FAQs: USSSA OWNER’S BACKGROUND SCREEN & ABUSE PREVENTION TRAINING WITH SportsEngine
Note: In order to complete your background check, you will need to create a SportsEngine account, and submit your personal information, including your Social Security Number. SportsEngine and NCSI have policies and processes in place designed to protect customers and users. Access to data is only given to those with a true need for such access. Both organizations are PCI-compliant, and do not share any personal information with third-parties.
UPDATE 3-19-2020 The Background Check of owners with USSSA Membership is now OPTIONAL for 2020 membership. If you do the background check you will receive the We C.A.R.E. marketing materials. If you elect to not run a check this year, you will not receive those marketing materials but your membership in USSSA will remain active with dues payment. Thank you for your understanding in these unprecedented times.
USSSA REQUIREMENT QUESTIONS
1. Why is USSSA now requiring background checks for owners?
With increased focus on abuse prevention and the adoption of the Safe Sport Act, USSSA wants our members to be leaders in the industry. One way to stand out from other schools is to demonstrate your commitment to safety of your families. A background check of the swim school owner(s) is one way to live out the safety message. When you complete your background check you will receive an online training course on abuse prevention to arm you with the knowledge needed to identify signs of abuse and learn how to help in emergency situations. You will also receive a USSSA We C.A.R.E. marketing toolkit to share with your community how you stand out from other swim schools: Checked, Affiliated, Respect, Educate.
2. Is the background check included in my membership dues?
No, the background check is a separate and secure process entered on a website designed for background checks. You will need to create an account with SportsEngine and complete the background check here: https://usswimschools.sportngin.com/register/form/735356974
Cost of the background check is $36 and is good for two years and includes Abuse Prevention Online Training.
Please note once you have completed your background check you will need to note the Order Number from your receipt and input it in the USSSA Member Resource Pool in the Background Screening Tracker.
3. When does an owner have to complete a background check?
USSSA member owners will have 30 days from the time they complete their renewal or new member application to complete the background check. You will need to create an account with SportsEngine and complete the background check here: https://usswimschools.sportngin.com/register/form/735356974 A background check of all swim school member owners is a requirement of USSSA membership effective 3/1/2020. Owner is defined as anyone with any percentage of ownership in a member swim school business that has any contact with children, their families or staff at the swim school.
ABUSE PREVENTION TRAINING QUESTIONS
1. How do I get back into Abuse Prevention Training? (If training was not completed at the same time as the background screen was submitted)
- Go to https://usswimschools.sportngin.com/ and login to your SportsEngine profile
- Click on your initials in the top right hand corner
- Select “my account”
- On the homepage of your account, there will be a prompt to complete your Abuse Prevention Training
2. What does the Abuse Prevention Training cover?
This Abuse Prevention Training covers: Facts vs Misconceptions; Characteristics of an Abuser; the Grooming Process; Methods to Reduce Risk; Peer to Peer Sexual Abuse; If a Child Reports; Impact on Children; and Responsibility to Report. Please note it covers sensitive topics that might be difficult to hear.
3. Why should I take Abuse Prevention Training?
To ensure the safety of children participating in youth sports, the United States government established the Safe Sport Act of 2017 that mandates new safety requirements that aim to protect youth athletes through abuse prevention training and mandated reporting. SportsEngine offers comprehensive abuse awareness training for youth sports organizations through a partnership with Abuse Prevention Systems that fulfill requirements set forth by the Act. All who complete the online training program will receive a completion certificate for your records. We want you to have the latest information to keep your staff and students safe.
4. Is the Abuse Prevention Training available for my staff to take?
Yes, Abuse Prevention Training is included with the USSSA recommended background screening package with SportsEngine. The Abuse Prevention Training can also be purchased separately for $5 per person. To set up your swim school account with the USSSA recommend programs, contact Patrick Manupella, NGB Safety Account Manager, (518) 245-6095 or email@example.com
BACKGROUND CHECK QUESTIONS
How to complete background screen instructional video: https://sportsengine.wistia.com/medias/xw671t3dcy
1. What happens once I’ve submitted my background check?
SportsEngine sends your information to NCSI. NCSI begins the background check report by validating your personal data through a “social security address” trace. If they are unable to do so from the information you submitted, a member of the NCSI team will reach out to you directly from the email address firstname.lastname@example.org.
After your personal data is validated, NCSI will search two national criminal databases and national sex offender registries. NCSI will then also perform a county level criminal record check in the county or counties associated with your address history found on the social security address trace.
In order to ensure accuracy of the report, the NCSI quality assurance team reviews all information before sending the results of the report to the SportsEngine platform.
Once the report is delivered to the SportsEngine platform, USSSA will be notified of a green light or red light. A “Red Light” means one or both of the following: 1) information is required to complete the screening process (“RL-I”) and/or 2) criteria-related convictions or pending convictions were found and verified in the screening process (“RL-Review”). If a question arises concerning a background check, the individual will be contacted directly by NCSI and given the opportunity to correct potential discrepancies in the individual’s records or to provide additional information prior to NCSI issuing a Red Light determination.
Any individual has the right to dispute what they consider to be erroneous findings of the criminal background check directly with the criminal background check vendor. The USSSA is required by the Background Check Policy to accept the findings of the criminal background check provider as to the accuracy of the records. However, the USSSA Background Check Review Panel shall exercise their discretion and may take all relevant information into consideration to determine the eligibility status of individuals with Red Light findings. The full USSSA Background Check Policy can be found here.
2. How long does it take NCSI to complete the background check?
Typically it takes five (5) business days. Be aware the turnaround time can vary for a variety of reasons. If delayed, please check your inbox for emails from the NCSI verification team (email@example.com), as NCSI may have reached out to you to verify your personal data.
Please Note: providing inaccurate personal data during registration may delay the background check process.
3. It’s been longer than five (5) business days, and I haven’t received an email or confirmation that my background check has been completed – what do I do?
After five (5) business days, please contact NCSI directly at firstname.lastname@example.org for a status update. Depending on the status, the NCSI team may be able to expedite the process to complete and deliver the report.
4. Who do I reach out to if I have questions about the results of my background check?
Contact the NCSI Quality Control Department at (866) 996-7412 and select option #5. You may also submit an inquiry via email to: QC@ncsisafe.com
5. What if I don’t want to provide my personally identifiable information (PII)?
The background check requires the submission of full legal name, address, date of birth and social security number. All of the required fields are marked with an asterisk. We are unable to complete the background check if any of the required information is not provided.
SportsEngine and NCSI have policies and processes in place designed to protect our customers’ and users’ best interests. Access to data is only given to those with a true need for such access. Both organizations are PCI-compliant, and do not share any personal information with third-parties. USSSA will not have access to social security numbers.
Please Note: providing inaccurate personal data during registration may delay the background check process.
6. Can I get a copy of my report?
Yes. Click the box at the end of your background check registration on SportsEngine or email QC@ncsisafe.com.
7. Is my personal information secure?
Yes. Personal information access is only give to those with a true need for such access. USSSA staff and volunteers will not have access to personal identification information. In the event of a Red Light, NCSI will contact the USSSA to request authorization to send an adverse action letter on behalf of the USSSA, and if authorized, will send an adverse action letter to the individual. On request, NCSI will provide additional information to support the USSSA’s review and decision process. https://www.sportsengine.com/solutions/security/
8. What is searched in the background check?
NCSI shall conduct the following searches on each individual as part of its Client Screening Package, in accordance with the Client program (All searches conducted above shall cover (i) the last (7) seven years of history, (ii) the longest period available if information is not available for seven (7) years or (iii) the longest period allowed by applicable law, if less than seven (7) years):
- Social Security Number validation;
- Name and address history records;
- Two independent Multi-Jurisdictional Criminal Database searches covering 50 states plus DC, Guam, and Puerto Rico;
- Federal District Courts search for the district(s) where the individual currently lives or has lived during the past seven years, going back the length of time records are available and reportable based on the name and address the Individual provides and the developed address history records;
- County Criminal Records for the county (or counties) where the individual currently lives or has lived during the past seven years, going back the length of time records
are available and reportable for each county searched based on the name and address the Individual provides and the developed address history records;
- Two Sex Offender Registry database searches of all available states, plus DC, Guam, and Puerto Rico;
- Multiple National Watch Lists;Supplemental Background Checks. All supplemental off-year background check screens will be conducted using at least the following search components:
1. Multi-Jurisdictional criminal database covering 50 states plus DC, Guam, and Puerto Rico; and
2. Sex Offender Registry database searches of all available states, plus DC, Guam, and Puerto Rico.
9. What would cause a red light flag on a background check?
A reportable record or disclosure that contains a disposition or resolution of a criminal proceeding, other than an adjudication of not guilty, for any of the below criminal offenses will be flagged as a Red-Light, meaning it does not meet the initial screening criteria established by USSSA, and the individual will be subject to the Client’s policies and procedures to determine eligibility:
- CRL-1. Any felony; and
a) Defined as all crimes punishable by greater than one year in jail or prison, regardless of how characterized by jurisdiction. If range, alternate sentencing, or indeterminate sentencing with an outer range greater than one year.
Any misdemeanor involving:
- CRL-2. All sexual crimes, criminal offenses of a sexual nature to include but not limited to; rape, child molestation, sexual battery, lewd conduct, possession and distribution of
child pornography, possession and distribution of obscene material, prostitution, indecent exposure, public indecency, and any sex offender registrant;
- CRL-3. Any drug related offenses;
- CRL-4. Harm to a minor, including, but not limited to, offenses such as child abandonment, child endangerment/neglect/abuse, contributing to the delinquency of a
minor, and DUI with a minor;
- CRL-5. Violence against a person (including crimes involving a deadly weapon and domestic violence);
- CRL-6. Stalking, harassment, blackmail, violation of a protection order, and/or threats;
- CRL-7. Destruction of property, including arson, vandalism, and criminal mischief; and
- CRL-8. Animal abuse, cruelty, or neglect; and
- CRL-9. Misdemeanor trespassing.
10. What if my background check comes back Red Light?
A “Red Light” means one or both of the following: 1) information is required to complete the screening process (“RL-I”) and/or 2) criteria-related convictions or pending convictions were found and verified in the screening process (“RL-Review”). If a question arises concerning a background check, the individual will be contacted directly by NCSI and given the opportunity to correct potential discrepancies in the individual’s records or to provide additional information prior to NCSI issuing a Red Light determination.
Any individual has the right to dispute what they consider to be erroneous findings of the criminal background check directly with the criminal background check vendor. The USSSA is required by the Background Check Policy to accept the findings of the criminal background check provider as to the accuracy of the records. However, the USSSA Background Check Review Panel shall exercise their discretion and may take all relevant information into consideration to determine the eligibility status of individuals with Red Light findings. The full USSSA Background Check Policy with appeal process procedures can be found here.
11. How long is the background check good for?
The background check required by USSSA on owners is good for two years. A supplemental background check will automatically run after the first year and is included in the background check fee.
12. How do background checks by NCSI differ from a discount background check?
Background checks by NCSI is the Gold Standard in youth and amateur sports because of the quality of service provided by NCSI and the depth of the background check. Unlike most discount screens, NCSI will do an in-depth identify verification, search over 800 million records from the national multi-jurisdictional databases, and sex offender registry, and then go to the local state and county searches. This is a key component missing from many discount searches, as many localities do not consistently report up to the national database providers. NCSI will then always do a thorough quality control review on the report before sending results back to the customer. NCSI is accredited by the Professional Background Screening Association by meeting a strict and thorough set of professional standards of specified requirements and measurements.
13. What is the process for international background checks?
At this time international swim school members are not required to complete a background check. Citizens of countries other than the United States who have a work visa have gone through an FBI fingerprint, name and security check. Therefore, NCSI will only run a domestic check for the time that the applicant has resided in the U.S., as a supplement to the work visa process.
For those applicants who do not have a work visa, an international background check will be required. The cost of the background check is $150.00 at the expense of the applicant.
NCSI will contact the applicant to obtain any additional documentation that may be necessary to initiate the international background check (ex. passport image, country-specific consent, etc.).
14. What does NCSI do regarding checks in Pennsylvania?
In addition to the Gold Standard background check, SportsEngine provides additional document management services to help organizations remain compliant with Pennsylvania Act 153 of 2014. This Act requires that any adults who come into contact with children while serving in Pennsylvania, either as paid employees or unpaid volunteers, provide the following clearances before participating:
- Criminal History Record Search from the PA State Police (PATCH) system.
- Child Abuse Clearance obtained through the PA Department of Human Services.
- One of the following:
- FBI Fingerprint screening submitted through the PA State Police
- Signed Volunteer Affidavit (volunteers with continuous residence in PA for the past ten years)
Those teachers and staff that live in PA and are completing a background screen, will be required to upload the three required documents onto SportsEngine, and NCSI will validate these documents. Please refer to the following link for complete instructions on how to obtain these clearances: www.keepkidssafe.pa.gov
15. What does NCSI do regarding background checks in California?
NCSI does not conduct a LiveScan search in the state of California, as it’s programs are designed to have national coverage. Some clients do choose to do or require LiveScan for their applicants that participate in the State of California, and manage these screens as incremental to the NCSI national screen.
16. What does NCSI do regarding checks in Massachusetts?
Youth sports organizations are not specifically required to do the ICORI search in the State of Massachusetts. NCSI’s county level searches are of equal or better quality as a means for finding results within the state.
For chapters who want to conduct the ICORI search, NCSI will use SportsEngine technology to facilitate the ICORI process for those applicants participating in the state of Massachusetts (document management).
17. What is the process for Florida background checks?
The state of Florida has requirements around the ‘Level 2 Background Screening’.
NCSI does not do a fingerprint scanning to confirm identity, but instead uses the social security number and address trace to confirm identity. Then, in lieu of the FDLE statewide search, NCSI searches all local jurisdictions found on the address trace over the appropriate period of time (including jurisdiction outside of the state of Florida). Additionally, two multi jurisdictional criminal and sex offender databases are searched to provide a broader scope.