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Criminal Background Checks

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I am not sure what criteria BSA uses. Does it really matter? We can not change it if we do not like how they do it. We can, of course, always choose not to be members.


Remember no background check is 100% infallible. If a criminal has never been caught he will never get bumped by a background check.


The first line of defense we have is the Adult Application. The Charter Org Rep, or whoever checks, and approves the applications, should be checking those references provided. They should also have at least a passing knowledge of the person.


If BSA's background check turns up anything that is not an automatic NO, it is not something that they announce from the rooftops to any who wish to know. It is PRIVATE. The prospective volunteer is contacted by the council, and has the opportunity to speak to the council about what was found. Then the decision is made weather or not to accept the membership. The only other one who might be told about the problem, and possibly brought in for input, would be the CO.



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Thank you for your reply to my question.It appears that councils have some discretion regarding handling the results from these checks.I would expect that the BSA has provided them with some guidelines to use,so that there is consistancy.I am interested is some details,such as:

1.Do all felony convictions automatically disqualify,or only some convictions(eg:violent crimes,child abuse)?

2.How are misdomenor convictions handled?

3.Are juvenile convictions considered?

4.Are only convictions considered,not charges that do not result in convictions?

I am aware that charges not resulting in convictions, and juvenile records,may not be information that is supposed to be included in these checks.But I also know that employers/organizations with sufficient resources can find ways to access that information.

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I have an application for a scout leadership position and in the application they indicate a conviction for petit larceny about five years ago. As a CC I have to sign (or not) the application and forward it through the process. I have checked references and they have experience and recommended. Realistically do they have a chance to pass the CBC?

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While I appreciate reading about individual experiances,I also am still interested in securing answers to the general questions I listed above.

On the one hand,I would expect that infractions and some misdomenor convictions do not necessarily disqualify applications.On the other hand I would expect that many(all?)felony convictions probably do.

I suppose that this could be summarized by answers to two broad questions:

First-What types of convictions automatically disqualify all applicants for registration?

Second-What types of convictions(if any)can be evaluated by councils on an individual basis for registration?

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Check with your council office on whether or not it is a show stopper.


Also check with your chartered organization to find out what kind of membership standards they have. After all they have to sign the application.


Ask yourself what kind of person you would want as a leader in your unit.


I commend you for checking references. Many units do not do this.


Do you mean petty larceny? The applicant is supposed to describe the circumstances on the application.


Without knowing more I would not accept the application.

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