Background Check Central Unit

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Frequently Asked Questions - BCCU Operations during COVID-19

09/07/2021- UPDATE: The DSHS transition to a new fingerprint vendor, Fieldprint, has been cancelled.  DSHS will NOT be transitioning to a new vendor at this time and IdentoGO/Idemia will remain the DSHS fingerprint vendor.  Please continue to schedule any applicants who are currently pending fingerprint or reprints in the Background Check System (BCS) now with Idemia.  If you are no longer pursuing the applicant and they are pending fingerprints, please archive the inquiry.

06/01/2021 - BCCU will no longer accept the previous BCCU Applicant Affidavit (REV. 04/2018).  Please ensure you are using the current BCCU Applicant Affidavit (REV 11/2020).

05/25/2021 - UPDATE: The Washington State Patrol (WSP) RAPsheet Enhancements go-live has been postponed again.  BCCU now expects to begin seeing the new WSP RAPsheet updates on Thursday, June 3, 2021. BCCU customers will experience background check delays during this transition now set to begin at 5PM on Tuesday, June 1st through early morning on Thursday, June 3rd. Please see the BCCU Quick Reference Guide – WSP RAPsheet Enhancements for more information regarding some of these enhancements. 

BACKGROUND CHECK SYSTEM (BCS) Authorized Users - DSHS programs and authorized entities and service providers.


What We Do

The Background Check Central Unit (BCCU) uses a centralized database to conduct approximately 310,000 background checks annually, including approximately 140,000 fingerprint based checks for  Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) programs and authorized service providers who serve vulnerable adults, juveniles, and children.  Our DSHS authorized service providers include, but are not limited to:

  • Adult in-home care providers

  • Long-term residential care for adults

  • Services for people with developmental disabilities

  • Residential programs for children and youth

What information sources does BCCU search when completing a background check?

Depending on the type of background check and the program requirements, BCCU reports background check information from the following sources:

  • Applicant Self-Disclosure - Current and previous background check self-disclosures

  • Department of Corrections (DOC) - Conviction information

  • Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) - National conviction information, arrest and pending charges, and national sex offender registry

  • Negative Actions - Aging and Long-Term Support Administration (ALTSA)/Adult Protective Services, Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF)/Child Protective Services, and Department of Health (DOH) including, out-of-state service provider and professional license status

  • Washington State Courts and other state court systems

  • Washington State Patrol (WSP) - WA State conviction information, arrest and pending charges of less than 12 months, DOC activity, and Registered sex offender status

  • Western Identification Network (WIN) - State police records from Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Wyoming

How does BCCU use the reported information?

BCCU uses the reported information to determine the type of result notification based on the criteria set by the DSHS program that oversees the background check activities; each program has different criteria.   The results are provided to the authorized service providers and DSHS programs that requested the background check.

Does BCCU make hiring decisions?

BCCU does not make hiring or contracting decisions; BCCU collects and reports the information reported.   Decisions to hire or contract an applicant are made by the hiring entity or DSHS program.  The rules or protocols entities are expected to follow are based on the laws and rules of the DSHS oversight program and on their own internal policies and procedures.

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If you have questions about program requirements, please call your program representative, licenser, contractor, or social worker.