Background Check Process

You are invited by the Pennsylvania Conference to complete a background check with Sterling Volunteers.

Please note that the Pennsylvania background check will consist of 4 parts:

Part 1- Pennsylvania State Police Criminal Background Check (PATCH) Complete this part by clicking HERE.

  1. Click the button that says, “First-Time Registrant”
  2. Select the state “Pennsylvania” from the drop-down
  3. Select “Pennsylvania Conference” from the drop-down
  4. Create your account
  5. Proceed through the screens selecting the appropriate options as you
  6. You may add the lists of the locations which you are associated with.
  7. Select your role. Please remember to choose your role first before proceeding to the next step as the training course will not be assigned if a role has not been selected.

Part 2 – Pennsylvania Abuse Registry Next, you must release your Abuse Registry results to Sterling Volunteers. Instructions will be provided to you via email immediately upon completion of Step 1. Important: YOU MUST USE THE SPECIAL CODE and instructions provided to you at the end of Step 1 to be successful. 

Part 3 – Signed Affidavit OR Fingerprints

Those who have lived in Pennsylvania less than ten years must submit fingerprints. Within 5 business days you will receive an email with detail on how to complete your fingerprints.

If you have lived in Pennsylvania for ten years or more, you must sign and return the Affidavit of Residency supplied to you via email.

If you have any questions, please contact Sterling Volunteers’ Customer Care team at  adventistsupport@sterlingvolunteers.com.

Part 4 – Child Protection Training

You must register and complete child protection training. Click HERE for the training.

Why a Background Check?

“Church should be a safe place to bring our children. Everyone involved in work with children who are minors must meet all Church and legal standards and requirements” (Church Manual, Edition 18, pp. 168-169).

Who Needs a Background Check?

Pennsylvania Law states that those who have direct contact with children which is defined as the care, supervision, guidance or control and routine interaction with children.  Routine interaction with children is defined as regular and repeated contact that is integral to a person’s employment or volunteer responsibilities. Therefore, please see the list which follows of those who are subject to the requirements of Pennsylvania Law.

  • All Sabbath School Children’s Division Teachers and assistants (Cradle roll through Teens)
  • Children’s Ministries Director and assistants
  • Adventurer Club Director and assistants
  • Pathfinder Club Director and assistants
  • Youth Group Director and assistants
  • School Volunteers

Any individual who is serving in an unofficial capacity or in an office not listed above but has direct contact with children as defined by Pennsylvania Law (an example could be a Deacon who supervises Junior Deacons, or a person who “drops in” on youth activities on a regular basis just to “help out”).

If a local church desires to have all of those holding a church office complete the Background Check process they may do so. But at minimum a church must comply with Pennsylvania Law.

Those over 18 who are voted to serve within our churches or organizations, and those who are employed by the church and working with children and youth, are asked to complete a criminal background check (FB 20) and child protection training through Sterling Volunteers. This should be completed every three years.

For help with registration, passwords, usernames, background checks and website questions review Online Help/FAQs, submit a Help Desk Email Form, or call 1-855-326-1860.