Before Using Criminal History Information in Volunteer Screening

Once you have decided that you will use background screening for your volunteers, and have established clear position descriptions for those volunteers, the next step is to decide how the criminal history portion of the screening will be applied to each kind of volunteer in your organization. This step is particularly important to many nonprofit organizations because they often serve vulnerable populations. You should establish clear guidelines regarding what kind of offenses are relevant, which disqualify a volunteer applicant, and what other factors will be considered in decision making. These guidelines need to be clearly defined in writing so that the rights of the applicant are also protected.

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