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.

We only test people who are available to serve DSHS clients in Washington State.

An entity is a licensed, contracted, or internal provider authorized by the Department to provide services to vulnerable adults, juveniles, and children.  At this time, BCCU does not conduct background checks for entities not licensed or contracted through DSHS.

There is a special process in place for “printing” applicants who are missing any fingers, hands, or arms. Contact the office that requested your fingerprints for more information.

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The pretest materials, both written and oral, are intended to familiarize you with the formats of the test and how test items are constructed. The study guides will help you know what to expect on the test, but will not be enough to help you improve your language ability, your interpreting skills, or your knowledge base in any particular field.

Certificates issued by entities other than Washington State DSHS will be considered on a case by case basis. Please consult WAC 388-03-114 for related information.

No. Only authorized entities may submit background check requests to BCCU.  However, the applicant will be able to enter their information online in addition to using a paper copy of the form. If the Applicant has a valid email address, they will have the option to complete an online form and sign it using an electronic signature process.  The applicant will then notify the authorized entity who requested the background check that their form is complete and provide them with their unique identification number tied to their background check information online. The entity will retrieve the applicant’s information using that unique identifying number and submit the complete background check request using the Background Check System (BCS).

Per WAC 388-03-153, written test score is valid for two years from the date of your score report letter. If you lost your letter, please send us an email.

A LiveScan Machine is a small photocopy machine. It scans your fingerprints and creates electronic copies without the mess of ink and paper cards.

LiveScan fingerprinting helps to reduce the number of fingerprint rejections and speeds up the process by allowing fingerprints to be sent electronically rather than through the mail.

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When you follow the steps in how to schedule a test online, you will see open test dates and time slots. Then you can pick your test date and time.

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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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. BCCU account number
  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 cannot reschedule online. 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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