Position of Trust Information and Guidance

This document outlines SMPH's guidelines regarding Positions of Trust as listed in the UW-Madison Criminal Background Check Policy.

SMPH Descriptions of Positions of Trust

A position of trust is a paid or unpaid position with one or more of the following responsibilities:

1. Access to vulnerable populations

Positions that, according to job duties, have contact with:

  • UW Health patients, or
  • UW human research subjects, or
  • Minors: persons under the age of eighteen (18) who are not enrolled, accepted for enrollment, or employed at a UW System institution, or
  • UW students in UW housing facilities

“Contact” is defined within SMPH as direct interaction in any medium (email, phone, face-to-face, etc.) as part of job duties. Contact can be any percentage of the position's job duties (i.e. 5% or 90%). This contact does not include incidental contact with patients, for example, talking with a patient in the hospital cafeteria or assisting patients with directions through the hospital.

Position Vacancy Listings (PVL) require additional language if the employee has access to vulnerable populations. Insert the below language in the “Additional Information” section of the PVL:

Contact with minors:

This position has been identified as a position of trust with access to vulnerable populations. The selected candidate will be required to pass an initial Caregiver Check to be eligible for employment under the Wisconsin Caregiver Law and then every two years.

Contact with non-minor vulnerable populations:

This position has been identified as a position of trust with access to vulnerable populations. The selected candidate will be required to pass an initial Caregiver Check to be eligible for employment under the Wisconsin Caregiver Law and then every four years.

2. Property access

Any position that:

  • Is in the SMPH Physical Facilities department, or
  • Includes possesssion of a grand master key or great grand master key.
    • Building Managers are the only people who can assign grand master or great grand master keys. They are in charge of keeping a list of employees who have these keys and will notify HR when an employee is assigned one of these keys.
    • Positions outside of SMPH Physical Facilities most likely to have these keys include Senior or Associate Deans.

3. Executive positions

All positions in a Limited (LI) employee classification.

4. Fiduciary responsibility

Positions for which principal duties (50 percent or greater) are to:

  • Handle receipt for cash, checks, securities, or
  • Cashier (cash or credit card information), or manage cash or gift cards for research subject fees, including regularly routing checks or managing own gift research subject fees

Examples of Individuals who may fall into this designation for SMPH:

  • SMPH Chief Financial Officer/Senior Associate Dean for Finance
  • Divisional Fiscal Affairs staff (depending on job duties)
  • CTRE-researchers who handle large cash advances

Position of Trust Matrix

Use this matrix to determine which Position of Trust option to enter in JEMS Hire or HRS.

Position of Trust type Yes (Vulnerable-4 Year Review)
Yes (UWMSN Only-2 Year Review)
  • Requires standard background check at hire
Access to vulnerable populations X X
(only if job duties include working with minors)
Property access X
Executive positions X
Fiduciary responsibility X

Considerations and FAQs

Would Researchers interviewing study participants be considered a caregiver?

Yes, study participants are also known as research subjects.

How do I determine Position of Trust designations for an employee with multiple appointments?

If the appointments are separate and distinct then Position of Trust designation should be considered independently based on the job duties for each appointment. If the multiple appointments are only necessary for funding/compensation and the appointments are considered to make up a single position, i.e. a Trainee appointment with a supplemental Research Associate appointment, then the Position of Trust designation should be made for the primary position and applied to both appointments.

If an employee’s job duties include writing/editing/communications and through that work, they meet with patients and their families for articles/stories, are they considered a caregiver?

Yes, they have direct patient/subject contact.

What if Department Administrators meet patients or research subjects regarding their complaints?

Yes, this is considered patient/subject contact. If part of their job duties is patient/subject relations, they should be considered caregiver.

Is a Caregiver check required if the employee will only have direct contact with deceased patients/subjects?


Are phone calls considered patient contact?

Yes, a phone call is considered patient contact. If part of an employee's duties are to communicate with patients via any means of communication, we consider this patient contact.

Are clinical adjunct considered caregivers?

No, because their appointment with SMPH is generally a teaching position. They get a caregiver check through their physician clinic. However, if they see UW Health patients, they should be considered a caregiver.

Are Honorary Associates/Fellows considered caregivers?

Generally Honorary appointments would not be considered caregivers because they don’t typically have patient/research contact. Some honorary appointments like (MEDiC, MISI) are exceptions because they have patient contact. It would be based on what their duties include.

What if I give directions to patients at the hospital, is that considered patient contact?

No. If there is no patient or research subject contact as part of your job duties, we do not consider you to have unsupervised access to patients.

Is someone with a master set of keys a position of trust?

No, unless they have a grand master or great grand master key.

If an employee has access to a lab other than their own, is that considered to be position of trust?

No. If they don’t have a grand master or great grand master key they would not be in a position of trust.

Are PIs with grant funding considered Fiduciary?


Are IT staff who order computer supplies considered Fiduciary?

No, they are usually providing documentation on their purchases. This would also not be 50% of their duties.

Are administrative staff who talk to patients on the phone considered position of trust?

If they have patient contact as part of their job duties, then yes. If not, and it is an irregular non-occurring time, then no.

Are positions like Accountant and Financial Specialist are considered fiduciary correct?

Only if it is more than 50% of their duties. Generally, for SMPH, the only fiduciary staff we have are in the Dean’s Office Fiscal Affairs and not in the departments.

If an employee collects donor checks as part of their job, would they be considered to have fiduciary responsibility?

Only if it is more than 50% of their duties. If it’s 5% of their duties, for example, then no.

Do all Faculty and Staff considered caregivers have to be coded in HRS as “Yes (Vulnerable- 4 Year Review)?”

Yes, we must select “Yes (Vulnerable- 4 Year Review)", regardless of length of appointment. This is so we can run caregiver checks on these employees every four years to be compliant with the state law. We would never code caregivers as just “Yes” in HRS.

If we hire a Faculty in a visiting professor title because their promotion packet needs to be approved before being appointed into a senior rank, once they get their senior rank title, do we need to do a new CBC?

No, we don’t need to do a new CBC because it is for the same position and the terms should be laid out in their appointment letter.

Keywords:Fundamentals, CBC, POT, position of trust, criminal background check, access to vulnerable populations, minors, caregiver, fiduciary   Doc ID:105668
Owner:Nadean M.Group:SMPH Human Resources
Created:2020-09-08 10:10 CSTUpdated:2022-04-13 08:39 CST
Sites:SMPH Human Resources
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