Background Checks

Background Check Timeline & Workflow: Managing Expectations during the Recruitment & Selection Process

Background Check Process

A safe environment is essential to Oregon State University’s success in delivering its mission. This includes educational, research, and work environments. The completion of a background check by individuals with responsibilities in critical or security-sensitive areas contributes to that safety.

At OSU, the term "background check" encompasses a range of activities that inquire into relevant areas of an individual's background when considering them for employment or volunteer opportunities.

University Human Resources (UHR) is responsible for processing background checks, evaluating background check results, and informing officials about employment or volunteer service eligibility. The background check, itself, begins once an individual provides consent to the background check. All results are kept confidential.

A background check is required for all employment and volunteer opportunities that have critical or security-sensitive access(es) and/or require driving as part of the regularly assigned responsibilities. Some positions may require additional background checking.

If the position requires a background check, it is important that the background check process be incorporated into the search timeline. 

A candidate/volunteer may NOT begin working in a new position or volunteering until the background check process is completed with satisfactory results. No allowances will be made regarding this requirement.


Please visit the Hiring Units section of the Background Check website for detailed information about the process, including process initiation, costs, and timing.

The Hiring Units FAQs section includes information about several key areas of the background check process.

In some cases, the hiring unit may be notified of results in as little as one business day. Please plan for a minimum of three to five days though.

If results come back as “In Process”, there may be a need for additional reviews of the information, which will extend the timeline. Additional information about this process is available on the homepage of the Background Checks website

Additional Information

  • All results are kept confidential.  Background check information will only be shared with those university employees with a demonstrated and legitimate business need to know the information.
  • Hiring units should not provide any information beyond that a check is “In Process” and should not speculate or communicate with the applicant regarding their “In Process” status. It is recommended to stay in touch with them though, even just to share that there are no updates.
  • If a decision is made to deny employment or volunteer opportunity, individuals have a right to appeal which can add an additional 2-4 weeks to the timeline.

Background Check Resources