Act 34 background checks are required by Act 34 of 1985 and Act 114 of 2006, as amended, for all employees and volunteers of public schools and their contractors' employees who will work in direct contact with children. Also required for student teacher candidates. This is one of three required background checks or clearances. Reports are to be provided by the applicant and reviewed by the school prior to the applicant working or volunteering in a position in which he will have direct contact with children. Criminal history reports shall be no more than one (1) year old at the time of employment.
Fee: $22.00 for employment candidates payable to Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. FREE for volunteers.
Procedures for obtaining the PA State Police background clearance are below.
The Pennsylvania State Police established a web-based computer application called "Pennsylvania Access to Criminal History" or PATCH. Using this system, a requestor can apply for a criminal background check on an individual basis.
The information provided by the requestor will be checked against the criminal history database maintained by the Pennsylvania State Police Central Repository. If the subject's information does not hit on any information in the database, the requestor will receive the results instantly over the Internet and the requestor can print out the "No Record" certificate. Eighty percent of the time, "No Record" certificates are returned immediately through the Internet to the requestor. If the subject's information hits on something in the database, the requestor receives an immediate "Request Under Review" response.
A "Request Under Review" response does not necessarily mean that the individual has a record; it does indicate the information is being manually reviewed. After review, the status will be updated to "No Record" or "Record". The requestor should check the PATCH website periodically for an updated status of their request. For all "No Record" responses, the certificate must be printed out at the requestor's computer. All "Record" responses will be mailed to the requestor at the address provided by the requestor. It may take up to two weeks for the status to be updated from a "Request Under Review" to a "No Record" or "Record.