Background Checks

Procedure:  The NMU Police Department performs background screening, with input from NMU's Human Resources department when necessary. 

The program administrator should ask for the legal name and a current e-mail address from each program staff and volunteer. Tell each that:

  • NMU will conduct a background screening if one has not been completed in the prior twelve months; 
  • the NMU Police Department performs the background screening, and no one but the officer in charge will know the details of the results. Administrators only find out if someone is cleared or not cleared;
  • Each will receive an e-mail from NMU asking for their current and prior address(es), a confirmation of any alias that they have used, as well as a driver license number if they will be driving minors during the program. 

On the program registration on-line form, the program administrator enters the staff or volunteer name, e-mail address and whether this person will be transporting minors in a vehicle. Once the form is submitted (press the submit button at the bottom of the page), the Police Department checks to see if NMU has a current background check and/or driving check on the individual already.  If not, the NMU Police Department e-mails the program staff or volunteer to request the information necessary.  Using this method, the program administrator will not have to collect additional personal information from the staff and volunteers. The program administrator also will not have access to the information received in the screening. There is currently no charge to the program for background screening.  

Once the background screening is complete, the program administrator will be informed which individuals are cleared to participate and/or drive in the program.  

Criminal Background Check Requirements

Except for exclusions noted below, all individuals who have unsupervised access to minors at a youth program must have satisfactorily completed a criminal background check (including sex offender registry check) within the last twelve months.  The process is defined by Human Resources and Public Safety.

In addition, an external organization sponsoring a youth program on campus or using NMU facilities for a youth program must attest as part of the program registration process that all program staff working or volunteering at the program have been subject to a criminal background check (including sex offender registry check) within the last twelve months.  The attestation is included in the Safety of Minors Addendum for the Facility Use Agreement.

There are exceptions to the criminal background check requirement.  Specifically, the criminal background check requirements do not apply under the following circumstances:

  • The youth program format requires the participating minor to be accompanied at all times by a parent, legal guardian, or other adult relative; 
  • The program is coordinated through a PK-12 school and the PK-12 school administrator has attested that they have conducted or will conduct their own background screening and training process;     
  • NMU students hosting siblings or other family members;
  • NMU students hosting high school students as part of a pre-enrollment visit for prospective students;
  • NMU students who volunteer under the direct supervision of an NMU employee (e.g. student athletes during sports camps);
  • Individuals under the age of 18 who volunteer or work under the direct supervision of an NMU employee;
  • External organizations using NMU facilities open to the general public are not required to provide certification of criminal background checks, even if minors are present. (e.g. the U.P. Builders’ Show).

Sex offender registry:  All persons who are subject to a criminal background check will also be reviewed for inclusion in the applicable sex offender registry.  In addition, NMU students who work or volunteer unsupervised with youth or are present during youth programming overnight stays will be subject to a sex offender registry review. 

Criminal Background Check and Sex Offender Registry Results:  Individuals who do not have satisfactory criminal background check results will be provided with an opportunity to explain the results and give clarifying information to Human Resources and Public Safety.

Confirmed inclusion on the sex offender registry will result in automatic exclusion from youth programming.  Human Resources and Public Safety will review the results of other background check verification and any clarifying information and make a determination as to whether the individual being assessed will be allowed to work with youth.  Fair Credit Reporting Act adverse action processes will be followed. 

Transporting Minors – Driving History Screening

The program administrator will ensure that program staff who transport youth will be subject to a review by the NMU Police Department, which may include requirements that the driver must: 

  • be at least 19 years of age;
  • have been subject to a Michigan driver records check within the last twelve months;
  • have a valid driver’s license;  
  • not have three or more convictions for moving violations within the past 36 months;  
  • not have been convicted of operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, leaving the scene of an accident, failure to report an accident, driving with a suspended license or reckless driving within the past 36 months;   
  • not have been convicted of obtaining a vehicle unlawfully, possessing a stolen vehicle, or using a vehicle in a crime or in connection with an unlawful act.

Any discrepancies will be reviewed by the NMU Police Department.  Exceptions to the requirements may only be waived by the NMU Police Department. 

The use of private vehicles for transporting minors should be avoided. When private vehicles must be used, contact Risk Management; proof of automobile liability insurance must be delivered to Risk Management. 

More than one program staff must be present in the vehicle, except when there are multiple minors for the duration of the transportation.