Background Check Process

All employment offers to final candidates in faculty, administrative faculty, classified, wage, and adjunct searches are contingent upon the successful completion of the University’s national and state background check.  Volunteers and others in designated roles must have a successful background check completion.  Please see the University of Mary Washington’s Background Check Policy and Procedures.

Please follow the steps outlined below to bring the Background Check process to completion quickly and efficiently.


1.  State Police Background Check

The State Police Background Check is initiated during the candidates’ visits to campus for the interview.  Instructions are provided both on this page and in information about the Interview process.

To properly complete the State Police check for the hiring process, we ask the following:

  • Confirm the names, interview dates and times for your on- campus interviewees with the Recruitment office via email at jobs@umw.edu.
  • On the day of the interview, bring each interviewee to the Office of Human Resources to complete the background check authorization in front of the Recruitment Office notary.  It is recommended that you schedule enough time prior to each interview to have the interviewee escorted to the Recruitment office.  The authorization will take approximately 5 minutes.
  • The background check will be completed on the selected finalist only, as you will indicate in your online background check request after your conditional offer of employment has been accepted.  All other candidate authorizations will remain secured and will then be destroyed.

Additionally, all volunteers and current employees who are required to complete background checks must visit the Office of Human Resources to complete the state background check authorization in the presence of a notary prior to assuming volunteer roles and covered responsibilities.

Adjunct Faculty will receive the Background Check Authorization form from the Department Chair or Dean’s office after the conditional offer is made.  Instructions will be provided for returning the form.

As a reminder, all conviction information received from a background check is reviewed by HR and shared by our office with the appropriate Cabinet member, as needed, to finalize a hiring action.


2.  Sample Verbal Conditional Offer

Once the interviews have been completed and you have

  • Identified the final candidate,
  • Documented reference checks with the three most recent employers,
  • Reviewed the state application to ensure accuracy of information,
  • Submitted all search documentation to the Recruitment Manager, and
  • Received approval of the hire, start date, and salary from the Recruitment Manager,

you (the Hiring Manager) may make a conditional offer to the selected candidate.  Hiring Managers must clearly state that the offer is conditional.

“I am pleased to extend a conditional offer of employment as (position) in the Department of ___ at the salary or hourly rate of _____. Your projected start date will be _____________.

This offer will become final upon the timely and successful completion of the required background checks.

The required background check includes two reviews, one at the national level and one at the state level (Virginia). You authorized the state level review when you visited campus for your interview. For the national review you will receive an email from Truescreen, the investigating agency, with instructions to initiate your report. Follow the instructions carefully. The authorization will require only a few minutes of your time.  If you don’t receive an email from Truescreen, please check your SPAM or JUNK folder.

You must complete this authorization within 48 hours of receipt of the email from Truescreen. Failure to do so may result in the withdrawal of this offer.

Please contact the Office of Human Resources at (540) 654-1211 if you have any questions or concerns.”

You should also:

  1. Confirm with the candidate his or her email address and name spelling as they appear on the application.
  2. Confirm with the Recruitment Manager that the conditional offer has been accepted and that the information as it appears on the application is correct.

3.  Submit the UMW Background Check Form

Once you receive acceptance of the conditional offer, submit the UMW Background Check Form.


4.  HR Initiates the Background Check

Once the Recruitment Manager receives:

  • The hiring manager’s confirmation of the conditional offer and acceptance,
  • The State Police Criminal History Record Name Search Request, and
  • The UMW Background Check Form,

the Recruitment Manager will initiate the background search process with TrueScreen, the investigating agency and the State Police.

TrueScreen will contact the candidate directly by email with login instructions to authorize the background check. Once authorized by the candidate, the investigation starts immediately, is conducted by a third party vendor, and may take up to 10 days to complete. This time varies depending on how quickly the candidate responds to the check, and the residential and employment history of the candidate.

Hiring supervisors will be contacted concerning the outcome, and if additional follow-up is required.

Special Circumstances

If the candidate does not have an email address, the hiring supervisor should ask if there is an email address that the candidate is comfortable using temporarily. The hiring supervisor may also recommend that the candidate create an email address through a free email service for this process.

If the candidate will need special assistance to complete this process, please contact the Recruitment Manager.

Hiring supervisors should contact the Recruitment Manager with any questions about this process.

Adverse Results

Please see the policy and procedures for the University’s response if conviction information is reported through the background check. If conviction history is reported in the background check, HR will handle all communications with the candidate.