Background Screens

For Harvard Schools and Units (Tubs)

Click here for the Harvard Human Resources (HHR - HUID required) Practitioners Toolkit on Pre-Employment Screening tools and guidelines. 

This site for HR practitioners in Harvard schools and units includes guidance on conducting and reviewing background screens on candidates for employment, information on preferred vendors, and other tools to assist your review of individuals that require background screenings under the Harvard Policy for the Safety and Protection of Minors.

For Vendors

As noted in the Policy, screening for contractors or other individuals employed or otherwise affiliated with non-Harvard organizations shall be handled by such non-Harvard organization. The non-Harvard organization must certify to Harvard in writing that the required screening has occurred and that nothing in the background of the individuals bears adversely upon his or her ability to provide for the safety and well-being of Minors.  This certification should be delivered to the Tub Sponsoring Office where the program is located.

For Further Information

Further selections from the Policy section on Background Screening are provided for your review below:

Background Screening

Those who qualify and wish to serve as a Responsible Adult, including current Harvard faculty, staff and students, will receive a Working with Minors background screen to be successfully returned with no adverse results before the start of any Program. Responsible Adults staying overnight in dorms and/or working with programs that are considered a Recreational Camp will also receive the Massachusetts Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) screen.  If the Responsible Adult will be driving Minors, then the motor vehicle driving record search is also required. 

No member of the Harvard community or contractor shall serve as a Responsible Adult in a Program unless and until:

  • The Program Administrator is responsible for providing contact information for all Responsible Adults in Youth Protection Registration Portal
  • No one other than a Responsible Adult shall be permitted to have unsupervised, one-on-one contact with a Minor in a non-public setting.
  • The Tub Sponsoring Office is responsible for ensuring that all required screening has occurred, and that any person whose screening, after an individualized determination, produces information that bears adversely upon his or her ability to provide for the safety and well-being of Minors is prohibited from having contact with Minors.
  • The Tub Sponsoring Office shall coordinate the screening process for members of the Harvard community with the Tub’s Human Resources office, its background screening vendor and/or other Tub offices as determined by the applicable Tub (e.g., the Tub’s Student Dean’s office).  These offices should ensure that information produced in connection with the screening is handled in accordance with University employment and privacy policies, including the University’s Backround Screening Guidelines.  The Tub Sponsoring Office is responsible for referring all screening results that bear adversely upon an individual’s ability to provide for the safety and well-being of Minors to the Youth Protection Officer for advice and direction, in consultation with the Office of the General Counsel.
  • Screening for contractors or other individuals employed or otherwise affiliated with non-Harvard organizations shall be handled by such non-Harvard organization.  The non-Harvard organization must certify to Harvard in writing what screens were completed and that nothing in the background of the individuals bears adversely upon his or her ability to provide for the safety and well-being of Minors.    
  • After the initial screening, the Tub Sponsoring Office shall periodically screen Responsible Adults at least every three years.
  • The Tub Sponsoring Office is responsible for monitoring compliance with the background screening requirement.
  • The cost of background checks will be borne by the Program.