Background Clearance Info
PIAA is not able accept clearances for volunteers.
Officials must supply PIAA with copies of their background clearances. The Pennsylvania State Police, PA Department of Human Services, and Identogo/PA Department of Education DO NOT supply PIAA with copies of your background clearances.
For instructions on how to upload your Background Clearances, click here.
Because PIAA-registered officials are independent contractors to schools whose Contests they officiate, the officials are required to comply with the requirements for background certifications as set forth in the Public School Code and the recent revisions to the Child Protective Services Law (adopted July 1, 2015), as follows:
There are three clearances that are required by PA State Law. Each can be accessed at the links below:
1. FBI clearance (ACT 114) - The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has changed the provider for this clearance. PIAA is not able accept clearances for volunteers. Also, the Affidavit-Exemption from FBI Clearance form is not acceptable for PIAA registered officials.
Follow these instructions to register for fingerprints:
- Visit https://uenroll.identogo.com/
- When prompted for a Service Code, enter 1KG6XN
- On the next screen, click "Schedule or Manage Appointment"
- Fill out all the required information. As you fill out the required information, you will be asked to search for a place to have your fingerprints captured. The locations are not the same as the old Cogent sites. You will choose a day and time, or just walk-in, to have your fingerprints captured.
- You will pay the fee of $25.25 when you arrive at the fingerprinting site.
- You will receive additional instructions on how to receive your results after completing the fingerprinting.
- To locate locations and hours of service centers visit:
PLEASE NOTE: YOU WILL NOT RECEIVE A HARD COPY OF YOUR RESULTS! You will receive an EMAIL from PASafeCheck (Identogo) with your "Unofficial Results". If you did not receive the email, check your spam and/or junk folders. It is also recommended you only open this email from a computer. You will then have ONE TIME ONLY access to your results. Please make sure you do not open this on a device where you are not able to save the document. You will need to save the document and then upload said document to the PIAA website. Do not delay in opening this document, you only have a short window of time to access the unofficial copy (usually 30 days from receipt). If you are unable to save the document or accidently used the one time access, please contact the Pennsylvania Department of Education at 717-783-3750 (you will hear music. Leave a message. A representative will return your call) or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org (include your full name, UE ID#, and your full mailing address) and ask them for your Civil Applicant Response. PIAA is unable to access your results.
ADDITIONALLY, You will only receive "Unofficial Results" from Identogo and the PA Department of Education. "Official" copies are only able to be obtained by authorized agencies. PIAA is not one of those agencies. Therefore, we need the "Unofficial Results" uploaded to our website. Links above will show you what is needed to upload.
2. PA State Police clearance (ACT 34) - https://epatch.pa.gov/home
- In completing the PA State Police clearance, the "reason" is employment. Click here for the example of the form that needs to be uploaded to our website.
- Fee is $22.
PIAA is not able to accept clearances for volunteers.
INSTRUCTIONS ON OBTAINING THE ACT 34 CLEARANCE
- Go to the PA State Police Pennsylvania Access To Criminal History (PATCH) website at
- Click the SILVER button with navy blue letters titled SUBMIT A NEW RECORD CHECK.
- Read the Terms and Conditions for the use of PATCH and hit accept.
- Click INDIVIDUAL REQUEST.
- Fill in the information requested. Click NEXT. NOTE: Reason for Request is EMPLOYMENT.
- Confirm your information and click PROCEED.
- Fill in the requested information and click ENTER THIS REQUEST.
- After clicking ENTER THIS REQUEST, VIEW QUEUED RECORD CHECK REQUESTS (1) will pop up on the bottom of the screen in navy blue letters. Click FINISHED.
- On the RECORD CHECK REQUEST REVIEW page, confirm your information and click SUBMIT.
- This will take you to the REQUEST CHECKOUT page. Read the details and click CHECKOUT.
- Fill in your payment information and click PAY WITH YOUR CREDIT CARD.
- Once payment is processed, you will be taken to the RECORD CHECK REQUEST RESULTS page.
- Click on the CONTROL #.
- On the next page, click CERTIFICATION FORM. This will be found right above the BACK button.
- Once you click CERTIFICATION FORM, you will need to save or print the form that appears. This is your record check and the form which needs uploaded to the PIAA website.
3. Department of Human Services clearance (PA Child Abuse) (ACT 151) - https://www.compass.state.pa.us/cwis/public/home
- In completing the Child Abuse History clearance, under the application purpose, check the box titled, "School Employee Governed by Public School Code". Click here for the example of the form that needs to be uploaded to our website.
- Fee is $13.
- PIAA is not able to accept clearances for volunteers.
INSTRUCTIONS ON OBTAINING THE ACT 151 CLEARANCE
To complete the online PA Child Abuse History Clearance you will need to have internet access, printer, credit/debit card, email account, knowledge of previous addresses since 1975 and names of everyone you have lived with at any time since 1975.
- Go to the Child Welfare secure website at https://www.compass.state.pa.us/cwis
- Click on Create a new account.
- Read the general information and click Next to create a Keystone ID. Chose a username that you will remember.
- Enter the requested information including your email address and create security questions. Then click Finish. (You will need to immediately access your email for the temporary password).
- You will receive this message on the screen: You have successfully created a Keystone ID and a temporary password has been emailed to you. You will receive two emails. The first email contains your Keystone ID and the second email contains your temporary password. Click Close Window.
- If you are not immediately taken to the login page, return to the website and click Login. Then click Access My Clearances. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click Continue. On the Keystone Login page, enter your username (Keystone ID) and temporary password you retrieved via email.
- You will be taken to the login screen to reset your password. Create a New password and click Submit.
- Click Close Window. You will be taken back to the login screen. Enter your username (Keystone ID) and New password.
- Read My Child Welfare Account Terms and Conditions. Then click the statement acknowledging I have read, fully understand and agree to the My Child Welfare Account Terms and Conditions. Then click Next.
- Scroll to the bottom of the page and click Continue.
- Click Create Clearance Application. Scroll to the bottom of the next page and click Begin.
- Under the Application Purpose select School Employee Governed by PA School Code. Then click Next.
- Continue through the online application pages and provide the requested information. Click the blue plus sign [+] to add additional fields.
- Under the section Certificate Delivery Method, you can elect to have a paper copy of clearance mailed to you. It will also be available online.
- Once you have completed the online application, review the Applicant Summary. If your information is not correct or needs to be updated, click the Edit button in the heading of the section and modify it as necessary.
- Click Next for your eSignature.
- To complete your application, eSign by checking the acknowledgement and entering your first and last name as it appears on the Application Information screen.
- Proceed to the “Applicant Payment” screen.
- Select No to the question, “Did an organization provide a payment code for your application”.
- You will then be asked for a payment of $13.00 (credit/debit card).
- Once payment has been submitted print your receipt and then Click Submit Application.
- You should see the message Success. Your application (e….Clearance Id: XXXXX) has been successfully submitted.
NOTES: Save your Keystone ID and Password!! You will be notified via email that your application has been processed and you are directed to open your Child Welfare Account to retrieve and print your clearance. This process may be immediate or may take a few days.
**The PA State Police clearance and the Department of Human Services clearance can be printed and mailed to those depts.
Click here for the printer version of the PA State Police clearance.
Click here for the printer version of the Department of Human Services clearance.
- PIAA registered officials are not considered “volunteers.” Do not click on any of the boxes that reference volunteers. Officials are independent contractors employed by the individual schools and school districts. In addition, the Affidavit-Exemption from FBI Clearance form is not acceptable for PIAA registered officials. All officials must be fingerprinted every five years.
- Expenses for obtaining clearances shall be borne by the registered sports official. PIAA is not permitted to accept certifications which were obtained for volunteering purposes under Section 6344.2 (relating to volunteers having contact with children).
- Keep the originals of your clearances and hold on to copies in the event a particular school wants to view your clearances. PIAA DOES NOT receive a copy of your clearances. You must supply them to PIAA.
- Upon receiving copies of your clearances, you will need to scan them and save them as PDFs on your computer. Please refer to "Instructions for Officials to enter their clearances into the Officials database".
CURRENTLY REGISTERED OFFICIALS
All current PIAA-registered officials who have not yet submitted to PIAA the certifications identified below are required to obtain and submit them to PIAA on or before January 1, 2016. The failure to submit such certifications shall result in suspension of registration until the certifications are submitted.
What this means?
- If not previously submitted, clearances for PIAA registered officials are required by January 1, 2016. They are not required by law until this date.
- All registered officials are required to re-submit all three clearances every five years.
- Clearances for those officials that have registered in the last five years will remain in effect until their initial five year period expires.
- Clearances obtained by newly registered officials in the year prior to their test date may be used to satisfy the clearance requirement.
- There is no “grandfather clause” in this legislation. ALL officials are required to obtain all three clearances and have them on file with PIAA by January 1, 2016.
- Clearances obtained through employment may be used to satisfy PIAA clearance requirements, provided they are the ACT 34, ACT 114 and ACT 151 and are within the five year period. However, clearances obtained as a volunteer may not be used to satisfy PIAA clearance requirements.
Upon successful completion of the respective sport examination, all applicants must comply with the background clearance mandates listed on the previous page. The change in this law has had no effect on the application process currently in place.
***** Please direct any questions to PIAA at (717) 697-0374. *****
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
When officiating Contests for PIAA member schools, PIAA-registered officials are independent contractors to those schools. Under the Public School Code, independent contractors are required to comply with the requirements for background certifications as set forth in the Public School Code and the recent revisions to the Child Protective Services Law (adopted July 1, 2015) as developed by the General Assembly. The following are frequently asked questions (FAQ’s) regarding these background clearances.
Q: Who Needs to Get Clearances?
A: All PIAA registered sports officials. Pennsylvania schools are barred by law from contracting with you unless you are able to provide them with clearances. While some officials were previously "grandfathered" and not required to obtain clearances, that status no longer exists. All officials must now have the clearances.
Q: When do I need to have my clearances?
A: If you are a new official, you must submit the clearances to PIAA when you register. The deadline for those previously registered officials who have not previously obtained clearances is December 31, 2015; therefore, the effective date is January 1, 2016. Note, however, that some schools may have stricter local policies and may require them from you even prior to January 1, 2016.
Q: Do officials have to complete these every year?
A: No. Once obtained, the clearances are good for 60 months (5 years) and then they have to be updated.
Q: Who pays for the clearances?
A: Officials must pay for their own clearances.
Q: If I didn't obtain background clearance because I was originally covered under the “grandfather” clause, do I now have to provide clearances?
A: Yes. All registered sports officials must provide the 3 requested clearances to PIAA and the schools they are officiating.
Q: If I have been a PA resident for 10 years or more, do I have to complete the 3 clearances?
A: Yes. The "10 year" exemption for the FBI check applies only to volunteers with non-profits. Because they are paid independent contractors, PIAA officials are not considered volunteers. All registered sports officials must provide the 3 requested clearances to PIAA and the schools they are officiating.
Q: I have obtained my clearances as a volunteer. Can I use them for my PIAA clearances as well.?
A: No. The law prohibits clearances obtained as volunteers to be used by employees and independent contractors.
Q: I have these 3 clearances completed for my job, they are 2 years old. Will I be able to submit these since they are not over 5 years old?
A: Yes. The clearances are transferrable and they are under the 5 year (60 months) deadline.
Q: What is PIAA's role in the clearance process?
A: Several years ago, when we determined that independent contractors were going to be covered by the background clearances requirements, we worked with the Department of Education to streamline the process for our schools and officials. This was important since the law required new clearances each time an independent contractor worked for a different school and our officials often officiate for many schools in any given season. We were able to work out a process whereby PIAA would serve as a clearinghouse for its member schools and clearances submitted to PIAA could be reviewed on line by member schools. This service to our officials and member schools required a considerable investment by PIAA but has worked out well.