The North Alabama Conference Safe Sanctuaries Policy mandates that staff and volunteers who work with minors undergo a background check prior to serving and at least every three years after. For the purposes of Safe Sanctuary policy, background checks include a social security trace, a state background check, a national criminal check and sex offender check (instant criminal). To facilitate this process at both the Conference and the local church level, the North Alabama Conference has established an agreement with Employment Screening Services, a Birmingham-based provider of background checks.
The recommended method for churches to process background checks is using a branch account, which are available to any church or ministry in the North Alabama Conference at no additional cost. Branch accounts feature Conference pricing ($12 per background check for most individuals) and include the required background checks according to Safe Sanctuary policy. Churches with branch accounts receive their own login to ESS's system, which can be used to send requests for background checks to applicants, manually enter details from paper forms, and receive and store the results of checks run on the branch account. In addition, branch accounts allow churches to consolidate billing for background checks by allowing individuals to pay for their own using a credit card or by billing the church on a monthly basis.
To create a branch account for your church or ministry, click here. Please allow up to 3 business days (Monday through Thursday) for your account to be created.
For more information, or for questions about branch accounts, contact the Connectional Ministries Office at (205) 226-7963.
We will gladly process changes to users listed on a branch account. Please note that requested changes must be received from either an individual currently listed on the branch account as an administrator (using the email address listed in their user profile on the branch account) or clergy currently appointed to the church from their North Alabama Conference email address.
Did you know? Users on new branch accounts are set up as administrators for the branch and can add or edit users without contacting the Conference! To add or edit a user, log in to ESS and visit the "User Info" section under the "My Account" tab.
New branch accounts, by default, have access to the standard North Alabama Conference screening package, which includes a social security trace, State of Alabama criminal check, and national/multijurisdictional criminal check (including sex offender registries). However, additional checks, including credit and MVR checks, can be requested on a branch by contacting ESS.
All background check consent forms should be submitted directly to ESS. Consent forms and other related items sent to the Conference office will not be accepted.
The preferred method for completing background checks is to use a branch account. There is no charge for churches to establish a branch account, and doing so allows for faster and easier processing of background checks. Additionally, establishing a branch account ensures that results of checks are routed correctly and in a timely manner. Please see above for more details on establishing a branch account.
In limited circumstances, it may be possible to process a check using the master Conference account. If for some reason you are unwilling or unable to establish a branch account, please contact Kiki Terry at firstname.lastname@example.org or (205) 226-7953. Note that a surcharge may be assessed for checks processed using the Conference account.
If you have processed a background check using the Conference account and have not received results or need to request additional copies of results, please complete the form found by clicking here. Please note the following if requesting release of background checks: