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Frequently Asked Questions

Who needs a background check?

Background checks are required for all Peabody faculty, staff, students, and interns/observers. As well, non-Peabody students enrolled in particular classes that directly interact with children and/or vulnerable populations are required to obtain a background check. 

I am participating individually in an internship, volunteer opportunity, or other activity and they have asked for a background check. Can I go through this process?

This process is designed for Peabody students participating in University-approved academic and co-curricular activities and cannot be used for events or programs not affiliated with Vanderbilt. 

How will I know if my background check is completed?

When the clearance process is complete the date of clearance will be entered into your Oracle Learn course and, if you have completed activities one and two, the course will be marked as completed. You can contact the Background Clearance Office ( to check on your clearance at any time.

Who completes the background check?

While the Background Clearance Office facilitates the background check program for students, the checks are conducted by either Identogo or CastleBranch, both outside vendors.

How long does a background check take?

Because the background check is completed by an outside vender, the time to process results may vary for each individual and Vanderbilt University has no control over the timeline for receiving results. We encourage students going through the process to monitor their Vanderbilt email address for messages from and and respond to all communications as soon as possible.

Who sees the results of my background check?

The Background Clearance officer, Human Resources, and relevant University personnel will have access to the detailed results of background checks completed through the University’s process. General information about background checks may be shared with outside parties if a student gives the University permission to disclose information.

What happens if something is flagged in my background check?

If a student’s background check reveals an incident, the Background Clearance officer will review the available information and will determine next steps. Depending on the nature and severity of the flag, next steps may include meeting with the student to gather more information and/or escalation to the Background Clearance Committee for review.

Will anyone outside of the University be given my background check results?

If the student needs information disclosed to an outside party, the student can submit a Background Check verification letter form which gives the University permission to disclose information to an outside party. The information disclosed will typically include that a background check was completed, when the check was completed, and if the check met the standards of the University.

How often do I need to complete a background check?

Background checks on file with the University are valid for four years. To determine if you currently have a background check on file, visit or contact

Who do I contact if my question that is not answered here?

For additional information, contact