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.

Only DSHS authorized entities can submit background checks to BCCU.  The DSHS oversight program that licenses, contracts, or requires external entities to submit background checks through the Background Check Central Unit may authorize you to use the Background Check System.

DSHS currently certifies social service interpreters, medical interpreters, translators, DSHS active/potential bilingual employees, and licensed agency personnel in Chinese-Cantonese, Chinese-Mandarin, Korean, Russian, Spanish, and Vietnamese. For all other languages, The Department authorizes social service interpreters and medical interpreters (screening test).

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

Test scores will not be released over the telephone to anyone, including the test candidate. A score report letter will be mailed to you once your scores are available. However, if you have not received your test score two (2) months after your test date, you should contact our office to check the status of your test score.

You may talk directly with the local office worker or supervisor. Alternately, you may submit your problem or complaint in writing to that office. Other options include contacting Interpreter Services and Customer Service at 1-800-562-3022. For issues regarding translated documents, contact the office/program/administration as indicated on the document.

Having a computer and internet connection on-site is recommended to meet your on-going background check responsibilities. However, for infrequent background check needs, computers with Internet access are available to use for free at public libraries. Paid access to computers and printers is available at Internet cafés and business centers such as parcel shipping and copy centers.

Yes. An applicant will be able to complete an online form.  If the applicant has a valid email address, they will be able to sign the form electronically and receive an emailed copy of their form.  The applicant can then provide the unique identification number to multiple authorized entities.  Entities then can retrieve the applicant’s information and submit a background check in BCS. Applicants will still have the option of filling out a paper form, requiring a physical signature, that they can copy and provide to multiple authorized entities as well.  If an entity receives a paper form, they will be required to enter the applicant’s information into BCS from the form prior to submitting the check to BCCU through BCS.

Instead of a certificate, interpreter who pass the screening test and complete the required orientation and ethics training will be issued an authorization letter.

If your score report letter states that you have met all test requirements and are now considered provisionally certified or authorized as an interpreter, a certificate/authorization letter will be mailed to you within a month after you have completed:

  • Two hours of new interpreter/translator orientation, and
  • Two hours of interpreter/translator professional ethics training.

     

DSHS announces procurement opportunities on the Washington Electronic Business Solution (WEBS) online system. The same information is posted on the Procurements page. Please follow the instructions in the announcement.

The old background check system is outdated and built on technology that is not current.  DSHS is also looking to streamline the background check process and create more efficiency for applicants and entities.

To ensure your Background Check Authorization Form is processed properly and timely, please ensure you have the appropriate information entered in the Processing Code box in the upper right hand corner of the form.

If none of the processing codes (listed below) apply to the background check and/or applicant, leave the Processing Code box blank.  When the Processing Code box is left blank, the background check will be ran as a standard name and date of birth background check.

Approved priority processing codes include the following:  

  • Fingerprint Required
  • New Hire
  • Initial Contract
  • Initial License
  • Community Protection
  • BAAU Rushes

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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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