has an unofficial copy of the CHRI Report from Cogent, school administrators are permitted to accept an applicant’s paper copy of Criminal History Record Information (CHRI) reports that are between one and five years old.

In addition to the unofficial CHRI report, an applicant must complete and submit to a prospective employer the PDE Form 6004 (PDF), required by Section 111(j)(1) of the School Code, indicating that the applicant has not been disqualified from employment.