US Sailing Approves Background Check Policy for Certified Race Officials

The US Sailing Board of Directors on November 14, 2019, approved a background check policy for race officials whose purpose is to further ensure a safe environment for all participants in our sport and protect persons at risk, including minors and vulnerable adults.

Under new requirements in federal law and United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) policy, national governing bodies such as US Sailing must administer background checks to any individual the NGB authorizes, approves, or appoints to (a) serve in a position of authority over athletes or (b) have regular contact with athletes. Certified race officials and candidates for certification will now be subject to background checks.

Here are some key points:

  • Background checks will follow national standards and include searches of multiple criminal databases, multiple sex offender registries and national watch lists, and federal district courts and county criminal records covering jurisdictions where an individual has resided during the past seven years (subject to applicable state laws on reporting).
  • US Sailing will decline certification to individuals with any disposition other than “not guilty” to a felony offense involving violence against a person, a felony or misdemeanor offense involving harm to a minor, a felony or misdemeanor sexual offense, or registration on a sex offender list.
  • Other serious criminal offenses may result in denial of certification.
  • Hire Image complies with stringent industry standards for data security. Personally identifiable information is redacted in reports provided to US Sailing, and report information is made available to two staff members of US Sailing.
  • Completed background checks will appear in SOARS as “ITBC” and are effective for 24 months.
  • US Sailing will cover the $25 fee for background checks for certified race officials and candidates.

All certified race officials will receive an email from Hire Image at the appropriate time requesting that they initiate the background check process. We must complete the process before the end of March, 2020, to comply with USOPC policy requirements.

First time candidates for a race official certification must complete the background check process before submitting an application.

When an official’s background check is due for renewal at the end of the 24-month period, he or she will receive an email from Hire Image with directions for initiating a new check.

Learn more about background checks, including policy documents and FAQs.