National Service Criminal History Checks (NSCHC) is a baseline screening requirement established by law to protect the beneficiaries of national service.
NSCHC is required under the National and Community Service Act of 1990, as amended by the Serve America Act (SAA). The statutory requirement at 42 U.S.C. § 12645g is supplemented by regulatory requirements at 45 CFR §2540.200 through §2540.207 as well as the terms and conditions of AmeriCorps grants.
- NSCHC Federal Regulations
- Required Annual NSCHC eCourse Training in Litmos
- Email AmeriCorps to request a waiver to NSCHC provisions
- AmeriCorps Approved NSOPW and State Vendor, Truescreen
- AmeriCorps Approved FBI vendor, Fieldprint
Join the Office of the Chief Risk Officer and Monitoring for additional trainings on the NSCHC rule and vendor usage.
NSCHC Rule Quick Summary
Please refer to the NSCHC Manual for complete information on NSCHC and its compliance requirements.
What grants are required to comply with NSCHC?
Organizations that receive one of the following grants, as a recipient or subrecipient, must conduct NSCHCs:
- Operational grants provided by AmeriCorps State and National
- Foster Grandparent Program Grants
- Retired and Senior Volunteer Program Grants
- Senior Companion Program Grants
- Senior Demonstration Program Grants that receive funding from CNCS
- Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service Grants
- September 11th Day of Service Grants
- Social Innovation Fund Grants
- Volunteer Generation Fund Grants
- AmeriCorps VISTA Program Grants
- AmeriCorps VISTA Support Grants
What individuals are required to comply with NSCHC?
The following individuals who work/serve on a grant specified above must comply with NSCHC:
- AmeriCorps members serving in State and National programs
- AmeriCorps Seniors Volunteers serving in the Foster Grandparent program who receive a stipend;
- AmeriCorps Seniors Volunteers serving in the Senior Companion who receive a stipend; or
- If staff, individuals in positions in which they will receive a salary, directly or reflected as match, under a cost reimbursement grant.
NSCHC is not required for individuals who are under the age of 18 on the first day of work or service and for individuals whose activity is entirely included in the grant recipient's indirect cost rate or cost allocation plan.
AmeriCorps Seniors volunteers serving in the RSVP program and AmeriCorps members serving in the VISTA program are not required to comply with NSCHC. AmeriCorps members serving in the VISTA program will undergo a separate criminal history check process managed by the AmeriCorps VISTA program. Grant recipients may choose to conduct criminal history checks on AmeriCorps Seniors volunteers serving in the RSVP program.
Who is ineligible to serve/work on an AmeriCorps NSCHC-required grant?
Individuals shall be ineligible to work or serve in a NSCHC-required grant if the individual
- refuses to consent to NSCHC;
- makes a false statement in connection with NSCHC;
- is registered, or is required to be registered, on a state sex offender registry or the National Sex Offender Registry; or
- has been convicted of murder, as defined in 18 U.S.C. 1111.
What checks are required?
Three checks are required for individuals required to comply with NSCHC:
- National Sex Offender Public Website nationwide check;
- state of residence and state of service criminal history check(s); and
- FBI fingerprint-based check.
When must NSCHC be completed?
All three checks must be conducted, reviewed, and an eligibility determination made by the grant recipient or subrecipient no later than the day before a person begins to work or serve on an NSCHC-required grant.
How can the checks be conducted?
Grantees can use the following sources:
- NSOPW checks: NSOPW.gov or AmeriCorps approved vendor Truescreen
- State checks: AmeriCorps identified state repository or AmeriCorps approved vendor Truescreen
- FBI fingerprint checks: AmeriCorps identified state repository or AmeriCorps approved vendor Fieldprint
AmeriCorps Approved Vendor Information
Truescreen (NSOPW and State checks)
- Sign up for a Truescreen Account
- MyTruescreen Account Login
- Need help with Truescreen?
- Customer Service: 800-803-9042, dial 0
- Technical Issues: 800-803-9042, x2006
Fieldprint (FBI fingerprint checks)
- NSCHC Rule Summary
- NSCHC Manual (This manual describes the requirements of the NSCHC rule)
- Previous NSCHC Change Logs
- Recommendations for Effective NSCHC Policies and Procedure (This resources from the Office of Monitoring provides a checklist to assist grant recipients in developing effective NSCHC policy)
- NSCHC Steps Table
- NFF/Truescreen Waiver table (This table lists the required checks if grant recipients use the "Use of Truescreen for NSOPW and/or State Checks" and "National Fingerprint File States" Pre-Approved Waivers)
- NSCHC Enforcement Tools (Refer to the NSCHC Manual for enforcement guidance)
- NSCHC Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- May 1 Rule Interim FAQs (FAQs regarding the transition period between the 10/5/21 and 5/1/21 NSCHC rules as grant recipient are updating files for individuals who are working/serving as of 5/1/21 and will continue to work/serve on 11/1/21. This document will be archived on 11/2/21)
- NSCHC Training in Litmos (Access the required annual eCourse and additional NSCHC trainings)
How to Conduct NSCHC
- Using AmeriCorps Approved Vendors Truescreen and Fieldprint Manual
- Truescreen and Fieldprint Prices and Average Turnaround Time (TAT) by State (Refer directly to Truescreen and Fieldprint for the most up-to-date pricing and TAT.)
- These states do not allow certain forms of identification to be uploaded into Truescreen; instead of uploaded copies of identification, please use one of the following forms: Maine identification form and Wisconsin identification form
- Using NSOPW and State Repositories Manual
GovDelivery Communication Center
- Schedule Change: NSCHC Session Date Change (June 21, 2021)
- NSCHC Training Opportunities (June 8, 2021)
- NSCHC FBI Vendor Update (May 20, 2021)
- National Service Criminal History Check eCourse now available (May 3, 2021)
- May 1, 2021 NSCHC Rule is now effective (May 1, 2021)
- New NSCHC Resources as of April 29, 2021 (April 29, 2021)
- NSCHC Resource Updates (April 26, 2021)
- New NSCHC Rule: Effective in 10 days (April 21, 2021)
- New NSCHC Rule: Effective in 21 days (April 2, 2021)
- New NSCHC Rule Effective May 1, 2021 (February 24, 2021)
Looking for previous NSCHC GovDelivery messages? See the Archive below for all past messages.
NSCHC Archive Materials (Archived zip files of guidance materials and resources predating the May 1, 2021 NSCHC Rule)