Ardeo’s Background Check Policy
Ardeo Global (Ardeo) is committed to protecting all persons who are associated with Ardeo including members, staff, volunteers and guests. Any individual wishing to become staff or volunteer must complete a registration form and consent to a background check. All requested information must be provided by the applicant, including Social Security number and date of birth. Ardeo shall conduct criminal background checks of all staff and volunteers. Ardeo will carry out this requirement in a fair, consistent and non-discriminatory manner, complying with applicable state and federal laws and guidelines, including the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission. To access background check reports, Ardeo will be outsourcing to a national Consumer Reporting Agency. Under the FCRA, each volunteer will be provided a disclosure and authority to release information form in a document that consists solely of the disclosure. An electronic copy of the FCRA Summary of Rights will also be provided to every volunteer.
If Ardeo makes a decision not to accept a volunteer based wholly or partially on information contained in the background check report, Ardeo will follow the Pre-Adverse and Adverse action steps as outlined in the FCRA. Ardeo shall alert the applicant to the possibility of his or her exclusion due to past criminal conduct and provide the applicant an opportunity to submit an explanation. All personal data, background check data and adverse action letters shall be treated as confidential and maintained in a secure location.
Ardeo utilizes name-based systems to obtain data for individual background checks, but at a minimum each individual background check shall include:
verification of the individual’s identity and legal aliases,
a national search of sex offender registries and
a national search of criminal records.
Background checks shall be conducted prior to employment or volunteer service and renewed annually for volunteers. Other data may also be obtained, based on individual employee or volunteer duties or responsibilities. Criminal background checks are performed on an ongoing basis throughout the year. To ensure compliance with all applicable laws, Ardeo Global employees are the only people authorized to initiate, review or have access to a criminal background check. In all cases, the results of any criminal background check must be kept strictly confidential.
The Notice of Duty to Review Criminal Record process is initiated by Ardeo. When a negative determination is made, a copy of the criminal conviction report received by Ardeo must be sent to that volunteer applicant in an envelope marked “Confidential – to be opened by addressee only,” along with the Notice of Duty to Review Criminal Record cover letter.
If a conviction is disclosed or discovered, Ardeo must make a decision on whether or not the applicant may be used based on the following guidelines and partial Table of Convictions. As used in this policy, the term conviction refers to a conviction entered after a trial, after a guilty plea or after a plea of no contest/nolo contendere.
Background check findings shall be reviewed in a fair, impartial and confidential manner. Because Ardeo’s priority is the safety of the members, staff, volunteers and guests, actions and convictions for certain crimes serve to automatically disqualify applicants for employment or volunteer service at Ardeo. An individual will be ineligible for employment or volunteer service if the individual:
refuses to consent to a criminal background check,
makes a false statement in connection with criminal background checks,
is registered, or required to be registered on any sex offender registry,
has been convicted of sex offenses,
has been convicted of a crime against or otherwise involving a minor at any time in the past
has been convicted of a felony,
is currently serving probation,
or has been convicted within the past 5 years of a misdemeanor involving:
physical assault or battery,
drugs or controlled substances, or
cruelty to animals.
In certain limited instances, Ardeo may disqualify staff or volunteers who have been arrested for a crime, even if the arrest later results in no charges being filed. While Ardeo casts no judgment about any of the allegations and/or accusations in these instances, Ardeo’s overriding and compelling interest is to provide a safe environment for everyone.
With respect to convictions for crimes not listed above, any applicant with such a conviction shall be evaluated on an individual (case-by-case) basis to determine whether they should be excluded from consideration based on the conviction. The decision about whether to allow service is within Ardeo’s discretion, and factors to be considered include, but are not limited to:
the nature and gravity of the offense;
the time that has passed since the offense or completion of sentence;
the nature of the job sought or held;
the facts and circumstances surrounding the offense or conduct;
the number of offenses for which the individual was convicted;
the age of the individual at the time of conviction or release;
evidence that the individual performed the same type of work, post-conviction, with the same or a different employer with no known incidents of criminal conduct;
the length and consistency of employment history before and after the offense or conduct;
rehabilitation efforts, e.g. education and/or training;
employment or character references and any other information regarding fitness for the position;
the position for which the individual seeks to volunteer/be hired;
the likelihood that the individual will commit the crime again; and
whether the individual is bonded under a federal, state, or local bonding program.
If any discretion is exercised in the application of this policy, it must be exercised in a uniform manner, so that substantially similar convictions and circumstances result in substantially similar treatment of potential volunteers. Ardeo will be immediately notified when a negative determination is made, or if there are issues related to an application. The specific results leading to a negative determination must remain confidential unless the applicant is willing to reveal the results to Ardeo. Because of the serious implications to the entire organization, all Ardeo staff and volunteers must comply with the decisions made by Ardeo under this policy.
Individuals disqualified or restricted by Ardeo are not entitled to due process. Their right of review is conducted in conjunction with their Notice of Duty to Review Criminal Background.