- Why does the USTA have a background screening policy?
- Who has to submit to a background screening and how often?
- Why do I have to comply with the background screening policy?
- What types of offenses are being screened for?
- Who conducts the background screens?
- During the application process I must provide my social security number. Why?
- What if I previously had a background check performed by another organization or agency?
- What happens if NCSI needs additional information about me?
- How do I check the status of my background check online?
- How do I know that my application has been approved?
- What should I do if my screening returns incorrect or inaccurate criminal information?
- If it is determined that I have not passed the Biennial Screening, will I have an opportunity to appeal that decision?
- What is the cost of the background screening?
- What if I do not submit to a background screening?
- What if I am under the age of 18 or have my primary residence outside the United States?
- Who do I contact with questions?
1. Why does the USTA have a background screening program?
Criminal background screenings have been implemented by the USTA in order to:
- Ensure a safe and fun environment for tennis players to develop their athletic skills;
- Provide parents with a sense of security when their child is a part of a USTA event;
- Deter individuals with ill-intentions from participating in a USTA event.
Background screening is designed as a preventative measure and cannot guarantee that incidents of inappropriate behavior or criminal activity will not occur. The USTA encourages parents to always play an active role in their child’s athletic development.
2. Who has to submit to a background screening and how often?
Every odd year (2011, 2013, etc.), all officials seeking USTA certification, and all coaches athletic trainers, and massage therapists eighteen (18) years of age and older with primary residence in the United States seeking to be contracted by the USTA to perform services must submit to a background screening ("Biennial Screening"). Once an Applicant receives clearance through the Biennial Screening process, the Applicant will be considered in good standing until the next Biennial Screening; provided, however, should the USTA become aware of any potential change in status (i.e., criminal activity), USTA shall have the right to demand additional background screening at any time. Additionally, it shall be the continuing obligation of all Applicants to inform the USTA if there has been any change in their status (i.e., criminal activity). If, on the other hand, an Applicant does not pass the background screening (as determined by the National Center for Safety Initiatives), the Applicant will not be certified by the USTA (where USTA provides certifications) and the USTA will not contract that Applicant to provide services.
3. Why do I have to comply with the background screening policy?
If an Applicant does not pass the Biennial Screening (as determined by the National Center for Safety Initiatives), the Applicant will not be certified by the USTA (where USTA provides certifications) and the USTA will not contract that Applicant to provide services.
4. What type of offenses are being screened for?
The following offenses are a sampling of what is being screened for when a background check is performed and the USTA reserves the right to consider additional crimes should it determine in its sole discretion that such addition would be in the best interest of its participants. Reportable convictions for, disclosure of convictions for, and pending dispositions for any of the following criminal offenses, or registrations will prompt a determination that an applicant does not meet the criteria to be certified by the USTA as an official, or contracted by USTA as a coach, athletic trainer, or massage therapist.
Reportable convictions for, disclosures of convictions for, and pending dispositions for any of the following criminal offenses, or registrations will prompt a determination that an applicant does not meet the criteria for participation:
1. Any felony including an element of violence regardless of the amount of time since the offense, and any non-violent felony within the past fifteen (15) years (felony defined as any crime punishable by confinement greater than one year).
a. Defined on the basis of exposure for the offense for which the defendant was convicted, pled guilty, pled nolo contendere or which is pending a disposition. If pled down, then the crime for which the defendant ultimately was convicted.
b. Defined as all crimes punishable by greater than one year in jail or prison, regardless of how characterized by jurisdiction. If range, alternate sentencing, or indeterminate sentencing, outer range greater than one year.
2. Any lesser crime involving force or threat of force against a person regardless of the amount of time since the offense.
3. Any lesser crime, regardless of the amount of time since the offense, of a sexual nature or classified as a sex offense including but not limited to "victimless" crimes of a sexual nature such as prostitution, pornography, indecent exposure, and crimes in which sexual relations is an element.
4. Any lesser crime within the past ten (10) years involving controlled substances (not paraphernalia or alcohol).
5. Any lesser crime within the past fifteen (15) years involving cruelty to animals.
6. Any sex offender registrant.
7. Any lesser crime within the past ten (10) years involving harm to a minor not included in numbers 1 – 6 above.
Criminal offenses include "Attempted Crimes" in the above classifications
5. Who conducts the background screens?
The National Center for Safety Initiatives provides a secure website for individuals to submit their background information for screening. The National Center for Safety Initiatives system provides the highest level of security and was designed to ensure adherence with federal rules and regulations regarding background screening. In order to protect the confidentiality of sensitive information in the Biennial Screening, the Biennial Screening process must be completed online.
6. During the application process I must provide my social security number. Why?
The social security number provides the necessary information (along with your name and date of birth) to produce the most thorough and accurate background screen. Screening based on name, date of birth, address history and social security number is standard throughout the industry. The Fair Credit Reporting Act is the federal statute that outlines the basic laws and regulations that govern the background screening industry. Please note, that the National Center for Safety Initiatives will not share your social security number with the USTA or any other entity.
7. What if I previously had a background check performed through another organization or agency?
You will still be required to have a background check performed through the USTA’s Biennial Screening. The USTA is unable to rely on information compiled by another organization or agency. As various organizations, businesses, and agencies use different criteria to determine eligibility for approving an individual’s background screen, the USTA cannot rely on those results.
8. What happens if NCSI needs additional information from me?
NCSI will send a notice to you via e-mail with the relevant instructions. This notice will come to you from Compliance@ncsisafe.com in the days following your initial application. It is very important that you check your e-mail and respond promptly to this request, since your background screening will be on hold until you respond. Please add ncsisafe.com to your accepted email domain list to receive notifications from NCSI. Additionally, you will be able to see that additional information is needed by checking your status at NCSI's website.
Below is a copy of what you'll receive via e-mail from Compliance@ncsisafe.com if additional action is needed:
First Notice - generally sent within first three (3) days of your application, requesting additional information or asking you to contact NCSI.
Second Notice - sent three (3) to five (5) days after First Notice if response is not received, requesting additional information or asking you to contact NCSI.
NCSI will send you a confirmation notice once your information is received and processed. Processing of your information may take up to two business days.
During the course of the background screening process, there may be times that NCSI will request identification verification in order to complete the review. Generally, this will occur if there is conflicting information relating to the name(s) and/or date of birth provided to us, compared with that sourced through the investigative process. If additional informatoin is needed, you will be required to present a valid form of identification, such as a driver's license, birth certificate, or passport in order to verify your information. NCSI respects your personal privacy and only requests information that is reasonable and related to the issue being verified.
9. How do I check the status of my background check online?
You can check the status of your background screening by logging into www.ncsisafe.com/status
. At the time you first register you will receive an e-mail confirmation from NCSI with a unique ID number. This ID number can be used when going to the NCSI site to login to check your status. You are encouraged to check this site regularly and also as a means of verifying the legitimacy of any e-mail request you may receive. NCSI does not provide verbal status of background screenings to applicants.
10. How do I know that my application has been approved?
Applicants who have successfully passed the USTA background screening process will have their names and zip codes posted on the USTA website www.usta.com/backgroundcheckresults as being "accepted and in good standing." Applicants who have successfully passed the Biennial Screening will generally be posted within five (5) business days.
An Applicant’s name will not appear on the USTA’s web site if: 1) he/she has not submitted his/her information for a background screen; or 2) his/her background screen is pending; he/she has not successfully passed the Biennial Screening due to information revealed during the background screening process as determined by the National Center for Safety Initiatives.
11. What should I do if my screening returns incorrect or inaccurate criminal information?
There will be times, particularly if you have a very common name, when a background screening will return information that doesn’t belong to you. When such information results in a "negative" initial screen, you will be advised of the negative information by the National Center for Safety Initiatives and the following guidelines will apply to dispute the initial screen:
- The National Center for Safety Initiatives will notify you by e-mail of the finding and provide you the opportunity to dispute the negative information.
- In order to maintain the confidentiality of your screen results do not contact anyone at the USTA. You must work with the National Center for Safety Initiatives to dispute information.
- The National Center for Safety Initiatives will generally respond by telephone or via email within 24 hours to discuss the concern and gather the necessary information to research the question.
- In order to research disputed information in a background screen, the National Center for Safety Initiatives must perform a physical search of records in the county reporting the disputed information. Depending on the county and state, this search could take up to 30 days.
12. If it is determined that I have not passed the Biennial Screening, will I have an opportunity to appeal that decision?
There is no appeal process for adverse actions that stem from a determination that an Applicant has not passed the Biennial Screening.
13. What is the cost of the Biennial Screening?
The USTA has agreed to pay the fee of the Biennial Screening for all Applicants who are members of the USTA in good standing at such time that the Biennial Screening is performed. All Applicants that are USTA Members in good standing will be prompted to enter their valid USTA Membership number during the Biennial Screening process. Applicants who are not USTA Members in good standing are encouraged to become USTA Members prior to the Biennial Screening as Applicants who are not USTA Members in good standing will be responsible for the fees associated with the Biennial Screening ($20 base fee plus transaction fee will be prompted during Biennial Screening process; provided however, additional fees may apply depending on Applicants place of residence and/or should additional information be required by the National Center for Safety Initiatives to complete the Biennial Screening at which time the Applicant will be notified and required to pay any difference). Please be advised that the USTA does not financially benefit from the cost of the Biennial Screening.
14. What if I do not submit to a background screening?
The Applicant will not be certified by the USTA (where USTA provides certifications) and the USTA will not contract that Applicant to provide services.
15. What if I am under the age of 18 or have my primary residence outside the United States?
Applicants under the age of 18 or with their primary residence outside the United States are exempt from the Biennial Screening and will be added to the Approved Applicant List upon notification to the USTA until the next Biennial Screening period at which time they will be required to submit to the Biennial Screening if Applicant has reached 18 years of age or has made their primary residence in the U.S.
16. Who do I contact with questions?
The National Center for Safety Initiatives
Phone: (866) 833-7100
United States Tennis Association
Phone: (914) 697-2231
**PLEASE BE AVISED THAT THE BACKGROUND SCREENING PROGRAM IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT NOTICE AT THE SOLE DISCRETION OF THE USTA**