Veterinarians & Background Checks

When you check headlines on a daily basis, you’d be hard-pressed not to find an example of the importance of background checks.

This month, background checks are making news in Oregon, with word that new veterinarians and veterinary technicians will need to undergo criminal background checks before they can obtain licenses in the state.

The rule went into effect immediately, according to the executive director of the Oregon Veterinary Medical Examining Board.

So why the focus now on background checks? Earlier this year, Oregon officials conducted an audit of 17 health-related licensing boards. The audit found that the veterinary board was just one of three that did not conduct background checks.

One of the reasons cited for the necessity of the background checks is the fact that veterinarians and veterinary technicians have access to controlled substances and “interact with vulnerable populations”.

Now who pays for these background checks? And who conducts them?
These new background checks will be conducted by the Oregon State Police. Applicants will be an extra 50 dollars for the background check and must also pay for the fingerprint scanning procedure.

As for current holders of veterinary licenses, they will be subject to a mass check annually run through the relevant state and federal databases.

Politics and legislative work still needs to be ironed out. The new background checks will almost certainly lead to higher licensing fees. The board’s executive director says any fee increases may be subject to legislative approval.

We know why background checks are so important in the hiring process. They help protect potential employers and allows for a safer work environment.

What’s happening in Oregon is the realization that times have changed and the ability to conduct a thorough background check is faster and more efficient than in years past. This means a change in how jobs are filled and how candidates are screened.