Fingerprinting Policies

Fingerprinting Memo – Revised 7/14/16

Memorandum Concerning Fingerprint-Based Background Check Requirements

Providing a safe place is essential to the fulfillment of the Church’s Mission of reconciliation. One of the outward and visible signs of that safety is the care with which we screen, call and employ suitable persons to carry out this ministry. The diligence and deliberation of our processes are intentionally focused and should always be based on the best practices available. Trust is of the highest value in safe places. Proper screening is not intended to create trust but rather to protect and maintain the trust already present.

Effective August 10, 2011, the Episcopal Diocese of West Tennessee (Diocese) requires that an Application for either an employee or volunteer and a Fingerprint Sample Background Check to be conducted, PRIOR to the beginning of service in the Diocese, any parish/mission, or Episcopal School, for individuals who are under the authority of the Bishop of the Diocese and serve in any of the capacities listed below.

  • Clergy (full and part time, canonically resident, licensed or supply)
  • All Church employees over the age of 18 years old (regardless of the number hours worked) including, St. Columba. All employees under the age of 18 years old will be required to complete a background check using a form which includes a release signed by a parent or guardian.  An employee is anyone who receives a paycheck or is regularly remunerated.
  • Volunteer youth ministry leader (for churches that do not employ one)
  • School teachers and other employees of an Episcopal school
  • Daycare workers
  • Nursery workers
  • Mothers’/Parents’ Day Out workers
  • Volunteer coaches for any Parish/Mission or Episcopal school

Once the required application is completed please see the instructions for obtaining fingerprint background checks click here. All records of fingerprinting will be maintained in the Diocesan office and where the person serves. Access to the records will be limited and only individuals with a need to know the results of the background screen will be provided access.

Persons fingerprinted will not be required to be fingerprinted again for as long as they are continuously employed.

Parishes, institutions and schools are reminded that in addition to a background check based on fingerprinting, the person must complete an application of employment or an application designed for volunteers on the approved forms provided click here for an employee application or click here for a volunteer application . The Diocese also requires the parish or school to check all references of the individual before beginning any work or volunteer activities.If an employee or volunteer, in connection with their responsibilities in the Church, will be involved in any way in the finances of the organization for which they volunteer or will be employed, they will undergo a credit check using the background check release form (statutory credit check release form).  If the employee will be driving any vehicle as a part of their responsibilities, a driving record check will be conducted using the background check release form (click here for form). The Diocese requires that all background checks and applications should be placed in an employee’s personnel file and maintained for all volunteers.

This memorandum applies to any entity that operates on any property under the authority of the Bishop of West Tennessee and employs anyone in any of the above listed categories.

Whenever anyone makes an appointment to have their fingerprints taken, please notify THE DIOCESE by clicking here and completing the form so that the Diocese will know to whom to mail the reported results.

Click here for instructions for scheduling an appointment for fingerprinting.

Questions? Please contact Canon Chip Davis at cdavis@episwtn.org or 901-937-4782.

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