Please keep in mind the tips below about field site background checks as you prepare for your placement:

Tip #1

Some sites might ask you to send them the background check 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 data sensitive information such as your date of birth and 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. 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 the site’s administration, administrative office, or human resources office about their process to complete your background check in a timely way.

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, administrative office, or human resources office, then enlist the assistance of your site supervisor to make the connection. Note: students in a MA public school can reference the Human Resources: MA School Districts page.

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.
  • Pre-practicum students in Brookline and 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 in the left-side navigation pane.