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Administrative Rules

PLEASE NOTE: Links to rules on this page go to the Secretary of State website or to official Secretary of State documents. Formatted copies of Background Check Unit rules are available to ORCHARDS users in the ORCHARDS Hep Section. Current rules in ORCHARDS are the temporary rules, effective 6/25/2021.

New! Proposal of Permanent Rule Public hearing and filing.The Background Check Unit (BCU), serving the Oregon Department of Human Services and the Oregon Health Authority is proposing permanent rules in Chapter 407 division 007 to implement 2021 SB 280 which became law on June 8, 2021 (Or Law 2021 chapter 198). This update also includes implementation of 2021 Measure 110 and updates due to ORCHARDS. BCU temporary rules adopted 6/25/2021, contained most of the language in the proposed permanent rules.

BCU has filed the proposed rules and requests your review and comments.

Public hearing via Microsoft Teams: Friday, 11/19/2021, 10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m


DAS Criminal Records Checks Rules

  • Criminal Records Check Rules – 125-007-0200 through 125-007-0330  Effective 1/4/2016 (permanent rules)

      
    Pursuant to ORS 181A.215, the Oregon Department of Administrative Services implemented statewide administrative rules on January 4, 2016. These rules streamline the criminal records check process for all of Oregon, providing guidelines for decreasing risk to vulnerable populations by individuals who have access or provide care. BCU rules have been updated to adhere to the DAS rules while maintaining the specific needs for DHS/OHA employees, contractors, and volunteers, and for DHS/OHA providers and qualified entities.
     

DHS and OHA Employee Rules

  • Criminal Records Checks for the Department of Human Services​ - OAR 407-007-0000 through 0100 - New! Effective 6/25/2021 (temporary ​rules)​

    These rules cover criminal records checks on Department of Human Services (DHS) employees, volunteers under the direction and control of DHS, and certain contractors. Please note, since 9/27/2019, there are timeframes for how long convictions are considered potentially disqualifying. Please download the rules above for details; this flyer provides a list of potentially disqualifying convictions and conditions.

    If a subject individual has one or more PDQs, DHS|OHA must conduct a weighing test. See this weighing test flyer​ to understand what DHS|OHA considers. This flyer can help you plan materials to provide DHS|OHA in a background check request. Any details and additional documents you provide for the weighing test help DHS|OHA make an informed fitness determination.

    On 1/1/2020, Senate Bill 809 (Oregon Law, chapter 517) from the 2019 Legislative Session went into effect; if is now in statute as ORS 443.008 (see statutes below). This new statute provides subject individuals with specific information on what can be challenged in a contested case hearings.​

    On 2/1/2021, Measure 2021 went into effect.  These changes in law decriminalize the personal possession of many controlled substances in Oregon.  While BCU has been following this law since 2/1/2021, it is now codified in our administrative rules.

    On 6/8/2021, Governor Brown signed SB 280, effective immediately.  This new law fixes an issue from previous legislation: misdemeanor DUIIs [driving vehicles] or BUIIs [driving boats] (in Oregon or any jurisdiction) are potentially disqualifying IF a subject individual has two or more in the five-year period before the criminal records check application.

  • Abuse Checks for Department Employees and Volunteers - 407-007-0400 through 0460 – Effective 2/10/2020 (permanent rules)
       
    These rules cover abuse checks on DHS and OHA employees and volunteers. Contractors for Oregon State Hospital, Stabilization and Crisis Unit, and any DHs or OHA contracted secure Residential Treatment Facility are also subject to these rules.  All other contractors are not subject to these rules.  On 1/1/2020, Senate Bill 809 (Oregon Law, chapter 517) from the 2019 Legislative Session went into effect; if is now in statute as ORS 443.008 (see statutes below). This new statute requires certain criteria to be considered in making fitness determinations regarding potentially disqualifying abuse. It also provides subject individuals with specific information on what can be challenged in a contested case hearings.​

  • Background Checks for the Oregon Health Authority OAR 943-007-0001 to 943-007-0501 – Effective 2/10/2020 (permanent rules) 
       
    These rules cover criminal records checks on OHA employees, volunteers under the direction and control of OHA, and certain contractors, incorporating the DHS rules by proxy. See in particular OAR 943-007-0000(1), 943-007-0000(3), and 943-007-0501.  

     

    DHS and OHA Provider Rules

    • Criminal Records Checks and Abuse ChecksOAR 407-007-0200 to 407-007-0370 NEW Effective 6/25/2021 (temporary rules)

      These rules cover criminal records checks and abuse checks for individuals and facilities licensed, certified or regulated by DHS for positions such as home care workers, long-term care facility volunteers and staff, adult foster home providers and caregivers, and staff and volunteers of private licensed child caring agencies.

      Please note, since 9/27/2019, there are ​timeframes for how long convictions are considered potentially disqualifying; this fly​er​ provides a list of potentially disqualifying convictions and conditions.

      If a subject individual has one or more PDQs, DHS|OHA must conduct a weighing test. See this weighing test flyer to understand what DHS|OHA considers. This flyer can help you plan materials to provide DHS|OHA in a background check request. Any details and additional documents you provide for the weighing test help DHS|OHA make an informed fitness determination. ​

      On 1/1/2020, Senate Bill 809 (Oregon Law, chapter 517) from the 2019 Legislative Session went into effect; if is now in statute as ORS 443.008.  This new statute requires certain criteria to be considered in making fitness determinations regarding potentially disqualifying abuse. It also provides subject individuals with specific information on what can be challenged in a contested case hearings.​

      On 2/1/2021, Measure 2021 went into effect.  These changes in law decriminalize the personal possession of many controlled substances in Oregon.  While BCU has been following this law since 2/1/2021, it is now codified in our administrative rules.

      On 6/8/2021, Governor Brown signed SB 280, effective immediately.  This new law fixes a couple of issues from previous legislation: misdemeanor DUIIs [driving vehicles] or BUIIs [driving boats] (in Oregon or any jurisdiction) are potentially disqualifying IF a subject individual has two or more in the five-year period before the criminal records check application.  In addition, subject individuals under ORS 443.004 now may only have one criminal records check every 18 months instead of 24 months: this gives subject individuals ample time to renew any needed background recheck for recertifications.  Subject individuals may also have new background checks sooner if needed, such as when circumstances have changed, and a new check would result in a positive outcome.

    • Background Check Registry and Portability - OAR 407-007-0600 to 407-007-0640 – Effective 2/10/2020 (permanent rules).

      These rules implement ORS 443-006, augmenting BCU’s Oregon Criminal History and Abuse Records Data System (ORCHARDS)  to include a searchable online registry of individuals with completed background checks who work or seek to work as homecare workers, or eligible to work in certain facilities. If BCU approves a subject individual’s background check and the subject individual has Portability, the individual may be hired by a facility or work as a homecare worker without a new background check. An individual maintains placement on the registry by having rechecks for a defined period of time, for example, every two years.  

      On 6/8/2021, Governor Brown signed SB 280, effective immediately.  This new law fixes an issue from previous legislation: subject individuals under ORS 443.004 now may only have one criminal records check every 18 months instead of 24 months: this gives subject individuals ample time to renew any needed background recheck for recertifications.  Subject individuals may also have new background checks sooner if needed, such as when circumstances have changed, and a new check would result in a positive outcome.​

    • Criminal History Check for Oregon Health Authority ProvidersOAR 943-007-0001 to 943-007-0501 Effective 2/10/2020 (permanent rules) 
       
      These rules cover criminal records checks on OHA providers incorporating the DHS rules by proxy, with specific rules for OHA hearing rights. See in particular OAR 943-007-0001(2) and 943-007-0501. Effective 7/2/2018, BCU has updated language regarding the incorporation of DHS background check rules; changes also include updates to the appeal process for adverse outcomes.

     

    If you have questions regarding any of the rules, contact us via email at bcu.info@dhsoha.state.or.us or by phone at 503-378-5470 (toll free at 888-272-5545).

     

    Oregon Revised Statutes Governing Background Checks​

      The citations for the Oregon statutes which govern criminal records checks are in Chapter 181A and Chapter 443​. SB 280 (linked above) has not yet updated these chapters.

      Former Statute New Statute Explanation
      181.516 181A.170 Electronic fingerprint capture required.
      181.533 181A190 Clearinghouse criminal records checks.
      181.534 181A.195 Authorizing statute allowing certain agencies to run fingerprint based criminal records checks. (See update in SB 280 link at top of this page)
      181.537 181A.200 Authorizing statute for Department of Human Services and Oregon Health Authority to conduct criminal records checks on subject individuals.
      181.547 181A.215 Authorizing statute for Department of Administrative Services to implement rules on criminal records check processes in Oregon.
      181A235 ​Clearinghouse criminal records checks—waiver of fees on certain checks.
      443.004 ​Public funds for employment not allowed for subject individuals with certain convictions. (See update in SB 280 link at top of this page)​
      443.006 ​Background check registry for certain DHS.OHA subject individuals .
      443.007 ​Employment not allowed for certain subject individuals with certain abuse substantiations.
      ​443.008 ​Certain criteria to be weighed for potentially disqualifying abuse; what can be challenged in contested case hearing.

     

    Process, policy and procedures

    Who needs to be checked?

    The administrative rules define a person who must be checked as a "subject individual." Subject individual includes people who work, volunteer and, in some cases, live in a location where services are provided to children, seniors, and people with disabilities or mental illness. The term also includes employees and volunteers of DHS and OHA and many persons or employees of organizations contracting with these agencies.

    What we check and how

    Criminal records checks are conducted through the State of Oregon Law Enforcement Data System (LEDS) and, if necessary, through the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). In addition, information may be obtained through the Driver and Motor Vehicle Services Division (DMV), court records, and other states' data systems. Fingerprints may be required as part of the check. Certain abuse records will also be reviewed.

    See further information on ORS 443.004 impacting the criminal records check process

    Policy and Procedures for DHS and OHA Employees, Volunteers, Contractors and Institution Applicants

    ​The background checks policy directs that criminal records checks and abuse checks be done in accordance with the administrative rules. The associated procedures provide more detail on the process for DHS/OHA employees, volunteers, contractors and institution applicants.

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