Essential Tips

Tips about field site background checks to help you prepare for your placement

Tip #1

If at all possible, always submit your background check paperwork in person. However, some sites might ask you to send them the paperwork (including a copy of your driver’s license, state ID or passport) rather than complete it in person.

Rule of Thumb…

NEVER submit your paperwork via a non-secure format such as regular email or snail mail if at all possible.

WHY? Because these forms contain Restricted Use Data such as your date of birth along with the last six digits of your social security number.

ALWAYS ask if there are secure measures that may be used to send them your forms such as certified mail (cost incurred by the student) or secure email set up by the site. HOWEVER, if the site asks you to send via regular email, then:

  • Be extra vigilant that you have the correct email address before you send anything;
  • Make sure that you are using a valid site email address (not someone’s personal email); and
  • Follow up with the site contact to ensure that your information was received.

Tip #2

Always check with your site’s administration (e.g., front office staff) or human resources office about their process to complete your background check in a timely way. Note: Students in MA Public Schools can find HR contact information here: Human Resources: MA School Districts.

Tip #3

Be proactive. For example, if you leave a voice mail message, follow up after 3-4 days. People are often swamped and requests can easily be lost in the shuffle, so it is important to take the initiative and be proactive.

Tip #4

If you have been unsuccessful in your efforts to contact the site’s administration (e.g., front office staff) or human resources office, then enlist the assistance of your site supervisor to make the connection.

Tip #5

Students in MA public schools need to complete the digital/scanned fingerprint at a MA IdentoGo enrollment center. See the following links for essential information about IdentoGo:


  • If you previously fingerprinted for a MA school district, see FAQ 3d. If you did not, then follow instructions in FAQ 3f.
  • Pre-practicum students in Newton Public Schools do not need to fingerprint.

Tip #6

If you do not have your field placement yet, save this information for future reference. When you receive your placement, you will be ready to act in a timely way. The one thing you can and should complete now if you have not done so already is the BU POM Online Training Module (see FAQ 1d and 1i).

Tip #7

If you have questions about BU Protection of Minors policy or site background checks in general, please review our FAQs.