Instructions > Criminal Background Checks

OptomCAS facilitates a centralized background check (CBC) process for accepted applicants. The purpose of the check process is, in part, to ascertain the ability of a student to meet the requirements of clinical education sites and to become licensed optometrists. Each optometry education program participating in OptomCAS chooses whether to use the OptomCAS background check vendor, Certiphi Screening, Inc. Not all OptomCAS programs use the background check process through OptomCAS via Certiphi.


If your responses to the OptomCAS felony question and/or related criminal questions on supplemental forms differ from the background check results, you may jeopardize your acceptance status.


Certiphi Screening will contact you via email once the company is notified by the OptomCAS office that you have been made an offer of admission by or accepted an offer of admission to a participating OptomCAS program. The email will include a link to a secure, online form that will request additional information and your consent to initiate the background check process


The background check fee will be paid to Certiphi by the applicant. The fee is inclusive of all record search fees charged by states and counties. If you are accepted by multiple OptomCAS programs that require a background check through Certiphi, you will only undergo a single search and pay a single fee.


Once you have provided consent, Certiphi Screening, Inc. will begin the background check process. Results are typically completed within one week. Once the report is complete, Certiphi Screening, Inc. will give you an opportunity to review the results before they are released to the OptomCAS program that requested the report. You will then have ten (10) calendar days to verify the accuracy of your report before it is made available to the appropriate OptomCAS program. If you do not review the report within the time allotted, Certiphi will release your report to the program.


Should you choose to do so, for a fee, you may request your own report from Certiphi Screening, Inc. before it is requested by an OptomCAS program. Please note that you are NOT required to order an advance report. This optional report will not replace a separate background check report required by an OptomCAS program upon acceptance to that program.


If you consent to the background check process through OptomCAS, Certiphi Screening will release the results to the OptomCAS program(s) in which you accepted the offer of admission. Neither ASCO nor OptomCAS will receive or hold any personal information gathered by Certiphi. ASCO will receive de-identified aggregated data only for research and statistical purposes.


Below is a description of checks conducted by OptomCAS's service partner, Certiphi Screening, Inc,. The results of the background search do not include juvenile records.

Social Security Number Search
A search of credit report header data to help confirm the applicant's identifying information such as name, aliases, address(es), Social Security Number and to determine areas of prior residence.
County Criminal Records Searches
A direct search of county courthouse records for any felony or misdemeanor criminal history. All records are researched to help ensure positive identification.
Statewide Criminal Records Search
A search conducted through statewide criminal records repositories or court systems for any felony or misdemeanor criminal history.
Federal Criminal Records Search
A direct search of federal courthouse records for any felony or misdemeanor criminal history.
National Criminal Database Search
This search is an instant, multi-jurisdiction private database search covering more than 194 million criminal records collected from across the country. All database “hits” are verified directly through the source of information to ensure that records reported are current and up-to-date.
National Sexual Offender Database Search
A search of a national private database which contains sex offender data collected from across the United States.
US Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General List of Excluded Individuals /Entities Search
A search of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General List of Excluded Individuals/Entities (LEIE), a database which provides information to the public, health care providers, patients, and others relating to parties excluded from participation in the Medicare, Medicaid, and all Federal health care programs.
Search for Dishonorable Discharge from the Armed Forces
Military records are verified through either telephone interviews with the subject's former commander or by obtaining the applicant's DD-214 form. Verification generally includes subject's name, Service Number, rank, dates of service, awards and decorations, and place of entrance and separation.
SanctionsBase Screening
A search covering sanctions, disciplinary and administrative actions taken by hundreds of federal and state healthcare regulatory authorities, including FDA, NIH, GSA, OFAC, terrorist watch lists and more.