The Pennsylvania General Assembly has made significant amendments to the Child Protective Services Law. Under the new Act 15 (formerly Act 153) of the Pennsylvania’s Child Protective Services Law, all current school district employees, volunteers and contractors must obtain the following clearance and background checks every 60 months (five years):
PA Criminal Background Check
PA Child Abuse History Clearance
FBI Fingerprinting (federal background check)
Timeline for Background Check Renewal
On July 1, 2015, the Pennsylvania legislature passed Act 15, which amends the Child Protective Services Law and clarifies some changes made through Act 153. The most significant change to the Child Protective Services Law is that employees of school districts must renew their clearances every 60 months (five years), not every 36 months (three years).
The school district has updated the renewal process to comply with the change in law by placing employees into annual renewal cycles based on hire year. For each upcoming cycle, employees will be required to renew by December 31 of the year prior to clearance expiration to ensure compliance for the full 60 month period. A notice will be sent via email to employees with specific information on their upcoming renewal period.
Please click here to view a table that will assist in determining when your clearances are due.
Failure to comply with this State of Pennsylvania mandated requirement could result in disciplinary action or your inability to remain in an active employee status.
Act 15: New Background Check Requirements
Includes child abuse clearance, Pennsylvania Criminal History and FBI Fingerprinting
How do I get my background checks?
The required three clearances include child abuse clearance, Pennsylvania Criminal History and FBI Fingerprinting.Please refer to table below for information on how to apply for clearances.
||How to Access
|Child Abuse Clearance
- Creating an account and submitting your clearance application online will give you immediate access to your results or the status of your results if your results cannot be processed immediately.
- Results will be posted to your account and will be available to view and save as a PDF document.
- Be sure to download and save your clearance results.
|Pennsylvania Criminal History
- Results of the PA Criminal History are generally instantaneous. Results will be provided as a PDF document.
- Remember to save your criminal results.
||Applying for FBI fingerprinting clearance is a multi-step process:
- Register with Cogent systems online www.pa.cogentid.com or by phone at 1-888-439-2486. When registering, select the Department of Education option—PDE option. Be sure to grant your permission for the school district to obtain your results.
- You must registerprior to going to the fingerprint site.
- Record your Registration Identification Number or “PAE” Number:
- Cogent will provide this number to you upon registration. Your identification number will begin with the letters “PAE.” Please keep track of PAE number as you will need to provide this number when you go to the fingerprinting site and to the school district.
- Find a convenient fingerprinting site on www.pa.cogentid.com:
- Please note that you will be required to have a valid ID present at the fingerprinting site.
- At this time, The School District of Philadelphia’s Office of Talent is unable to provide fingerprinting services to our employees. We strongly encourage you to find the site that is convenient to your school location and/or home. If and when the office is able to accommodate staff, this page will be updated with hours.