ACT 153 Clearances for Volunteers
Act 153 defines volunteers as any adult applying for an unpaid position as a volunteer responsible for:
- the welfare of a child or
- having direct contact with children.
All volunteers who are subject to background check clearances are required to re-certify their clearances every FIVE years.
Act 153 requires volunteers to obtain the following clearances:
- Report of criminal history from the Pennsylvania State Police: Go tohttps://epatch.state.pa.us/Home.jsp. There is NO CHARGE for requests for the purpose of volunteering. When you visit the website, click the yellow box "New Record Check" (Volunteers only).
- Child Abuse History Clearance from the Department of Human Services: Apply online at https://www.compass.state.pa.us/CWIS. Once you create an account you will receive an email with your password. Log in to the website and complete the clearance application. There is NO COST for volunteers. Verification can take up to 14 days and applicants can choose to receive notification via email, mailed to their home address, or both.
- An affidavit may be accepted in lieu of the fingerprint based federal criminal history (FBI) submitted through the Pennsylvania State Police or its authorized agent if:
- The position the volunteer is applying for is an unpaid position, and
- The volunteer has not lived outside the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in the last 10 years.
- Additionally, a fingerprint-based federal criminal history (FBI) submitted through the Pennsylvania State Police or its authorized agent is required if:
- The position the volunteer is applying for is a paid position, OR
- The volunteer has lived outside the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in the last 10 years.
- Applicants MUST register online (go to www.pa.cogentid.com and click on PA Department of Education on the first screen). If you have any difficulties while registering online, you can call 1-888-439-2486 (from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.).
There is a fee of $27.00 for the fingerprint clearance. If the applicant wants to receive a copy of the fingerprint clearance, there is an ADDITIONAL fee of $2.50. Credit/debit card may be used online. Money orders or cashiers’ checks payable to Cogent Systems will be accepted at the center. They DO NOT accept cash or personal checks.
Applicants should either print out the registration confirmation number or, if they do not have access to a printer, they should record the number in a safe place.
Once registered, you may have your fingerprints taken at the location of your choice - No appointments are necessary. Please check the website for the each location’s hours.
Applicants must provide proof of identity upon arrival at the Fingerprint Center (a state issued drivers’ license, state I.D card, passport, etc.).
After being fingerprinted, applicants must provide the district with the registration confirmation number. The district will then obtain the original clearance via the website.
All clearances must be submitted via Applitack (www.applitrack.com/moonarea/onlineapp)
For questions or more information regarding volunteer clearances, contact:
Benefits and Licensure Manager
412-264-9440 ext. 1125