IS-2102 Background Checks

Human Resources

Effective Date: 01/13/15


Central New Mexico Community College (CNM or the College) conducts background checks on finalist candidates prior to making a final offer of employment. CNM will follow all applicable federal, state, and local laws governing employment and background screening in all respects.

1. Positions

1.1 Scope

All positions require the successful completion of a background check.

1.2 Hiring, Promotions, or Transfers

Recruitment information will state the requirements, clearly indicating that employment in the position is contingent upon obtaining and maintaining a satisfactory background check. All individuals applying for such positions must complete a background check release form. Background checks are valid for 6 months.  Candidates who are unwilling to submit to a background check will not be considered for employment, promotion, or transfer. If a completed background check regarding a current employee reveals adverse information or if there has been falsification or omission of information, it may be grounds for disqualification, separation, and or designation as ineligible for rehire.

2. Performance of Background Checks

2.1 Roles & Responsibilities

All background checks will be conducted by trained individuals in accordance with all applicable laws and regulations. Background checks may only be conducted by, or at the request of Human Resources (HR). The cost of performing background checks will be paid by the department.

2.2 Initiating the Background Check

Before an offer of employment is extended, the candidate(s) will receive a form, inviting them to provide their consent along with the requested information.

2.3 Criminal History Check

The College reviews criminal convictions on a case-by-case basis, considering the nature and gravity of the offense or offenses, the time that has passed since the conviction and/or completion of any related sentence, including any probation, the nature of the job assignment, and the honesty of the candidate in completing the application. Convictions disclosed on the consent form will not be used to influence the selection process if they are not considered by the College to be related to the duties of the positions or otherwise reasonably related to the College environment.

2.4 Evaluation Process

After the background check report has been received, the information in the report will be compared with the information disclosed by the candidate. If there are no disqualifying events, the designated hiring official is informed that the candidate passed the background check process.

If information obtained in a consumer reporting agency background check would lead CNM to deny employment, a copy of the report will be provided to the candidate, and the candidate will have the opportunity to dispute the report’s accuracy.

The final decision regarding the status of the candidate will be made by the responsible VP in consultation with the President if necessary.

If a candidate provides inaccurate, incomplete, or falsified information, the candidate will not be hired, pending an opportunity for the candidate to explain the discrepancy or omission.

2.5 Timing

Normally, final offer letters of employment should not be made until the background check process has been completed. In the event an offer is made prior to the completion of the process, the offer must specify that it is contingent upon the satisfactory completion of a background check. Employees will not be allowed to begin employment; until, the background check has been obtained unless prior authorization is provided by the Executive Director of HR (or designee). Employees hired pending a satisfactory background check will be hired on a “conditional basis.”

3. Notifications

3.1 Notice to Prospective Applicants

All College job postings and announcements, recruitment or other solicitations for employment will reference background check requirements as a condition of employment.

3.2 Pre-Adverse Action Letter and Notification of Adverse Decision:

If during the course of a consumer reporting agency background check information is identified that would result in a disqualification of the candidate or employee, a pre-adverse letter will be sent indicating the preliminary finding, providing the individual an opportunity to respond before a final decision is made.  If the background check results in an adverse decision, the candidate or employee will be notified in writing, stating the specific reasons or basis for the decision, if available, and the entity that provided the pertinent information.

4. Records

4.1 Use and Disclosure

Records obtained shall not be used for any purpose other than determining whether a candidate or employee has a record that would constitute disqualification. Except on receipt of legal process, or with the written consent of the individual, records obtained and the information contained in those records shall not be disclosed to any other person or agency, unless otherwise required by law.  These records may be subject to inspection by governmental or other agencies with regulatory jurisdiction over the College.

4.2 Record Storage

HR or an approved third party vendor manages and retains background check reports. Information collected on successful candidates is stored separately from the official employee files.

4.3 Record Retention

Background reports on successful candidates are maintained in accordance with records and retention requirements.

5. Forms

5.1 Candidate Consent and Disclosure Authorization

5.2 Background Check Confidentiality Agreement

5.3 Pre-Adverse Action Letter

5.4 Notice of Adverse Decision

5.5 A Summary of Your Rights Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act