Changes to the background study process include using:
Changes to the background study process will:
The processes and systems that are being developed will result in:
The processes and systems that are being developed will:
After implementation of NETStudy 2.0, people applying for a position with a new entity will provide their fingerprints and have their photo taken at a location around the state. The fingerprint and photo process should take about five-to-ten minutes and is completed by a trained technician. The fingerprint image will be transmitted through a secure system to the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA). While not retained by DHS or the BCA, fingerprints will be retained by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) but, in cases where an FBI check is required. Criminal history results, if any, will then be electronically transmitted to DHS. Over 90% of background studies are expected to be completed within a few hours after the person is fingerprinted and photographed. Photographs will be transmitted through a secure system to DHS and will be available in the NETStudy 2.0 system. Fingerprints and photo images will be purged from the fingerprint and photo service location within an hour of the information being submitted to the state.
You can find a fingerprint location that is near you by selecting your county on the map. This will take you to a regional listing of locations that includes the address and hours available for fingerprinting.
Information about fingerprint and photo locations, including addresses and hours of operation, is available on 3M Cogent's webpage.
The fingerprinting and photo service fee is $9.10. In most cases, this is a one-time process in a person's career for a DHS background study.
Once all entities are transitioned to NETStudy 2.0, fingerprint cards will be eliminated with some very limited exceptions.
On November 5, 2013, DHS published a Request for Proposal (RFP) for a vendor to establish the statewide fingerprinting and photo locations. In September 2014, DHS contracted with 3M Cogent to provide the statewide infrastructure for fingerprinting and photographing people needing a DHS background study.
You may select from over 50 statewide locations to have your fingerprints and photo taken. A list of the fingerprint and photo service locations is available on the 3M Cogent website. The entity that initiated your background study will give you a Fingerprint Authorization Form.
When you go to the fingerprint and photo service location you MUST bring both your Fingerprint Authorization Form AND your driver's license, government-issued ID, or other acceptable form of identification. It is very important to be sure that your name and date of birth on the Fingerprint Authorization Form is exactly the same as the information on your identification.
If the information on the Fingerprint Authorization Form does not match, contact the place that request the background study and have them correct it. If the information on the form does not exactly match your identification, you will be turned away at the fingerprint and photo location.
You have up to 14 days to be fingerprinted and photographed. Sometimes the place that requested the background study wants you to go sooner. Let the place that requested your background study know if there is a reason that you cannot go to be fingerprinted and photographed in the 14 day period.
If the place that requested your background study did not pay for the fingerprinting and photo service, you will need to pay the $9.10 fee. Payment can be made:
The fingerprints will be used to obtain criminal history information on the background study subject from the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and in some cases, the FBI.
For some, the fingerprints will also be used to complete an FBI record check. An FBI record check is required for people whose:
The fingerprints will not be retained by DHS or the BCA. If the fingerprints are submitted to the FBI, the FBI retains them.
Currently, FBI record checks are only required in certain circumstances.
In the present system, information from the BCA can identify when criminal history records may exist in another state. However, the information is only available if the person also has a criminal record in Minnesota. This means that some people with criminal records in another state may clear a background study. If FBI record checks were required for all background studies, criminal records in other states would be reported to DHS even if the person did not have a criminal record in Minnesota.
The bill that amends the Department of Human Services Background Studies Act - Minnesota Statues, chapter 245C was signed into law by Governor Dayton on May 16, 2014. The legislation was passed unanimously in both the House and Senate. The law supports the background study enhancements, including requiring the use of fingerprints to complete state criminal record checks through the BCA. It also requires that background study subjects submit fingerprints and a photograph. The changes do not affect when a background study is required or what may disqualify a person. Most people who are currently affiliated will not be affected unless they change jobs.
The NETStudy 2.0 system is able to accept background study requests for all health and human service program types licensed by the Minnesota Departments of Human Services, Health and Corrections, unlicensed personal care provider organizations and certain transportation providers. The system is also able to accept background studies for county child protection workers.
NETStudy 2.0 also has the ability for background study subjects to enter their own personal information before the background study is submitted by an entity.
In December 2015, entities began onboarding to NETStudy 2.0. In December 2016, all providers had been contacted to transition with the exception of those who did not have updated contact information.
NETStudy 2.0 offers ways to structure the background study sensitive information person (SIP) to permit background study results to be transferable across programs operated by the same entity. These options are covered in the NETStudy2.0 Onboarding Guide and onboarding informational YouTube video. In addition to being available here, links to these materials will be sent to each entity's authorized agent approximately one to three weeks prior to the entity receiving information to onboard to NETStudy 2.0.
It is important to know that the onboarding will include all license and organization numbers used for background studies that are connected to the entity based on the email address of the authorized agent for the entity. For example, if an entity that has the same authorized agent for a home care agency, a child care center, and a personal care provider organization, the onboarding tool will include all three programs and all will be transitioned to NETStudy 2.0 when the onboarding is completed.
Authorized agent - onboarding contact
Contacts with information to transition to NETStudy 2.0 will be sent to the authorized agent for the entity. The authorized agent is a license holder, controlling individual, or managing employee. The onboarding contact relies on the email address that your entity gave to the Minnesota Department of Human Services or Minnesota Department of Health for licensing or for personal care provider organizations for enrollment as a Minnesota Health Care Provider.
NETStudy 2.0 training is web-based and free. There are several YouTube videos available that demonstrate how to initiate a background study request in NETStudy 2.0 as well as all other key features of the system. It is easiest to follow along with the videos after you have a NETStudy 2.0 account.
Training materials also include the NETStudy 2.0 User Manual that provides detailed instructions, including screenshots and user tips about how to use NETStudy 2.0 and the NETStudy 2.0 Quickstart Guide that provides screen shots to show users how to enter a background study request.
These training materials were provided to entities in advance of their transition to NETStudy 2.0.
DHS held weekly open forum conference calls during the initial implementation period to address questions and issues from NETStudy 2.0 users. The calls were facilitated by technical and program staff. These calls are continuing in January and February 2017. NETStudy 2.0 users receive specific call times and access information through the system.
This Excel document provides a list of the entities and the authorized agents who will be contacted as entities are transitioned to NETStudy 2.0. The list can be filtered and searched, and will be regularly updated. If the "notes" column for one or more of your entities shows "no AA and/or "no AA email," or if the authorized agent information is no longer accurate, you must update the authorized agent information with the appropriate licensing agency.
Department of Human Services (DHS) Licensed Programs:
The license holders should contact their DHS licensor at 651-431-6500. The license holder will be required to update the authorized agent information by submitting a change in terms form.
Department of Health (MDH) Licensed Programs:
The license holder should contact the Health Regulation Division at Health.firstname.lastname@example.org and request instructions to update the authorized agent information.
All providers have been contacted to transition to NETStudy 2.0 except for a small group for whom DHS has incomplete or inaccurate data. The transition to NETStudy 2.0 began in December 2015.
Many providers are using NETStudy 2.0. Over 80% (10,900) of approximately 13,000 providers have accounts in the system and nearly 110,000 background studies have been initiated in NETStudy 2.0. As the number of people with background studies in NETStudy 2.0 increases, the likelihood of receiving an immediately available background study determination increases.
Some provider types will transition later. The transition to NETStudy 2.0 currently does not apply to background studies completed for the Minnesota Board of Behavioral Health, the Courts for Guardians and Guardians ad litem, and tribal governments that contract with DHS. These entities are expected to transition to NETStudy 2.0 later this year.
Some entities received extensions to transition to NETStudy 2.0. These entities had specific issues that affected their ability to transition. Most of the extensions were for large health/hospital systems. The deadline for extension requests was Dec. 27, 2016. If your entity has an extension, you may continue to use the original NETStudy portal to submit background study requests during the approved extension period.
Access to the original NETStudy portal is expected to be transitioned to “view only” for all providers effective Feb. 28, 2017, unless they are covered by an exception listed above, otherwise:
Entities will continue to be able to see the results of background studies submitted in the original NETStudy system for 60 days as is current practice. New background studies do not have to be entered in NETStudy 2.0 for people whose background study was initiated and is in process in the old system.
In order for updated information to apply to background studies, the background study subject must be affiliated on the entity’s roster. Before current background studies can be moved to entities’ rosters, entities must be transitioned to NETStudy 2.0.
During the onboarding process and transition to NETStudy 2.0 from December 2015 through December 2016, the Background Studies Division had a call line and email dedicated specifically to NETStudy 2.0 transition, onboarding, and technical support questions. The vast majority of contacts to the call line are questions addressed in the NETStudy 2.0 training materials. Entities are strongly encouraged to take advantage of the quick start guide (PDF), user manual (PDF), and YouTube videos (PDF). These materials will provide a more timely response to questions.
Phone line. The NETStudy 2.0 technical assistance phone number 651-431-6625 will continue to operate, but is being modified to provide phone tree options that cover commonly asked questions. This will provide immediate direction to information to address most questions.
Email. Questions that cannot be addressed through the phone tree, written instruction materials, and YouTube videos can be directed to email@example.com. Individualized responses to questions received in email will be provided when the information is not covered in the training or other materials. For questions that are covered in training or other materials, or those relating to fingerprinting issues from services managed by 3M Cogent, the inquirer will receive a more generic response. This change will allow us to prioritize more time-sensitive requests such as password resets, fingerprint extensions, etc.
Added WebEx Presentations. For people who want more individualized responses, additional open forum WebEx calls have been scheduled. These permit DHS to provide a demonstration in NETStudy 2.0 in addition to describing the systems process. Generally, calls will occur Monday through Friday beginning Jan. 3, 2017 through Feb. 2017. The open forum calls may be extended depending on demand. NETStudy 2.0 users will be notified of the WebEx schedule the week before the open forum calls. Because the schedule is subject to change, please consult the weekly schedule that is sent to people with NETStudy 2.0 accounts.
DHS was recently informed that the vendor it is using to provide the statewide infrastructure for fingerprinting and photographing people for background studies, 3M Cogent, is selling its identity management business. This includes the fingerprinting and photo services in Minnesota. 3M has entered into agreements to sell its identity management to Gemalto, a world leader in digital security. The transaction is expected to be completed sometime during the first six months of 2017. The change is not expected to impact entities or background study subjects.
3M Cogent plans to add more fingerprinting and photo service locations in the metro area in January 2017. Currently there are 15 locations in the metro area, including the temporary location at the DHS Lafayette Office. To locate a fingerprint location, select a region on the state map and a list of sites will display. More information about each site is available by clicking on the name of the entity.
DHS pursued feedback from stakeholders for developing the new NETStudy 2.0 system. The feedback was used to design the new background study process and the related legislative amendments. Additionally, DHS staff attended conferences and meetings throughout 2014 and 2015 to share information about the background study changes and solicit feedback and ideas. Beginning in fall 2014, many of these presentations and meetings included demonstrations of NETStudy 2.0 in development.
Between July and October 2014, DHS held overview and feedback meetings in nine statewide locations. A recording of the presentation is available online as a YouTube video and PowerPoint presentation.
In October 2014, 3M Cogent opened a survey to entities and background study subjects to provide feedback about the statewide fingerprint and photo service. Results of that survey are available online.
Education Program Survey
Information to be added.
In July 2014, DHS selected a group of providers licensed by the Minnesota Department of Health to pilot test NETStudy 2.0. DHS later expanded the pilot by adding several programs licensed by DHS. On April 6, 2015, the pilot providers began submitting fingerprint based background study requests in NETStudy 2.0. Several enhancements to NETStudy 2.0 have been made based on feedback from these pilot providers.
DHS pursued and was awarded a $3 million grant by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) in August 2012 to enhance the background study program. The National Background Check Program (NBCP) helps entities avoid hiring individuals with certain criminal histories by conducting federal- and state-level criminal background checks on people who provide health and human services.
DHS identified five goals for using the funds:
Goals one-through-three are met, and most of goal four is met with the implementation of NETStudy 2.0. Goal five requires legislative authorization to expand FBI record checks.
Updates about the changes to background study processes and implementation of NETStudy 2.0 are communicated through notices in the current NETStudy system and to people on the background study email list. You can subscribe to the background study email list.
Questions about the background study changes and NETStudy 2.0 may be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org or by contacting DHS at 651-431-6625.