Organizational Update on SafeSport Training, Background Screening
SafeSport education and implementation, and the protection of youths and people of all ages engaged in sport at all levels are the number one priorities today for National Governing Bodies (NGBs) across the United States.
Thousands of people take part in U.S. Ski & Snowboard events, training programs and competitions annually, from grassroots levels right up to elite, and U.S. Ski & Snowboard is placing the very highest possible emphasis on making sure every participant can do so in an environment that is free from abuse, hazing, and bullying.
Recently, the US Congress passed the “Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse and Safe Sport Authorization Act of 2017”, which now makes failure to report suspected child sexual abuse to police a violation of federal criminal law. This is an important step up in policy and one that U.S. Ski & Snowboard applauds and has implemented across our organization.
Federal law now requires that adults who have frequent contact with athletes or are in positions of authority over athletes must receive consistent and regular education on the critical importance of prevention of all forms of abuse, bullying, and hazing, and are empowered to report whenever they suspect something untoward is taking place.
At our recent Congress, U.S. Ski & Snowboard announced a number of operational updates to ensure that our organization is implementing best practice across all levels of our organization in this critical area. This will start from the grassroots with U.S. Ski & Snowboard member clubs, and extend to all areas of the Center of Excellence.
All employees of U.S. Ski & Snowboard must complete SafeSport training and background screening before their first day of work. This includes interns, volunteers and contractors who have access to the Center of Excellence and who interact with athletes in any way, and those who have access to U.S. Ski & Snowboard information or athlete information.
The changes will also impact U.S. Ski & Snowboard member clubs, as they will be required to implement the same standards of SafeSport training and education, and background screening, as all those who work at or with U.S. Ski & Snowboard in Park City, and at the FIS events in the United States. These mandatory requirements will include:
- Criminal background screening for all employees, coaches, member athletes and volunteers who are in regular contact with athletes, or in positions of authority over athletes
- Consistent education on prevention of sexual abuse, bullying, and hazing, and clear reporting structures in place to enable anyone who is concerned about any of these areas to be able to come forward and report
- The development and implementation of policies to limit, as much as possible, one-on-one interactions with athletes at any time
- Implementation and enforcement of policies and preparation for and quick response to random audits for compliance by the US Center for SafeSport
- Background screening and SafeSport training: Now required all employees, coaches, member athletes and volunteers who are in regular contact with athletes, or in positions of authority over athletes every two seasons
- Fast Start Coaching Course: Now required for Level 100 certification
These policies and processes are in the process of implementation across all levels of U.S. Ski & Snowboard’s member programs. More details regarding SafeSport are available on the U.S. Ski & Snowboard website.