FAQs for Social Work Compliance
Welcome to the FAQs for Social Work Compliance! Feel free to browse the entire page or click the links in the FAQ Menu below to be taken directly to the answer to your question. If you have questions that are not covered here, please reach out to the Practicum Office.
What is compliance?
As a student in the College of Health and Human Services (CHHS), you will complete practicum placements in various settings such as health care facilities, social service agencies, government agencies, nonprofits, or school systems. Most of these agencies are requiring that our students in social work have some type of compliance requirements.
All students will be required to complete compliance requirements before beginning their practicum placement. Compliance requirements vary by practicum placement site and students should NOT begin completing these requirements until instructed to do so by the Practicum Office.
All students must complete a TB test and Bloodborne Pathogens training prior to beginning placement. Additionally, many students will be required to complete additional compliance requirements. These requirements may include, but are not limited, to the following: Immunizations, Criminal Background Check, Drug Screening, CPR/First Aid Certification, Fingerprinting, and/or any other requirements noted in the agency Affiliation Agreement.
It is the responsibility of the student to cover the cost of all compliance items required by the Affiliation Agreement. Time spent collecting Clinical Compliance does not count towards practicum orientation or hours.
How do I know what compliance requirements to complete?
Students will receive an email from the Practicum Office that outlines the requirements you need to complete through UNC Charlotte. Please review this email carefully for details on exactly which items to complete and for instructions on how to submit compliance documentation. Practicum placement agency sites may have additional requirements for students to complete.
When should I start working on compliance and when is it due?
Students should not begin working on any compliance requirements until receiving an email from the Practicum Office with instructions. Starting the requirements early may result in needing to redo some requirements, as some compliance requirements are only valid for a certain amount of time. This email will also include a due date for compliance submission. It is very important to meet the deadline outlined in the email. A late submission will jeopardize your placement. Processing these documents takes several weeks. You will NOT be allowed to begin practicum until your compliance is cleared, missing your deadline may delay the start of your practicum placement. Delays in starting your practicum placement may impact your grade for fall practicum. Please contact the Practicum Office if additional time is needed.
What happens after I submit my compliance requirements?
Once you submit your compliance requirements, they will be reviewed by the CHHS Student Compliance Specialist, who is a staff member in the Dean’s Office. Processing these documents takes several weeks. After being reviewed, the CHHS Student Compliance Specialist notifies the Practicum Office that a student has received compliance clearance and the Practicum Office will notify the student. The Practicum Office does not have access to view your compliance submissions or verify submission. You will NOT be allowed to begin practicum until your compliance is cleared.
What should I do if my Practicum Instructor or Task Supervisor says I don’t need the required compliance that was sent from the Practicum Office?
Most likely, you will still need to complete the compliance requirement sent by the Practicum Office, however, you may contact the Practicum Office to verify compliance requirements.
Do I need to submit compliance documents if I am in an employment-based practicum placement?
In most cases, the only compliance items employment-based practicum placement students will need to submit is the Bloodborne Pathogens training and an up-to-date TB test.
Do I need to submit compliance documents if I am returning to the same practicum placement as last year?
Yes, however, students returning to the same placement may be able to resubmit some of the same materials, such as immunization records and the criminal background check results. Some compliance requirements, including but not limited to, the TB test, the flu vaccine, and drug screening, must be updated annually when required.
Who should I talk to if I have concerns about any of the compliance requirements?
Students should reach out to the Practicum Office regarding any concerns about compliance requirements. Additionally, students may be referred to discuss concerns with the CHHS Student Compliance Specialist, depending on the question or concern.
Will I need to submit any compliance requirements directly to the agency?
Possibly. Some agencies require copies of immunization records, background check results, etc. The Practicum Office is not allowed to release any records, so students will need to submit these documents themselves, if requested by the agency.
What immunizations are required?
The exact immunization requirements will vary by agency, however, you may be required to complete/provide documentation of some or all of the following immunizations:
- 3DPT/Tdap (Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis) – series of 3
- Tetanus – within the last 10 years
- MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella) – series of 2
- Hepatitis B – series of 3
- Varicella (Chicken Pox) – series of 2
- Influenza (Flu) – annually, if required
- COVID-19 – 1 dose of J&J or 2 doses of Pfizer/Moderna
- COVID-19 Booster
Rarely, there may be additional immunizations required by the agency.
What should I do if I have my immunizations but can’t find my records?
Students who do not have access to their immunization records should request a titer test from their doctor. Only some immunization requirements have titer tests available.
Additionally, MSW students might consider reaching out to Student Health Services at their undergraduate institution to see if they have a copy of the student’s immunization records.
What are titer tests? Should I be getting titer tests even if I have a copy of my vaccination records?
A titer test is a blood test that measures the presence and amount of antibodies in the blood. Essentially, these can be used to prove immunity to a disease. Students should only obtain titer tests if they do not have access to their immunization records, or for varicella, if they are unvaccinated due to contracting varicella (chickenpox) in the past.
Will I need a COVID-19 vaccination?
Only if it is required by your practicum placement agency. This will be noted in the email you receive about what compliance requirements to complete.
What should I do if I need the flu vaccine but it is not yet available?
The flu vaccine is not always available during certain times of the year. If it’s not available yet, submit your other compliance documentation to receive conditional clearance. Once the vaccine becomes available, get the vaccine and submit your documentation. Failure to submit documentation of the flu vaccine once it is available may result in practicum hours not being counted.
Can I decline any immunizations?
Students may decline the Hepatitis B vaccination by requesting a waiver from email@example.com. For declination of other immunizations a special request will have to be made. The CHHS Student Compliance Specialist and/or Practicum Office will need to discuss this with the placement agency and it may or may not be allowed. Please reach out to the Practicum Office if you wish to decline any immunizations (other than Hepatitis B) for further discussion about next steps.
Is it okay if I only have one dose of a multi-dose vaccine series?
No, you will need all of your doses. If you are unable to have all your doses by the practicum compliance deadline please contact the Practicum Office at firstname.lastname@example.org and the CHHS Student Compliance Specialist at email@example.com.
Do I have to start over if I don’t have all required doses of a multi-dose vaccine series?
No, you can just begin the next dose needed to complete the series.
Do I need to resubmit my immunization records if I already submitted them for compliance last year?
Tuberculosis (TB) Testing
What is TB testing and what are my options for completing TB testing?
Tuberculosis (TB) is a disease caused by a bacteria that affects the lungs. There are two types of tests for TB: the TB skin test and the TB blood test.
- The TB skin test is performed by injecting a small amount of fluid (called tuberculin) into the skin on the lower part of the arm. After this, the patient must return within 48 to 72 hours to get the results. For a 2-Step, the test is administered twice within 1 month.
- TB blood tests (specifically the QuantiFERON-TB Gold Plus) are also called interferon-gamma release assays or IGRAs. A health care provider will draw a patient’s blood and send it to a laboratory for analysis and results. The TB blood test (QuantiFERON-TB Gold Plus) can meet the requirements for the 1-step TB test and the 2-step TB test
A negative result means that latent TB infection or TB disease is not likely. A positive TB test means the person has been infected with TB bacteria and requires a chest x-ray and TB symptom check.
What is the difference between a 1-step TB test and a 2-step TB test?
A 1-step TB skin test requires two appointments, one placement and one reading. A 2-step TB skin test requires four appointments, the initial placment and reading, and then a second placement and reading that takes place about a week after the first.
Another option for students who are required to have a 2-step test is to obtain a QuantiFERON-TB Gold blood test, instead. The blood test may be more expensive (consult with your provider and/or insurance) but but saves time since students will not need to go back and forth to the lab for skin testing placement and readings.
Can I decline TB testing?
No, students cannot decline TB testing. Students who are not able to complete the TB skin test due to medical, religious, or personal reasons will be required to obtain the TB blood test (QuantiFERON-TB Gold Plus).
I just had a TB test last year, do I need another one?
Yes, TB testing needs to be done annually for practicum placement. TB testing should be completed no earlier than May 1st of the semester before your anticipated placement.
My TB test came back positive, what should I do?
Contact the CHHS Student Compliance Specialist at firstname.lastname@example.org for next steps.
Criminal Background Check (CBC)
What does the CBC include?
SSN validation, Sex Offender Registry, State Criminal and Other Offenses, Federal Criminal and Other Offenses, OIG/GSA Excluded Parties, and International, if applicable.
Who has access to my results? What is shared?
Only the CHHS Student Compliance Specialist has access to student CBC records. The only information shared with the Practicum Office is whether students are cleared or not.
Will I be able to start my practicum placement if there is something on my record?
If there is something on a student’s CBC then the CHHS Student Compliance Specialist will notify the Practicum Office. Additionally, the CHHS Student Compliance Specialist will notify the potential agency to see if the CBC will be accepted.
Can I submit the same results if I had a CBC done last year?
If the CBC was completed through UNC Charlotte’s partnership with Certiphi, students can use the same results but you must re-submit the results.
Can I complete my background check through another vendor or through my county of residence?
If students have background check highlighted on your compliance form, they MUST complete your background check through UNC Charlotte partnership Certiphi unless otherwise noted.
I can’t find the email with instructions for completing for my background check, what do I do?
The email will be sent to your UNC Charlotte email account. Sometimes, it takes a couple of days before the email will arrive. If you cannot find the email in your inbox, first check your spam folder. If it is not there, try searching your inbox for “Application Station – Student Edition”. If you are required to complete a Criminal Background Check and Drug Screening, you will receive 2 separate emails from Certiphi/Application Station, one for the CBC and one for the drug screening. Sometimes, Gmail will connect these emails to the same thread. If it has been more than a week since you received your “Next Steps for Compliance” email, you have checked all of the places suggested above, and you have still not received information about the background check, please reach out to email@example.com regarding obtaining the necessary information.
How can I view the results from my background check?
Once available, students can view and download background check results in Certiphi/Application Station by accessing them through the link in the initial email sent from Certiphi/Application Station.
My practicum placement agency has requested a copy of my CBC, can the Practicum Office forward it to them?
No, the Practicum Office is not allowed to release your records. If requested, students should submit a copy to the agency directly.
What type of drug screening should I get?
Students who are required to complete a drug screening will need to complete a 12 Panel Drug Screening. A 12 panel screening includes the following drugs:
- AMP – Amphetamines
- BAR – Barbiturates
- BZO – Benzodiazepines
- COC – Cocaine
- MAMP – Methamphetamines
- MDMA – Ecstasy
- MTD – Methadone
- OPI – Opiates
- OXY – Oxycodone
- PCP – Phencyclidine
- PPX – Propoxyphene
- THC – Marijuana
Where can I get the drug screening done?
All drug screenings must be completed using the Certiphi, which is UNC Charlotte’s vendor partner. Students will receive an email with instructions and will be able to choose a screening site from the list of options provided by Certiphi.
If I had a drug screening done last year, can I submit the same results?
No, if an agency requires a drug screening, it must be completed annually.
I have a prescription for a medication that might cause me to test positive during the screening, what should I do?
Students with concerns that they may test positive due to a medication prescribed by a medical professional should include prescription information in the supporting documents upload section of Certiphi and upload a copy of the prescription information to Dropbox when submitting the rest of their compliance requirements.
I can’t find the email with instructions for completing my drug screening, what do I do?
The email will be sent to your UNC Charlotte email account. Sometimes, it takes a couple of days before the email will arrive. If you cannot find the email in your inbox, first check your spam folder. If it is not there, try searching your inbox for “Application Station – Student Edition”. If you are required to complete a Criminal Background Check (CBC) and Drug Screening, you will receive 2 separate emails from Certiphi/Application Station, one for the CBC and one for the drug screening. Sometimes, Gmail will connect these emails to the same thread. If it has been more than a week since you received your “Next Steps for Compliance” email, you have checked all of the places suggested above, and you have still not received information about the background check, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org regarding obtaining the necessary information.
How can I view the results from my drug screening?
Once available, students can view and download drug screening results in Certiphi/Application Station by accessing them through the link in the initial email sent from Certiphi/Application Station.
My practicum placement agency has requested a copy of my drug screening results, can the Practicum Office forward it to them?
No, the Practicum Office is not allowed to release your records. If requested, students should submit a copy to the agency directly.
Bloodborne Pathogens (BBP) Testing
Where do I take the BBP training and test?
The bloodborne pathogens training and test can be completed via Canvas. To obtain access to the Canvas course, visit the CHHS Bloodborne Pathogen Training site and click the link for “Nursing, Public Health, and Social Work” students. Once you click on the link, log in and enroll in the course when asked.
What score do I need on the BBP test?
Social Work students must score a 13 or higher to pass the test.
How do I submit proof that I have taken the test?
Submit a screenshot or clear photo of your results, including your name, score, and date. Only one page is needed.
If I took the BBP training and test last year, do I need to retake it again this year?
Yes, completion of the BBP training and test is an annual requirement.
What should I do if I am out of BBP test attempts?
Contact the CHHS Student Compliance Specialist at email@example.com.
If I have already taken BBP training with my agency or employer, can I submit those results instead?
No, the BBP test has to be taken online through the UNC Charlotte College of Health and Human Services.
What type of CPR certification do I need?
Please ask your practicum placement agency site. If your agency does not have a preference, you should complete training through the American Red Cross or the American Heart Association. See the next question for advice on how and where to complete the courses.
Where can I complete CPR certification?
There are several options for students to access this training. For students already in the Charlotte, NC area, the School of Social Work recommends completing CPR certification through the Student Health Center. The Student Health Center offers certification through the American Heart Association and through the American Red Cross. For more information and registration, visit the Student Health Center Classes page.
Additionally, Innovative Solutions is a Charlotte-based organization that is an American Heart Association Training Center.
If you are not located in Charlotte or are unable to attend training offered through the Student Health Center or Innovative Solutions, visit the American Red Cross or the American Heart Association for classes in your area.
Can I complete a fully online CPR certification course?
The CPR requirement is based on what the particular site requires – some are more lenient than others. Students should inquire with their Practicum Instructor/Task Supervisor to determine what is allowed by the agency.
Will I need to complete First Aid certification?
Only a few agencies require First Aid certification. Like all other compliance requirements, please review your compliance email for exact instructions on which items you are required to complete.
I’m already CPR/First Aid certified, can I submit that certification to meet this requirement?
As long as your certification meets the UNC Charlotte requriements and will not expire before the end of your practicum placement, you may submit proof of your current certification.
What should I do if my Practicum Instructor/Task Supervisor said I don’t need CPR and/or First Aid certification, but it is highlighted on my agency requirements form?
Most likely, you will still need to complete this requirement. Compliance requirements are decided by the agency, but sometimes it may be someone other than your Practicum Instructor/Task Supervisor that decided on the requirements (such as HR, a business office, internship program manager, etc.). If you have any questions about a discrepancy, you may contact the Practicum Office to verify compliance requirements.
Other Compliance Requirements
Do I need to purchase liability insurance?
No, UNC Charlotte has secured insurance and this is covered by student fees. This insurance only covers students in their SOWK Practicum coursework.
My practicum placement agency has requested additional requirements, do I have to complete those items too?
Yes, agencies may have additional requirements that the student will need to complete via the agency processes. Students should work directly with the agency to complete any additional requirements.
What is myClinicalExchange (mCE) and do I have to use it?
myClinicalExchange (mCE) is an online database used by Novant and CaroMont to track compliance items and process drug screens and background checks. Only students attending Novant or CaroMont for their placement are required to register with myClinical Exchange (mCE). You will be contacted via email with additional information regarding accessing mCE.