Carnegie Mellon University

Teacher working with young student

December 03, 2019

Changes to Act 153 Provisional Employment Period Effective Dec. 31

Pennsylvania Act 153 (Act 153) requires employees, volunteers and other individuals who interact with minors to obtain three different background certifications:

  • Pennsylvania Criminal History Check through the Pennsylvania State Police (PATCH);
  • Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Check through the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (PACA); and,
  • FBI Criminal History Check, which requires the individual to submit their fingerprints to the FBI.

The law provided that in certain situations, employees who have applied for background certifications and signed a disclosure statement under Act 153 but have not yet received the certifications may work with minors in a provisional employment period for up to 90 days. During this provisional employment period, qualified employees are not permitted to work alone with minors, and must work in the immediate vicinity of a current employee who has a background certification under Act 153. 

Change to the Law

Effective December 31, 2019, an amendment to Act 153 has eliminated this 90 day provisional employment period for employees interacting with minors. As a result of this amendment, new hires or current employees who have experienced a job change and are now required to interact directly with minors will need to obtain and have the results of all three background certifications on file with the Office of Human Resources prior to interactions with minors. Employees who currently have clearances as a requirement of their jobs must obtain renewals prior to the expiry of the existing clearances.

The Office of Human Resources is available to assist individuals who are required to obtain Act 153 background certifications for employment as well as CMU-related volunteer purposes. Act 153 Application Sessions are being offered through OHR to facilitate the background certification process and on-site campus fingerprinting sessions are available. Contact for assistance with the clearance process.