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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  1. Why does USATF have a background screening program?
  2. What do we, as a club, have to do to comply with this program?
  3. What type of offenses are being screened for?
  4. Who conducts the background screens?
  5. During the application process I must provide my social security number. Why?
  6. What if an individual has previously had a background check performed?
  7. How do we know if our coaches/volunteers applications have been approved?
  8. What should I do if my screening returns incorrect or inaccurate criminal information?
  9. If my background screening returns information that disqualifies from being a USATF coach/volunteer in good standing who will make the final decision to approve or deny my application?  Do I have the opportunity to appeal that decision? How do I initiate an appeal?
  10. Who will be notified if an application is denied?
  11. What if we do not submit a Coach/Volunteer application for one of our coaches or volunteers?

 

1. Why does USATF have a background screening program?

Background Checks have been implemented by USATF to:

  1. Promote a safe, nurturing, and supportive athletic environment in which youth athletes can pursue their athletic goals;
  2. Provide an environment where parents of children can feel good about allowing their child to participate in the sport of track & field; and
  3. Maintain the sport of track and field as a hostile environment for those who would seek to harm youth athletes.

Please note; this screening is not intended to serve as a pre-employment background screening program, nor can screening guarantee that incidents of abuse by coaches/volunteers will not occur.  Background screening is designed as a preventative risk management tool, but does not insure inappropriate behavior will not occur.

2. What do we, as a club, have to do to comply with this program?

Your club is required to have any coach or volunteer who has access to or direct contact with youth athletes (under the age of 18) during scheduled club practices or activities to:

  1. submit for a background screen; and
  2. submiit the Youth Club: Coach/Volunteer Information Form & Background Check Acknowledgement form to USATF.

This includes individuals who regularly attend club practices or assist with club activities, especially driving, escorting, or supervising the club's youth athletes.

3. What type of offenses are being screened for?

The following offenses are being screened for:

  1. any crimes against children
  2. any sexual offenses
  3. drug convictions (within 5 years)
  4. weapons violations
  5. assaults, battery or any other crime of violence
  6. lewd conduct
  7. two (2) or more criminal convictions within the past five (5) years and/or three (3) or more criminal convictions as an adult

4. Who conducts the background screens?

USATF has selected TC logiQ, Inc. as its national provider. TC logiQ is a specialty consulting firm that provides professional employment services in the area of pre-employment and volunteer screening.  More information about TC logiQ is available on the TC logiQ website. The Technical Support Desk at TC logiQ can be contacted by telephone at 877-825-6447 (ext. 704) or by email.

5. During the application process I must provide my social security number. Why?

The social security number provides the necessary information (along with your name and date of birth) to produce the most thorough and accurate background screen. Screening based on name, date of birth, address history and social security number is standard throughout the industry. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) is the federal statute that outlines the basic laws and regulations that govern the background screening industry. It is also important to note that TC logiQ will not share your SSN with USA Track & Field or any other entity

6. What if an individual has previously had a background check performed?

The coach/volunteer will still be required to have a background check performed by USATF.  The current reality of the industry is that there is no national clearinghouse for this type of information. Additionally, there are no standard criteria by which search reports are evaluated.  Various organizations, businesses, and agencies use different criteria to determine eligibility for approving an individual's background screen.  And, because of privacy concerns and certain requirements imposed by the Fair Credit Reporting Act, there is significant reluctance to share information between organizations.

7. How do we know if our coaches/volunteers applications have been approved?

Coaches and volunteers who have successfully completed the USATF coach/volunteer application process (including having a current USATF membership and successful background screen) will have their names posted on the USATF web site as being in "good standing."

A coach/volunteer's name will not appear on the USATF web site if: 1) he/she is not not a current USATF member; 2) he/she has not submitted a background screen application during the current membership year; or 3) his/her club coach/volunteer application is denied due to information revealed during the background screening process.

8. What should I do if my screening returns incorrect or inaccurate criminal information?

There will be times, particularly if you have a very common name, when a background screening will return information that doesn’t belong to you. When such information results in a “negative” initial screen, you will be advised of the negative information and the following guidelines will apply to dispute the initial screen:

  • TC LogiQ will notify you by e-mail of the finding and provide you the opportunity to dispute the negative information.
  • In order to maintain the confidentiality of your screen results do not contact anyone at USATF. You must work with TC logiQ to dispute information.
  • TC logiQ will respond by telephone or via email within 24 hours to discuss the concern and gather the necessary information to research the question.
  • In order to research disputed information in a background screen, TC logiQ must perform a physical search of records in the county reporting the disputed information. Depending on the county and state, this search could take up to 30 days. When information in a search record is disputed, no action will be taken regarding your USATF coaching eligibility until that information has been verified.
  • If the verification process proves that the disputed information is incorrect, there is no cost to the applicant. If research verifies that the information is correct, the applicant will pay a fee of approximately $20 per county where records were verified. Please note that the cost for the re-verification process will vary from county to county because of differing procedures and laws. In order to proceed with this option, you will have to make a deposit of $50 to cover the potential cost of the services. If the disputed information is incorrect, TC logiQ will fully refund the deposit within 14 days.

9. If my background screening returns information that disqualifies from being a USATF coach/volunteer in good standing who will make the final decision to approve or deny my application?  Do I have the opportunity to appeal that decision? How do I initiate an appeal?

If the background screen returns a finding of a potential disqualifier and you acknowledge the information contained in the screen is yours, you will be provide the opportunity to clarify the report.  Your background screen and any written clarification you provide will be then be presented to an established USATF National Screening Panel (NSP).  The NSP will review your background screen and any information you provide as clarification and make a decision on your application.  You will have the opportunity to appeal the NSP decision, following the provisions in USATF Regulation 11.

10. Who will be notified if an application is denied?

If the National Screening Panel determines that the application should be denied, USATF will notify the following individuals by mail:

  • applicant (coach/volunteer)
  • President and Secretary of the club
  • USATF President
  • USATF CEO
  • Association President
  • Association Youth Athletics Committee Chair
  • USATF General Counsel
  • All identifiable parents of athletes that are registered with the applicable club

The notification will not indicate the offenses or content of the background check report. It will only indicate that the application has been denied and that the coach is not eligible to be involved in club practices or activities.

11. What if we do not submit a Coach/Volunteer application for one of our coaches or volunteers?

Parents are likely to choose to place their children with other youth track club programs that evidence a commitment to safeguarding their youth members by conducting criminal background screening on all persons affiliated with the club. Additionally, if a lawsuit is filed against your club because of an act performed by a volunteer who is not in "good standing," your club will not be protected by USATF's general liability insurance policy. As a consequence, the club will have to hire an attorney and defend against the charges in court. In addition to the substantial legal fees paid to attorneys, if the club looses the lawsuit it is likely to have to pay monetary damages as well.

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