CORI Policy for Owners of Challenge Courses for Conducting Criminal History Inquiries

I. Policy Purpose

Pursuant to the regulations pertaining to the operation of Climbing Walls contained in 520 CMR

5.15, owners of companies that operate Climbing Walls are required to conduct criminal

history inquiries on certain applicants for employment. The procedure described below has been

adopted by the Hamilton-Wenham Regional School District for Criminal Offender Record Inquiries.

II. Scope

1. The policy shall apply to all applicants 18 years of age or older for the positions of:

a. Challenge Course Manager; and

b. Challenge Course Staff.

III. Process

1. The Hamilton-Wenham Regional School District will register annually for iCORI service, a secure web-

based service through which organizations will request and receive Criminal Offender Record

Information (“CORI”), at  www.mass.gov/cjis.  

2. Upon application for any of the above positions, an applicant shall provide to the Hamilton-Wenham

Regional School District a completed CORI Acknowledgement Form provided by the

Department of Criminal Justice Information Services (DCJIS).  CORI checks will only be

conducted as authorized by the DCJIS and M.G.L. c. 6, § 172, and only after a CORI

Acknowledgement Form has been completed.  CORI will only be accessed for applicants who

are otherwise qualified for the position for which they have applied.  If a new CORI check is to

be made on an applicant within one year of his/her signing of the CORI Acknowledgement

Form, the applicant shall be given 72 hours notice that a new CORI check will be conducted.

3. The applicant shall be informed in writing either on the face of the application or in an

attached written document that by completing the CORI Acknowledgment Form, the applicant is

consenting to a criminal background inquiry which shall be used to determine suitability for

employment. The applicant shall be further informed on the face of the application or in an

attached written document that consideration for employment will only be granted upon

completion of both the application and the CORI Acknowledgement Form.

4. All CORI obtained from the DCJIS is confidential, and access to the information is limited to

those individuals who have a “need to know.” This may include, but not be limited to, hiring

managers, staff submitting the CORI requests, and staff charged with processing job applications. The

Hamilton-Wenham Regional School District will maintain and keep a current list of each

individual authorized to have access to, or view, CORI. This list will be updated every six

months and is subject to inspection upon request by the DCJIS and/or the Department of Public

Safety at any time.

5. The Hamilton-Wenham Regional School District shall maintain a secondary dissemination log to

record any dissemination of CORI outside of the District, including dissemination at the request of the


6. All personnel authorized to review or access CORI at the Hamilton-Wenham Regional School District

will review, and will be thoroughly familiar with, the educational and relevant training materials

regarding CORI laws and regulations made available by the DCJIS.

7. Once the applicant provides consent to conduct a criminal background inquiry, the Hamilton-Wenham

Regional School District shall submit a CORI request using the iCORI service. In most cases, results will be

returned instantaneously.

8. In the event that results are not returned instantaneously and circumstances require an

expedited employment decision, the following procedures shall apply:

a. A temporary offer of employment may be made to an applicant on the express

condition that the Hamilton-Wenham Regional School District has submitted applicant’s CORI

request prior to the temporary offer of employment.

b. Any temporary employment shall expire at the conclusion of 14 days following

acceptance and may not be renewed.

c. During the period of temporary employment, the applicant shall be under the direct

supervision of an employee who has previously undergone a completed CORI.

9. At such time as the results of CORI are made available, the Hamilton-Wenham Regional School District

shall act expeditiously to make a determination of suitability of employment. Factors considered in

determining suitability may include, but not be limited to: (a) relevance of the record to the

position sought; (b) the nature of the work to be performed; (c) time since the conviction; (d) age

of the applicant at the time of the offense; (e) seriousness and specific circumstances of the

offense; (f) the number of offenses; (g) whether the applicant has pending charges; (h) any

relevant evidence of rehabilitation or lack thereof; (i) any other relevant information, including

information submitted by the applicant or requested by the Hamilton-Wenham Regional School District.

10. In the event that the applicant is to be questioned regarding his or her criminal record, the

applicant shall be provided with a copy of the criminal history record prior to questioning and the

source of the criminal history record shall be disclosed.

11. In the case of a negative employment decision, the applicant shall be notified immediately

and shall be provided with:

a. A copy of the Hamilton-Wenham Regional School District’s CORI policy;

b. A copy of the CORI;

c. . A copy of Information Concerning the Process in Correcting a Criminal Record as

provided by DCJIS.

The applicant shall have the opportunity to dispute the accuracy of the CORI.

Source: Department of Public Safety (DPS) 2016

References:        HWRSD Policy A1008 – DCJIS Model CORI Policy

                HWRSD Policy A1016 – Background Checks

Adopted: June 23, 2016

Reviewed: March 16, 2017