Carnegie Mellon University

Child Protection Clearances (Act 153)

The Pennsylvania Child Protective Services Law (CPSL), as amended by Act 153, requires employees, volunteers and other individuals who interact with minors to obtain three different clearances:

  • Pennsylvania Access to Criminal History Check through the Pennsylvania State Police (PATCH)
  • Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Check through the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (PACA)
  • FBI Criminal History Check; this check requires the individual to submit their fingerprints to the FBI

The CPSL requires that certifications be renewed every 60 months (five years).

How to Apply for Child Protection Clearances

Individuals requiring Child Protection Clearances will be contacted by the Office of Human Resources. To begin the application process, individuals will need to complete a Disclosure and Authorization Form consenting to these checks, signed electronically, as well as a questionnaire. The questionnaire takes approximately 15 minutes to complete. Please be careful to double check all the information you provide. Once you submit your information, you will not be able to modify or change it.

Who will be contacted?

  • Employees with direct contact with minors as part of their position
    • The Office of Human Resources maintains a list of employees who require Child Protection Clearances a condition of employment.
    • The Office of Human Resources completes regular clearance status checks for individuals on this list. Those missing required documents or whose documents are due to expire will be contacted.
    • Individuals who are missing any of the required documents are not permitted to interact with minors until all requirements have been completed.
    • If you are a supervisor or department head who would like to add an employee to this list, please contact the Office of Human Resources.
  • Employees or volunteers with direct contact with minors as part of a university program or activity
    • Programs involving minors are required to register with the Office of Human Resources annually, as per the Policy on the Protection of Children in CMU Programs, Activities, and Facilities. Programs are required to submit a roster of individuals who will have direct contact with minors as part of this registration process.
    • The Office of Human Resources completes regular clearance status checks for individuals on these rosters. Those missing required documents or whose documents are due to expire will be contacted.
    • Individuals who are missing any of the required documents are not permitted to interact with minors until all requirements have been completed.

Existing Child Protection Clearances

Child Protection Clearances are valid for 60 months (five years). Individuals who have existing clearances obtained within the last five years may transfer those certifications in certain situations:

  • From one employer to another employer
  • From one employer to another volunteer program
  • From one volunteer program to another volunteer program

By law, clearances obtained for the purpose of volunteering at another institution may not be transferred for use as an employee.

In order to transfer your Child Protection Clearances, you must swear or affirm in a Disclosure Statement in Support of Certification Transfer [pdf] that you are not disqualified from employment by committing one of the offenses listed on the "Disqualification from Employment" section or a similar offense under the laws of the United States or one of its territories, possessions, another state, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico or a foreign nation.

Contact Information

For additional guidance on Child Protection Clearances, please contact: