Fingerprint-Based Background Screening

The Diocese of St. Petersburg is now a Participant in the Applicant Fingerprinting Retention Notification Program (AFRNP). Given the opportunity to upgrade the diocese’s background screening capability, Bishop Lynch decided to have the diocese participate in the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s Applicant Fingerprinting Retention Notification Program.  The AFRNP alerts the diocese immediately when an individual with unsupervised access to children, youth, or vulnerable adults has been arrested or convicted after successfully completing an initial FDLE/FDLE Background criminal history background check.  Click here to view the Announcement Memo. Fingerprinting Requirement for FDLE/ Level 2 Background Check

  • Employees   All employees 14 years of age and older must be Level 2 FDLE/FBI (AFRNP) Level 2 background screened using electronic fingerprinting through diocesan resources.  Click here to register.  (For the purposes of background screening only, employees of the following business relationships are included in the term “Employees”: contractors, vendors,  licensees, consultants, Memo of Understanding Personnel, and federal or state resource personnel and are also considered Church Personnel.)
  • All covered volunteers: (Those persons who are volunteers and who may have the care responsibility, and or supervision of children, youth or vulnerable adults or who may have unsupervised access to these vulnerable populations ) must complete a Covered Volunteer Application Form(CVA).  This form should be completed and turned in to the office of the volunteer’s organization (parish, school, other diocesan entity).  The form acts as the organization’s permission to expend the funds necessary to fingerprint a covered volunteer. Once the organization accepts the CVA, the covered volunteer must click here to go online to  to register and schedule a printing session. The results will go to the organizational point-of-contact at the location selected by the volunteer during his/her online registration session.

In accordance with the Title 28, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Section 50.12, the Diocese of St. Petersburg does not accept background screening reports from any federal agency, state agency, or private information vendor regardless of the screening organization and regardless of the position that an individual currently holds or may have held in the past –  with one exception. The Diocese can accept FDLE/FBI (AFRNP) Level 2 background criminal history background checks performed by Qualified Entities of the FDLE/FDLE Volunteer, Employee Criminal History System (VECHS). Otherwise, fingerprints contained in the FBI database can be used only for the purpose intended and are federal or state statute specific.  This means that the FDLE and the FBI prohibits the sharing of criminal history reports between entities outside of the Diocese of St. Petersburg is not allowed except as noted above. In order to begin the background screening process, Church personnel who wish to have unsupervised access or who wish to have the care, responsibility, or supervision  of children children youth, and or vulnerable adults must first obtain and complete either an Employee Application, a Covered Volunteer Application Form, an Independent Contractor Agreement License Agreement, or a Memorandum of Understanding. These forms can be obtained from the parish, school, or early childhood center where they wish to work or volunteer or from the Diocesan Safe Environment Program Office.  Second, individuals must click here to register online. They must select a time, date, and location to be fingerprinted and then keep the appointment.  For those individuals who do not have access to a computer, please contact the Registration Help Desk phone number at 1-954372-3677 to register by phone. Results of criminal history background checks are provided to the pastor, principal, or organizational head of each diocesan entity except for those of  contractor personnel.

The FBI prohibits the sharing of background screening results of contractor personnel with their respective employers.  The diocese provides clearance or non-clearance letters to contractor employers and their diocesan clients.

  • Contractors, vendors, licensees, consultants “contractors”  (See additional information and requirements of what it takes to become a diocesan vendor, contractor, licensee, or consultant) (Note: In accordance with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s [FDLE] Volunteer, Employee Criminal History System [VECHS] User Agreement signed by representatives of the FDLE and the Bishop of the Diocese of St. Petersburg on November 9, 2001, paragraph I.C. states that…current and/or prospective employee and volunteers (which classes of persons shall be understood for purposes of this Agreement to include contractors and vendors who have or may unsupervised access to the children, disabled, or elderly persons for whom User provides care), pursuant to section 943.0542, F.S. [Florida Statutes], and the NCPA (National Child Protection Act), and forms the legal basis for User’s access to criminal history record information derived from the systems of the U.S. Department of Justice…) All contractor employers who have employees that provide products and or services to the Diocese of St. Petersburg AND whose employees have or may have unsupervised access to children or youth must register with the Diocese of St. Petersburg Safe Environment Program Office (DOSP).  Said employees must successfully complete a FDLE/FBI (AFRNP) Level 2 background check based on electronic fingerprinting performed by the Diocese of St. Petersburg.  Successful completion of a background check by the Diocese means that screened individuals meet the Diocese of St. Petersburg’s Minimum Standard of Moral Conduct.  The Diocese of St. Petersburg does not accept background checks performed by any other organization except from a FDLE VECHS member organization known collectively as Qualified Entities.  In accordance with FBI/FDLE authority and the Diocese of St. Petersburg Policy for the Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults, the Safe Environment Program Office performs FBI/FDLE (AFRNP) Level 2 background checks on contractor employees who have or may have unsupervised access to children and vulnerable adults.

Type 1 Contractors This category of contractor contains those firms whose employees have unsupervised access (aka care, responsibility, and or supervision) to children, youth and or vulnerable adults on diocesan property or to and from diocesan property.       The employees of these firms must (1) successfully complete a FDLE/FBI Level 2 criminal history background check, (2) attend Safe Environment Program training, and (3) meet additional requirements as listed in the DOSP Contractor-Vendor Registration and Certification Procedures  to become a certified contractor with the diocese.

Type 2 Contractors       Those contractors whose employees provide products or who perform such services as lawn service providers, HVAC repair, vending machine stocking, and similar type businesses whose employees have short-term access to children, youth or vulnerable adults in diocesan schools, early childhood centers, parishes, or other diocesan entities must be under escort at all times while providing their services or products while on diocesan property. (Note: This clause cannot be used as a work-around, or act as a loop hole, or act as as an avoidance ploy to defeat the requirement to successfully complete a FBI/FDLE (AFRNP) Level 2 background check.) Diocesan contractor employees can submit a set of fingerprints at any diocesan Fingerprinting Site once their firm is registered with the Safe Environment Program Office.  These individuals can click here to register online at.  Once a contractor employee goes online, he/she will land on the BIM (Biometric Information Systems landing page where he/she must register as a contractor/vendor when asked to enter “Applicant Type”.  (Note:  For the purposes of background screening,  the term “contractor” includes “vendor” “independent contractor, “licensee”, “Memo of Understanding Individual”,and “consultant”)  For “Job Location”, select “Pastoral Center”. Enter the firm’s contractor/vendor number.  If unknown, contact your employer.  Your employer may have to contact the Safe Environment Program Office at 727-343-1611, ext 5377 to obtain one.   The online registration software provides Fingerprinting Locations as part of the online registration process. For all cleared contractor employees, the Safe Environment Program Office will provide the employee’s employer representative with a FDLE/FBI (AFRNP) Level 2 clearance or non-clearance letter for each employee screened.  The letter will state that the screened employee can or cannot have access to diocesan property to provide products or services to the contracted parish, school, or other diocesan entity on behalf of his/her employer. This clearance letter will provide the 5-year expiration date of the individual contractor employee’s background check and will act as proof of successful completion of a FDLE/FBI Level 2 background check to any diocesan entity.  In those instances where a contractor employee does not successfully complete a FDLE/FBI (AFRNP)Level 2 background check because he/she does not meet the Diocese of St. Petersburg Minimum Standards of Moral Conduct, the diocese will issue a non-clearance letter to the respective employer.       The non-clearance letter will state that the firm’s employee cannot have access to diocesan property to provide products or services on behalf of his/her employer. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the FBI prohibits the Diocese from divulging details of a contractor’s employee background check to his/her employer.  However, the individual contractor employee is entitled to a personal copy of the report upon which the Diocese made its decision.  This request must be in writing and addressed to the Diocese of St. Petersburg, Safe Environment Program Manager, 6363 9th Ave., North, St. Petersburg, FL33710.The contractor employee is free to share the results of his/her background check with his/her employer if he/she wishes to do so.  (Note: Contractors not have access to the diocesan appeal process.)

Contractors (Types One and Two) of Diocese of St. Petersburg must meet the requirements of the Safe Environment Program (SEP) as contained in the Diocese of St. Petersburg Policy for the Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults (as revised), contracts, licenses, and memorandums of understandings as appropriate.