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Instructions

SAFE SYSTEM -- OUTSOURCED FINGERPRINT NETWORK First Advantage
1. INSTRUCTIONS
 

DIOCESE OF ST. PETERSBURG SAFE ENVIRONMENT PROGRAM

FINGERPRINT SUBMISSION REGISTRATION SITE

This website is set up to allow church personnel, including contractors and vendors, a means to process fingerprint-based criminal history background screening checks in accordance with the Diocese of St. Petersburg (DOSP) Policy for the Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults ("Policy"). The Level 2 screening process requires electronic fingerprint submissions to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement's Volunteer, Employee Criminal History System (FDLE/VECHS) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation Non-Criminal Justice Computer System (FBI/NCJIS). Using electronic processing, church personnel and applicants can schedule a fingerprint-taking session with a designated print-taker, submit a set of 10-print fingerprints to the FDLE/FBI, and have the results submitted to their respective parish, school, early childhood center, or other diocesan organization. For contractors and vendor employees, see "HOW TO SUBMIT PRINTS" sub paragraphs 1 and 3c below for submission of results.

Church Personnel shall mean all of the following:

  • Clergy: All priests and deacons who have faculties of the Diocese of St. Petersburg.
  • Religious: All members of a religious community serving in the Diocese of St. Petersburg.
  • Employees: Any lay individual who is employed by or engaged in ministry who is given payment for services (any form of compensation, whether monetary or otherwise) rendered in which the obligation to withhold for payroll tax (FICA, Medicare, and withholding) exists, whether part-time or full-time. This definition shall include all such persons whether employed by the diocese, parish, school, early childhood center, nursing home, group home, or other diocesan organization controlled by or operated by the bishop. "Personnel" as defined herein, has reference only to the applicability of this policy, and is not indicative of any agency or employment relationship between the diocese and the party whose compliance with this policy is sought.
  • Covered Volunteer: Any unpaid person engaged or involved in any diocesan institution or parish activity and who may have the care, responsibility, or supervision of children or vulnerable adults for any length of time.
  • Covered Contractor/Vendor This class of persons shall be understood for purposes of the Policy and in accordance with the FDLE VECHS User Agreement, to include contractors and vendors who have or may have unsupervised access to children or vulnerable adults. This class of laypersons provides products and or services to the Diocese of St. Petersburg or any of its entities.

HOW TO SUBMIT PRINTS

To Register:
  1. SCHEDULE - Make an online appointment at an authorized Service Center. Individuals from diocesan entities can have their prints taken at any designated Service Center listed on the First Advantage SAFE System website.
  2. ENROLL - Provide required personal data to submit fingerprints. Prospective employees, employees, covered volunteers; contractor and vendor employees must also register using government-issued photo identification (i.e. driver's license, military ID card, etc.).
  3. PAYMENT ARRANGEMENTS are as follows:
    1. Diocesan Employees - The diocese will bill your parish, school, early childhood center, or other diocesan entity for the cost of printing.
    2. Covered Volunteers - The diocese will bill your parish, school, early childhood center for the church, school, or other diocesan entity for the cost of printing. However, your organization could possibly bill you in return depending on its individual organizational policies.
    3. Covered Contractor Or Vendor - Pay online during the registration process.
  4. OBTAIN RECEIPT generated online. Print the Bar Code Receipt and bring it along with the specific Photo ID you registered with the service center. If you do not have access to a printer, copy down the bar code numbers and bring them with you to your printing session.
  5. AUTHENTICATION - All Applicants MUST sign the VECHS (Volunteer, Employee Criminal History System) Waiver Agreement and Statement using the Electronic Signature Pad after completing the fingerprint submission.

PROCESSING AND OBTAINING LEVEL 2 BACKGROUND CHECK RESULTS:

  1. Except for contractors and vendors, results of the adjudication (evaluation) of criminal history records for church, school, early childhood centers or other diocesan entity employees, prospective employees, and volunteers will be provided to the diocesan entity (parish, school, early childhood center, or other organization) by the Diocese of St. Petersburg Safe Environment Program Office (DOSPSEPO).
  2. The diocese WILL NOT provide criminal history records or results of contractor/vendor employees to their respective employers. However, the diocese will provide contractor/vendor employers with a letter stating that one or more of their employees may or may not have access to diocesan property as a service or product provider of their respective firm.
  3. Church personnel, including contractor and vendor employees can receive a personal copy of their Level 2 background screening report upon written request. Personal copies of background checks will be stamped "FOR PERSONAL USE ONLY NOT TO BE USED AS PROOF OF BACKGROUND SCREENING". Address all personal copy requests to Diocese of St. Petersburg, Safe Environment Program Manager, 6363 9th Ave., North, St. Petersburg, FL 33710 or email requests to ag@dosp.org
  4. No other organization except the Diocese of St. Petersburg Safe Environment Program Office screens and/or clears applicants in accordance with the Diocese of St. Petersburg Minimum Standards of Moral Conduct as contained in the DOSP Policy for the Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults (as amended).

For applicants whose Level 2 screening results DO NOT meet the Diocese of St. Petersburg Minimum Standards of Moral Conduct - The DOSP SEPO Manager will notify the pastor, principal, or leader of the organization where he or she volunteers, is employed by, or has applied to for employment.

NOTE: Any applicant can challenge the accuracy and completeness of any information contained in his or her FBI or FDLE criminal history report. If the information included in the report is incorrect or if the information does not belong to the applicant, please submit challenge requests to the following law enforcement agency as applicable:

  1. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Criminal History Reports - Submit a challenge request in accordance with Title 28 Code of Federal Regulations Chapter 1, Part 16, Sub part 30 through 34 (28CFR16.30-16.34). (Contact the DOSP Safe Environment Program Manager at 727-344-1611, Ext. 377 for assistance)
  2. Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) Criminal History Reports - Complete and mail a Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) Request for Personal Review of a Florida Criminal History Record to FDLE. (Contact the DOSP Safe Environment Program Manager at 727-344-1611, Ext. 377 for assistance)

Adjudication (evaluation) Appeals If an applicant's criminal history report does not meet the Minimum Standards of Moral Conduct, the applicant can appeal said adjudication to the Diocesan Tribunal. Church personnel, except vendors and contractors, can file an appeal under the following circumstances:

  1. Employees, employee applicants - If this category of church personnel feels that their criminal history report is incomplete or incorrect, the applicant must obtain and provide certified court documentation or a certified police report clearly to the DOSPSEPO that provides an acceptable disposition of the charge(s) in question. After obtaining said documentation, submit it as an attachment to the Diocese of St. Petersburg Decision Review Application to the Executive Director of Human Resources (EDHR), who will log in and forward the appeal to the Tribunal.
    An applicant's respective pastor, principal, director, or entity leader will provide appeal documentation when requested. The diocesan EDHR is responsible for processing and providing feedback on all appeals submitted to the Diocesan Tribunal. (Contact the EDHR at 727-344-1611, Ext. 400)
  2. If an applicant feels that there were extenuating circumstances surrounding his or her arrest and or conviction of a crime, he or she must submit a Diocese of St. Petersburg Decision Review Application with supporting documents to the EDHR, who will log in and forward the appeal package to the Diocesan Tribunal. An applicant's respective pastor, principal, director, or entity leader will provide the appeal application upon request.
  3. Contractor, vendor, and non-diocesan entity employees and volunteers DO NOT have access to the diocesan appeal process.

Vendors and contractors do not have access to the appeal process. Adjudication decisions are final.

For employees, submit all questions regarding an eligible applicant's denial of employment to the respective pastor of the organization that can subsequently provide the applicant with access to the diocesan appeal process. For volunteers, submit all questions regarding an eligible applicant's denial of volunteerism to the respective principal or organization head. It is not necessary to appeal the validity of information in a FDLE/FBI report to the Diocesan Tribunal in order to appeal a ruling (adjudication) by the Diocese of St. Petersburg Safe Environment Program Office.

If you are unable to locate your parish, school, early childhood center, or diocesan organization in the search of the database, please contact the Diocese of St. Petersburg Safe Environment Program Office at 727-344-1611, Ext. 339.

An applicant who has not been notified of successful completion of his or her background screening cannot be given the care, responsibility, or supervision of children or vulnerable adults.

 
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