Recertification of PA Act 153 Clearances

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:

  1. Pennsylvania State Police Criminal Background Clearance
  2. Pennsylvania Department of Child Welfare Child Abuse Clearance
  3. 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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The Schneider Downs Our Thoughts On blog exists to create a dialogue on issues that are important to organizations and individuals. While we enjoy sharing our ideas and insights, we’re especially interested in what you may have to say. If you have a question or a comment about this article – or any article from the Our Thoughts On blog – we hope you’ll share it with us. After all, a dialogue is an exchange of ideas, and we’d like to hear from you. Email us at [email protected].

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.

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