Background Check Policy

Case Western Reserve University's Physician Assistant Program requires all incoming students to undergo a criminal background check (CBC) prior to entering the program and at various times during PA training. Case Western Reserve University must be able to assure the clinical facilities that our students have been through a criminal background check. Individual clinical facilities will be responsible for determining eligibility.

The purpose of the requirement is to ensure the safety and maintain high quality care of patients and to help protect the public. It will also assure students that they meet the minimum background screening requirements for employment prior to devoting their time and money to securing a degree. Healthcare facilities today are becoming very cautious in terms of their hiring practices not only to protect their patients, but also to protect the healthcare system.

All incoming students to the Case Western Reserve PA program must register and pay for their criminal background check prior to the start of classes. Once a student has been accepted into the PA program and they have submitted their deposit and matriculation information, they may obtain their criminal background check. Information on how to access the PA program sanctioned criminal background check vendor site will be provided to the student during the spring, prior to their matriculation into the program.

This criminal background investigation is done through EXXAT an University approved vendor that is in compliance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Case Western Reserve PA students must use EXXAT, even if they have had a criminal background check in the past. Students are responsible for all fees associated with the background check.

The criminal background check is a mandatory component of the program.  Once completed, the criminal background check report is issued directly to the student, a designated University administrator and stored electronically with the University approved background check vendor. University administration reviews all PA student background checks. Students may be required to provide University administration additional information if there are any issues/”red flags” with their background check.

Final acceptance into the program is contingent upon successful criminal background check and clearance. The University and PA program have the right to decline a student admittance or continuance in the program for criminal activity found in any background check that may preclude training, certification and/or licensing of the student.

Whenever a Case Western Reserve University PA student may need proof of criminal background check for clinical clerkships or pre-clinical clerkships, the program will contact the student and it is then the student’s responsibility to contact the University sanctioned criminal background check vendor and have them release the information to the appropriate individual at the student’s clinical site. The reports will only be released upon request by the student to healthcare systems and facilities at which the student may perform clinical clerkships or to Case Western Reserve University.

All PA students are required a new criminal background check prior entering the clinical year with deadlines assigned by the program. In addition, a clinical site may require the student to have a background check just prior to starting at that clinical site. Students are responsible for all fees associated with any and all background re-checks.

The initial criminal background check be conducted will include:

  • Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification & Investigation (BCI)
  • FBI Fingerprint

Some clinical sites may require additional background checks to include:

  • Unlimited County Criminal Records Outside of Ohio - including all maiden and alias names
  • Residency History
  • Social Security Trace
  • National Record Indicator w/ Sexual Offender Registry - typically encompass severe crimes such as drug violations, illegal sale of firearms, embezzlement and pornographic exploitation of children. This search also covers the Nationwide Sexual Offender and Predator Registry.
  • Nationwide Healthcare Fraud and Abuse Scan
  • Medicare & Medicaid Sanctioned, Excluded Individuals
  • Office of Research Integrity (ORI)
  • Office of Regulatory Affairs (ORA)
  • State Exclusion List
  • Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC)
  • FDA Debarment Check
  • Office of Inspector General (OIG)-List of Excluded Individuals/Entities
  • General Services Administration (GSA)-Excluded Parties List

Specific information on the process for obtaining a criminal background check is provided to incoming students via the Case Western Reserve PA Program Enrolled Student Liaison Website.

Reviewed by PA Program February 5, 2024.