Questions about becoming a volunteer? Please contact the AACMS Events Office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Volunteer FBI Background Check
All school volunteers must now obtain a volunteer Service Code from the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS). This change is in response to a bulletin issued by DHS that indicates all individuals governed by the Child Protective Services Law (CPSL) must obtain clearances through DHS. This change includes all public, private, and nonpublic school volunteers. To obtain a volunteer Service Code, individuals must contact DHS directly at 1-877-371-5422 or RA-PWCPSLQUESTIONS@pa.gov.
Scroll down to view more information about obtaining FBI Background Checks.
Not always. Parents may assist in many different volunteer roles without filing background checks with our school. This includes assisting in the lobby or as an usher at a performance, organizing a fundraiser, and attending Teachers and Parents Committee meetings.
Pennsylvania law requires any volunteer who will have direct contact with students to file background checks with the school prior to beginning volunteer work. This includes anyone working backstage at an event or performance, anyone volunteering within the school building on a recurring basis, and anyone chaperoning a field trip or other class experience.
How do I file my clearances with the school?
Volunteers may file copies of their background checks with the school in person or via email, fax, or US Mail.
- Email: Attach PDF copies of each background check to an email and send to email@example.com.
- Fax: Send copies of each background check to AACMS by fax at (610) 351-0307.
- US Mail: Send copies of each background check to AACMS Events Office, 1610 E Emmaus Ave., Allentown, PA 18103.
- In Person: Visit the Main Office during normal business hours to drop off copies of your background checks.
How do I obtain my clearances?
Some volunteer clearances can be obtained online, with results for most applicants available immediately upon submitting the application. Please see below for instructions.
PA State Police Criminal Background Check - Click Here to Begin
To obtain clearances at no charge, visit the PA Access to Criminal History website and click the link for New Record Check (Volunteers Only). Read the terms listed on the page and check the box at the bottom of the page to certify you are requesting the background check for unpaid volunteer work. Click Accept and continue the process.
PA Child Abuse History Clearance - Click Here to Begin
When applying for the PA Child Abuse History Clearance (also known as the Child Abuse Certification), volunteers must create or log into their Individual Account. When asked to select the purpose for applying on the application, select the Volunteer category and mark the box for Volunteer Work.
A third clearance or affirmation is also required according to the following guidelines:
Volunteer Affirmation Form – Click Here to Download
Individuals who have lived in Pennsylvania for at least ten (10) years may be eligible to complete the Volunteer Affirmation form in lieu of the FBI Criminal Background Check & Fingerprinting. If eligible, please complete the form in the presence of a notary and submit the form to the AACMS Main Office. All other volunteers requiring clearances must complete the FBI Background Check process as outlined below.
FBI Criminal Background Check and Fingerprinting
Click Here to Begin and read ALL instructions.
Applicants must register online via the IDEMIA website. Payment for this background check is the responsibility of the volunteer and must be submitted through the website when completing the application. Please be sure to read and follow all instructions carefully. After submitting the online application, volunteers must be fingerprinted at an approved fingerprinting site. (A list of fingerprinting sites is available on the IDEMIA website.) Applicants will receive unofficial results of the background check by mail; the school will receive the official results and file them accordingly. For more information, please visit the Pennsylvania Department of Education website.
How often do I need to renew my clearances?
Clearances must be renewed every five years. New or updated clearances can only be accepted if filed within one year of issue. AACMS is prohibited from accepting clearances more than one year from their issue date.