Secure Teams using Background Checks

If your church requires members of specific teams to pass a background check before they are scheduled, Planning Center Services can help you make Secure Teams to enforce that policy.

This video gives a great overview of using Background Checks in Planning Center.


Managing Background Checks

Background Checks are completely managed from Planning Center People, our free solution for managing all the people in your church. From there you can integrate with our partner, Checkr, to order background checks, or set background check status manually if you want to use your own provider.

You can access Planning Center People by clicking the Services icon at the top left and switching to People, but if you don't see it there, then you don't yet have access. You'll need to contact an Organization Administrator from your church.

You can also find out if you have access, and if not, who can give it to you, by going to

Converting Tags to Background Checks

If you've added tags to Planning Center Services to track background checks and want to move to our new official way, you can easily do so. First you'll need to access Planning Center People using the instructions in the step above. Then you'll need to create a List, and finally apply bulk actions.

Apply a Bulk Action to a List

Create a List

From the Lists tab, create a new List with the following rules.

Choose the Services app in the first box, then Tag & is. In the last box, choose whichever tag you are using to indicate a cleared background check. Then click Submit to create your list.

Apply a Bulk Action

Click the actions button at the top right, and choose Perform Action.

Leave the Application set to "People", and change the Action to "Set Background Check Status."

Change the Status to Clear and set a date if you'd like. When you've set the options to your liking, just click the Update button and you're all set!

Service Type Settings

By default you can require background checks for each Team individually. However, there are additional options to help you enforce background checks on all Teams, or even just on new Teams.

Edit Service Type Options

From the top right of any plan, click the gear. Only Administrators of this Service Type have access.

From the Background Checks tab, choose your option.

  • Each Team. If only specific teams require a background check, but not all of them, this default option might be best.
  • New Teams. If you have Schedulers or Editors that might make new Teams in the future and you want to ensure these new teams require a background check, select this option. An Administrator can still manually disable this requirement for new teams, but it will be on by default.
  • All Teams. If you want to make sure every team in this Service Type requires a Background Check, with NO exceptions, choose this option. Not even Administrators will be able to disable the requirement for Teams in this Service Type.

If you change this option to All Teams,when you click Accept it immediately enables the requirement for each Team. If you change your mind, you'll  have to disable the requirement for each Team individually.

Team Settings

Administrators can require background checks by editing each Team (unless Service Type settings require it for all Teams as described above).

Edit Team

Select the Gear icon next to the Teams heading to Manage Teams.

Hover over a team and click the Pencil to edit it.

Check the box to require Background Checks for this Team.

Only Administrators for this Service Type can check or uncheck this box. However, if the Service Type setting requires ALL teams to have a background check, not even administrators can uncheck this box.

After clicking Accept, you'll see your list of Teams again. Teams that require background checks will show a yellow sheild.

Assigning People to Secure Teams

A "Secure Team" is any team that requires a background check. You can assign anyone to a secure team, even if they don't have a Background Check completed, but you will not be able to schedule them until the check has passed.

Edit a Position

Hover over any position in your Team and click the pencil to edit it.

  1. Anyone assigned to your team that has not passed a background check will have a yellow sheild warning.
  2. Assign new people to this position.

You can assign anyone to this position, regardless of their background check status. You won't be able to actually schedule them until their background check has cleared. This allows you to add new people to your team while their check is in progress, and once it clears, the warning will go away and you'll be able to schedule them. It's also helpful to keep people on your team while you renew background checks after a period of time.

Scheduling People to Secure Teams

You can never schedule someone to a Secure Team who has not yet passed a background check. If you try you will get an error and in some cases a needed position will be created instead.

Schedule a Team Member

Bruce is grayed out and can not be clicked. In addition, you see the shield warning with a message in the popup on the right.

Schedule Any Person

If you try to schedule Bruce for a Secure Team, you'll see a banner at the top and a sheild in the conflict section. The Save button at the bottom right is also disabled.

Dragging a Person

If you drag Bruce from the people sidebar onto a Secure Team, you'll get a popup error and he won't be added.

Importing a Template

When you import a template, any people on Secure Teams who don't have a cleared background check will not be imported to the plan, and Needed Positions will be created instead.

My template included Natasha, Tony, Bruce, and 1 Needed Position. Since Bruce has not cleared a background check, he was not added to the plan and a Needed Position was added in his place, increasing the Needed Positions to 2.

Creating Templates

Since creating Templates is halfway between Setup and Scheduling, it is mixed in how it deals with Secure Teams.

  • You cannot add people to Secure Teams in a Template unless they have a cleared Background Check. Trying to do so will fail like all the Scheduling scenarios described above.
  • You might already have people in Templates that violate a new security policy. If you have people in existing templates and then you make a team secure, your templates will stay intact. When you try to import that template to a plan (as described above), those people will not be imported.
Mobile Scheduling

Version 3

In the newest versions of our app for Android & iOS, everything will function just like the website scenarios described above.

I see the same warnings and banners that the website shows, and the save button is disabled.

Version 2 or Third-Party Apps

Showing background check warnings and making it clear that it won't save must be built in to any app. We can no longer update Version 2 of our mobile apps, so those or any apps made by third parties might not show background checks clearly. Instead they'll show as Scheduling Preference warnings.

In previous versions of our mobile app, or on the current version of our mobile website, Background Checks will show as Scheduling Preference warnings. You will be able to select those people, but when you save, they won't actually be added to the plan.

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