Announcement from the Board on the background check policy

Patrick Anderson, President of the Society for Creative Anachronism, Inc., responds to concerns dealing with the upcoming background check policy from the SCA's Board of Directors.

In a continuing effort to share information with the SCA's participants about the upcoming background check policy, we would like to answer some of the questions about the policy we have received thus far. Please bear in mind that we have not established any policy to this point, and we are still accepting all input into the policy development. Our answers here reflect our understanding of the policy development as we have researched to date. This policy is still in the developmental stages.

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Q: Should we use the "2 adults not related by blood or marriage/relationship at all official youth activities" rule (aka: the 'two-deep' rule)?
A: Yes. The two-deep rule is already listed in our rules. (This is located in the Seneschals Handbook, page 9 and appendix A)

Q: Why are we doing this?
A: Part of the Board's job is to see that effective policies and procedures for the SCA are in place. In that regard, the Board periodically reviews policies and procedures to ensure that they remain consistent with the SCA's goals and values. After a review of an East Kingdom law which required the Kingdom to review all applicants for a position of youth officer and check to see if the applicants were on a Megan's List, the Board concluded that an organization-wide system of background checks for all youth officers (martial and non-martial) would provide even more protection to the SCA, Inc. and its youth members. For that reason, the Board has decided to move forward with the new background check policy.

Q: What are the specific numbers of minor related cases?
A: Of the 29 R&D cases involving predatory criminal convictions, 6 involved warranted youth officials.

Q: Who will perform the background checks?
A: The background checks will be done by a third party. The SCA is still in the process of selecting the background check vendor. The SCA will not have access to specific background details, as indicated previously. We will simply receive a pass or fail notice.

Q: How can I resolve a false positive?
A: You will have to follow the resolution/error checking policy of the background check vendor.

Q: What exactly will the background check be for?
A: The background check will only be checking for crimes against minors, not for traffic tickets or prior arrests UNLESS of a sexual nature against minors.

Q: What indication will I receive that I passed?
A: The applicant will receive a report from the background check vendor. As mentioned previously, the pass status will be good for 2 years.

Q: Is this a United States of America (USA)-only policy? Will this be instituted in other countries outside of the USA?
A: At this time, this policy will only be instituted in North America (this includes Canada). Currently, we are unable to implement this policy outside of North America. This is due to overwhelming financial charges that we felt were irresponsible to pass onto our membership. It is to be noted that we are continuing to research ways of implementing this for our international members in a fiscally responsible manner. Also, while we are planning to initially use a USA based background check vendor, we are looking into vendors who are authorized to conduct checks throughout North America.

Q: This is a done deal - Why are you informing us of this after the fact?
A: It is important to note that this policy is not yet in force. We continue to revise and update the policy based on the input we are receiving from the SCA's members. Once we have finished developing the policy, it will be released to the populace of the SCA for comment before it is implemented.

We have also included the original questions and the answer statement that was released to the SCA's members, in an effort to consolidate all of the questions and answers about the upcoming background check policy in one place. They follow below.

Q: Are Kingdoms required to implement the Society policy?
A: Once upheld by the Board of Directors, the Kingdoms will have a time-line to implement the policy-or cease youth programs as a part of their activity offering.

Q: I had a background check for work. Can you just use that?
A: No. All checks for this program will be done according to the same criteria and by the same vendor for all participants. The vendor is a licensed, bonded provider of background examinations.

Q: Will the SCA be privy to specific details of my background, whether I pass the exam or not?
A: No. The SCA will receive a pass or a fail notice.

Q: Will my personal information be exposed to other SCA participants?
A: Information provided to the vendor in order to perform the check is not provided to the SCA.

Q: How long is my pass status good for?
A: It is planned that the pass status will be good for two years.

Q: Will all existing officers have to be checked?
A: All officers/volunteers with supervisory positions, teaching, or direct control of minor participants, new or existing would require the clearance.

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Again, we would like to thank you for your concern regarding the upcoming policy. It is shared among many in the society. We are committed to seeking the opinions of our membership and taking proper action to insure that this is a fair process for everyone.

We encourage you to continue sending your comments on the upcoming policy to comments@sca.org.

In service,

Aaron L. Lloyd - Director, SCA Inc.
Ombudsman, Background Check Policy
(Baron Aaron Palomides of Buckminster, KSCA, OP)

Hal Simon - Chairman, SCA Inc.
(Baron Edwin FitzLloyd, OP, OL)

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Patrick Anderson
President
Society for Creative Anachronism, Inc.
president@sca.org
952-412-4112

Comments are strongly encouraged and can be sent to:
SCA Inc.
Box 360789
Milpitas, CA 95036

You may also email comments@lists.sca.org

This announcement is an official informational release by the Society for Creative Anachronism , Inc. Permission is granted to reproduce this announcement in its entirety in newsletters, websites and electronic mailing lists.