A safe environment for our members is of utmost importance to USA Diving. It’s why we choose to follow the standards set by the United States Olympic Committee, as well as many youth sports organizations, schools and recreational programs in America today, and maintain a thorough background screening process.

All coach and official members, as well as staff members, board members, life members serving as officials and other individuals participating in training camps, international trips and other USA Diving-sponsored activities are required to have a criminal background screening completed.

USA Diving is helping our members create safe environments for athletes, coaches and everyone associated with their programs. While our member’s clubs and organizations are not operated by USA Diving, and USA Diving does not control their activities, we provide information about various safety related actions which may be available to our members, and encourage our members to use these resources. Please carefully review the policy below.

WHEREAS, In 2003 the USA Diving Board of Directors established a policy requiring that certain individuals involved with the corporation would be required to undergo background screening. A copy of this policy is on file at the Corporate office of USA Diving; and

WHEREAS, that policy has been regularly enforced since 2004; and

WHEREAS, the United States Olympic Committee has encouraged all National Governing Bodies to establish a comprehensive plan for background screening all coaches and members involved with minor athletes.

IT IS THEREFORE RESOLVED by the Board of Directors of USA Diving that the following policy regarding background screening replace the existing policy.

EFFECTIVE DATE: August 1, 2010 (the first day of registration for the next membership year commencing on 9/1/2010)

1. Introduction

A Safe environment for participants and members is important to USA Diving. Therefore, USA Diving will require criminal background searches for individuals involved with our programs. Consistent with our responsibility to undertake actions that are in the best interest of the participants in the sport of Diving, USA Diving will select an outside third party agency (Background Screening Vendor) to perform criminal background screenings on all selected as a prerequisite for membership.

Criminal background screening is one step in the hiring of a new employee. Club administrators, parents groups, and other entities that hire coaches need to be thorough in checking the background and work history of any potential hire and that is especially true for anyone that will be working with children and young adults. Each hiring authority should take the time to check references and prior employers and should be cautious in hiring anyone that does not provide a complete employment history including reasonable contact information for prior employers.

Take common sense precautions when hiring.

2. Persons Subject To Background Screening

All Coach, Judge and Volunteer/Official Members shall have a criminal background screening completed as a condition for membership with USA Diving. Background screenings will also be conducted on staff and Board Members as well as all Meet Directors who are not already registered Coach, Judge or Volunteer/Official Members. Others who will undergo a background screening include those who accompany USA Diving teams to international competitions, training camps and other USA Diving sponsored team activities such as all medical staff, chaperones, and team managers. Athletes age 18 and up will also undergo a background screening. 

Criminal background screenings shall also be conducted for all USA Diving Board Members, and USA Diving staff members upon their initial appointment, election, or hire. In the event that such a screening results in a “red light” as described below, then such individual is automatically removed from the position to which they were appointed or elected or not begin the position of employment.

Persons subject to background screening must be screened at least once every two years.

3. Scope of Background Check

Every individual required to submit to a background screening must complete, sign and date the Consent and Wavier form. No participation will be allowed in restricted activities until a passed screening is received. All individuals screened for USA Diving shall undergo a criminal background check that includes:

  • Social Security Verification
  • Address Trace
  • Statewide or Countywide “Smart Check”- (depending on the jurisdiction) criminal record check
  • Let’s Check for America – Provides criminal data from all 50 states
  • Sex Offender Registry

The Background Screening Vendor will search for Disqualifying Events (see below) and will issue the criminal background screening results to the applicant and USA Diving based on a “Red Light/Green Light” system. If the criminal background screening yields any Disqualifying Event, the Background Screening Vendor will issue a Red Light. If the background screening does not yield any of the above results, the Background Screening Vendor will issue a Green Light. A “Green Light” (also described as “meets the criteria”) means the applicant is suitable for membership in USA Diving with regard to the criminal background screening. A “Red Light” (also described as “does not meet the criteria”) means the applicant is not suitable for membership in USA Diving with regard to the criminal background screening. USA Diving may withhold the privilege of membership based on the background screening to any applicant whose search yields a Red Light.

Note: The criminal background screening will look for the following:

  • Any arrest for a Disqualifying Event offense with no disposition noted
  • An expunction, restoration of rights, or pardon relating to a Disqualifying Event offense
  • Any charge involving a minor resulting in a disposition favorable to the applicant
  • An arrest or conviction where it is not readily apparent if drugs or alcohol were involved

If the criminal background screening yields any of the above results, the Background Screening Vendor will further investigate the findings with the applicant and the appropriate authorities/courts prior to issuing a Red Light or Green Light finding. If this supplemental criminal background screening does not yield a Disqualifying Event, the third party agency will issue a Green Light.

If questions arise concerning a criminal background screening, the applicant will be contacted by the Background Screening Vendor and provided with an opportunity to correct potential errors in the applicant’s record or to provide additional information prior to the Background Screening Vendor issuing a Red Light finding. In such situations USA Diving may also be contacted. Anyone that fails a background screening is not eligible to reapply until 1 full year has passed since the prior screening.

DISQUALIFYING EVENTS

Anyone found guilty, entering a plea of guilty, or a plea of nolo contendere (no contest) regardless of adjudication for the following criminal offenses; All Sex offenses, Murder, and Homicide regardless of time limit; Felony Violence and Felony Drug offenses in the past 10 years; two or more misdemeanor violence offenses in the past 7 years; more than two convictions for misdemeanor drug and alcohol violations within the past five years; or any other crimes (not listed above) against children in the past 7 years.

Individuals found to have pending court cases for any of the Disqualifying Events will be treated as a Red Light. If the court case results in a “non-conviction,” the individual would then be treated as a Green Light.

Falsification of information on any membership application or the consent/release form is grounds for membership revocation or restriction of membership.

Individuals that are automatically disqualified must wait one full membership year before reapplying for affiliation and/or participation with a junior club, team or sanctioned event.

4. Review of Background Search Findings

All disqualified individuals have the right to dispute the findings of the background screening directly with the Background Screen Vendor. A disqualified individual may not appeal the disqualification or the results of the findings of the background screen vendor to USA Diving.

Should an applicant contest the content of a record provided to the applicant as part of the USA Diving criminal background search, the applicant may seek an appeal of the record with the Background Screen Vendor pursuant to the Fair Credit Reporting Act.