When are student volunteers required to have criminal background checks?
This will depend on the situation:
- If students will be donating time and effort to the campus in a manner that benefits the campus (UC sponsored program, event or activity), and the responsibilities are of a sensitive nature, a criminal background check is required.
- If students will be donating time and effort in a manner that benefits others (non-UC sponsored opportunity), the agency or institution accepting the volunteer is liable. In this case, campus departments are not responsible for obtaining the criminal background check. The Office of Legal Affairs states that liability for actions of volunteers would reside with the organization using the volunteers, not the organization supplying the volunteers, unless there is an agreement to the contrary.
- If a student volunteers to host a high school senior for a night as part of Cal's Senior Weekend activities, departments should transfer liability to the parents of the senior coming to campus. If this is done, a criminal background check of that student volunteer would not be required. (Departments can call the Office of Risk Management to obtain a waiver of liability, agreement, or memo of understanding.)
- If a student volunteers to work for a campus sponsored event or program which involves minors (individuals under 18 years of age), a criminal background check is required, unless the students' interaction with these minors is supervised at all times.
If you have questions about whether you need a criminal background check for work-study students or student volunteers, consult with your assigned Employee Relations Consultant.