Policy and Procedure for Criminal Background Checks


According to the MLS Division’s Policy on Academic and Professional Standards (MLS Student Handbook), the Medical Laboratory Science Division requires of all enrolled students that they

  1. Achieve an integrative mastery of the discipline of medical laboratory science, maintain the motivation to gain such mastery, develop the professional skills required, and demonstrate professional responsibility.
  2. Be considerate towards instructors, staff, technologists and peers.
  3. Fulfill the criteria and responsibilities for satisfactory academic progress and successful completion of the Medical Laboratory Science Curriculum as stated in the West Virginia University Academic Catalog and in the syllabus of each course.
  4. Comply with the rules of procedure and conduct required by the faculty teaching a course, laboratory or clinical rotation.
  5. Follow the standards for academic and professional integrity. 

Progress and completion of the degree includes satisfactory completion of the clinical education component of the curriculum. A majority of clinical sites now require students to complete a criminal background check prior to participating in clinical education placements. Therefore, students with criminal backgrounds may not be able to meet the academic standards of the MLS Division.


To obtain your initial CBC:

  • Log onto the www.castlebranch.com website.
  • “Place order” on the top right.
  • Enter package code “WB45”.
  • Enter the requested demographic information.
  • Enter the requested payment information. The fee is $55.00
  1. All matriculating MLS majors will be required to obtain a Criminal Background Check (CBC) prior to the start of the professional MLS curriculum (typically the junior year).
  2. Certified Background will perform CBCs as a designated agent of the MLS Division. We may also consider CBC results from other standard approved agencies.
  3. The School of Medicine has designated the depth of the background search to include felonies and misdemeanors at Federal, state, and local levels at the 7 previous years of residence.
  4. Clinical sites may require repeated or additional background checks prior to the start of a rotation. a. Ideally, these requirements should be listed explicitly in the Curriculum for the Senior Year. b. Students are responsible for reviewing this information and noting sites’ additional CBC requirements.
  5. Each student will contact Certified Background via a secure internet site and place an order for his/her CBC. The student provides his/her name, current and previous addresses, and other identifying information and pays the fee to Certified Background by credit card.
  6. The MLS Division Director and the Administrative Associate for Professional Programs Student Affairs Office will have access to Certified Background inquiry results via a secure website using a unique user name and password. Paper copies of CBC results for each class are kept in a secure location under lock and key until the student graduates. Upon graduation, paper copies will be returned to the student or destroyed.
  7. The Administrative Associate will forward any positive CBC results to the Associate Dean for Professional Programs (AD).
  8. In the case of positive CBC findings:
    • The AD will review the student’s MLS Application to determine whether the student reported the conviction on his/her application.
    • The AD will meet with the student to discuss the results and the student’s perspective on the circumstances. The conversation will be documented in writing on the CBC form.
    • If the student feels that a positive CBC finding is in error, the student will be directed to speak with Certified Background to determine if further investigation is needed. Errors may occur in instances of:
      • CBC was completed on a different person with the same name
      • CBC was completed on a similarly named person
      • CBC returned information that was supposed to be sealed or expunged

    If the information is in error, the CBC is repeated and Certified Background will update the CBC report online. If the positive result is truly an error, no further action is taken.

    • The AD will refer the case to the Division of Medical Laboratory Science Academic and Professional Standards Committee for consideration and recommendations as stated in the Policy on Academic and Professional Standards.
  9. Prior to the beginning of the clinical rotations, the Division of Medical Laboratory Science will provide the following attestation to each site:
    The Division of Medical Laboratory Science obtains criminal background checks on all students upon admission to the program. Unless otherwise noted, the background check for the students assigned to your faculty was negative.
    If the clinical sited requires more specific documentation, the student will be directed to provide a print-out of his/her results from the Certified Background website.