OptomCAS facilitates a centralized background check (CBC) process for accepted applicants. The purpose of the check process is, in part, to ascertain the student's ability to meet the requirements of clinical education sites and to become licensed optometrists. Each optometry program 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. Refer to your individual programs for more information.
Each program may require you to:
- Complete a background check via Certiphi upon program acceptance
- Complete a background check via a different provider upon program acceptance
- Complete a background check after enrollment (in lieu of or in addition to the OptomCAS background check process).
- Complete a background check after enrollment, if required by a clinical education site
- Complete no background checks at any point.
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.
If you receive an offer of admission from a CBC participating program, Certiphi Screening will email you with instructions on how to complete the background check process. Receipt of this email indicates that the CBC is required as part of your acceptance to the program.
You will submit background check fees directly to Certiphi. Your fee includes all record search fees charged by states and counties. If you are accepted to multiple OptomCAS programs that require Certiphi background checks, you will only need to pay a single fee.
Once you provide consent, Certiphi will begin the background check process. Results are typically completed within one week. Once the report is complete, Certiphi will give you an opportunity to review the results before they are released to the OptomCAS programs who requested the report. You will then have ten calendar days to verify the accuracy of your report before it is made available to your programs. If you do not review the report within this time frame, Certiphi will release your report to your programs.
Neither Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO) or OptomCAS will receive or hold any personal information gathered by Certiphi. ASCO will receive de-identified aggregated data for research and statistical purposes only.