Updated Guidelines and UCLA Procedures for Designating Critical Positions


Re: Updated Guidelines and UCLA Implementing Procedures for Designating Critical Positions in Accordance with Personnel Policies for Staff Members 21.E. – Background Checks

The Office of the President has issued updated Systemwide Guidelines to Personnel Policies for Staff Members (PPSM) 21, Appointments, effective September 1, 2006. PPSM 21 requires that hiring managers obtain job-related background information on final candidates selected to fill critical positions and employees who are promoted, reclassified, or transferred into critical positions. The updated Guidelines replace those issued in October 1989. 

The Systemwide Guidelines reflect current elements of critical positions and provide examples of critical position functions or tasks that may warrant conducting a background check. A new section that addresses critical positions with access to protected, personal, or other sensitive data has been added. Systemwide Guidelines are included in the Personnel Policies for Staff Members and are available online.

UCLA’s implementing procedures on Background Checks have been updated in accordance with the Systemwide Guidelines. Proposed campus procedures, reflecting input from a broad cross-section of campus representatives, were circulated for your review and comment in June 2005. The updated procedures clarify requirements, explain roles and responsibilities, and provide examples of critical positions. The updated UCLA procedures are available in Related Information.

As you review the updated procedures, we recommend that you take this opportunity to assess the positions in your organization to ensure that they are properly designated. Critical positions should be identified as such in job descriptions, and the requirement for background checks should be clearly stated on any posting of critical positions and included in offer letters to successful candidates. Background checks are only conducted prospectively, when hiring new employees into critical positions and when transferring, promoting, or reclassifying current employees into such positions. If you have any questions regarding the revised procedures, please contact Manager Lazetta Smith at (310) 794-0877 or Director Lynne Thompson at (310) 794-0860.

Lubbe Levin 
Assistant Vice Chancellor 
Campus Human Resources

Campus Human Resources, Policy & Personnel Services
Phone: (310) 794-3147 | Fax: (310) 794-0865