PA Additional Screening Requirements

FROM: GLENN HEFFERAN, AAHA President

On July 1, 2015, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania placed into law, Act 15 of 2015 (which amended Act 153 of 2014) and established various screening and background check requirements for those persons who are “responsible for a child’s welfare or have direct and routine contact with children”. This Act applies to academic institutions, childcare programs as well as youth sports programs, teams and associations.  As a result, the AAHA is setting forth the following policy;

1.    For the those programs, associations, leagues and ice rinks within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, which are member programs of the AAHA and utilize paid or volunteer individuals, including but not limited to; coaches, on-ice game officials, team managers, trainers, locker room attendants and other persons having direct contact with minor children through their involvement with youth hockey activities are compelled to verify that their volunteers and employees comply with the screening requirements in Pennsylvania Act 15.  http://www.dhs.pa.gov/publications/findaform/childabusehistoryclearanceforms/index.htm

2.     In order to comply with the new Pennsylvania Law; volunteers shall submit to PA State Police Screening, Pennsylvania Child Abuse History and FBI Criminal History or sign the FBI Exemption Affidavit as set forth below:

NOTE: Clearances for employment purposes are $13. This was changed from $8 to $13 on July 1, 2018. Background check fees for volunteers are waived one time within a 5-year period.

3.    Employees, independent contractors and other paid persons must complete all three (3) of the above certifications. Paid persons may not use volunteer certifications.  The AAHA requires all volunteers and paid persons to complete the certification process prior to performing you duties.  The Act also applies to those persons responsible for the hiring employees or selecting volunteers. For example, a rink owner, who may never have direct contact with a minor, but who hires a new Director of Hockey, must also comply with the verification and recordkeeping provisions of Act 15.

4.    Team Managers, locker room monitors, trainers and other medical personnel who tend to minor-aged players are required to comply with PA Act 15.

5.    It shall be incumbent on the Organization President or Chief Executive to verify the compliance of volunteers and employees and to maintain accurate records to insure compliance with PA Act 15.For high school programs, the school’s Athletic Director or varsity head coach and league appointee shall be responsible for verifying compliance and maintaining the appropriate credentials.

6.  Teams advancing to post-season District and National Tournament play will be required to provide proof of compliance as part of credentialing compliance for District Tournament participation..

7.    If you have completed the 3 screening checks required under PA Act 15 within the last four (4) Years, you may submit those credentials. Keep in mind that the Act requires renewal every 5 years.

8.    Date for completion: The AAHA is requiring that all persons requiring screening as defined under the Act, shall complete the required process prior to participating.

Process for On-Ice Game Officials

1.     All AAHA registered On-ice Game Officials, 14 years of age or older, who reside in Pennsylvania and who will officiate in Pennsylvania must comply with PA Act 15, and obtain all three (3) Checks (FBI, State Police and Child Abuse Certificates).

2.    In accordance with the law, any employee/independent contractor who was hired or selected after December 31, 2014 would normally be required to provide all 3 certifications before starting work.

3.    Also, officials who are minors (age 14-17) may also be exempted from the FBI fingerprinting if they sign the Minor Employee Affidavit and comply with its terms.  Click here for the Affidavit

4.    All On-ice Game officials shall be required to submit their valid screening credentials to the Affiliate, either by mail or email.

5.    The Affiliate shall maintain a database of those officials that have completed the PA Act 15 screening process and have appropriately filed their credentials with the Affiliate. You must send in a copy of your completed screening or order to be considered “complete” with all of your necessary requirements

6.    To mail your screening credentials, send to Maureen Thompson-Siegel at Info@AAHAHockey.org

7.    For those officials that reside in the Commonwealth of PA or who will officiate in the Commonwealth of PA, will only need to do their screening in compliance with Act 15.  You are not required to do the USA Hockey requirement of being screened thru the Atlantic District.

8.    For those officials that DO NOT reside in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania nor will officiate in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, you are not required to complete the PA Act 15 screening process.  All of these officials must be screened using the Atlantic District screening policy as shown on this website and thru the Verified Volunteers Screening Company.

Note to all, regardless of paid or volunteer position:

If an individual is arrested for or convicted of an offense that would constitute grounds for denying employment or participation in a program, activity or services under Act 15, or is named as a perpetrator in a founded or indicated report, the individual shall provide their program administrator or designee with written notice not later than 72 hours after the arrest, conviction or notification that the person has been listed as a perpetrator in the Statewide database.

All rink owners, rink managers and hockey club executives are strongly encouraged to seek out advice from internal and or external Human Resources Professionals regarding PA Act 15 Compliance.

Please direct all questions regarding the AAHA policy on PA Act 15 to Info@AAHAHockey.org