The University of Colorado is committed to maintaining a safe and productive educational, clinical, research, and employment environment. One of the mechanisms we use to promote this environment is the Boulder Campus Background Check Policy.

All offers of employment and continued employment are contingent upon a satisfactory Background Check. Employment shall not be effective until Human Resources has notified the department that the Applicant has satisfactorily completed the Background Check.


Prior to hire, transfer, promotion, voluntary demotion or other change in position, a background check may be required in accordance with the Boulder Campus Background Check Policy. The University of Colorado works with HireRight, a third party vendor, to conduct background screenings. If you have questions about HireRight, please refer to the HireRight Privacy Policy.

 Ordering a Background Check

Staff, Faculty and Research Faculty

Background checks are initiated by Human Resources when a final candidate is identified and the offer extended.

Student Employees, Temporary Aids, Temporary Faculty and Volunteers

The following is a summary of the procedures guide for ordering a background check:

1. Submit the Final Applicant’s:

  • full name
  • job title and position number (if applicable)
  • email address
  • type(s) of check(s) being requested

to Human Resources at Please include the type of appointment the Final Applicant is being considered for (classified staff, university staff, faculty, research faculty, temporary employee, student employee, volunteer, etc.) If the appointment is for a student employee, please include a brief description of how the appointment is security-sensitive. If the check is for a volunteer, please include a brief description of the vulnerable population the volunteer will be working with per the requirements of the campus background check policy.

2. Promptly notify the Final Applicant that s/he will receive an electronic communication from HireRight Customer Support requesting that s/he submit a background disclosure and authorization form online. 

3. Ensure appropriate background checks have been completed prior to entering data for new appointments into HCM. In exceptional circumstances, and in consultation with Human Resources, the appointing authority may hire a temporary employee prior to the completion of the background check investigation.

 Frequently Asked Questions

Background checks are valid for three years. If in that time period the employee is promoted, rehired, transferred, or reinstated the background check remains valid.

No. Background checks are valid for three years, but are only initiated upon hire and when there is a job status change, e.g. upon promotion, transfer, rehire or reinstatement. For example, if an individual were promoted twice in three years, only one background check would be needed during that time frame for the multiple job appointments. If an individual has been in the same position for seven years, they would not require a background check at the three year mark. They would only require a background check upon promotion or transfer if the last check was conducted more than three years ago.

 For staff, faculty and research faculty hires posted within CU Boulder Jobs, HR will initiate the background check upon verbal acceptance by the candidate. For all other hires, once a final candidate has been identified, send an email to to begin the background check process. Please include the information listed below. By providing this information HR will be able to determine if a background check is needed and the type of check(s) to be conducted. Please provide the following information by email to
  • Applicant's FULL NAME
  • JOB TITLE and POSITION NUMBER, if applicable
  • Applicant's EMAIL ADDRESS

The easiest reference for determining whether a position requires a motor vehicle or financial check is to review Appendix A of the background check policy. Appendix A provides specific examples of positions with driving responsibilities and also outlines those positions requiring a financial history check. If you remain unsure, please contact a Position Management Consultant in Human Resources.

Please allow 5-7 business days from the time that the applicant responds to the e-mail invitation OR from the time HR receives authorization to conduct the background check from the applicant. It is usually best to allow at least 2 weeks for the check when deciding upon a hire date.

VERY. Being a large, international entity, HireRight has gone to great lengths to create the safest environment for sensitive data. Refer to the HireRight Privacy Policy for more information

These workers are expected to have successfully completed a background check prior to being allowed to work on campus. It is the responsibility of the vendor to conduct the background check for their employees before sending a worker to campus.

First, make sure they are aware that the email will come from an address associated with “HireRight Customer Support,” our background check vendor (applicant may have disregarded it as SPAM). Second, verify that the email address sent to HR is correct and current. If, at this point, the applicant still has not received the email authorization, contact hr-bgc@colorado.eduto request that a new email be sent to the applicant.

​ Good question! Here are a few suggestions:

  • It would be helpful for you to notify the applicant that s/he will receive an email “invitation” to complete the background check authorization online; the applicant can then keep an eye out for it. This should be done PRIOR to making the request to the background unit.
  • Inform the applicant that the email will come from a name associated with “HireRight Customer Support,” not directly from CU Boulder. By letting the applicant know that this is a legitimate email and not spam/phishing scam, much confusion is eliminated and the applicant can respond quickly.
  • Remind the applicant that a successfully completed background check must be performed BEFORE the applicant can begin working at CU. It may be helpful for you to discuss an anticipated start date, but wait to finalize an official start date until the background check has been completed.
  • When requesting the background check from the HR Background Unit, please make sure all necessary information is included and is accurate. Double check to make sure the name of the applicant and e-mail are spelled correctly.

Residents of CA, MN or OK may request a FREE copy of the report by checking the appropriate box on either the paper or electronic authorization form. For applicants residing in all other states, HireRight will provide a copy upon request, for a nominal processing fee. HireRight can be contacted at 800-400-2761. For privacy reasons, Human Resources at CU-Boulder cannot provide copies of background reports to the applicant.

The link is valid for a 30 day period. If the applicant does not respond within this time frame, contact the Background Unit in HR to arrange for a new link. Please encourage the applicant to respond promptly however, as the turnaround time for receiving the results is negatively impacted if the applicant does not respond in a timely manner.

If an international applicant does not yet have a social security number and will be working in the USA for the first time, a criminal background check will not be required. The Department of Homeland Security conducts rigorous screenings prior to granting a visa to an international scholar. A newly minted social security number will yield no data and, therefore, renders the check unnecessary. Once an international scholar has been in the country for more than six months with the social security number, we would require a check upon re-hire, re-appointment, promotion or transfer. *For these applicants, we will conduct an EPLS check only, which you will request in the same manner you would a criminal screening.

Section II.O.1-6 of the campus background policy addresses the “security sensitive” designation for positions at the university. Security sensitive criteria apply only to student employee positions. In cases where it does apply the Background Unit also refers to the policy and position description, if applicable, to determine if a position fits the criteria for security sensitivity. Please contact an HR consultant to assure that the position description appropriately reflects this designation for a given position.

Student positions with privileged access meet the security-sensitive definition. Privileged access includesrights to computer or application systems that have been granted to an individual beyond that of a typical user that can bypass, modify, or disable technical or operational security controls. Examples may include the ability to install software; install or modify system processes; create or modify system configurations; create or modify system access controls; and/or view or control the screen of the user through remote access technologies in order to assist them. Positions with the ability to view or enter information in SIS or HRMS, for example, do not rise to the level of privileged access. A position with the ability to install software or change systems processes would fall under this definition.

Student positions with access to campus buildings where students and faculty reside (e.g. residence halls), the Recreation Center and Athletics Facilities require a criminal history background check. Other secured facilities may also require a background check as determined at the sole discretion of Human Resources in consultation with the appropriate Dean or Hiring Authority as needed. For assistance in evaluating the criteria for a secured facility, please contact the HR Background unit by calling 303/492-6475 or refer to the Human Resources Contacts page.

A vulnerable population program includes, but is not limited to, academic programs and camps that involve working or assisting in child care facilities, programs serving minors and at-risk adults, overnight activities involving minors, and housing for minor undergraduate students. Student and volunteer positions working with a vulnerable population program require a criminal history background check.
The Excluded Parties List System is a list compiled by the federal government that identifies individuals who have been suspended, debarred, proposed for debarment, and excluded from working on Federal contracts. Given the university’s status as a federal contractor, anyone found to be on this list is referred for further investigation by Human Resources. Employees are checked against this list as part of our standard background check process.

Self disclosure requires all University employees to report any post-employment misdemeanor convictions, felony convictions, and felony charges to the Campus Background Coordinator. Further, all employees with documented driving responsibilities must self-disclose any post-employment driver’s license suspensions or revocations. Employees must report such crimes when rehired, reinstated, transferred, or promoted. They must also report any such charges or convictions brought against them while currently employed by the University. The employee is given three business days to make the University aware of the charges, convictions, suspensions or revocations. Any department Hiring Authorities made aware of post-employment convictions must also report it to the Background Unit in Human Resources for further investigation.

New employees are asked to “self-disclose” any past felony or misdemeanor convictions when they are first hired as part of the background check process. After receiving the initial HireRight Background check email, final candidates are asked to self-disclose while signing the authorization documents.

No. As of April 15, 2013 and going forward, criminal incidents (defined in the policy as misdemeanor and felony convictions, felony charges, and driver's license suspension/revocations for those with driving responsibilities) need to be reported to HR within three business days of occurrence. Any incidents that occurred before April 15, 2013 will not need to be reported.