Criminal Background Investigations/Drug Screening FAQ

Why do I need a background investigation/drug screening?

Healthcare facilities used by Forsyth Technical Community College (FT) for student clinical rotations require a background investigation and drug screening prior to allowing students access to their facilities.  The process is essentially the same process that these facilities use when hiring employees.

Who is the company conducting the background investigation/drug screening and why do I have to use them?

Investigative Associates & Consultants, Inc. (IAC), the company contracted by FT, is in compliance with standards set by the healthcare agencies.  They are located at 3796 Vest Mill Road, Winston-Salem, NC, 27103.  Their phone number is 336.768.7040.  When students pay for the background investigation, they will receive a permit for the drug screening.  IAC or another nearby company will conduct the drug screening. Payment by cash or check is required; credit or debit cards are not accepted.

What are the components of the background investigation/drug screening? 

The investigation/drug screening consists of the following:

  • A Social Security Trace
  • A Criminal History Search
  • An Office of the Inspector General Exclusions Search
  • A Sex Offender Registry Search
  • A Twelve Panel Drug Screen

What information is obtained from the Social Security Trace?

The Social Security Trace identifies locations of residence and names used based on information from major credit bureaus.  It is not a credit report.  IAC conducts a criminal history search in each state of residence (within the last 7 years) and under each name used in those states.  At times, the Social Security Trace may list a name or state of residence as occurring within the last 7 years that a student may dispute as inaccurate.  However, the healthcare facilities providing the clinical rotations for FT require that the 7 year criteria based on the Social Security Trace be used for all students.  Therefore, if a name comes up that the student questions, it will still be run because it showed up in the Social Security Trace.

What types of criminal offenses will exclude me from a clinical rotation?

FT and IAC are not given a list of offenses that may prevent a student from attending a clinical facility.  Healthcare facilities typically use the same criteria for allowing students to participate in clinical rotations as they do for hiring employees.  Consequently, they will take into account the nature of the offense(s), the frequency of offense(s), the time that has elapsed since the occurrence and the relationship the offense has to the role of the student.  Simply having a criminal record does not automatically disqualify a student from a clinical experience; each student’s background investigation is evaluated independently and a decision is made based on the above criteria.  NOTE:  While the determination of states and names to be searched is for the past seven years, criminal records located under the student’s name in those states are not limited to only the past seven years; any criminal conviction will be reported regardless of the date of the offense.  For offenses that did not result in a conviction (Not Guilty, Voluntary Dismissal, Deferred Prosecution, etc.), only those that occurred within the past seven years will be reported.

If I am currently taking prescription medications, what effect will that have on my drug screening?

Students who test positive for certain prescription medications will be required to provide either a list of their current medications (from their physician or pharmacy) or present the prescription bottles to the screening agency.  An additional fee is required for this review.  Federal law does not allow the collection of this information at the time the student provides a sample to be tested.

What is the deadline for completion of the background investigation/drug screening?

Beginning August 1, 2011, students entering a NAI, NAII, Telemetry Cardiovascular Technician, Phlebotomy, or Autism class are required to begin the background check/drug screening before course registration.  Note:  Autism requires the background check only—no drug screening required.  Some background investigations may take a few weeks to complete, so students may want to initiate and pay for the background investigation before NAI Orientation (but this is not required).   Students need to bring their receipts from IAC, as they do with other course prerequisites, either to the NAI Orientation or the Health Education Department.  Copies will be placed in the student’s course file and students will then be able to register.

What is the cost of the background investigation/drug screening?

The cost starts at $70.00 and will increase based on the number of states of residence and the number of names a student has used within the past 7 years.   The student is responsible for payment for the background investigation/drug screening.  The investigation will not be initiated until after payment is made.  Only cash and checks or money orders are accepted.  No credit/debit cards will be accepted.

Can I see the results of my background investigation/drug screening?

Yes, the student may contact IAC at 336.768.7040 and receive a copy of their report at no charge.  Students must go in person to pick up a copy of their report.

Who will see the results of my background investigation/drug screening?

The investigation/screening results are forwarded from IAC to the healthcare facility designated as the student’s clinical site.  If the healthcare facility denies the student access based on the results of the investigation/screening, FT will then be notified by the healthcare facility that the student has been denied and a FT representative will notify the student.  If results are received after class begins, the course instructor will also be notified.  NOTE:  FT does NOT receive the specifics of a denial; only IAC and the healthcare facility receive the specifics of the denial.

What is the FT refund policy if I am denied after I register for a course?  

  • A 100% refund (excluding the $18.00 Liability Insurance cost) may be issued when a class is officially dropped BEFORE the first day of class.
  • A 75% refund (excluding the $18.00 Liability Insurance cost) may be issued if a student officially withdraws before the class has met 10% of its scheduled time (census date).
  • No other refund is given
  • IMPORTANT: If a decision that will prevent the student from attending clinicals is made after the class meets 10% of its scheduled time (i.e. 17.7 hours for NAI students), the student will not be eligible for a refund and will not be able to attend clinicals and mock testing.

Is there an appeal process if I am denied access to a clinical facility based on my background investigation?

At this time there is no appeal process.

How long is the background investigation valid? 

The background investigation is valid for 12 months.

How will the clinical location receive my background investigation?

Upon registration, students are to notify IAC of the clinical site they will attend based on the class for which they have registered (refer to registration form for location) and IAC will send reports to the designated clinical site(s).