Background Screening Frequently Asked Questions
What is the purpose of USSA’s background screening program?
USSA’s background screening program is similar to programs in place in schools, recreational programs, youth organizations and other workplaces where staff and volunteers work with youth. Over 75% of USSA’s athlete members are 17 or under! Background screening of USSA employees, member coaches, officials and volunteer members is one step to help ensure that the environment in USSA’s athletic programs is as safe as possible.
Who will conduct the background screening?
Background screening will be conducted by the National Center for Safety Initiatives (NCSI), one of the leading screening agencies for those who work with youth. NCSI works in partnership with the National Council of Youth Sports, which serves organizations representing over 52 million children participating in youth sports in America.
What information is researched in the background screening?
Among the key items NCSI will be researching will be convictions including felonies, driving under the influence, sex and drug-related crimes, as well as identity verification.
What are the specific criteria used in the screening process?
Click here for an outline of the specific criteria used in USSA's background screening.
Is my permission required?
Yes, your permission is required to conduct the screening. You'll be asked to authorize your participation as part of the screening process.
Is it required?
Yes, USSA now requires background screening as a condition of employment and participation as a USSA member coach, official or volunteer member. USSA membership is non-refundable and non-transferable for those who fail to complete the background screening requirements.
How do I register?
Online Registration - A prompt will appear at the end of the online registration process for those members for whom screening is required. The process takes the member through a secure link that includes the member’s USSA number.
Paper Registration Application – Current coaches, officials, and volunteer members for whom screening is required may request a paper application by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. The hard copy application must be submitted to NCSI by mail or fax. If faxing, we strongly recommend you call to confirm receipt. NCSI may be reached at their toll-free number 1.866.833.7100.
Is there a way to verify my membership before screening is complete?
After your coach, official, or volunteer membership has been processed, your membership will show as PENDING in both your My USSA account and the USSA’s online Member Lookup tool. However, proof of membership cannot be printed until screening is successfully completed and USSA receives a "green light" determination from NCSI. Coaches, officials and volunteer members listed as "PENDING" are not eligible to participate in USSA events.
How long do I have to register?
We strongly urge you to complete background screening immediately following membership registration when registering online. Those coaches, officials and volunteer members who submit paper applications will be sent background screening instructions via email or mail.
Applicants who do not register within 10 days will be placed on inactive status until screening is complete and the USSA has received a green light determination from NCSI, the USSA's screening partner.
How often does the screening take place?
USSA is presently planning on screening every three years. However, the frequency of screening is subject to change.
I recently did a background check. Can I submit that check?
To maintain complete consistency, it is important that all USSA’s member coaches, officials and volunteer members be screened uniformly according to USSA's established criteria. Only screening through USSA’s specific program with NCSI will be permitted.
I’m a coach, official or volunteer member, but I don’t work with youth. Do I still need to register?
Yes. USSA has no way of knowing if and when individual coaches, officials or volunteer members work with youth.
I’ve been a longstanding coach, official or volunteer member. Must I still complete screening?
USSA sincerely hopes that screening won’t impact any of its valuable coaches, officials or volunteer members. With a pool of thousands of employees, coaches, officials and volunteer members, screening is necessary to ensure a safe environment for our youth members.
Do coaches, officials and volunteer members under 18 years old have to complete background screening?
Underage coaches, officials and volunteer members will not go through the normal screening process. However, coaches, officials and volunteer members under the age of 18 will be required to submit two letters of recommendation. Click here for details and requirements.
Will I need to provide personal data to NCSI?
Yes. Only a minimal amount of data needs to be provided, including your social security number. NCSI maintains a highly secure system to protect this data. All data transmission takes place on a secured server. The data you provide will ONLY be used for the purpose of this background check. If you are still concerned about registering online, please contact USSA Member Services at email@example.com, or by phone at 435.647.2666 for a form you may submit to NCSI by mail, fax or email.
I am not a U.S. citizen and do not have a Social Security number. What should I do?
Foreign coaches, officials and volunteer members may complete the initial part of the screening process through the normal screening options noted above. However, additional international paperwork will likely be required, so please contact NCSI directly at 1.866.833.7100 once your membership has been processed.
What if I fail the background check?
USSA hopes that no one fails the background check. But if a screening generates a ‘red light,’ that person will be notified by NCSI. Member coaches, officials and volunteer members who may be cancelled due to "Red Light" will receive a full refund of their membership dues. USSA's policy is to notify the individual's club of a Red Light determination. Those who receive a Red Light determination are not eligible to participate as coaches, officials and volunteer members in USSA events.
How will this impact our USSA club program?
If you are presently a part of USSA’s Club Insurance Program, you know that 100% USSA membership is required, including all USSA coaches and officials. It is up to each participating club to ensure that all coaches and officials in their program have successfully completed screening.
In addition to USSA coaches and officials, clubs in the USSA Club Insurance Program are required to screen any non-club-member volunteers who have any contact with minors. Contact USSA for information on arranging screening of volunteers through NCSI. The club or volunteers are responsible for costs for non-USSA members.
Can USSA assist our club in its own background screening if we are not part of the Club Liability Program?
Yes, USSA will be happy to provide member clubs with access to NCSI at the club’s expense. USSA strongly recommends that you conduct background screening separately for all of your coaches, officials and volunteers – especially any of them who have contact with minors.
Further questions about USSA’s background screening program?
Contact NCSI, The National Center for Safety Initiatives at 866.833.7100 or firstname.lastname@example.org.