Many OptomCAS participating programs require a national background check on you upon your initial, conditional acceptance to optometry school. The rationale for performing criminal background checks on accepted optometry school applicants is, in part, to ascertain the ability of a student to meet the requirements of clinical education sites and to become licensed optometrists.
In support of this, the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO) has initiated an OptomCAS-facilitated national background check service, through which Certiphi Screening, Inc. (a Vertical Screen® Company) will procure a national background report on you at the point of acceptance. ASCO has initiated this new service in order to recognize the desire of optometry schools to procure appropriate national criminal history reports, and to prevent you from paying additional fees at each optometry school to which they are accepted.
The background check fee will vary (based on the number of addresses you have lived) and will be paid to Certiphi by the applicant. If you are accepted by multiple schools and colleges of optometry that require a background check through Certiphi, you will only undergo a single search and pay a single fee.
Optometry schools may require criminal background checks and/or drug tests in order to verify that you are able to participate in experiential education rotations, to confirm your eligibility for optometry licensure, and to ensure patient safety. If you designate at least one optometry school that is participating in the OptomCAS-facilitated national background check service, you will be required to submit to a national background report at the point of initial, conditional acceptance. Please note that the requesting school will be notified if consent is not provided, and that failure to provide consent may result in failing to meet the requesting school’s admissions requirements. Many optometry schools not participating in our service during this year may also require you to undergo a separate national background check process. Contact your designated optometry schools directly for specific policies.
Participating Institutions for 2020–2021
- Midwestern University Arizona College of Optometry
- Midwestern University Chicago College of Optometry
- New England College of Optometry
- Northeastern State University – Oklahoma College of Optometry
- The Ohio State University College of Optometry
- Pacific University College of Optometry
- Southern California College of Optometry at Marshall B. Ketchum University
- Southern College of Optometry
- State University of New York College of Optometry
- University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Optometry
- University of California, Berkeley School of Optometry
- University of Houston College of Optometry
- University of Missouri at St. Louis College of Optometry
Many optometry schools not participating in our service during this year may also require you to undergo a separate national background check process. Contact your designated optometry schools directly for specific policies.
Below is a description of checks conducted by OptomCAS’s service partner, Certiphi Screening, Inc,. The results of the background search do not include juvenile records.
Social Security Number Search
A search of credit report header data to help confirm the applicant’s identifying information such as name, aliases, address(es), Social Security Number and to determine areas of prior residence.
County Criminal Records Searches
A direct search of county courthouse records for any felony or misdemeanor criminal history. All records are researched to help ensure positive identification.
Statewide Criminal Records Search
A search conducted through statewide criminal records repositories or court systems for any felony or misdemeanor criminal history.
Federal Criminal Records Search
A direct search of federal courthouse records for any felony or misdemeanor criminal history.
National Criminal Database Search
This search is an instant, multi-jurisdiction private database search covering more than 194 million criminal records collected from across the country. All database “hits” are verified directly through the source of information to ensure that records reported are current and up-to-date.
National Sexual Offender Database Search
A search of a national private database which contains sex offender data collected from across the United States.
US Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General List of Excluded Individuals /Entities Search
A search of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General List of Excluded Individuals/Entities (LEIE), a database which provides information to the public, health care providers, patients, and others relating to parties excluded from participation in the Medicare, Medicaid, and all Federal health care programs.
Search for Dishonorable Discharge from the Armed Forces
Military records are verified through either telephone interviews with the subject’s former commander or by obtaining the applicant’s DD-214 form. Verification generally includes subject’s name, Service Number, rank, dates of service, awards and decorations, and place of entrance and separation.
A search covering sanctions, disciplinary and administrative actions taken by hundreds of federal and state healthcare regulatory authorities, including FDA, NIH, GSA, OFAC, terrorist watch lists and more.
Upon your initial, conditional acceptance by a participating optometry school, Certiphi Screening, Inc. will send an email to the preferred email address you entered in your OptomCAS application. This email will provide you with access to a secure, online form via which you will provide basic identifying information and consent for this report to be procured. Your consent will serve for all optometry schools participating in the OptomCAS-facilitated CBC process, and you will not be asked to provide consent upon receiving additional, conditional acceptance offers by participating optometry schools.
Once you have provided consent, Certiphi Screening, Inc. will procure a national background check on you (Background Check Details). Once the report is complete, Certiphi Screening, Inc. will send an email to your preferred email address requesting that you review the report prior to its distribution. Upon receiving this email:
You will have ten (10) calendar days from the date this email is sent to review your report prior to this report being made available to the participating optometry schools who request this report. If you do not review this report, the report will be distributed after this period elapses.
You will be provided with an opportunity to contest the accuracy of the contents of the report within the specified ten (10) calendar day period. Once you have reviewed and released this report, or after the specified ten (10) calendar day period has elapsed, the report procured on you will be made available to the participating optometry school who offered an acceptance and initiated the request for this report.
The report procured during this process will not be released to any party other than the optometry schools requesting this report.