Policy on Background Checks for Contractors and Vendors

Policy Number: 608

Safety and Security

The permanent link for this policy is: https://policies.northeastern.edu/policy608/

I. Purpose and Scope


The university is committed to fostering a safe and healthful learning, teaching, working, and research environment for faculty, staff and students, and to promoting the safety not only of our students and employees, but also of the young people who come onto the campus to participate in programs.

Given the nature of the university’s programs and residential facilities, and to further the protection of children, students, and staff on campus and in university facilities, this policy applies to all contractors that provide unescorted services to or conduct work at the university, on any of its campuses, in residence halls, athletic facilities and/or the University Health & Counseling Services.

II. Definitions


For purposes of this Policy,

Contractor/Vendor refers to any company or business hired to perform work or services on university buildings, property or facilities. Businesses covered by this policy include but are not limited to those providing facilities and Information Technology services, including cleaning, painting, computer cabling, HVAC, electrical and plumbing, as well other construction services, property management, and security.

Covered University Facilities means the University Health & Counseling Services center, residence halls and athletic facilities with locker rooms and/or showers, and other university facilities where programs for minors are located.

CORI refers to the Massachusetts Criminal Offender Record Information, which is a person’s criminal history, and to a CORI-equivalent check in other jurisdictions where an employee or candidate has lived in the last 7 years.

SORI refers to a person’s Sex Offender Registry Information, which in Massachusetts is a record of convictions for specified sexual offenses committed as an adult or juvenile. SORI or SORI-equivalent check will be required whenever a criminal background check is required.

III. Policy


A. University Certification Requirements

1. Contractors and vendors hired to perform work on any campus are required to certify that their employees, subcontractors, agents and anyone working for them or on their behalf who will be performing work under a contract with the university and who will be assigned to work in Covered University Facilities have undergone criminal background checks, including sex offender record information (SORI). The criminal background check must include all jurisdictions where the employee/applicant has resided within the past seven years. As detailed below, in consideration of the essential public safety concerns at issue, the University requires that contractors and vendors not place or assign any employee, subcontractor or agent with certain types of criminal convictions to work in any Covered University Facilities.

2. Contractors and vendors are required to sign a certification attesting to their understanding and compliance with this policy. The certification by the contractor shall state that all personnel assigned or engaged to work in any Covered University Facilities have had a current criminal background check and that the contractor has reviewed the results with regard to the concerns described in this policy, and made a determination of suitability. A criminal background check will be considered current if it was conducted within the twelve months prior to the contractor/vendor’s employee being assigned to campus.

3. The contractor/vendor shall also certify that before seeking to assign any newly hired employees to work at the university in a Covered University Facility it will require a criminal background check and will conduct a review of the results consistent with this policy.

4. Contractors and vendors are required to maintain and keep current an accurate list of the names of individuals assigned or engaged by the contractor to perform work on campus, and to promptly provide the list to the University upon request. The university’s Internal Audit Department may from time to time audit compliance with this and other university policies.

5. Contractors/vendors shall sign the required certification under penalties of perjury, verifying compliance with the policy when they sign or renew a contract with the university.

IV. Additional Information


Failure to comply with this policy will constitute breach of the contractor/vendor’s contract with the university, and may result in sanctions against the contractor/vendor up to and including termination as a university contractor/vendor.

V. Contact Information

Facilities Customer Service Center: 617-373-2700

Facilities Procurement & Contracts Manager: 617-373-2700

Procurement Services: 617-373- 2135 

Responsible Office/Department(s)


Procurement Services

Related Procedures



Facilities Division “Criminal Background Checks: Policy for Contractors/Vendors”


Background Checks; Contractors; Vendors; Construction Services; Property Management

Version History

Last Revision Date: October 19, 2018

Issued: December 15, 2017