Background Check


On August 3, 2015, the new CSU Background Check Policy (HR 2015-08) went into effect, superseding all previously issued background check policy requirements at all CSU campuses. Effective August 3, 2015, all new hires and current employees, in specific instances, are required to undergo background checks.  

Notable changes from previous practice includes requiring background checks for current employees when voluntarily moving into a position for which a check is required by law and/or is a sensitive position. Students, faculty (both tenured/probationary and temporary) volunteers, auxiliary employees, consultants, emergency hires, independent contractors and third-party vendors are subject to the new policy. 

All final candidates MUST complete background checks immediately following the offer of employment by SFSU.  A limited exception may be made for temporary faculty in the event that completion of the background check will negatively impact the offering of classes.

Accurate Background is the vendor selected to conduct background checks for the University.  

Per the policy, background checks shall be conducted in the following circumstances:

  • All new hires, which include but not limited to: temporary, probationary, intermittent, at- will, emergency hire, casual worker, special consultant, and faculty (tenure-track, temporary).
  • Rehires who have not had a background check within the past 12 months
  • Current employees voluntarily moving to new positions with access to sensitive information or when required by law  
  • Volunteers, special consultants, students, and independent contractors who will have access to sensitive information or will work with minors.

Required checks for all positions:

  • Employment verification
  • Education verification
  • Reference checks (conducted by department)
  • National criminal register checks 

In addition to the required background check categories, other checks may include the following:

  • Professional License 
  • Motor vehicle report
  • Credit report (only when job related/specific)
  • LiveScan (fingerprinting)

LiveScan Background Check (Fingerprinting)

Positions that will ALSO be subject to a fingerprint check include:

  • Positions working with minors
  • Positions that handle cash
  • All other positions which require fingerprint checks by law
  • All University Police Department Positions

The department is responsible for identifying their Background Check Coordinator and back-up(s), depending on the needs of the department.  Once identified, the department will provide the names and e-mails to Talent Management & Compensation Solutions.  The Coordinator will serve as the contact for University Human Resources for any issues or questions regarding the recruitment/hiring process.  The Department Background Check Coordinator will have access to the Accurate Background website in order to initiate background checks.  

**** After the initial request submitted by each department, the overall process management and resolution will remain with the University’ appointed Background Administrator. ****

  •  The Department Background Check Coordinator will initiate a background check for the following: faculty, casual workers, volunteers, EHIREs, Special Consultants, Independent Contractors, students and Unit 11 (ISAs, GAs, & GTAs)
  • The Department Background Check Coordinator in the hiring department will request a background check through the Accurate Background website. The “Order For” will be in the name of his/her designated Talent Management Business Partner. 
  • The Department Coordinator will select the appropriate package to order from the following drop down menu:  New Employee (this includes E-HIRES, Special Consultants and current employees moving to different classifications) Student, Independent Contractor or Volunteer.
  • Once the Department Coordinator initiates the background check, Accurate Background will e-mail the candidate with instructions to begin the background check process.
  • The candidate must log into the system and input the necessary information. 
  • Accurate Background will conduct the required background check


  • The candidate has 10 days to respond.  If the candidate fails to respond, Accurate Background will automatically cancel the request and TMCS would consult with the department on next steps.
  • If adverse results are returned, TMCS will inform the department and the Background Check Review Committee will make the final approval decision. TMCS will notify the department of the outcome of the review (the outcome notification will only inform the department to move forward with the hire or not. No specific details will be provided to the department).
  • If adverse results are returned, the candidate may dispute the process using Accurate Background. The candidate would be notified within five days and then have an additional five days to appeal the finding. The Background Check Committee will then consider the appeal prior to making a final decision. 
  • If the University uses LiveScan for a criminal check, HR (for staff) or Department Coordinator (for faculty, casual workers, volunteers, EHIREs, Special Consultants, Independent Contractors, students and Unit 11 (ISAs, GAs, & GTAs) will provide a notice to the candidate/employee of the LiveScan check.  

The Review Committee will be responsible for reviewing the results of an adverse or negative result that may disqualify a candidate from employment.  

Job descriptions, advertisement, notices and postings for positions that require background checks must state the following: 

This position requires the successful completion of a background check (including a criminal records check). Failure to satisfactorily complete the background check may affect the application status of the candidate(s) or continued employment of current SFSU employees who apply for the position.

Employment Services is responsible to provide all staff hires with offer letters.

The background check will be initiated once the candidate accepts the job offer. The offer letter will state the following: 

The appointment and your acceptance of this position is with the understanding that your appointment is contingent upon a successful background check.

Faculty Offer Letters (Tenure Track & Temporary) 

Faculty offers are made by the department or colleges. The offer letter will state the following:

The offer is contingent upon the successful completion of a background check for all new faculty or those who have had a break in service for more than 12 months. The University reserves the right to end your employment should the results of the background check not be successful. 


Department Background Check Coordinators who need assistance with a log-in account, please contact Accurate Background at 1-800-216-8024.   

For assistance regarding the Background Check Policy or University process, please contact Michael Luong, Background Check Administrator at (415) 405-3661 or email me directly at

Administration & Finance currently is covering the cost for Accurate Background services for the campus community with the exception of auxiliaries.  

The cost of LiveScan background checks will be incurred by the hiring departments as per past practice.  

• Faculty, staff, casual workers, volunteers, EHIREs, Special Consultants, Independent Contractors the cost is $69.00

• Student employees the cost is $59.00


Human Resources is the designated custodian of records for San Francisco State University for the majority of the background checks.