It’s quickly approaching the time for the recertification of Pennsylvania Act 153 clearances. Clearances are valid for 5 years. Act 153 took effect December 31, 2014 with additional amendments taking effect July 1, 2015. The act addresses clearance requirements for paid employees and unpaid volunteers who are responsible for the welfare of minors or have direct contact with minors (children under the age of 18).
Act 153 requires the following clearances:
Pennsylvania State Police Criminal Background Clearance
Pennsylvania Department of Child Welfare Child Abuse Clearance
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Fingerprinting and Criminal Background Clearance
Since clearances are valid for 5 years, it means that right now is an essential time to ensure that all clearances are being recertified.
It’s also an opportune time to reevaluate the controls and processes around the entire Act 153 process.
It would be best practice to consider whether your organization has processes and controls in place to:
Identify, track and monitor individuals who are subject to Act 153
Periodically review the designation of positions subject to Act 153
Update, communicate, and enforce related policies (including updating applicable websites)
Ensure that contracts or agreement with third parties contain the appropriate language
Ensure that record retention of documents is adequate (both physical copies and electronically)
Additional considerations should also include monitoring the FBI check to completion, because it may require additional time to complete. It’s also important to ensure that the proper provisional procedures are in place in the interim. Those procedures include obtaining a swear and affirm waiver and requiring the individual to work in the immediate vicinity of a clearanced individual.
Does your organization have adequate controls and processes to ensure compliance with Act 153? Schneider Downs can evaluate the controls and processes and can also use data analytics and robotic process automation to help test the status of individuals subject to Act 153, and whether required clearances have been obtained in a timely manner.
Contact Schneider Downs at [email protected] with any questions about Act 153 compliance or use of data analytics to streamline compliance.
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Material discussed is meant for informational purposes only, and it is not to be construed as investment, tax, or legal advice. Please note that individual situations can vary. Therefore, this information should be relied upon when coordinated with individual professional advice.