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Background Screening Policy

1. Introduction
American Water Polo requires background clearances for coaches in order to provide a safe environment for its athletes.  Any club team that works with minors (any athlete under the age of 18 years old) must have all of their coaches complete a background screening through the National Center for Safety Initiatives (NCSI) as a prerequisite for membership.  All costs are covered by American Water Polo. All head coaches are responsible for ensuring any additional coaches complete the process as well.

2. Search Organization

The National Center for Safety Initiatives (“NCSI”) is a full- service screening organization that works in accordance with the Recommended Guidelines established by the National Council on Youth Sports (“NCYS”).

In addition to conducting the background search, NCSI shall be responsible for interpreting the search results, communicating with the applicant regarding the search result, and reporting to American Water Polo all search results. NCSI will also be responsible for complying with the Fair Credit Reporting Act and maintaining the confidentiality of information obtained throughout the background search process.

3. Registration for Background Check 

NCSI will develop a background check authorization and disclosure form for American Water Polo via a secure website. Each member must complete the online background check authorization and disclosure form prior to registration for a background check with NCSI.

4. What will be examined? 

• Two independent national databases

• Sex offender registries of all available states

• Social Security Number and address verification

• Federal terrorist database search

• Non-database searches of county criminal records of all jurisdictions of residence in the past seven years

5. Findings 

NCSI will issue results to the applicant and American Water Polo on a “Red Light/Green Light” system. A “Green Light” or “meets the criteria” finding indicates an individual is suitable for with regard to the background search. A “Red Light” finding means the individual “does not meet the criteria.” If questions arise concerning a background search, the applicant will be contacted by NCSI and provided with an opportunity to correct potential errors in the applicant’s record or to provide additional information prior to issuing a “Red Light.” In such situations American Water Polo may also be contacted.

A conviction (or the entry of any plea of guilty or no contest), the existence of any pending charges, disclosure from an applicant that contains the following information will be flagged as a “Red Light” or “does not meet the criteria”:

• Any felony (any crime punishable by confinement of greater than one year)

• Any lesser crime involving force or threat of force against a person

• Any lesser crime in which sexual relations is an element, including “victimless” crimes of a sexual nature (including pornography)

• Any lesser crime involving controlled substances (not paraphernalia or alcohol)

• Any lesser crime involving cruelty to animals

• Any sex offender registrant

Additionally, the following information will result in further investigation involving the applicant and the appropriate courts, which will then lead to a determination of either a “Red Light” or a “Green Light”:

• An arrest for a criterion offense with no disposition noted

• An expunction, restoration of rights, or pardon relating to a criterion 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

The above criteria are contained within the guidelines developed by the NCYS and have been adopted by NCSI. The NCYS considers the criteria for a “Red Light” or “does not meet the criteria” findings to be consistent with the principles of the federal PROTECT Act of 2003.

6. Review of Background Search Findings 

Should an applicant contest the content of a record provided to the applicant as part of the American Water Polo background search, the applicant may seek an appeal of the record with NCSI pursuant to the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

American Water Polo will use the determinations provided by NCSI, and a full review by America Water Polo, to determine an individual’s eligibility for membership. Should an individual contest an American Water Polo decision to deny participation based upon a “Red Light” finding resulting from the background search, the applicant has the right to appeal the decision by contacting the AWP Executive Director.