Background Checks and Drug Screening for Students (Policy SW-23)

To be in compliance with clinical and/or course requirements, background checks and drug screenings will be completed at the expense of the student.

Timing of the Background Check and Drug Screening 

The completion of a background check and/or drug screening will be facilitated by the program requirements. 

Students must complete the required background check and/or drug screening prior to participation in other degree or service experiences. Students will not be allowed to progress in their course until clearance documentation is reviewed by the program director or designee. 

Students must give permission for Clarkson College to review the results of the background check and/or drug screening to progress in their program by completing the online Student Disclosure & Consent Release of Information form.

Additional background checks and/or drug screening may be required with or without cause, as required by the clinical agency or Clarkson College, at the expense of the student.

Identification of Vendors

Background check and drug screening results will only be accepted from a Clarkson College-approved vendor. All student information is kept confidential.

Allocation of the Cost

For background checks and drug screenings the student is responsible for the payment. Additional site specific screenings (background and/or drug screen) and all random drug screenings will be at the student’s expense.   

Significant Findings in Background Check Report

Clarkson College cannot guarantee that students with significant findings in their background check will be permitted to participate in clinical rotations or be a candidate for licensure/certification in every state.

Additionally, prior conviction of a felony or misdemeanor may make a student ineligible for professional licensure, professional certification, or professional registration depending on the specific regulations of the individual health profession and the state of practice. 

The student must meet the guidelines for prior criminal convictions of the agency where the clinical is scheduled and no special accommodations for alternative clinical placement will be made for the student. 

Alert on Background Check/Positive Drug Screen

Program director and/or designee has access to complete report details related to alert on background check and/or positive drug screen results. Program director and/or designee will counsel students with alerts on background check to determine outcome. Positive drug screen results will follow the steps referenced in SW-15, Drug and Alcohol Policy. This can be found in the College academic catalog and handbook. 

Confidentiality of Records  

Background check and drug screening reports and all records pertaining to the results are considered confidential with restricted access. 

Access to records and reports outside the Clinical Compliance advisors must be approved by the program director and/or designee, prior to granting access. Information contained in the reports/records will not be shared with facilities participating in the clinical/ service/externship experiences unless a legitimate need is demonstrated.


All records are housed in a secure vendor's web portal used by Clarkson College. It is the student’s responsibility to maintain their records. The web portal is password protected.