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Pennsylvania Act 153 Background Clearances


Important Notes on Remote Instruction and Act 153 Requirements

Online interactions with minors or dual enrolled students are within the scope of the Pennsylvania Child Protective Services Law and Act 153 background certifications are required for online instruction as for in-person instruction. These clearance must be obtained and on file with the Office of Human Resources prior to employee interacting with minors, including interactions using distance education and advising technology.

What Background Checks are required?

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, under Act 153 requires employees, volunteers and other individuals who interact with minors to obtain three different background certifications:

  1. Pennsylvania Criminal History Records Check is a check of criminal history information obtained from the Pennsylvania State Police that is maintained in the Pennsylvania State Police Central Repository.
  2. Pennsylvania State Child Abuse Clearance Check is a check that includes a certification from the Department of Human Services as to whether the applicant is named in the statewide database as an alleged perpetrator in a pending, indicated or founded child abuse investigation in Pennsylvania.
  3. Federal Criminal History Records/FBI Check is a check of federal criminal history information obtained by the submission of a full set of fingerprints.

How long are these clearances valid for?

Act 153 requires that certifications be renewed every 60 months (five years).

Who is required to complete the Act 153 clearances?

All employees are encouraged to obtain clearances.

Clearance are required in at least the following circumstances (please check with your supervisor regarding your position):

  • All Faculty, Administrators, and Staff hired since January 2016.
  • Current Faculty, Administrators, and Staff working with dual-enrolled students, camps, or programs with minors on campus or virtually.
  • Admissions or other staff who interact with high school students while recruiting or working off campus.

If clearances are not required for me, why would I get them:?

  • Faculty: Faculty members who do not have Clearances will lose their class assignment if a child is added to their class list. Full-time faculty members will be reassigned by Administration in order to complete their load. Adjuncts will not be reassigned.
  • Administrators and Staff: Administrators and staff who do not have Clearances will not be permitted to perform assignments that require them to come into contact with children.

I think I already have these clearances, what do they look like?

DHS Child Abuse History DHS FBI Check PA State Criminal Check

I recently had these same checks completed for another employer or organization. Do I need to have them completed again if they were done in the last 5 years?

No, the background checks are transferable from one employer to another, provided the employee can present the originals.

How much are clearances? Will I be reimbursed for them?

Clearances currently cost $58.85 for all three.

  • $22.00 - Pennsylvania Criminal History Records Check
  • $13.00 - Department of Human Services - Pennsylvania State Child Abuse Clearance Check
  • $23.85 - Department of Human Services - Federal Criminal History Records/FBI Check

CCAC currently has no active reimbursement program for clearance reimbursement, though full-time AFT members should refer to their contract Article XXVI regarding reimbursement through the Common Fund for Dues Reimbursement.

How do I obtain clearances the required clearances?

Step-by-Step Directions for how to obtain the required clearances are here.

How do I turn in clearances once I obtain them?

For New Hires

You will present your original clearances as part of your New Employee Pre-Hire Meeting

For Current Employees

You must present your original clearances IN PERSON to the Employee Processing Center in the Office of College Services at 800 Allegheny Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15233. The Office of College Services is the Orange Building across the street from McDonalds. You will be able to park in the adjacent gated lot across from the Wendy's by telling the guard you have an appointment with the Employee Processing Center.

You can set-up an appointment online.

Due to COVID-19, you will be required to be masked before entering the building. Access to the building and the processing center is by prior appointment only and has been set up to promote social distancing.

I have more questions

Please contact Human Resources with any additional questions regarding clearances at or 412.237.3001.