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Washington Healthcare Background Check

In general, background checks are mandatory for all healthcare professionals. Background checks are intended to ensure that health professionals at any level have not created risks to patients. However, the nature and amount of background checks differ depending on the jurisdiction. (A jurisdiction is a body of government with the power to make laws like federal county, state, and city.)

The following outline outlines the requirements of Washington State. Other jurisdictions might have additional or less specific requirements. If you're looking for certification or work in other areas (outside the state of Washington State), you are accountable for meeting the requirements of that jurisdiction.

Background checks are mandatory for Bellevue College students pursuing educational programs in health care. The college doesn't conduct background checks or require them for its courses; however, to complete your practicum (externship) part of the program at a health facility, students must complete and submit a background check. This is following the obligation of healthcare facilities to comply with the state's law and the agreements between the colleges and these institutions.

The background and the disciplinary requirements for healthcare professionals are broad by the RCW 18.130 "Regulation of Health Professions - Uniform Disciplinary Act."

The authority to perform background checks has been given by the RCW 18.130.064.

"(1)(a) Secretary is permitted to collect criminal history records that include information on non-convictions for any reason related to licensing or investigation, and also to look into the criminal history of all applicants and in the process of bringing charges against applicants and license holders." Learn more about the Washington healthcare background check.

The authority to issue or deny certificates or licenses is granted by the RCW 18.130.040.

"(3) With the power to discipline holders of licenses, the authority that disciplined them has the power to issue or prohibit licenses. The authority disciplining license holders can also issue a license with conditions."

The definition of "unprofessional behavior" is defined within the RCW 18.130.180 and is broadly defined as follows:

"(1) The accomplice of any act that involves moral discord, dishonesty, or corruption in the performance of a profession regardless of whether the act is criminal conduct or not. If the action is an offense, the conviction of the course of a criminal investigation is not a precondition to the disciplinary process. If convicted, however, the verdict and sentence constitute conclusive proof during the disciplinary hearing that follows that the person who holds the license is guilty of the crime outlined in the indictment or the information as well as of the individual's breach of the law the basis of which it was founded. To the extent under this law, a conviction means any situation where the plea of guilty or no contest is the basis for conviction, as well as all other cases in which the sentence was suspended or deferred."

The law defines the individual's legal rights as per RCW 9.96A:

"Nothing in this section revokes rights protected by Chapter 9.96A RCW." RCW 18.130.180

RCW 9.96A.010 does permit an employment incentive for felonies with prior convictions;

"The Legislature declares that the purpose of the State of Washington is to support and assist in recovering felons as well as aid them in assuming the obligations of citizenship and also to give them the chance to find work or to practice or participate in a lucrative and rewarding profession, trade or profession is a key element to rehabilitation and the taking on the obligations of citizenship."

However, the law does not apply to the provisions of 9.96A.010 for occupations that "deal with vulnerable or children" people." This is explained in RCW 9.96A.060:

"This article is not relevant to the Social and Health Services when it employs someone who, during the process of their work, is or could be granted unsupervised access to any person younger than 18 years old and who is not yet the age of 21 and who has been placed in imprisonment under the direction of the department of health and social services following Chapter 13.40 RCW, and who is a vulnerable adult as defined in the chapter 74.34 RCW or is a vulnerable individual. To the extent of this chapter, a "vulnerable person" refers to any adult who cannot perform the functions of physical or mental capacity to take care of themselves."

Additionally, healthcare facilities contract with us has to run background checks on both volunteers and employees (externships are regarded as volunteer jobs) as per the RCW 43.43.832 "Additional licensing requirements for facilities, organizations as well as individuals who offer services." That calls for:

"(1)(a) Secretary of health and social services, as well as health secretary, must set additional conditions to permit the licensure or renewal of facilities, agencies as well as licensed persons who provide treatment and care for vulnerable adults, which includes nursing pools that are registered in the chapter 18.52C RCW. These additional requirements should make sure that any person who is affiliated with a licensed facility or facility that has access to unsupervised vulnerable adults will not be the subject of an order of protection in force issued under RCW 74.34.130 or have had the privilege of being: (i) found guilty of crimes against individuals who are specified in RCW 43.43.830 or the provisions in the section above; (ii) convicted of criminal acts that relate to financial exploitation according to RCW 43.43.830 or 43.43.830, unless otherwise specified in this section or (iii) discovered in any disciplinary board's in its final decision to have violated the rights of a vulnerable adult in violation of RCW 43.43.830."

What can I do to prevent me from obtaining certification, licensure, or employment within Washington State?

The Department of Health has the authority to conduct background investigations for healthcare professionals to determine if the license or certification is granted. The criteria are broadly defined in the Uniform Disciplinary Act. However, because ALL healthcare jobs directly or indirectly involve or potentially involve vulnerable people or individuals, the Department of Health uses the guidelines for working with these groups.

The specifically excluded items are described by the RCW 43.43.830 "Background checks -access to vulnerable children and persons" in the following manner:

(6) "Conviction record" is "conviction records" information according to RCW 10.97.030 as well as *10.97.050 that pertain to the commission of a crime by an adult or a minor. It is not convictions for an offense that is the result of an expungement pardon, annulment, or certificate of rehabilitation, a similar procedure that is based on that the individual has been rehabilitated after being who was convicted or a conviction which was the recipient of a pardon, annulment, or another similar procedure based upon a finding of innocence. However, it does include convictions for crimes that resulted in an indefinite or deferred sentence unless it is expunged as per the law.

(7) "Crime of children, or any other person" refers to a conviction of all of the following offenses: Aggravated murder; first or second-degree murder; kidnapping in the first or second degree or kidnapping; first, second, or even third-degree assault first, second or third-degree attack of a child. In addition, first, second or even third degree rape first third, second, or first degree child rape in the first or second degree robbery, first degree arson; first burglary; second or first degree manslaughter, first and second degree theft, indecent liberties and incest; vehicular murder and first degree promotion of prostitution, communication with a minor, unlawful confinement or simple assault, the sexual abuse of children the second or first degree of crime of mistreatment and endangerment using controlled substances and child neglect as specified in RCW 26.44.020 1st or 2nd degree interference with custody; first and second degrees of custodial infractions or intentional harassment; first, third, or second degree child molestation; the first or second-degree sexual assault with a minor, commercial sexual assault of a minor and child abandonment, promoting pornography; selling or disseminating sexually explicit materials to minors or a minor; custodial assault; breach of a child abuse restraining order or a child's purchase or sale prostitution, felony indecent exposure, criminal abandonment and any other crime in the event that they are changed in the near future.

(8) "Crimes related to drugs" refers to a conviction for the crime of production, delivery, or possession with the intent to produce or deliver controlled substances.

(9) "Crimes related to the financial abuse" refers to a conviction for the first second, or third degree extortion, first, second, or even third-degree theft, second or first-degree robbery; forgery, and any other of the which may be changed shortly.

Additional requirements can be included inside the RCW 43.43.842, providing certain exceptions.

"(2) The regulations that are enacted under this section will allow the licensee to take into consideration the criminal record of an applicant who is seeking work in a licensed facility where the applicant has had one or more convictions concerning previous offenses and"

(a) The crime was a simple assault of the fourth degree or the same crime regardless of the name if three or more years have passed between the latest sentence and the last one on which the applicant applied for employment.

(b) The crime was prostitution, or the exact crime called or renamed, and at least three years have been between the most recent verdict and the time of the application for employment

(c) The crime is theft of the third degree or similar to the offense in which it is renamed, and at least three years have been between the most recent verdict and the date of applying for employment.

(d) The crime is theft of the second degree or similar to the offense in which it could be renamed, and at least five years have been passed between the latest sentence and the date on which the applicant applied for employment.

(e) The crime was a forgery, or the exact crime could be called, and at least five years have passed between the latest sentence and the date of applying for a job.

There is no obligation to license or hire or certify anyone based on an exception such as,

"The violations outlined in (a) through (e) through of the subsection will not necessarily disqualify an applicant from being employed by an authorized licensee. This section is not intended to oblige the hiring of anyone in opposition to the judgment of a licensee."

Washing Healthcare Background fingerprint checks are required for certain applicants.

Washington State Department of Health performs a background check on candidates from out of state and those with a criminal record in Washington. The applicants from out-of-state were selected because they aren't likely to have any criminal records within the database managed through Washington State Patrol. Washington State Patrol. The department already utilizes the database to approve licenses to applicants living in the state.

The applicants need to pay $34.25 to verify their fingerprints against the federal government's database. The applicants must also arrange and pay for taking fingerprints. Fingerprints should be taken with the fingerprint card supplied to the police department. In addition, fingerprint services are available through local law enforcement agencies.

The department will inform applicants who require a background check. In the case of these applicants, failing to provide fingerprints can delay the processing of their applications. Most applicants seeking health profession licenses won't be subject to this type of criminal background check.

Who are the intended recipients of this information?

This information is to be used by Medicaid-contracted home care providers who are conducting a background check and or fingerprint test on their employees. It is a Medicaid licensed home-care service when you sign a contract with the Area Agency on Aging to offer personal care in the home to eligible Medicaid clients. A prospective worker's background check must be completed before working with eligible Medicaid clients. The most up-to-date and accurate background check and fingerprint check information are available in the current statement of work for the agency that provides home care workers or in the latest Home and Community Management Bulletin.

Acronyms and other definitions

  • The applicant: The long-term care worker who fills out an Authorization for Background Check Form.
  • BCC The Background Check Central Unit processes background checks for DSHS programs.
  • BCS The computerized Background Check System utilized in the HCA to make checks and report results.
  • Long-Term care workers: Include all persons who provide paid, hands-on, personal assistance to the disabled or elderly.


The applicants must be able to pass a background check before unsupervised access to Medicaid clients, as well as the FBI fingerprint background check within 120-days of the date of hire. The applicants must also submit a Washington State name and date of birth background check every two years in addition to the fingerprint test whenever the department asks for it.

Online Background Check Authorization form (BAF)

Instruct the applicant to complete the online BAF using Google Chrome: https://fortress.wa.gov/dshs/bcs/

  • If applicants cannot access the BAF online or require the BAF to be in different languages, they can fill out the form on paper. The applicant should fill in and sign the form and then return it to the HCA to input the applicant's details in the BCS.

Resources: BCS Online Authorization Form Guide Instructions for applicants who are using the online Background Check Authorization Form. The applicants need not be required to have a SAW account to submit an online application.

Get the Applicant's Confirmation Code

Inform the applicant to enter an email address when filling in the online BAF form so that their confirmation code can be sent to them. Make sure that the applicant remembers to note down their confirmation code! They can also save or print their confirmation number, send it to HCA, or email the code. The options are presented to applicants on the BAF online before leaving.

The applicant can give their confirmation code to the HCA via email, phone, or in person. It is the sole method by which the HCA can access the completed BAF for submission to BCCU. The applicant cannot obtain their confirmation code once they have logged off from the form online.

Entity Resource:

  • The process of logging into BCS using Secure Access Washington (SAW) Instructions on how to sign in to your BCS account for the first time.
  • BCS Entity Users Guide Instructions on how to complete background checks, verify the status and read the results

Get Applicant Results

The HCA will find the applicant's BAF after entering the applicant's birth date and the confirmation code in BCS. After retrieving it, go through the BAF and submit it to BCCU using BCS. Next, choose fingerprint check if you are the new hire required and then as needed (this is both the Washington State name and date of the birth check, as well as a fingerprint test).

Find your results from the test to the BCS. Its status for the check submitted will be accessible to the HCA on the grid that works in BCS. After the check has been completed, it will be available to the HCA to view the results from BCS.

Give the applicant an Original Copy of the Results.

Provide the applicant with an official copy of the results. The applicant could receive an official copy of their results from BCCU if records are found. The applicant must keep these results in a secure location for future reference.

The applicant must examine their results and confirm that the information is correct.

If the applicant believes any information is incorrect, they may contact BCCU at (360) 902-0299, bccuinquiry@dshs.wa.gov, or the agency that reported the information directly.

  • WA State Patrol (360) 534-2000
  • Department of Corrections (360) 725-8888
  • Department of Health (360) 236-4700
  • WA Courts- Contact the court that made the decision.

Sometimes, the applicant may be able to submit the BCCU with written evidence BCCU through an affidavit to clarify the self-disclosure or send details from the court or another organization to correct or clarify results. Contact BCCU with any questions you may have.

If BCCU receives correct or updated information, they will issue an updated or corrected Background Check Result. The latest result will be made available within BCS and will be sent to the HCA who completed their background check.

The HCA will scrutinize the applicant's results and decide whether the applicant has no supervision of Medicaid clients. Should the HCA decides to employ the applicant to assist Medicaid patients, the applicant may get hired on a 12-day temporary hire period, subject to the results of fingerprints.

Fingerprint Information

After looking over the interim (Washington State Name, Date of Birth), the HCA will decide whether the applicant can proceed through the fingerprinting process. If so, the HCA will give the applicant the appointment for fingerprints and notification forms printed from BCS.

The applicant or HCA should schedule an appointment for fingerprints IMMEDIATELY. The applicant should take their fingerprint appointment form and a valid picture ID to the closest fingerprinting site to be fingerprinted.

The applicants can utilize police to take fingerprints instead of using the fingerprint contractor of DSHS, IdentoGO. Instructions for submitting Fingerprint Hard cards for submission to BCCU. There is a possibility of a cost for this service.

After the applicant's fingerprints are collected, they will be sent for verification to the Washington State Patrol (WSP) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The HCA will be provided with an exact copy of the results on BCS once the process is completed. Verify the status on the grid of work in BCS to see the state of the results of fingerprints.

Based on information in the Background Check Result you receive for the applicant, it is your responsibility to determine if they're qualified, not qualified, or require the Character, Competence, and Suitability check.

The law prevents BCCU from providing FBI Criminal History outcomes (RAP sheets) to non-governmental institutions. However, to conduct a Character Competence and Suitability assessment after receiving a Review required result letter, the HCA can ask for the RAP form of an LTC worker. If an LTC worker is not willing to disclose FBI results, you may lack the information to allow the worker to assist Medicaid clients.

Provide the applicant with the results. The applicant will also get the results from BCCU unless they've got a No-Record notice. The applicant must keep these results in a safe place to be able to refer them in the future.

Fingerprint Rejects

The WSP could reject fingerprints for many reasons. They will inform BCCU as well. BCC will inform BCCU and the HCA (via BCS) when WSP or FBI refuses to accept an applicant's fingerprints.

If an applicant's fingerprints are rejected, they must immediately make an appointment to reprint through a fingerprinting company, IdentoGO.

Notice: WSP may reject fingerprints repeatedly before determining whether they've got the finest prints that they can obtain.

The applicant can visit the WSP office in Olympia. WSP headquarters in Olympia for a fingerprint scan will not refuse fingerprints taken in-house.

When WSP approves fingerprints, they'll send the most accurate fingerprints to the FBI.

The FBI could reject fingerprints twice before determining that they will only conduct national names and dates of birth.

Updated on 2022-08-04 21:33:49 by larry coleman

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