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VECHS Program

FDLE VECHS program for private schools. Background screening on teachers and school volunteers

If your organization is a private school in need for criminal history search on staff and volunteers, or maybe background checks are required for your school in order to participate in scholarship programs, then VECHS program run by Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) is exactly what you need.

 

VECHS (Volunteer and Employee Criminal History System) program had been established by FDLE to assist with checking the background of persons who work or volunteer with children, the elderly, or the disabled under the National Child Protection Act (1993), as amended, and section 943.0542, Florida Statutes (1999). VECHS program is created for entities not required to obtain Level 2 background screening clearance according to statutory provision.

 

First of all contact The Florida Department of Education (DOE) Office of Independent Education and Parental Choice and verify who exactly in your organization is required to be fingerprinted. Next step is the enrollment into VECHS program and this is how you do it. Private schools are authorized to participate in FDLE’s Volunteer and Employee Criminal History System (VECHS) because of the service they offer to Children. VECHS is a voluntary program — however; under the provisions of Section 1002.421, F.S., private schools participating in scholarship programs must conduct criminal history record checks on employees and contracted personnel. Those criminal history checks will be conducted through the FDLE VECHS program.

 

Enrollment materials include the VECHS Application and User Agreement. Both of these documents must be submitted to FDLE via mail as they must be signed by the appropriate school authority. The forms may be printed from the internet, completed, signed and mailed to FDLE.FDLE will mail these forms to private schools upon request.

 

Here is the description of what is involved in screening process after your entity is signed up. You will be provided with a packet of information from the VECHS program. It will include:

A cover letter giving your account numbers to use. These are your Qualified Entity Numbers. One is for employees and contracted personnel and the other is for volunteers. While s. 1002.421, F.S. indicates that, in order to receive scholarship money, employees and contracted personnel must submit fingerprints, some schools may want to check volunteers as well. Using the volunteer entity number for checking volunteers will result in a reduced fee.

 

Forms and information for submitting fingerprints electronically. These forms are required regardless of whether your private school purchases a livescan device or if the employees and contracted personnel go to a “service provider” or another livescan device owner and have the fingerprints taken and submitted by this company.

 

Fingerprint cards and instructions on how to complete them. As of July 1, 2007, submissions for employees and contracted personnel must be made electronically. You have the choice of continuing to submit your volunteers via hard card fingerprint card or you can submit them electronically.

 

A Private Schools Waiver Agreement and Statement to be signed by each employee, contracted person or volunteer that you submit.

Contacts for criminal record repositories in other states which are useful in obtaining additional criminal history information.

Florida Clerks of Court and their contact information. This contact information may be needed when there is an arrest in Florida but the criminal record does not indicate whether the offender was convicted.

Instructions as to how a person can obtain his or her own criminal record for review and possible correction, which may be given to an employee, contracted person or volunteer.

 

A sample dissemination log which must be used if a private school shares criminal history information with another private school. Private schools may NOT share criminal history information with any VECHS entities except other private schools registered with VECHS. Private schools are the only VECHS entities authorized to receive sealed information and expunge notifications.

 

Similarly, private schools may not use criminal history results obtained for employees or contracted personnel for volunteers or vice versa. If a volunteer becomes an employee, that person’s fingerprints should be submitted again under the Employee Qualified Entity Number; the volunteer results should NOT be used to screen the candidate as an employee. Likewise, employee results should not be used to screen a person for a volunteer position. The rules for criminal history information sharing are included in the User Agreement, signed by all private schools participating in the VECHS program.

 

∗ Reminders of important provisions regarding the VECHS program.

∗ Fingerprint card submission checklist.

∗ Results definitions.

∗Instructions for procedures for “name‐based” searches from the FBI to be used when the subject’s fingerprints are rejected twice based on poor fingerprint quality.

 

Another question, what does the law mean when it says that fingerprints must be submitted electronically?

As of July 1, 2007, s. 1002.421, F.S. requires all fingerprint submissions for employees and contracted personnel be made electronically. Fingerprints submitted “electronically” are fingerprints taken on a “livescan” device and submitted electronically to FDLE. It can also include fingerprints taken with ink on a hard copy fingerprint card that are subsequently scanned and submitted electronically to FDLE. These electronic submissions are processed through FDLE’s Civil Workflow Control System.

 

Go ahead and ask, what is the Civil Workflow Control System (CWCS)?

The Civil Workflow Control System (CWCS), pronounced “QUICKS”, is an automated system used to receive process and respond to electronic applicant submissions. Processing that once took several weeks with fingerprint cards now takes 24 – 72 hours with electronic submissions. CWCS allows different types of applicants to be scanned on a single device and allows input from a variety of livescan devices that adhere to FDLE and FBI standards and requirements.

 

Very natural question you may have, so what do I need to do to start submitting electronically?

 

∗ First, you must already be a registered VECHS entity.

∗ Second, you must complete the CWCS VECHS Customer Registration Form and return it to FDLE. Once the information is registered in our systems, you will receive an e‐mail notification that you can start submitting electronically.

∗ Third, you must make arrangement to be fingerprinted on a livescan device

 

You may ask where can I get fingerprinted on a livescan device and submit electronically.

 

Private schools have the following options in submitting fingerprints electronically:

∗ Purchase own livescan device. While the cost may be prohibitive it can be cost effective depending on the number of submissions necessary for your school.

∗ Use “service providers” like IDENTICO LLC to submit fingerprints electronically on your behalf.

∗ Inquire to other livescan device owners, such as local school boards, if they are willing to assist with your electronic submissions.

 

We know the biggest question you have, what are the costs associated with criminal history record checks for private school employees and contracted personnel?

The fee may vary from vendor to vendor, but certainly consider IDENTICO LLC as the most competitive livescan vendor with aggressive pricing. Our standard individual VECHS Employee screening rate is $54.25 and  VECHS Volunteer screening rate is only $47.25. There are some discounts available for larger groups, and it worth to consider since there is no traveling fee for groups of 10 or more employees at single location. We’ll come to you and fingerprint all teachers and volunteers with convenience and efficiency you haven’t seen before.

 

So you paid for the screening and fingerprinting, and you want to know how would you receive and view the criminal history results after submitting electronically?

Criminal history results for electronic submissions are posted to FDLE’s secure mail application called “CertifiedMail”. Once the criminal history results are ready, the private school will receive an e‐mail notification, containing the link to the application. The viewing of criminal history results will occur within this secure application.

 

There are several more frequently asked questions on fingerprinting for private schools in Florida; therefore our further questions will be in FAQ format.

 

What is meant by “retention of applicant fingerprints for reverse searches” and “arrest hit notifications”?

Section 1002.421, F.S. instructs FDLE to retain fingerprints submitted by the private school on or after July 1, 2007. Incoming Florida arrest fingerprints are searched against these retained private school fingerprints. If a fingerprint match is made on an individual, FDLE notifies the private school that the employee or contracted person was arrested, and provides the name of the county where the arrest occurred as well as contact information for the arresting agency. It is important to note fingerprints submitted prior to July 1, 2007, were not retained

 

What are the fees associated with the retention of prints?

The fee for the retention of applicant fingerprints is $6 per year per applicant. The retention of the fingerprints eliminates the necessity to have a future state criminal history record recheck at a cost of $24, since all incoming Florida arrest information is continuously compared to the retained applicant database. If a recheck is required, it would only need to be for a national criminal history record check.

 

To whom may my private school release criminal history information?

With the permission of the applicant, the criminal history information may be shared with other private schools registered with VECHS. Each VECHS private school agrees to only release criminal history information after confirming with FDLE the private school to which they are releasing the information is a current, registered VECHS entity. Such dissemination of criminal history information must be logged by noting what record was released, to whom it was released, and on what date it was released. Also, private schools are required to release the criminal history information to the Department of Education personnel consistent with the applicant’s approval on the waiver form.

 

Are owners under the same requirements as private school employees and contracted personnel?

The provisions in s.1002.42(2)(c)1, F.S., were not changed. Private school owners must have fingerprints taken and sent to FDLE for a state‐level criminal history record check upon taking ownership. FDLE will return the state criminal record or an indication that there is not a state record to the school so that it can be made available for public inspection and sent by the school to DOE. The owner fingerprint submissions must be on a fingerprint card that clearly indicates, “State check only”.

 

The owner’s fingerprint submission may not be submitted with the VECHS account information. If state and national criminal record checks are required as a part of scholarship funding, the owner will have to submit under VECHS in addition to the State Level check defined in s.1002.42 (2)(c) 1 F.S.

 

Now let us explain the definition of the word Criminal History Background Check: The term “background check” has been used interchangeably with “criminal history check” or “criminal history background check” which has caused some confusion. From the FDLE perspective, a background check is a criminal history record check to determine if a person has been arrested and/or convicted of a crime. Although some companies use the phrase background check to include drivers record checks, credit checks, or interviews with neighbors and employers, for purposes of this paper, it includes the search of following databases:

∗ The Florida Computerized Criminal History Central Repository for Florida Arrests (STATE CHECK);

∗ The Florida Computerized Criminal History Central Repository for Florida arrests AND the national criminal history database at the FBI for federal arrests and arrests from other states (STATE AND NATIONAL CHECK)

∗ The Florida Crime Information Center for warrants and domestic violence injunctions (HOT FILES CHECK)

 

The national check is based on the submission of fingerprints. For State checks, submissions maybe based on a name (or descriptors) or fingerprints.

Level 1 and Level 2 Background checks: Level 1 and Level 2 Background Checks are terms used in Florida Statutes to convey the method of the criminal record check and the extent of the data searched, however, the terms may also refer to certain disqualifying offenses if certain statutes are used as reference. Level 1 and Level 2 are terms that pertain only to Florida and are not used by the FBI or other states. They are defined in Chapter 435, F.S., but are used elsewhere in statute without definition and appear not to be associated with all of the provisions in chapter 435.

 

∗ Level 1 generally refers to state only name based check AND an employment history check

∗ Level 2 generally refers to a state and national fingerprint based check and consideration of disqualifying offenses, and applies to those employees designated by law as holding positions of responsibility or trust. Section 435.04, mandates that Level 2 background security investigations be conducted on employees, defined as individuals required by law to be fingerprinted pursuant to Chapter 435

 

It should be noted that both the state and national criminal history databases can be searched for arrests, warrants, and other information pertaining to an individual, however neither database has the capability of searching for specific offenses on an individual records

 

What is the difference between the National Child Protection Act and Volunteers for Children Act?

Names you may hear that refer to the same federal law and its amendment are as follows: the National Child Protection Act, the Foley Act, and the Volunteers for Children Act. These laws are sometimes named for sponsors or persons who supported the new laws or amendments. For the purposes of the available criminal history information, these different names refer to the same basic law. Section 943.0542 of the 1999 Florida Statutes was enacted to implement this Federal legislation.

 

On what legislation the VECHS program based?

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement initiated the VECHS program in 1999, after the Florida Legislature enacted section 943.0542 of the Florida Statutes (1999). This statute is based upon the National Child Protection Act (NCPA), as amended. The federal guidelines for the NCPA offer further interpretations of the NCPA, along with mandates for states that chose to implement corresponding legislation and programs.

The federal guidelines apply to the interpretation of our legislation in Florida, and therefore, to the implementation of the VECHS program. Although FDLE desires to offer the broadest services and protection available under the authorizing legislation, we are not permitted to expand the coverage of the governing laws.

 

Please visit http://www.myidentico.com/answers-to-all-frequently-asked-questions-about-vechs-program/ for more details on VECHS program.

As FDLE authorized live scan vendor IDENTICO LLC does everything possible to support children and student safety in the communities and schools. If you are the entity approved to use VECHS screening, please contact us with any questions or quote requests. We’ll do everything possible to keep the cost of services affordable and the quality above standards. Please call (954) 239-8590/ toll-free (888) 988-8969 or visit our official webpage for more information on all background screening and fingerprinting needs.

 

Sincerely,

 

IDENTICO LLC.

Categories
AHCA Background Screening DCF Background Screening Department of Health Background Screening

Fingerprinting and Criminal History Check for Florida Medicaid Providers’ Enrollment

Criminal History Requirements

Criminal history checks are required for both enrolling and re-enrolling Medicaid providers. The following individuals in each provider organization are required to have criminal history checks:

All partners or shareholders with an ownership interest of five percent or more;
All officers (this includes the president, vice president, etc.);
All directors (this is the board of directors);
Financial records custodian;
All billing agents;
All managing employees or affiliated persons, including pharmacy managers;
All individuals authorized to sign on the account used for electronic funds transfer.

If individuals belong to more than one of the above categories, they only require one criminal history check.

 

Fingerprint Cards Requirements

The criminal history check is conducted based on the applicants’ fingerprints. Applicants are required to submit a copy of their fingerprints on the fingerprint card included in the Florida Medicaid Provider Enrollment Application package.Providers may not use other types of fingerprint cards. Additional cards can be obtained from the fiscal agent or any area Medicaid office.

 

Payment for Criminal History Check

Provider applicants are required to submit a check made payable to the Agency for Health Care Administration for each fingerprint card submitted with the Enrollment Application.

 

Criminal History Check Process

The fiscal agent submits the fingerprint cards to FDLE. FDLE conducts a state criminal-background investigation that is called a Level 1 check. FDLE forwards the fingerprints to the FBI for a national criminal-history record check. This is called a Level 2 check.

 

Rejected Fingerprint Cards

Applicant fingerprint cards that are rejected by the FBI will be returned directly to Medicaid Contract Management. Rejected fingerprint cards will be accompanied by a United States Department of Justice Form 1-17 A, Rev 5-2-96, or Form 1-12, Rev 4-28-97, that lists the various reasons a fingerprint card may be rejected. If a fingerprint card is rejected, it will be necessary for the applicant to submit a new fingerprint card.

 

In order to preclude duplicate payments and to receive a complete FBI record, the applicant must submit the rejected fingerprint card along with a new fingerprint card to Medicaid. If the second card is rejected and returned by the FBI, additional payment will be required before a third submission. Failure to successfully submit a new fingerprint card may result in denial of a pending enrollment or termination of an active provider.

 

Exemption For Board Members

Board members of a not-for-profit corporation or organization are exempt from the criminal history check if they meet all of the following criteria:
Serve solely in a voluntary capacity; Do not regularly take part in the day-to-day operational decisions of the corporation or organization; Receive no remuneration from the corporation or organization for their service on the board of directors; Have no financial interest in the corporation or organization; and Have no family members with financial interest in the corporation or organization.

 

To obtain the exemption, the corporation or organization must submit a NonProfit Organization Volunteer Board Member Affidavit for Exemption from Medicaid Criminal History Checks along with a list of the board members’ names and social security numbers. The Non-Profit Organization Volunteer Board Member Affidavit for Exemption from Medicaid Criminal History Checks is an attachment to the Florida Medicaid Provider Enrollment Application, AHCA Form 2200-0003, F.A.C.

 

Note: A Non-Profit Organization Volunteer Board Member Affidavit for Exemption from Medicaid Criminal History Checks may be obtained from the Medicaid fiscal agent by calling Provider Enrollment at 800-289-7799 and selecting Option 4 or by downloading the form from the Medicaid fiscal agent’s Web Portal at http://mymedicaid-florida.com. Click on Public Information for Providers, then on Provider Support, and then on Enrollment.

 

Exemption for Providers

The following providers are exempt from the criminal history check:

Hospitals licensed under Chapter 395, Florida Statutes. (This exemption does not apply to the physicians’ groups, laboratories, pharmacies, or other non-institutional providers that are not licensed under Chapter 395, but are owned by or affiliated with the hospital.)

 

Nursing facilities, hospices, assisted living facilities, and adult family care homes licensed under Chapter 400, Florida Statutes. (This exemption does not apply to the physicians’ groups, laboratories, pharmacies, durable medical equipment companies or other non-institutional providers not licensed under Chapter 400, but are owned by or affiliated with the nursing facilities, hospices and assisted living facilities.)

 

School districts.
Units of local government. (This exemption does not apply to nongovernmental providers and entities that contract with the local government to provide Medicaid services. The contracted entities are responsible for the cost of the criminal history checks for all applicable staff and management.)

 

Any business that derives more than 50 percent of its revenue from the sale of goods to the final consumer AND either the business or its
controlling parent is required to file a form 10-K or similar statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission OR the business has a net
worth of $50 million or more. (This exception is designed primarily to exclude large pharmaceutical companies. The business must submit its
annual report including audited financial statements or 10-K Form with the exemption request.)

 

To obtain the exemption, the provider must submit an FDLE Criminal History Check and Fingerprinting Exemption Request. The FDLE Criminal History Check and Fingerprinting Exemption Request is an attachment to the Florida Medicaid Provider Enrollment Application, AHCA Form 2200-0003, which is incorporated by reference in 59G-5.010, F.A.C.

 

Note: An Exemption Request form may be obtained from the Medicaid fiscal agent by calling Provider Enrollment at 800-289-7799 and selecting Option 4 or by downloading the form from the Medicaid fiscal agent’s Web Portal at http://mymedicaid-florida.com. Click on Public Information for Providers, then on Provider Support, and then on Enrollment.

 

Exemption for Government Entities with Previous Criminal History Checks

If a government agency or government-owned facility already obtains criminal history checks on its employees, Medicaid does not require another check if the following criteria are met:
The government agency or government-owned facility submits documentation in the form of a letter or official form from the screening agency, which specifies the applicant’s name and dates of the FDLE and FBI criminal history checks;
The previously completed criminal history check is no more than 12 months old as of the date of receipt of the application; and Medicaid reserves the right, on a case-by-case basis, to reject any criminal history check deemed questionable, or to require that a new criminal history check be completed and the appropriate fee submitted to cover payment required by FDLE.
Criminal history check exemption policies for government agencies apply to hospital taxing districts, such as the North Broward Hospital District; state agencies, such as county health departments; and state university system facilities, such as the University of Florida, Shands Teaching  Hospital.

 

Exemption for DCF License

Criminal history checks are not required for medical foster care or private transportation providers who have a Florida Department of Children and Families license.

 

Exemption for Physicians, RNs and ARNPs

Criminal history checks are not required for physicians, podiatrists, chiropractors, registered nurses, and advanced registered nurse  practitioners who are currently licensed through the Florida Department of Health (DOH). If an Alabama or Georgia provider is designated as an in-state provider and has a current Florida DOH license, then a criminal history check is not required. However, if the provider does not have a valid Florida DOH license; then a fingerprint card and a criminal history check is required.

 

Criminal History Check by Other Agencies

Medicaid accepts criminal history checks conducted by other Florida agencies or departments that have been completed within 12 months of receipt of the application. The provider must submit a letter or official form from the agency that conducted the criminal history check with the Enrollment Application. The letter or form must specify the applicant’s name, Social Security Number, date the criminal history check was completed, the level of the screening and the results. Medicaid Provider Enrollment will review the information and approve or deny
the application.

 

At this time Florida Medicaid Provider Enrollment is managed by third party vendor -HP. The submission of fingerprints for Medicaid Provider Services Level 2 Background Check is allowed by two methods. IDENTICO LLC– is FDLE approved live scan vendor provides physicians’ groups, laboratories, pharmacies and other non-institutional providers that are not licensed under Chapter 395, but are owned by or affiliated with the hospital, with solutions to comply with fingerprinting and background screening requirements of Medicaid Enrollment.

 

a)     We can collect and submit fingerprints electronically on our Live Scan Equipment, at your location or ours. This way fingerprint cards are not required, we provide all necessary prove of individuals transaction records, including the TCN numbers. The cost of such screening is $54.25/person, you don’t have to send $43.25 check to AHCA, and this fee is included in our rate. Traveling fees may apply for mobile fingerprinting appointments.

 

b)      We can capture fingerprints old fashion way on hard-copy fingerprint card. The client has to provide us specifically pre-printed cards made exclusively for Medicaid Provider Services. Such fingerprint cards can be requested from Medicaid Enrollment. The fee is $15/card, you would have to attach $43.25 fee payable to AHCA along with your enrollment application and the card. Traveling fees may apply for mobile fingerprinting appointments. Hard copy method is recommended for individuals with poor quality fingerprints, such prints have a high change to be denied by FBI as illegible.

 

Please contact us for more information. Visit our official website www.myidentico.com or call us today (954) 239-8590. We have an open door policy at our office located at 3948 Pembroke Road, Suite E, Pembroke Park, FL, 33021, however if you would like to schedule an appointment at certain time, please visit http://www.myidentico.com/hitappoint/ and we’ll serve you first regardless of any wait line.

 

Mobile unit appointments need to be scheduled by phone only .

Categories
Criminal Justice Program Students Background Screening

Fingerprinting for Criminal Justice Program Students in Florida

The Level 2 Background Screening and digital fingerprinting is required as part of students application for admission into criminal justice training school program approved by the Florida Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission.

 

Florida students attending 4-year accredited colleges and universities offering the Correctional Probation Training Program and all other criminal justice sciences or administration courses must comply with background screening procedures as set in F.S. 943.14(7)

 

943.14(7) Commission-certified criminal justice training schools; certificates and diplomas; exemptions; injunctive relief; fines.—

 

(7) Each criminal justice training school that offers law enforcement, correctional, or correctional probation officer basic recruit training, or selection center that provides applicant screening for criminal justice training schools, shall conduct a criminal history background check of an applicant prior to entrance into the basic recruit class. A complete set of fingerprints must be taken by an authorized criminal justice agency or by an employee of the criminal justice training school or selection center who is trained to take fingerprints. If the employing agency has previously taken a set of fingerprints from the applicant and has obtained a criminal history check of the applicant using the fingerprints, the requirements of this subsection shall be met when the employing agency submits to the criminal justice training school or selection center a letter stating the date on which the agency took the fingerprints of the applicant, a summary of the criminal history check based on the fingerprints, and a certification that the applicant is qualified to enroll in the basic recruit training program pursuant to s. 943.13. If the criminal justice training school or selection center takes the fingerprints, it shall submit the fingerprints to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement for a statewide criminal history check, and forward the fingerprints to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for a national criminal history check. Applicants found through fingerprint processing to have pled guilty to or been convicted of a crime which would render the applicant unable to meet the minimum qualifications for employment as an officer as specified in s. 943.13(4) shall be removed from the pool of qualified candidates by the criminal justice training school or selection center.

 

F.S. 943.13 (4) Officers’ minimum qualifications for employment or appointment.

—On or after October 1, 1984, any person employed or appointed as a full-time, part-time, or auxiliary law enforcement officer or correctional officer; on or after October 1, 1986, any person employed as a full-time, part-time, or auxiliary correctional probation officer; and on or after October 1, 1986, any person employed as a full-time, part-time, or auxiliary correctional officer by a private entity under contract to the Department of Corrections, to a county commission, or to the Department of Management Services shall Not have been convicted of any felony or of a misdemeanor involving perjury or a false statement, or have received a dishonorable discharge from any of the Armed Forces of the United States. Any person who, after July 1, 1981, pleads guilty or nolo contendere to or is found guilty of any felony or of a misdemeanor involving perjury or a false statement is not eligible for employment or appointment as an officer, notwithstanding suspension of sentence or withholding of adjudication. Notwithstanding this subsection, any person who has pled nolo contendere to a misdemeanor involving a false statement, prior to December 1, 1985, and has had such record sealed or expunged shall not be deemed ineligible for employment or appointment as an officer.

 

The Criminal Justice Program Students Screening licensing is regulated by Florida Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission . In order to get fingerprinted as part of your admission application please contact your local law enforcement agency or IDENTICO LLC today. Visit our official website www.myidentico.com or call us today (954) 239-8590. We have an open door policy at our office located at 3948 Pembroke Road, Suite E, Pembroke Park, FL, 33021, however if you would like to schedule an appointment at certain time, please visit http://www.myidentico.com/hitappoint/ and we’ll serve you first regardless of any wait line. Live Scan fingerprinting services and submission for Level 2 Background Check are available if permitted by you college or university.

 

Sincerely,

IDENTICO LLC.