USA Gymnastics professional members background screening

Information for USA-G clubs and professional members

  We are now ready to begin the background screening process. The information will be posted on the website November 5. We will continue to add to that material. We will set up links on the site in various places such as women’s program pages. This will link back to the member services site. I have attached 2 of the documents. We will have an addition to the Q & A. For now this is for your information. There will be a more documents. We will also have the material in Technique in January and we will email blast this out to the clubs and the professional members. Please wait until Monday / Tuesday for the final forms. Once you receive that information or the link to it, then you may link to your regional and state website. We do ask that you have the info and/or links on your site. We ask that you get the word out to your members.

  For now it is important for you to know the following:

Screening will be required for all December professional members. The requirement will then continue month by month.

  • Beginning November 12, 2007 all new members will have to complete the background screening prior to receiving a professional membership. Members whose membership expire in December must complete the screening prior to December 31, 2007. Once background is complete and the safety is current, they will receive the renewal of the professional memberships.

  • Every following month the same rule will apply. That is Members who expire in January must have the screening completed by January 31 and so on until we go through the roll-out of all 12 months.

  • Any member may go through the screening process at any time prior to their membership expiration. If a member wishes, or their employer wishes, that they get the screening done in advance, they may do so.

  • The anniversary date of the background screening will be 2 years from the initial screening. This date does not have to be tied into the membership renewal date. However safety and screening must always be completed prior to the membership expiration.

  • The screening process will be made available to all clubs, for their employees, within the very near future.

  • I will be contacting you again next week. Thank you for your kind understanding and patience with this most important matter.

    Kind regards,

    Kathy Feldmann
    USA Gymnastics Vice President - Member Services National Congress & Trade Show Director

    Why background screening?

    Update 2007 Oct 31

      USA Gymnastics is a youth sports organization, and gymnastics is one of the country’s most popular sports, especially for girls and young women. Providing a safe, clean, and fun environment is important for the sport to continue to grow and thrive. Parents must have the highest degree of confidence that their children are not only receiving good care and proper instruction, but also are safe from negative and improper conduct. These basic tenets are crucial to maintaining a positive image in the community and a good reputation, both in local communities and as an activity nationwide, especially since 98 percent of our athlete members are under 18 years of age.

      Professional membership in USA Gymnastics should be the gold standard, an indicator that the person or organization has committed the time, interest and hard work into being the best they can be. This membership should be a distinction that parents look for and depend upon to know that they are placing their children into well-trained and professional hands.

      The responsibilities of an organization that provides activities for children and young adults include protecting the safety and welfare of its athletes and participants. USA Gymnastics has already mandated a safety certification program, which provides professional members with a working knowledge of how to conduct gymnastics activities in a safe environment. Also, USA Gymnastics has a zero-tolerance policy on abuse and other inappropriate behavior with an athlete. USA Gymnastics is now requiring background screening of professional members to support this policy and in response to inquires for this service from gym club owners. Background checks are becoming commonplace with many youth organizations and institutions and are endorsed by the U.S. Olympic Committee.

      In fact, USA Gymnastics will begin requiring mandatory background checks for all professional members, as well as staff and Board members, in December 2007. As a pilot program, the USA Gymnastics Board of Directors and staff already have completed background checks with our partner, the National Center for Safety Initiatives (NCSI). Through NCSI, all professional members will have the endorsement of completing a successful background check for previous criminal behavior which may be inappropriate for contact with children. Screening covers criminal background, sex offender registry and identity verification.

      USA Gymnastics has worked hard with NCSI to develop a program that is affordable, and the fees cover the costs for this service. This is not a profit center for USA Gymnastics. The monies go to and remain with NCSI.

      This is going to be a major undertaking for USA Gymnastics, but this initiative is an important part of providing a safe environment for our athletes, which is the responsibility of every member.

    More informations:

      USA Gymnastics Background Screening Policy

      Why background screening - Q & A

      USA Gymnastics Background Screening Q & A

      USA Gymnastics Letter to Applicants

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