Project History

DSHS Background Check System Project History

In March 2016, The Department partnered with an external Vendor, Treinen Associates, Inc., to design, develop, and implement the new system that will improve the background check process.  The new system will provide the Department, its partner agencies, and customers with an easy-to-use automated on-line (web-based) system for submitting background check requests, and receiving results.

The new Background Check System (BCS) provides the Department of Social and Health Services, Background Check Central Unit staff the capability to quickly and efficiently process those background checks required of prospective employees, facility licensees, contractors, and others having unsupervised contact with vulnerable individuals as defined by federal and Washington State law. 

The BCS provides the Department’s authorized program staff and licensed providers with a tool to efficiently submit background checks to the Department’s Background Check Central Unit and to receive background check results using a secure internet connection.  Over 75% of these checks will be returned in one day or less.

Prospective Department employees, program providers, facility licensees, contractors, and others having unsupervised access to vulnerable individuals, will have the ability to complete their Background Check Authorization form electronically, eliminating the need for Department staff to conduct Data entry and the possibility of data entry error.

At the end of the project, the system will provide an up to date capability to perform background checks by checking external registries and data sources, evaluating inquiry results, and distributing background check results, including Washington State Patrol (WSP), Washington State Courts, and FBI criminal history reports. 

High-level features of the new system include:

Web-Based System: Internal and external entity users will submit background check requests and receive results using a computer and internet connection.  Eliminating mailed and faxed background check requests and results will reduce any delays caused by technical issues or the postal service.  

Online Applicant Form: The background check applicant will enter their own information into the system, reducing processing delays caused by data entry and the potential for data entry errors by field staff or BCCU staff.

Quick Return Processing: The system will automatically process over 75% of incoming name/date of birth and interim fingerprint background checks and return most results to the user in less than five minutes. 

Status Tracking: The system allows users to confirm the status of their background check requests, eliminating unnecessary duplicate submissions, and notifies the user when the background check is complete or needs further action.