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Background Checks

Tufts University is committed to providing a safe working and learning environment for its employees, students, and visitors. The purpose of this communication is to remind the University community of the campus Background Check Policy and to provide information regarding the background check process.  

How Do I Request a Background Check?

The process to request background checks for involves the following steps:

  1. The manager submits a request for a background check by emailing
  2. Human Resources sends an electronic form to collect the necessary contact information of the individuals who will be subject to the background check.  
  3. Human Resources determines what type(s) of background checks are required or permitted based on the role.
  4. The background check vendor contacts the individual(s) by email to let them know that it is conducting a background check, and provides a secure Authorization Form where the employee/volunteer can provide protected information for purposes of completing the background check.
  5. The vendor conducts the background check(s).
  6. If the background check indicates that the individual is suitable for assignment, Human Resources notifies the initiating manager.
  7. If, however, the background check returns a questionable detail, the vendor will alert Human Resources and the individual will receive follow-up communications. If the individual does not dispute the finding, Human Resources will consult with the initiating manager to determine the individual’s suitability for the assignment. 

Who Covers the Cost of Background Checks?

Human Resources covers the cost of background checks for any position or assignment related to the University’s core business. Human Resources will also conduct background checks as needed for its affiliated clinics, workshops, or summer sessions which are using Tufts facilities. In those instances, the workshop, clinic or summer session will be responsible for bearing the cost of the background check.

What's in a Background Check?

Different roles and responsibilities require different levels of screening. A background check may include:

  1. Social Security Identity Confirmation
  2. Educational Verification
  3. Driver’s License Check
  4. Commercial Driver’s License Check
  5. Massachusetts Criminal Background Check
  6. United States Criminal Search
  7. United States Offender Search (Sexual Offender Database) 

How and When Should I Request this Service from Human Resources?

Many background checks on staff positions are routinely conducted by Human Resources as part of the hiring process—no further action is required of the unit for these.
However, units that use student workers, volunteers, or make hires outside of the hiring process administered by Human Resources should contact Human Resources for required background checks at least five business days before the individual’s start date. Please plan for even more processing time during peak processing times during the year or depending upon the type of background check that will be required.  Additionally, units should request background checks of any staff, faculty, student, or affiliated person who will have unsupervised access to minors.

Who Has Access to the Results of a Background Check?

Human Resources will contact the individual and the individual’s hiring manager if an issue is discovered during a background check which calls into question the appropriateness of the person for assignment. This information will only be shared with those who have a need to know the information to carry out their job responsibilities.

Where Can I Find the Tufts Policy on Background Checks?

The Background Check Policy is located in Employee Policies & Procedures. The Background Check Procedure is attached to this communication. Human Resources works in conjunction with the Office of University Council to maintain the policy and procedures about background checks.

Where Can I Find More Information?

If you have questions about how to request a background check or the process itself, please email in Human Resources.