Sunday 18 September 2011

Hot Topic: Criminal Background Checks

Some countries, like Korea, require their teachers to get criminal background checks (CBC) / criminal record checks (CRC) in order to get a visa to teach English.

Many teachers hate getting these checks, not because they have something to hide, but because of all the work it takes to get them.

American teachers, for example, have to go to their local police station and get fingerprinted. Then send that to the FBI and wait up to 3 months. That report usually gets sent to family or friends back in the US if the teacher is abroad and then they have to send it to the Department of State in Washington to get it apostillised and that can take another 2 weeks.The clock starts ticking from when the FBI stamps your CBC; from that date it's only good for 6 months (in Korea). I got two checks last year and they both took 4 months, from the time they left Korea until I got them back apostillised.

Other teachers don't like them because they say it makes them feel like criminals. Other foreigners can work in that country and don't have to get CBCs, but they do. Visa officals maintain that it helps keep the children they teach safe, though even teachers who teach adults have to get CBCs.

What do you think?
Should teachers be required to get CBCs?  Did you have to get one for your job?

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