On-Ice Officials Must Comply with Pennsylvania Act 15 Screening Policy

AAHA-Block-Logo.jpg

The Atlantic District Officiating Program needs to advise all currently registered officials and officiating candidates of a Pennsylvania law known as Act 15, which requires screening and background check for those persons who are "responsible for a child's welfare or have direct and routine contact with children".

Act 15 applies to all academic institutions, childcare programs as well as youth sports programs, teams and associations in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and applies to employees, contractors, and volunteers of those organizations regardless of where they live.

As a result of this new law, the Atlantic Amateur Hockey Association (a.k.a. The Atlantic District) has established policies that officials who are registered in the Atlantic District must read, understand, and follow, otherwise they will not be permitted to accept officiating assignments.

Therefore, we present the following message from Glenn Hefferan, President of the Atlantic Amateur Hockey Association, which we hope you will review and act upon at your earliest convenience.

ATTENTION: GAME OFFICIALS

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.

2) In order to comply with the new Pennsylvania Law; officials shall submit to PA State Police Screening, Pennsylvania Child Abuse History and FBI Criminal History.

(a) For the PA State Police Criminal Background Check, you must follow the instructions for an employee, not a volunteer:
https://epatch.state.pa.us/

AND

(b) For the Child Abuse History: https://www.compass.state.pa.us/cwis/public/home, you must follow the instructions for an employee, not a volunteer:

AND

(c.1) For FBI Criminal Background Check Follow this link for instructions (Unless Exemption applies) and then click on "Digital Fingerprinting": https://www.identogo.com/locations/pennsylvania

Please provide the following service code: 1KG756.

On the employer section of the Identogo registration process, please provide the following information:

Atlantic Amateur Hockey Association
PO Box 1581
Newtown, PA 18940

(c.2) For officials between 14 and 17 years of age who live in Pennsylvania and have lived in Pennsylvania for the last 10 consecutive years, an Exemption Process exists for the FBI Background Check. For more information, email screening@aaharefs.org.

(c.3) For officials between 14 and 17 years of age who currently live in Pennsylvania but moved to Pennsylvania within the past 10 years, email screening@aaharefs.org for more information.

(c.4) These is no Exemption Process for the FBI Background Check for officials between 14 and 17 who are not currently residents of Pennsylvania.

(c.5) There is no Exemption Process for the FBI Background Check for officials of any age claiming to be volunteers.

(c.6) For officials of any age who posess FBI Background Check documents issued by any other agency than the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services, contact screening@aaharefs.org for more information.

NOTE: Date for completion: The AAHA requires all paid persons hired after December 31, 2014 to complete the appropriate Act 15 screening process before beginning work or service.

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/or 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) All level 1 officials who were not registered USAH Officials as of December 31, 2014 and reside or officiate in Pennsylvania may not accept any assignments until completing the all three (3) Checks (FBI, State Police and Child Abuse Certificates).

3) All On-ice Game officials shall be required to submit their valid screening credentials to the Affiliate, by mail.

4) 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 in order to be considered "complete" with all of your necessary requirements.

5) Mail your screening credentials to: Dave Aiello, AAHA Screening Coordinator, P.O. Box 1581, Newtown, PA 18940.

6) For those officials that DO NOT reside in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, you are not required to complete the PA Act 15 screening process unless you plan on officiating games within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The same process will apply for in-district or out-of-district officials.

7) For those officials that DO NOT reside in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania nor will officiate in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, you will need to complete their screenings per USA Hockey requirements. All of these officials must be screened using the Atlantic District screening policy as shown on website, www.atlantic- district.org and thru the Verified Volunteers Screening Company.

8) 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.

9) All Act 15 clearances must be renewed every five years.

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