Background Check Process

We are transitioning our Background Check process to Sterling Volunteers as recommended by the North American Division. There is no longer a need to send Background Check Forms to the Conference Office. Instead, direct those needing background checks to follow these steps:

  1. Go to Sterling Volunteers:
  2.  Click the button that says, “First-Time Registrant”
  3. Select the state “Pennsylvania” from the drop-down
  4. Select “Pennsylvania Conference” from the drop-down
  5. Create your account
  6. Proceed through the screens selecting the appropriate options as you
  7. You may add the lists of the locations which you are associated with.
  8. 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.

An added and very important feature is that prior to providing the background check information each applicant will complete a training module on how to spot a predator. Once the training course has been completed, you will be routed to submit a background check. Please complete the required information and click on “Submit”. Training should take about 45 minutes. Screening results should be available within 48-72 hours. The billing process is the same. The cost will also be about the same.

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.