Criminal / Police Background Checks 

Securing a criminal or police background check is becoming an increasingly important part of the recruitment process for international schools for the improvement of child protection and safety standards. An increasing number of Search member schools will not consider candidates who do not have police background checks uploaded and/or evidence they are the in process of acquiring them.

Although Search Associates does not (yet!) require candidates to upload a background check to their profile to be considered for membership, we strongly recommend obtaining background checks. A career in international school education will at some point require a ‘full’ portfolio of police checks. All action taken now is to your immediate and long-term benefit.

The need for background checks is the new reality in the increasingly rigorous environment of child protection and verification. This won’t change. Other reasons include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Completing and uploading the recommended background checks to your Search profile will allow international school administrators to make informed hiring decisions. In many cases, international schools will require such background checks before making and or finalizing employment.
  • Completing the recommended background check(s) may also provide school administrators with some assistance in determining if a candidate will have difficulty in securing a visa to be able to work overseas.
  • If you are an international educator, you should obtain a recent criminal background check from your home country as well as from the country in which you are currently living and working (if possible). Obtaining these checks after leaving a country is generally not possible; therefore, it is a good practice to obtain these prior to leaving the country where you are presently employed and continue to do so in countries where you will be employed in the future. The HR at your current school should be able to help you start the process of acquiring a criminal check.
  • For Canadians, we recommend getting the RCMP criminal record check which is preferred internationally here. You should also get a local police report.
  • For Americans, we recommend a Criminal Record History/ FBI Identification Record here. You should also get a local police report.

We understand that the process of acquiring background/police checks – particularly for teachers who are currently overseas or those who have previously taught overseas – is time-consuming and requires some effort and cost. Since it can take time to get these documents, we can move ahead while you go through the process of acquiring them. In other words, waiting for your background/police check will not delay the activation of your account. However, we will continue to prompt you if we do not see one on your profile.

Please note: depending on the host country’s requirements, the school may require additional background checks in order to apply for your visa (ie dated within 3 months of entry) and usually, you are responsible for covering these costs. We suggest you clarify what is required and who covers the costs during the final interview stages.

Uploading your Background Check

Your background check can be uploaded to your file any time after activation.

If your background check is in process (or you will start the process soon), under the Document tab, click the blue “Click Here” which will tell recruiters that you have applied for a background check and it is in progress.

Once you have your police/background check, please upload a scanned PDF copy under the Documents tab (and then delete your Pending entry).