Background Check Requirements

Prior to adjourning the 2011 Legislative Session, the Indiana General Assembly passed Senate Enrolled Act 363 titled Criminal Background Checks of Licensed Professionals.  This Bill requires individuals obtaining licensure in certain healthcare professions to obtain a national criminal background check prior to being issued a license.

Effective July 1, 2011, certain applicants seeking initial licensure will be required to submit to finger printing and a national criminal background check by the Indiana State Police (this is the background check that utilizes the criminal history record system of the Federal Bureau of Investigation).  The individual applicant will be responsible for the cost of the background check in addition to any of the usual costs associated with obtaining their license (the fees will be paid separately to different agencies).  The results of the background check will be shared with the Indiana Professional licensing Agency – in our case, with the Indiana Board of Pharmacy specifically – and after that, only confidentially with the appropriate government agencies and law enforcement entities listed in statute. 

During the review of an application, if the background check evidences a prior criminal history, the Board will have the discretion to determine whether or not the crime has a current and direct bearing upon the ability of the individual to practice safely and to determine whether a license should be granted or denied (i.e., a Board may grant a license even if an applicant has a criminal conviction on their record if it is determined that the applicant is safe, competent, and no longer a threat to the public as a result of their conviction). 

The Bill also allows each board to perform a random audit of currently licensed individuals during their license renewal period who would then have to submit to a background check in order to renew their license.  Practically speaking, it has not been decided how, if, or when this component of the bill will be implemented.

As of publication of this document, we have determined that the Bill will impact initial licensure for all pharmacists and pharmacy technicians (including all technician-in-training applicants).  It will NOT include facilities (pharmacy, HME, wholesaler) or pharmacist interns (who would still have to obtain a background check when submitting their pharmacist licensure application upon graduation).  As we continue to evaluate the Bill and work out the details with the Indiana State Police for conducting background checks and sharing the information, we will update our website, application instructions, Facebook Page, and the Board’s newsletter with additional details and information. 

In the meantime, for more details about this Bill, please refer to the Indiana General Assembly’s website, where you can read in detail the Bill Digest, the actual changes made to law, and the respective amendments and votes.