PTCAS facilitates a centralized background check process for accepted applicants. The purpose of the process is, in part, to ascertain the ability of a student to meet the requirements of clinical education sites and to become licensed physical therapists. Each program participating in PTCAS chooses whether to use the PTCAS background check vendor, Certiphi Screening Inc. Not all programs conduct a background check process through PTCAS via Certiphi.
Each PT education program participating in PTCAS may choose whether to use the PTCAS background check vendor, Certiphi Screening, Inc. Not all PTCAS programs use the PTCAS background check process through Certiphi.
If your responses to the PTCAS felony question or related criminal history questions on supplemental forms differ from the background check results, you may jeopardize your acceptance status.
Following are possible approaches that different programs might take to securing background checks:
If your responses to the PTCAS felony question or related criminal questions differ from the background check results, you may jeopardize your application.
If you accept an offer of admission from a program that uses the PTCAS background check, Certiphi will email you 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 is $77.75 per applicant and is payable by the applicant to Certiphi Screening Inc. The fee includes all record search fees charged by states and counties. If you are accepted by multiple 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 will begin the background check process. Results are typically completed within 1 week. Once the report is complete, Certiphi will allow you to review the results before they are released to the PTCAS program(s) 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 PTCAS program(s). If you do not review the report within the time allotted, Certiphi will release your report to the program(s).
If you consent to the background check process through PTCAS, Certiphi will release the results to the PTCAS program(s) whose offer of admission you accepted. Neither APTA nor PTCAS will receive or hold personal information gathered by Certiphi. APTA receives deidentified aggregated data for research and statistical purposes only.
Below is a description of checks conducted by Certiphi. The results of the background search do not include juvenile records.
Last Updated: 8/25/2020