Frequently Asked Questions

Welcome to DSHS Services and Enterprise Support Administration's Frequently Asked Questions! Below you may search by topics such as information for bidders and question about our Language Testing and Certification Program, and Background Checks.

State holidays are not considered "business days."  There is not daily processing, no payments created, and the SSPS headquarters office is closed.

When you schedule your own test online, confirmation is instantaneous. An appointment confirmation letter and appointment reminder letter will be sent to your email address. If you do not receive a confirmation letter within a few minutes of registering for a test, check your junk mail. If you cannot find the email there, please email our office.

Please contact the Office of the Administrator for the Courts for information about becoming a court certified interpreter. Their contact information can also be found in the Government Pages in the phone book.

According to the state constitution, payment cannot be made for services not yet completed.

Please save or print the email confirmation letter for your reference. If you did not receive your confirmation email within a few minutes of registering for you test, check your junk mail. If you cannot find it there, please email our office.

As a DSHS applicant or client, you qualify based simply on your need to communicate effectively regarding DSHS services.

Invoicing occurs twice per month; one regularly scheduled invoice process and a second supplemental process to catch late authorizations from local offices.

Your written test score will be mailed to you in approximately four (4) weeks. Your oral test score and translator test score will be mailed to you in approximately six (6) weeks.

Usually, services will be provided to help you without any significant delay in service delivery. Please ask your local DSHS office or your medical provider for more information.

BCCU processes background checks for DSHS authorized service providers and DSHS programs who serve vulnerable individuals across WA State.  These background checks are specifically for applicants that provide direct care/services to these vulnerable individuals. 

BCCU runs the background checks through a centralized database collecting information from several sources:

  • Applicant self-disclosure

  • Department of Corrections

  • Federal Bureau of Investigation

  • Negative Actions from:

    • Aging and Long-Term Support Administration (ALTSA)/Resident and Client Protection Program

    • ALTSA/Adult Protective Services

    • Children’s Administration/Child Protective Services

    • Department of Health

    • Out-of-state service provider and professional license status

  • Washington and other state court systems

  • Washington State Patrol

  • Western Identification Network (WIN)

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

BCCU does not make hiring or contracting decisions; BCCU collects and reports the information reported to us.   Hiring decisions are made by the authorized service provider 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 procedures. 

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BCCU currently issues 4 different result notifications.

  1. No Record – None of the background check data sources reported criminal or negative action records that disqualify the applicant from having unsupervised access to children or vulnerable adults and there are no background check records to be reviewed.
  2. Review Required – One or more of the background check data sources reported criminal or negative action records that are not listed on the oversight program’s list of disqualifying crimes and negative actions.  The authorized entity must determine whether or not the applicant can work in a position that may have unsupervised access to children or vulnerable adults by: (a) completing a Character, Competence, and Suitability (CC&S) review; and (b) documenting and  retaining the decision as required by the DSHS oversight program.  BCCU does not accept or retain any CC&S review documentation.
  3. Disqualify  One or more of the background check data sources reported criminal or negative action records that are on the oversight program’s list of disqualifying crimes and negative actions and the applicant is disqualified from having unsupervised access to vulnerable adults, juveniles, and children.
  4. Additional Information Needed – You will receive this letter if there is an unclear crime or negative action that was reported by any of the sources that BCCU researches. BCCU will no longer send a Disqualify notification (ABC or Secretary’s List Letter) for unknown crimes and negative actions. Entities should not disqualify applicants based solely on the receipt of the Additional Information Needed Notification.

The Additional Information Needed Notification informs the facility requesting the background check that:

  1. The applicant needs to contact BCCU to provide additional information.
  2. The background check will be pending until the applicant provides the additional information.

The applicant cannot schedule a fingerprint appointment until they have provided additional information.

Your DSHS oversight program may have special requirements related to applicants who receive an additional information needed request.  Examples may include:

  1. The time limit that the applicant must provide the additional information,
  2. If the applicant will be allowed to have unsupervised access pending the final notification;
  3. And how the entity requesting the background check will notify the applicant that additional information is needed.

If you have questions about what you are required to do, contact the DSHS oversight program listed on the background check result notification.

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BCCU Background Check Data Sources

 

Data Source

Type of background check/condition for use

Washington State Patrol (WSP) WATCH
Criminal history records

All N/DOB checks & fingerprint checks

Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC)  Public Data Mart – Criminal history records

All N/DOB checks & fingerprint checks

WA State Adult Protective Services Findings

All N/DOB checks & fingerprint checks

WA State Residential Client Protection Program Findings

All N/DOB checks & fingerprint checks

WA State Child Protective Services Findings

All N/DOB checks & fingerprint checks

WA State Department of Health Findings

All N/DOB checks & fingerprint checks

Applicant Self-Disclosures

All N/DOB checks & fingerprint checks

Stored WSP & FBI fingerprint* record rap sheets & WIN state rap sheets

 

*unless prohibited by federal law

N/DOB checks & fingerprint checks that include an interim FP result/
when the applicant has had a previous fingerprint-based background check and criminal history records are reported

WA State Administrative Office of the Courts
Judicial Information System

N/DOB checks & fingerprint checks/when a crime or charge without disposition is reported by FBI, WSP or AOC needs additional research

WA State Department of Corrections (DOC)
Felony Offender Reporting System

N/DOB  checks & fingerprint checks/when a WSP rap sheet reports a DOC offender # for the subject individual

Washington State Patrol Fingerprint-based search

All fingerprint checks

Federal Bureau of Investigation Fingerprint-based search

All fingerprint checks

Western Identification Network (WIN) State Search  (WIN states = Alaska, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Utah, Wyoming)

When the WSP fingerprint result reports a hit from one or more WIN states, BCCU initiates a search from the state reporting a hit

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  1. The Department of Health has issued a final order finding or concluding the person abused, neglected, personally or financially exploited, or abandoned a minor or vulnerable adult;

  2. The person has entered into a stipulation or other agreement with the Department of Health in which the person admits he or she abused, neglected, personally or financially exploited, or abandoned a minor or vulnerable adult; or

  3. The person has had a certification or license issued by the Department of Health denied, terminated, revoked, suspended, or relinquished in lieu of discipline due to abuse, neglect, personal or financial exploitation or abandonment of a minor or vulnerable adult, and the licensing action has not been reversed by an administrative tribunal or a court.  This criterion applies regardless of whether or not the person’s license was later reinstated by Department of Health.

All other enforcement actions provided by Department of Health will be reported as a record and the DSHS oversight program may require a character, competence and suitability review by the entity who receives the background check.

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The turnaround time of a background check depends on the volume of checks received, the amount of research required for that inquiry, and the number of staff available to process. Please refer to our Turnaround Times  page to get an estimate of when you will receive your background check.

If the applicant has an out of state crime, BCCU requests a review to determine if the out of state crime is equivalent to a Washington State crime and verifies if that crime is on the Disqualifying List of Crimes and Negative Actions. The amount of research involved, number of equivalencies, and staff available will determine how quickly an equivalency can be completed.

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Please refer to our Turnaround Times  page. You can also sign up for our Listserv to receive emails with updates regarding our turnaround times. To join the Listserv, please send your name and email to bccuinquiry@dshs.wa.gov to be added to our Listserv.

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In addition to No Record, Review Required, and Disqualify Result Notifications requesters may also receive an Additional Information Needed Notification. Inquiries that are left in the Additional Information Needed status for 6 months will expire and BCCU will not be able to update that inquiry. If you have an applicant with an expired Additional Information inquiry, you will need to submit a new background check request for that applicant.

Entities should not disqualify applicants based solely on the receipt of the Additional Information Needed Notification.

Applicants who have received an Additional Information Notification from their employer and have not received their packet can request a copy of the packet using the Applicant Request for a Copy of Background Check Information Form Applicants cannot schedule a fingerprint appointment until they have provided the needed additional information.

An Additional Information Needed Notification will be issued if there is an unknown crime or negative action reported by any of the sources BCCU researches. BCCU no longer sends an ABC (Disqualify Result Notification) for unknown crimes and negative actions. The Additional Information Needed Notification informs the facility requesting the background check the following:

  1. The applicant needs to contact BCCU to provide additional information.

  2. The background check will be pending until the applicant provides the additional information.

Your DSHS oversight program may have special requirements related to applicants who receive an additional information needed request.  Examples may include:

  • The time limit that the applicant must provide the additional information;

  • If the applicant will be allowed to have unsupervised access pending the final notification;

  • And how the entity requesting the background check will notify the applicant that additional information is needed.

If you have questions about what you are required to do, contact the DSHS oversight program listed on the background check result notification.

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Research the Revised Code of Washington (RCW) or municipal code listed in the RCW/ Code column of the search result or use an internet search engine to research the legal term. BCCU staff cannot give you legal advice or interpret the meaning of legal terms.

You can access RCWs on the internet through the Washington State Legislature website. To find more information about a municipal code, go to the municipality website and search for the ordinance or code listed on the search results. RCWs and Codes can change over time, make sure you research the code that was in effect at the time the violation occurred.

 

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BCCU does not schedule fingerprint appointments, you will need to contact the state's fingerprint vendor, IDEMIA (formerly MorphoTrust).

To schedule an appointment through IDEMIA, please call 1-888-771-5097 or visit their website at https://www.identogo.com/. You will need the following to schedule an appointment:

  1. Fingerprint Appointment Form
  2. Applicant's Date of Birth
  3. Applicant Inquiry ID/OCA number found on the Interim Fingerprint Check Notification

If you are rescheduling your appointment due to the WSP or FBI rejecting your fingerprints, you can reschedule online or by phone. You must call IDEMIA at 1-888-771-5097 with the three items listed above. IDEMIA has locations throughout Washington State. Please refer to their website at, http://www.l1enrollment.com/locations/?st=wa for the location nearest you.

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Unfortunately, some applicants have fingerprints that are difficult to capture, this could be due to working with chemicals or wear. The Washington State Patrol (WSP) must determine that the fingerprints are the best quality. If WSP determines the fingerprints are not the best quality, the applicant will need to be printed again.

Once the WSP accepts the fingerprints, they will send them to the FBI for processing. The FBI will then determine whether the fingerprints are the best quality. If the FBI rejects the prints, the applicant will need to be printed one more time. If the FBI rejects them a second time, BCCU will request a National Name Date of Birth check from the FBI and the fingerprint process will be completed.

To view WSP and FBI fingerprint process, please refer to our flowchart.

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There are a few reasons that may result in an applicant not being able to schedule a fingerprint appointment:

  • The applicant received an Additional Information Needed notification. Applicants cannot schedule a fingerprint appointment until they have provided the requested additional information.

  • There is often a three-hour delay in communication from the time the applicant receives their interim result notifications with their OCA to when the fingerprint vendor, IDEMIA (formerly MorphoTrust), receives the applicant’s OCA and BCCU account number. We suggest waiting a few hours to try scheduling.

  • The background check OCA that is being used may be a Name and Date of Birth (NDOB) based background check, not a fingerprint check.  Review the Processing Code box (upper right corner of form) to confirm Fingerprint Required is written.  If it is blank, resubmit your Background Check Authorization Form with Fingerprint Required written in the Processing Code box.

  • The requesting entity has not chosen to continue with fingerprinting from their Entity Account page in the Background Check System. Requesting entities must choose to continue with fingerprinting once an Interim FP result is issued for the applicant to be fingerprinted.

If you are still unable to schedule an appointment, please contact BCCU.

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