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Governance

  1. What is SafeSport?

Athletes will perform better, soar higher, and get more from sport if they feel safe. SafeSport seeks to create and maintain a healthy, supportive environment for all participants. Through education, resources, and training, we help members of the sport community recognize, reduce, and respond to misconduct in sport.
 
The U.S. Center for SafeSport (the “Center”) is an independent, nonprofit organization created by the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), committed to ending all forms of abuse in sport. This includes bullying, harassment, hazing, physical abuse, emotional abuse, and sexual misconduct and abuse. The Center is the first and only national organization of its kind. The Center provides services to sport entities on abuse prevention techniques, policies and programs and provides a safe, professional and confidential place for individuals to report sexual abuse within the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Movements.

  1. Why did USATF institute a SafeSport Program?

USA Track & Field, Inc. (USATF) has always been committed to providing a safe environment for our athletes to compete and train. We believe this is paramount to the success of all our programs.
 
The USOC recommended all national governing bodies (NGBs) implement the program in 2014 and it became required of all Olympic NGBs by 2015.  USATF amended its existing policies to incorporate additional USOC recommendations and comply with all aspects of SafeSport.  Coupled with the USATF Coaches Registry, our goal is to gain awareness and protect the participants in our sport at all levels.


  1. Who determines how an individual who violated SafeSport policies is disciplined?

The Center handles all reports of sexual abuse within the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic movements, including child sexual abuse, sexual misconduct, non-consensual sexual conduct, sexual harassment, and intimate relationships involving an imbalance of power.
 
USATF’s internal SafeSport Committee, in conjunction with the legal department, handles reports of other misconduct, not pertaining to the abovementioned forms of sexual misconduct.

  1. What is USATF’s responsibility to enforce SafeSport discipline sanctions?           

Federal law requires USATF to enforce sanctions and interim measures, including temporary suspensions imposed by the Center. Communicating the information to members is an important way to ensure protection of our members and participants in our sports.

  1. What is the responsibility of USATF affiliated associations, organizations, or activities as it relates to SafeSport?

A suspended or banned individual is prohibited from participating, in any capacity, in any activity or competition authorized by, organized by, sanctioned by, or under the auspices of the United States Olympic Committee, the national governing bodies recognized by the United States Olympic Committee, including USATF, and/or any USATF Affiliated Organization (including USATF Associations and clubs). This prohibition affects a person regardless of whether or not they are a USATF member. Event directors are responsible for ensuring that no banned or suspended person is on the competition grounds.
 
Reporting

  1. How do I know if I’m supposed to report/What am I required to report?

All USATF members and participants must report to the Center conduct of which they become aware that could constitute (a) sexual misconduct, (b) misconduct that is reasonably related to the underlying allegation of sexual misconduct, and (c) retaliation related to an allegation of sexual misconduct. This report must be made within 24 hours of learning about the alleged misconduct. Importantly, the obligation to report requires reporting any conduct that comes to a member’s or participant’s attention, which if true, would violate the U.S. Center for SafeSport Code or USATF SafeSport Handbook. Individuals should not investigate or attempt to evaluate the credibility or validity of allegations involving sexual misconduct, as a condition of reporting to the Center.
 
If your concern deals with physical or emotional abuse or misconduct, bullying, hazing, harassment, or any other violation of USATF’s SafeSport Handbook, reports should be made directly to USATF.

  1. How do I report a complaint?

Please use these guidelines to help you on the first step of reporting:

  • If your concern deals with any of the following, please contact the U.S. Center for SafeSport to make a report.  (Use the online reporting form, call (720) 531-0340, or find more information at https://uscenterforsafesport.org/.)
    • Child sexual abuse
    • Sexual misconduct
    • Non-consensual sexual conduct
    • Sexual harassment
    • Intimate relationships involving an imbalance of power

In addition, individuals may, and in many cases must, report any allegation of child physical or sexual abuse to relevant law enforcement authorities.

  • If your concern deals with any of the following, please contact USATF SafeSport to make a report.  (Use the online reporting form, call (317) 713-4688, or email safesport@usatf.org.  Find more information here).
    • Physical or Emotional misconduct
    • Bullying
    • Harassment
    • Hazing
    • Any other violation of USATF’s SafeSport Handbook

  1. Am I required to report suspected abuse that occurred several years ago?

Yes. There is no statute of limitations applicable to reports made to the U.S. Center for SafeSport or to USATF.
 
Training

  1. What is required for me to coach/volunteer/officiate with USATF?

USATF requires a(n) 1) USATF membership, 2) USATF background screen, and 3) successful completion of the SafeSport courses.  For new members, your USATF membership must be completed first, and will be used to access a background screen and the SafeSport courses, however, it does not matter which of the latter you complete first.  Please see the Coaches Registry FAQ for answers on background screens.

  1. What is the SafeSport Course?

The SafeSport course is an online, three-part training module put together by the Center. The course covers Mandatory Reporting, Emotional and Physical Misconduct, and Sexual Misconduct Awareness Education. The training videos in total are approximately 90 minutes long and include pre- and post-quizzes and a final training certificate.

  1. Who needs to be SafeSport compliant?

The current list of those required by USATF to be background screened and to complete SafeSport training is expansive. We currently require members of the following groups to have a USATF membership, pass a USATF background screen, and successfully complete SafeSport training: National Office Staff, Board of Directors, registered coaches, certified officials, authorized agents, National Team staff, National Committee Chairs, Association leadership, Youth Committee members, AAC Committee Members, AAC Event Leaders, all meet volunteers in an official capacity, Youth Camp staff, vendors with access to athletes.
 

  1. Who do I contact if I’m having technical trouble with the SafeSport Course?

Questions can be directed to the Center FAQ page. Additional questions can be submitted to the SafeSport Help Desk at help.desk@safesport.org or (720) 676-6417.

  1. How do I access the course?
    1. Navigate to the following web page: https://safesport.org/
    2. Select the SIGN IN button located on the top right hand side of the screen.

  1. If this is your first time visiting the page, select Register, if you are returning you can select Sign in.

  1. Complete the fields in the form and select Next

  1. On the next screen complete the fields in the form and at the bottom select the box titled Add Membership.

  1. A new screen will open allowing you to select USA Track & Field and enter your membership number.  If you are a member of other National Governing Bodies you can also enter that information here at this time.  You may add as many memberships as you have. Once complete select the Save button at the bottom.

  1. A new window will open with verification of your membership, select the Save button.

  1. You will then hit the Save button on your profile one final time and an email will be sent to the email address you entered in your profile.
  2. Click on the link in the email you receive to verify your account and you will then have access to the program.
  3. Once you login you will see a screen with your course status.  To begin the course, select the Incomplete button in yellow.

  1. You will be taken to a screen detailing your activities and you will be able to select one of three portions of the course.

  • Select the portion of the course you need to complete and a new window will open to begin the course either at the beginning or where you last left off.
     
  1. How do I know if USATF has received my SafeSport certification?

Our system will be automatically updated once you’ve completed all three units of the SafeSport training.  You’ll be given a chance to view your “SafeSport Trained” certification; please keep a copy of this certification for your records (you do not need to provide a copy of your training certificate to the National Office).  You’ll also be added to our SafeSport Compliance List once you’ve completed all the requisite components (USATF membership, USATF background screen, and SafeSport training), and will be able to search your first and last name (click “search” do not press “enter” on your keyboard).
 
If you took the SafeSport course prior to 2017 and can no longer access your SafeSport certification document through the SafeSport website, or are otherwise unsure if you’ve completed all the requirements, please reach out to safesport@usatf.org.
 

  1. What do I do if I can’t find my name in the SafeSport Compliance List/Coaches Registry?

First, please ensure that you’ve completed all three modules of SafeSport: Emotional and Physical Misconduct, Mandatory Reporting, and Sexual Misconduct Awareness Education.  Please also note that it could take a few days for our system to register your certification.  If you’re still not finding your name on the SafeSport Compliance List, please direct your concern to safesport@usatf.org.

  1. What is the Refresher Course and when do I have to take it?

The Refresher Course is a course intended to be taken at some point following the core SafeSport training courses in order to refresh your training.  The refresher course will be available in your SafeSport profile.  At some point, this course will be required on an annual basis for those who already have their SafeSport training certifications.  It is not meant to replace the core SafeSport training, and individuals who have not yet become fully SafeSport trained cannot use this course solely as a means for becoming SafeSport trained.

  1. How long is my SafeSport certification good for?

Generally speaking, SafeSport certifications are good for two years.  However, if you’ve completed the SafeSport program prior to 2018, your certification will be good with USATF until 2020, but it is highly recommended you take the Refresher Course in the interim (available as of 10/1/18 on your learning dashboard at https://safesport.org/).
 


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