Clearances Overview

According to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Education School Services Unit, ALL APPLICANTS FOR EMPLOYMENT with public schools, including student teachers and independent contractors and their employees, must undergo background checks.   Act 151 (Pennsylvania Child Abuse History), Act 34 (Pennsylvania Criminal History) and Act 114 (FBI) must be renewed every five years.


Prospective employees/student teacher candidates/interns/contractors and their employees, are required to have Act 151 (Child Abuse), Act 34 (PA Criminal) and Act 114 (FBI) clearances upon hire.  

On July 1, 2018, the fee for PA Child Abuse History Clearances increased from $8 to $13. PA Child Abuse Clearance fees for volunteers will continue to be waived one time within a 5-year period. Amendments to the Child Protective Services Law in 2014 and 2015 expanded who is required to receive Child Abuse Clearances and that clearances must be renewed every five years. The passage of Act 40 of 2017 included a maximum fee increase to $13 for PA Child Abuse History Clearances to assist in covering actual costs for processing these clearances.

The Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Clearance (Act 151) can be submitted and paid for online through the Child Welfare Information Solution (CWIS) self-service portal.  Submitting an application online allows individual applicants to receive their results through an automated system that will notify them once their results have been processed. Applicants will be able to view and print their results online. The self-service portal also provides organizations the ability to create business accounts to prepay for child abuse clearances and have online access to the results. A credit card or visa card is required to apply throughn the online process.Follow the links on the Child Welfare Information Self-Serve Portal to create an Individual Account or to access a previously registered account.

  • Select “Employment with entity under school code”.
  • The site will request an email address with which the applicant will receive an initial password and notification when the Act 151 Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Clearance is processed.
  • Print a copy of the official for your records and submit a copy to the Human Resources Department.

Visit the Child Welfare Information Self-Service Portal to create an online application or to upload a copy of the PA Child Abuse Clearance form.


The Pennsylvania State Police has established a web-based computer application called “Pennsylvania Access to Criminal History” or PATCH.  Using this system, a requestor can apply for a criminal background check on an individual.  Eighty percent of the time, “No Record” certificates are returned immediately through the Internet to the requestor.

  • Go to “New Record” and follow the instructions.
  • The reason for the clearance is EMPLOYMENT.
  • VOLUNTEER clearances will not be accepted for employment purposes.
  • When the Search Results Table appears, click on the Control Number.  (Hint: Write down the Control Number for future access to you Official Clearance.)
  • The Records Check Details page will open, but this is not the official clearance and it will not be accepted by the employer.
  • To access your Official Clearance you will see a blue text “CERTIFICATION PAGE”.  Click on the blue text to access your Act 34 Pennsylvania State Police Clearance.
  • Print and save the official clearance for your records and submit a copy to the Human Resources Department.

A $22.00 fee applies to process the clearance online.  The requester will be required to pay via credit card or debit card online.  Below is a link to access the “PATCH” website:

  • Applicants must register with Identogo (Morpho Trust) prior to going to the fingerprint site.
  • The Service Code is 1KG6Q9.
  • Fingerprint location sites can be accessed at
  • The applicant will need to take the enrollment document, their ID and the payment (if they haven’t prepaid) to the fingerprint site.
  • Once the applicant has had their fingerprints scanned, the UEID code should be submitted to the Human Resources Department.
  • An unofficial copy of the fingerprint results will be sent to the applicant from IDEMIA.

A cost of $23.85 applies to process the Act 114 FBI Federal Criminal History clearance.