Frequently Asked Questions

Welcome to DSHS Financial Services 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.

No.  If you have received a Review Required Notification instructing you to complete a Character, Competency and Suitability (CC&S) review, please follow your oversight program’s policy on conducting and retaining your completed CC&S review. BCCU does not accept or retain any CC&S review documentation.

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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.

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

All entities who currently submit DSHS Background Authorization Forms to the Background Check Central Unit using mail or fax will be required to use the new Background Check System. Additionally, several DSHS program-sponsored web applications will be retired and those programs will submit background checks using the Background Check System.

As the PAA for your account you will be responsible for the following:

  • Provide access for other users (Account Administrator (AA) level or lower)

  • Assign user roles

  • Remove access for other users (AA level or lower)

  • Monitor users

  • Pull Entity/Account level reports

  • Submit checks to BCCU

  • Receive results from BCCU

  • View submitted inquiries

  • View received results

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.

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.

No. The BCCU fax line will be disabled when the new system goes live. Any forms received in the mail after the new system goes live will be returned to the sender with instructions on how to process the form using the new Background Check System. More information will be provided before the new Background Check System goes live.

One DSHS-approved continuing education activities will count toward all your certificates/authorizations.

  • Example:  You have a social services interpreter certificate, medical interpreter certificate, and a translator certificate.  You only need to accumulate 20 credits in a 4 year period, not 60 credits.

In-Person Activities:

  • There is a sign-in/out sheet that is provided to the host of the approved DSHS CE activity for use the day of the activity. This sign-in/out sheet will be used to allot credits to your files. Make sure to write down ALL your alphanumeric certificate/authorization numbers so the activity is added to all your certificates/authorizations.

Online Activities:

  • Send an email to LTC with the certificate that you receive upon completion of the approved DSHS online CE activities. Include the approval number, found under the List of DSHS Approved CE Activities. Make sure to include ALL your alphanumeric certificate/authorization numbers in the body of the email so the activity is added to all your certificates/authorizations.

Why are these certificate numbers so important?

  • Each certification number represents a record in one of the six databases that we work out of. If you have multiple authorizations/certifications, we won't know, because these databases don't "talk" to each other. Without knowing your record number in each database, we don’t have any other way to verify that we are allotting the credits to the correct file. The six databases are:
    • Employee Certified (ex: EC1234. Employees do not need to report CE)
    • Social Service Authorized (ex: SA1234)
    • Social Service Certified (ex: SC1234)
    • Medical Authorized (ex: MA1234)
    • Medical Certified (ex: MC1234)
    • Translator Certified (ex: TC1234)

When the Background Check System (BCS) goes live Spring of 2018 and your accounts are activated in BCS you will be able to add additional system users to submit and receive background checks. 

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.

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 type of background check submitted (fingerprint, new hire, recheck), 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 daily emails with 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.

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 need to contact BCCUApplicants 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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BCCU processes general forms on a first come, first serve basis. The turnaround time for renewal checks can take five or more days depending on the current volume. Our goal is to complete new hire checks within one business day. Please refer to our Turnaround Times  to view our current processing times.

If the entity requesting the background check sent BCCU the authorization form and believes that it should have been processed according to the turnaround times currently posted, please email bccuinquiry@dshs.wa.gov with the applicant's name and account number. Do not resubmit the authorization form again without first checking on the status of your submission. Multiple submissions of the same authorization form cause delays in processing.

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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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