A. General: AAHA has implemented a new online background screening program in partnership with Verified Volunteers and the Atlantic District. Beginning with the playing season (including Spring and Summer) all coaches (head and assistants), officials, managers and other individuals who have routine access to children (anyone under the age of majority) must consent to be screened through Verified Volunteers and complete the Verified Volunteers screening process. Further, it is AAHA’s policy that all member associations affiliated with AAHA adopt this Screening Policy as a condition of their affiliation.
B. Deadlines: All individuals required to be screened must complete the Verified Volunteers screening process by October 30 of the current playing season. Any individual who begins an activity after the applicable playing season deadline that would require the individual to be subject to the AAHA Screening Policy must complete the screening process within thirty (30) days after beginning such activity. Per USA Hockey SafeSport program, the individuals listed below are required to be screened and must be 18 years old or over:
- Members of the Affiliate Board of Directors
- Local program administrators
- Team managers
- Locker room monitors
- Team drivers (unless professional transportation companies are used)
- Travel chaperones
- Anyone with regular, routine or frequent access to youth participants
The Affiliate and/or local program may require that additional persons be screened.
C. Disqualifying Events: An individual may be disqualified and prohibited from serving as a coach, official, manager or any other position of AAHA or its member associations if the person has:
(i) Conviction of (including crimes of which have been expunged and pleas of no contest) of a crime of child abuse, sexual abuse of a minor, physical abuse, causing a child’s death, neglect of a child, murder, manslaughter, felony assault, any assault against a minor, kidnapping, arson, criminal sexual conduct, prostitution related crimes or controlled substances;
(ii) Adjudged liable for civil penalties or damages involving sexual or physical abuse of children;
(iii) Subjected to a court order involving any sexual abuse or physical abuse of a minor including, but not limited to, domestic orders or protections of a minor;
(iv) Termination of parental rights;
(v) Any history with another organization (whether volunteer, employment, or independent contractor) of complaints of sexual or physical abuse of minors;
(vi) Resignation or termination or a request to resign from any position, paid or unpaid, due to complaints of sexual or physical abuse of minors;
(vii) A conviction or plea of no contest to any alcohol or drug related offense in the previous seven (7) years.
In addition, AAHA reserves the right to disqualify from participation in any of its sanctioned activities any individual who has a history of other behavior that they may be a danger to children associated with AAHA.
Any individual, who is subject to the provisions of this Screening Policy, will be summarily suspended if arraigned by a Municipal, State or Federal Court of Law on charges, which fall into the categories, covered by the policy. The person shall remain suspended until the AAHA Disciplinary / Dispute Resolution Committee convenes a hearing.
D. Screening Results and Appeal Procedure: Each screened individual will be advised of any adverse information as a result of the screening process (“Pre-Adverse Action Notice”) and will be notified of any adverse decision by AAHA (“Adverse Action Notice”). All notifications shall be in writing and shall be sent by certified mail. Individuals may appeal adverse decisions to the AAHA Disciplinary / Dispute Resolution Committee. Such appeals must be filed within 10 days of receipt of notification of decision. For purposes of the AAHA Screening Policy, receipt of all notices shall be presumed to occur the third (3) calendar day after mailing of the notice by certified mail. If the adverse action is upheld by the AAHA Disciplinary / Dispute Resolution Committee or upon the expiration of the appeal period if the adverse action is not appealed, AAHA shall notify USA Hockey, the Atlantic District and the applicable club, league and/or organization that, pursuant to AAHA’s Screening Policy, the individual does not meet the qualifications to participate in AAHA or USA Hockey activities. No details of the nature of the disqualification will be disclosed except as otherwise required by law.
E. Compliance: Each member association, coach, official, manager or other individual required to be screened shall comply with AAHA Screening Policy.
F. Screening Procedure and Instructions: The AAHA Online Background Screening Program Instructions for completing the Verified Volunteers online screening process can be downloaded from the AAHA website at www.atlantic-district.org or can be obtained from the AAHA Executive Director. AAHA may prepare and distribute additional rules and procedures to implement this Screening Policy.
G. Refusal to Be Screened: Any individual required to be screened who does not consent to be screened and complete the Verified Volunteers screening process as required shall not be allowed to participate in any AAHA, Atlantic District or USA Hockey sanctioned activities, including but not limited to all team activities and any other “on ice” or “off ice” hockey activities.
H. Non-Compliance: Any member association and/or coach, manager or other individual required to be screened not complying with the AAHA Screening Policy will be referred to the AAHA Disciplinary / Dispute Resolution Committee for appropriate action.
I. Re-Screening Cycle: Screening checks will be completed on a 2-year cycle.