Administer background checks for prospective and current employees within CU System.

The information on this page applies to CU System employees only.

Please consult the appropriate HR website for your campus:


All positions within System Administration, including staff, students and temporary staff, are considered security-sensitive and require a background check provided by HireRight and initiated by Human Resources.

 Look for the checkmark to identify department tasks.




Depending on their employment history with CU, HR will run a background check(s) on your selected candidate. 

NOT Required
Background checks are not required when an existing employee has a title change without a change in duties (e.g., promotion in the same department). Background checks are also not required for internal candidates who have had a background check within a previous three-year period and the nature of duties and responsibilities of the new and previous appointments are comparable.

Background checks are required when hiring new employees or transferring existing employees into new positions. For these employees, System HR will always run a criminal check; however, we may decide to run a financial or motor vehicle check in special cases. The section below provides information about each background check type and when we run them.

Criminal History and Sex Offender

What is it: A written record or information furnished by a criminal justice agency relating to an individual’s criminal convictions and the national sex offender registry. A criminal conviction includes a guilty verdict, a guilty plea or a plea of nolo contendere (no contest). This record does not include an individual’s arrest or conviction records that have been sealed by court order.

Financial History

What is it: A written record or information furnished by any court of civil law, credit reporting agency (credit report) or a third-party vendor. 

Motor Vehicle

What is it: A written record or information relating to an individual’s motor vehicle, which identifies the name, license issue and expiration date, license status, license number, license type, endorsements, restrictions, driving violations and suspensions.

HR initiates the background check with the final candidate. 

  1. HR notifies the final candidate that the University requires a criminal history, sex offender and, if required, a financial history and/or motor vehicle background check.

  2. HR moves the final candidate to Step: Under Review and Status: Request a screening service within CU Careers.

  3. HR selects the appropriate screening service (background check) for the candidate, depending on the position.

  4. To start the background check process, the candidate receives an authorization request email from Support at HireRight, which asks them to enter personal information. The length of the background check depends on how many counties the candidate has lived in. On average, the report takes 48-72 hours.

  5. In all offer letters, a notice says that offer is contingent upon the successful completion of background check (resulting in a finding of suitability for university employment).

Employment is contingent upon the successful completion of background check(s).

HR sends the candidate any information negatively affecting their employment suitability along with Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) rights. The email asks the candidate to review HireRight report for accuracy and provide details surrounding discrepancies. 

Upon reviewing an adverse background check, HR considers the following criteria:

For Criminal History

  • The nature, gravity and seriousness of offenses for which the final candidate was convicted;
  • Number of offenses;
  • Accuracy of information provided to the University by final candidate;
  • Recency and relationship of convictions to position duties;
    • Any conviction seven years prior to the date of the background check will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
    • Active registered sex offender status, regardless of adjudication status, will be considered. 

For Financial History

  • The nature and seriousness of the negative financial information;
  • Whether, and to what extent, the negative financial information is related to the designated position;
  • Accuracy of information provided the University by the final candidate;
  • Responsive information from the final candidate regarding the financial history record, including evidence of extenuating circumstances.



Final steps

When HR receives the candidate’s email response, HR forwards the email to the supervisor for approval. Depending on the discrepancy, we may require department leadership approval as well. 

  • If a candidate is not selected for a position due to an adverse background check:
    • The department sends the candidate an email regarding the decision.

    • HR sends the candidate an email. Note: email is best for proper documentation. 
  • If the candidate is selected for the position, HR prepares and extends an electronic offer (e-Offer).