VECHS (pronounced “vecks”) is an acronym for the Volunteer & Employee Criminal History System at the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE). The VECHS program was implemented in 1999 and is authorized by the National Child Protection Act (NCPA) (1993), as amended, and Florida Statute 943.0542 (1999).
The mission of the program is to protect children, the elderly, and the disabled by 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)
Through the VECHS program, FDLE and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) provide to qualified organizations (not individuals) in Florida state and national criminal history record information on applicants, employees, and volunteers. With this criminal history information, the organizations can more effectively screen out those current and prospective volunteers and employees who are not suitable for contact with children, the elderly, or the disabled.
Generally, to be qualified to participate in the VECHS program, an organization (public, private, profit, or non-profit) must provide “care” or “care placement services”, as defined in the above laws, to children, the elderly, or the disabled.
The VECHS program is not available to organizations currently required to obtain criminal history record checks on their employees and/or volunteers under other statutory provisions, such as day care centers. Those organizations must continue to follow the statutory mandates that specifically apply to them. If, however, an organization is required to obtain state and national checks on only specific types of employees or volunteers, the VECHS program may be able to process requests for state and national checks on the organization’s other employees or volunteers.
To become a qualified organization and to obtain criminal history record information through the VECHS program at FDLE, an organization will need to do the following: