CORI Background Checks


Elms College conducts background checks for employment, volunteer work, and clinical service/practice.

Where Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) checks are part of a general background check for employment, volunteer work or licensing purpose, or clinical service/practice, the following practices and procedures will generally be followed.

I. CORI checks will only be conducted as authorized by the Criminal History Safety Board (CHSB). All applicants will be notified that a CORI check will be conducted. If requested, the applicant will be provided with a copy of the CORI policy.

II. An informed review of a criminal record requires adequate training. Accordingly, all personnel authorized to review CORI in the decision-making process will be thoroughly familiar with the educational materials made available by CHSB.

III. Unless otherwise provided by law, a criminal record will not automatically disqualify an applicant. Rather, determinations of suitability based on CORI checks will be made consistent with this policy and any applicable law or regulations.

IV. If a criminal record is received from CHSB, the authorized individual will closely compare the record provided by CHSB with the information on the CORI request form and any other identifying information provided by the applicant, to ensure the record relates to the applicant.

V. If Elms College is inclined to make an adverse decision based on the results of the CORI check, the applicant will be notified immediately. The applicant shall be provided with a copy of the criminal record and the organization's CORI policy, advised of the part(s) of the record that make the individual unsuitable for the
position or license, and given an opportunity to dispute the accuracy and relevance of the CORI record.

VI. Applicants challenging the accuracy of the policy shall be provided a copy of CHSB's Information Concerning the Process in Correcting a Criminal Record. If the CORI record provided does not exactly match the identification information provided by the applicant, Elms College will make a determination based on a comparison of the CORI record and documents provided by the applicant. Elms College may contact CHSB and request a detailed search consistent with CHSB policy.

VII. If Elms College reasonably believes the record belongs to the applicant and is accurate, then the determination of suitability for the position or license will be made. Unless otherwise provided by law, factors considered in determining suitability may include, but not be limited to the following:

  1. Relevance of the crime to the position sought;
  2. Nature of the work to be performed;
  3. Time since the conviction;
  4. Age of the candidate at the time of the offense;
  5. Seriousness and specific circumstances of the offense;
  6. Number of offenses;
  7. Whether the applicant has pending charges;
  8. Any relevant evidence of rehabilitation or lack thereof;
  9.  Any other relevant information, including information submitted by the candidate or requested by the hiring authority.

VIII. Elms College will notify the applicant of the decision and the basis of the decision in a timely manner.

Policy: Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) & Sex Offender Registry Information (SORI)

Elms College recognizes the need to provide a safe environment for those we serve. All job applicants who are offered employment with the college and all volunteers and trainees/students must complete CORI and SORI applications and receive clearance prior to the start of their employment/service. Currently, Criminal Offender Record Information ("CORI") and Sex Offender Registry Information ("SORI") clearance are required for present and prospective employees, volunteers, and trainees/students who provide services or support to any state-operated or state-funded program or facility, in either a paid or unpaid capacity, whose services include the Potential for Unsupervised Contact with those eighteen years and under, elderly or disabled, and those receiving care due to illness ("Vulnerable Populations").

Massachusetts law and regulations promulgated by the Commonwealth Executive Office of Health and Human Services ("EOHHS") state that individuals convicted of certain crimes pose an unacceptable risk to Vulnerable Populations and are, therefore, ineligible to provide services or support in state-operated or state-funded programs or facilities.

As one means of providing a safe environment and determining whether current and prospective employees and volunteers are appropriate to serve in their positions, the college has implemented standardized procedures for the review of criminal and sex offender records of those who have the Potential for Unsupervised Contact with Persons from Vulnerable Populations.

Candidates for employment, employees, volunteers, and/or trainees/students who, in their positions or programs, have Potential for Unsupervised Contact with Persons from Vulnerable Populations must complete CORI and SORI applications and receive clearance prior to beginning their service. The CORI application is sent to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Executive Office of Public Safety, Criminal History Board Systems in Boston. The college receives the candidate's confidential CORI and SORI records and makes a determination of eligibility based on the standards established by the EOHHS. The candidate is notified of eligibility. A person who is the subject of CORI and SORI checks is entitled to review the information received by the college.

As a standard practice, candidates for employment, employees, volunteers, and/or trainees/students who may not have potential for unsupervised contact with persons from Vulnerable Populations must complete the Publicly Accessible CORI application and receive clearance prior to beginning their service. The process outlined above is followed.

Definitions

Candidate
Any person under consideration for employment, or any employee, volunteer, and/or trainee/student, providing services for or on behalf of College of Our Lady of the Elms.

Criminal History Systems Board (CHSB) Special Division
A unit of Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety, the CHSB processes requests for CORI information and offers technical assistance on any questions arising from the results of a search.

Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI)
Information regulated by the Criminal History Systems Board and maintained by the Board of Probation regarding criminal convictions of persons within the Massachusetts court system. A CORI record includes a person's adult conviction record and pending criminal case data.

Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) and Sex Offender Registry Information (SORI) Reviewer
A person designated by the college to review confidential CORI and SORI records and to determine a candidate's eligibility. All college reviewers are themselves certified by the Criminal History Systems Board to access and review CORI.

Disqualification
Certain offenses result in mandatory disqualification. For other categories of offenses, mandatory disqualification may depend on the date of the final disposition of the offense.

Potential of Unsupervised Contact with Persons from Vulnerable Populations
Potential for unsupervised contact with an individual who is underage, elderly, disabled, or receiving care due to illness occurs when no other supervisory staff person is present. Unsupervised areas include but are not limited to elevators, restrooms, waiting rooms, locker rooms, classrooms, residence halls, hospital rooms, and offices.

Sex Offender Registry Information (SORI)
Information regarding criminal convictions of persons within the Massachusetts court system. It includes a person's adult conviction record and pending criminal case data and juvenile adjudication data for sex offenses committed within the Commonwealth. Out-of-state juvenile and adult sex offense conviction information may also be obtained through a SORI check.

Volunteer
Any person who works in an unpaid capacity for or through the college and may have unsupervised contact with an individual who is underage, elderly, disabled or receiving care due to illness.

Vulnerable Population
Persons who are either underage (18 years of age or younger), elderly, disabled, and/or receiving care due to illness.

Trainee/Student
Any person enrolled in an academic program or participating in a training program that is affiliated with an accredited education institution, hospital, and/or other agency and has unsupervised contact with children, the elderly, disabled and/or persons receiving care due to illness.