Office of Independent Education & Parental Choice
Volunteer & Employee Criminal History System (VECHS)
Private schools participating in state scholarship programs have the responsibility to ensure that employees and contracted personnel meet the background screening standards under Section 1002.421, Florida Statutes (F.S.).
In order for your private school to receive background screening results for employees and contracted personnel, you must register with the Volunteer & Employee Criminal History System (VECHS) through the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. The qualified entity application process, including detailed instructions, fingerprinting locations, and links to the required application and user agreement, is available on the FDLE website at: http://www.fdle.state.fl.us/Background-Checks/VECHS-Home.aspx. For additional questions related to the VECHS program, please contact the FDLE at (850) 410-VECHS (8324).
- Who may enroll in the FDLE VECHS program?
- How do I become a qualified entity?
- After I am qualified - what then?
- Where can employees go to be fingerprinted?
- What happens to the fingerprints that are submitted?
- How long will it take to receive the criminal history information?
Qualified entities that provide some type of "care" or "care placement services" to children, the elderly, or the disabled may enroll in the VECHS program. Private schools qualified to use VECHS may request criminal history information on all current and prospective employees and volunteers.
To become a qualified VECHS user, complete the required application and user agreement, which is available on the FDLE website at: http://www.fdle.state.fl.us/Background-Checks/VECHS-Home.aspx. For additional questions related to the VECHS program, please contact the FDLE at (850) 410-VECHS (8324).
After your VECHS Application and your signed User Agreement have been reviewed and approved, FDLE will provide you with instructions regarding how to submit the fingerprints and payments for the criminal history information. Before you can begin submitting fingerprints electronically, the Civil Workflow Control System (CWCS) Customer Registration Form must also be completed and submitted to FDLE.
Fingerprints submitted "electronically" are fingerprints taken on a livescan device and submitted electronically to FDLE. Private schools may purchase their own livescan device, work together with other private schools in purchasing and using a livescan device, or use service providers to submit fingerprints electronically. Find a list of fingerprint service providers on the VECHS website.
The state and national background screenings will be conducted through the VECHS program. When the background screening is completed, a criminal history report will be sent to the participating private school. The FDLE is required to retain fingerprints for employees and contracted personnel and enter them into a statewide automated fingerprint identification system.
The results of electronic submissions will be posted to a secure mail application within 24-72 hours of receipt. An email notification, containing a link to the application, will be sent to the private school when the results are ready.
*** Please note that the Department shall immediately suspend the payment of scholarship funds to a participating private school that knowingly fails to comply with these requirements. In certain cases, Florida law also requires the Department to prohibit the school from enrolling new scholarship students for one fiscal year and until the school complies. ***