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Background Clearance Office

Background Clearance Policy

Peabody College of Vanderbilt University

Effective 6/9/2012



The State of Tennessee has enacted several statutes that require background checks. Peabody will conduct background checks in compliance with state law; to demonstrate our commitment to protecting the welfare of children and vulnerable adults, and, thereby, help maintain our access to research, practicum, and internship sites with children.



  • All faculty members at Peabody are required to be fingerprinted.
  • All graduate students earning a Peabody degree are required to be fingerprinted. This includes special certifications and/or endorsements.
  • All members of Peabody staff are required to comply with background clearance policy/procedures as currently detailed by Vanderbilt Human Resources.

In addition:


  • Peabody teacher education undergraduate and graduate students are required to be fingerprinted within two weeks after they first begin courses.
  •  Additionally, non-education majors enrolled in classes (e.g., EDUC 1020, SPED 1010) that visit schools or agencies where children are present are required to undergo fingerprinting and criminal records checks before they can participate. Instructors of these classes should alert their students at the beginning of each semester and should include a notice in the course syllabus. Class visits to schools should be delayed to allow time for completion of the criminal records check for all students enrolled in the course.
  •  In addition, all students, staff, contractors, and others whose Peabody activities cause them to have contact with children or vulnerable adults either on or off campus in other capacities are required to undergo fingerprinting and criminal record checks. These persons include researchers, teachers, mentors, technical staff and any others who are engaged in activities such as testing, teaching, mentoring, documenting, or overseeing children and/or vulnerable adults.


  • Clearance is considered valid for four years, because of the commitment signed on the required Background Clearance Consent form, as long as the student/staff/employee/contractor is continuously enrolled (not necessarily including summers) or employed by Vanderbilt.

Peabody College Background Clearance

  • Clearance is valid when the criminal history report from TBI and the consent form have been reviewed and approved by the BCO committee.
  • Should findings be reported by TBI, the BCO committee will review findings on a case by case basis and determine whether or not clearance will be granted.
  • As long as there is continuous enrollment/employment, the background check will remain in good standing. The Protection of Minors Program for Vanderbilt requires that all background clearances complete a four year re-check. You will be notified when that re-check is due.
  • Should any arrests for criminal activity occur after clearance is granted, Peabody personnel should notify the BCO within 72 hours.


Background Clearance

 Approved 6/9/2010 by Deans Benbow and Kennedy -- Page 2 of 2