Requesting Clearances-Gelfand - Carnegie Mellon University

Criminal and Child Abuse Clearances for CMU Student Volunteers

Please see new procedure as of July 1st, 2015 below:

The Gelfand Center will NO LONGER be processing clearances for CMU student volunteers. The Human Resources Office at CMU will now be the office for the entire campus to receive their clearances. A guidance document concerning Act 153 and employees is available on the Human Resources website.

Departments and supervisors are responsible for determining whether employees must obtain background certifications under Act 153. The guidance document is intended to assist departments and supervisors in making this determination. The guidance details the requirements of and exceptions to Act 153 with respect to background certifications. The guidance includes a decision tree that diagrams the step-by-step analysis for determining whether an employee must obtain a background certification.       

The university has also developed corresponding Act 153 guidance for volunteers.

In addition to background certifications, the guidance documents also detail the responsibility of all university employees to immediately report any suspected child abuse. All university employees are mandatory reporters of child abuse, regardless of whether an employee is required to obtain a background certification. 

While your appointment will NOT be with the Gelfand Center, we recommend doing the following to prepare for your appointment with Human Resources.

  1. The Criminal Clearance Form [.pdf] is obtained through the Pennsylvania State Police. Please print and complete the form.
  2. Please fill out a Child Abuse Clearance Form [.pdf]. You may also do this online:   
  3. If you are faculty, staff, paid student employee or student volunteer, please contact Nubhia Nishad (, 412-268-7374) or Brian Heckman (, 412-268-3210) of the Human Resources Office at CMU for more information and also to schedule an appointment to have your clearances processed. Appointments will be at the Whitfield Hall location: 143 N. Craig St., Pittsburgh, PA 15213. Please bring with you to the appointment your state ID/passport and completed forms (should you have them). Appointments will last approximately 1 hour and will be scheduled during normal business hours, M-F.

Once you have received your clearances be sure to KEEP the certificates since you will need to show this to the school or agency where you volunteer. The certificates are then valid for five years.

For questions or concerns, please contact:

Nubhia Nishad
Email: nnishad AT
Phone: (412) 268-7374