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Index > Operations Policies > Background Screening Policy

Background Screening Policy


It is RISD’s goal to provide a safe environment for our students, faculty, and staff, and children under our supervision. Therefore, background checks are required on all new hires as a condition of employment with RISD.


Background checks will be conducted on all newly hired staff in regular and temporary positions and full-time faculty after a conditional offer of employment is made, but before the first day of employment. Background checks are required for newly hired part-time and Continuing Education (CE) faculty at the time of a new contract if no check has been completed since the inception of this policy. Additionally, background checks are required for anyone with the possibility of care, supervision, guidance or control of minors under RISD’s supervision.

Current employees transferring into positions with specific background screening requirements, taking on additional responsibilities, or otherwise designated by RISD may also be subject to background checks. For example:

  • A current employee receiving a conditional offer of employment as a Public Safety Officer will be required to complete the background screen elements required for that position.
  • A current employee electing to take on an additional assignment to teach in CE’s Young Artist Program where they will have responsibility for the care and safety of minors is required to complete a background check if no check has been completed previously.

Current employees have an ongoing obligation to inform RISD (your supervisor, Dean/Department Head, Human Resources or General Counsel) of any criminal conviction while employed by RISD.

Screening Requirements

All positions require a criminal background check. Additional post-offer, pre-employment screening beyond the criminal background screen is required for certain positions designated by RISD depending on the specific requirements of the position. These additional screening types may include, but are not limited to, a motor vehicle records check, educational verification, professional credentials verification, physical and/or psychological examination, credit check, and/or drug screen.

Additional screening may apply if the position has been identified by RISD as having duties or responsibilities which include a risk of physical harm or the potential for financial loss and/or other harm to the college. Some of the criteria used in determining if a role, position or current employee requires additional screening include:

  • Assuming responsibility with the possibility of care, supervision, guidance, control or safety of minors under RISD’s supervision
  • direct responsibility for managing funds on behalf of the college
  • responsibility for operating vehicles or equipment/machinery that could cause injury or harm to self or others
  • requirement for a certificate, professional license, or other accreditation.

Use of Screening Results

A negative background check will not automatically or necessarily bar employment. Negative screening results will be reviewed on a case by case basis with consideration given to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) suggested factors to consider when assessing criminal records. RISD may engage a third-party provider to conduct background screening. RISD will comply with the requirements of the Fair Credit Reporting Act and the EEOC guidance on “Consideration of Arrest and Conviction Records in Employment Decisions under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964” and applicable state laws. In the event that a background screen conducted by a third party contains information that results in an adverse decision, the applicant will be notified in writing and be given a copy of the report and a summary of their rights prior to taking any adverse action.

If a background check is required for an existing employee taking on additional responsibilities, the results will be viewed in light of the overall employment relationship with the College.

For example, a current employee who has not previously had a background check in connection with their employment at RISD is contracted to teach in Continuing Education’s Young Artist program. As a condition of teaching in that program, the employee must successfully meet the background check requirements of that position. The results of the check reveal a conviction record that is incompatible with a position involving the possibility of care, supervision, guidance or control of minors. RISD will further review the results of the background check as it relates to the employee’s primary position and may take action in accordance with the EEOC’s guidance and applicable state laws.

Revision history

This policy was last reviewed/modified on: 10/9/2019

Next scheduled review: 10/9/2022


Issuing Office

Human Resources

Responsible Officer

Vice President for Human Resources

Individuals/offices required for review and changes

Director of Employment