Background Check Guide

How Do I Become A Class A Volunteer?

For a printable version of these steps, please click here.

All Class A SOPA Volunteers must complete the following clearances:

  • PA State Police and National Background Checks (Sterling Volunteers website)
  • PA Child Neglect/Abuse Registry Check (PA Compass website)

Note: You should allow +/- 45 minutes to complete both

For additional information about the SOPA background clearance process, click here.


Fill out a Volunteer Application and a SOPA profile will be created.



When you click ‘Submit’ on your volunteer application, you will be taken to a new webpage to continue the registration process (required trainings, etc.). Download, complete and sign the required PA Disclosure Statement and upload into your SOPA profile as instructed.



NOTE: As noted on the PA Disclosure Statement, if you have not lived in PA consecutively for the past 10 years, an additional FBI Fingerprint Criminal History Record is required by law. If applicable, click here to find locations to support this requirement, and use code: 1KG6ZJ.



Check your email for a message from This email will have a link to the Sterling Volunteers website, where you will need to complete the PA State Police and National background check.



After clicking “Submit order” on your background check in Sterling Volunteers, you will immediately be provided with a red pre-paid authorization code that you will need to write down or save, and a link to the PA Compass website, where you will complete the PA Child Neglect/Abuse Registry Check. For additional assistance, please refer to our step-by-step user guide for help in completing this clearance. 



Click the link to the PA Compass website to complete the PA Neglect/Abuse registry check. On the ‘Application Payment’ webpage, enter the red pre-paid authorization code you received from Sterling Volunteers in step 4. 

If you have any questions or need assistance with completing this clearance or using your code, please contact the help desk at Sterling Volunteers: or call 855-326-1860, ext. 3.



When your background checks have been completed, you will receive a confirmation email from Throughout the process, you can confirm your statues by signing into your SOPA profile. Please reach out to your local program for more information about beginning your SOPA volunteer experience!