Æthelmearc Kingdom Policy – PA Clearances

The following policy and procedure document was previously posted on the Kingdom website by the then-Kindom Seneschale, Mistress Cori Ghora.


Kingdom of Æthelmearc Youth Officer/Marshal Background Check and Mandated Reporter Training Policy and Procedures Including for Officers Active in Pennsylvania

Please note that these policies apply to all people working with minors in the State of Pennsylvania as warranted officers of the Society for Creative Anachronism, Inc., whether the person volunteering lives in Pennsylvania or is coming in from another state to work at activities held in Pennsylvania on a regular basis (30 days or more aggregate through the calendar year).

This includes but is not limited to all warranted Youth Officers, Youth Marshals, Youth Fencing Marshals, Sparring Marshals, Local Knights Marshal and Group Fighting and Fencing Marshals who have minors fighting or fencing as adults at local practices in Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania Local Seneschals are encouraged but not required to take the Mandated Reporter Training and get required Background Check (BGC). Pennsylvania Local Seneschals should ensure at least one person in their group has completed all mandated requirements for working with minors.

Please Note:
Completing the Background Check Process and taking the Online Mandated Reporter Training does not replace the Society-required “Two-Deep Rule.”

Any Society activity where there are minors present MUST HAVE TWO UN-RELATED ADULTS present at all times.

GETTING YOUR CLEARANCES

For any person applying to be a Warranted Youth Officer/Marshal:

  • Apply with your Kingdom Youth Officer/Marshal to be accepted for the Warranting Process.

The first part of this application will include turning in an online Mandated Reporter Training Certificate of Completion.

  • If accepted, the Kingdom Officer will issue permission (Reimbursement Certificate signed by the Kingdom Officer approving candidate to request reimbursement for PA BGC fees.) to apply to the Kingdom for reimbursement of the costs for the Pennsylvania required background checks.
  • At this time, the Kingdom Youth Officer/Marshal will also issue to the candidate the paperwork required for the Society Background Checks. Fill this out and mail/fax it to the Kingdom Seneschal. All Warranted Youth Officers and Youth Marshals in AEthelmearc still require Society Background Checks. The PA BGC is in addition to this Society requirement.
  • The Kingdom Youth Officer/Marshal will notify the Kingdom Seneschal of the candidate’s approval for a Society BGC via email, including:
    • Membership number and expiration date
    • Applicant’s full legal name
    • SCA name
    • Address, with City, State and Zip
    • Email
    • Phone number

NO ONE MAY BE A WARRANTED OFFICER UNLESS THEY ARE A PAID MEMBER OF THE SCA, INC. IN GOOD STANDING

The Kingdom Seneschal will verify that the candidate may be approved for a Society BGC and shall forward that approval to the Society Corporate Officers.

  • The Kingdom and the individual will both receive outcomes of the Society BGC.
  • The Kingdom does not receive the PA BGC outcomes. The candidate must provide those to the Kingdom.
  • When the BGC results for Pennsylvania come back, the candidate may turn the results, any related material, the signed “Volunteer Clearance Exception” statement (if required), and the Reimbursement Certificate in to the Kingdom (Seneschal Office), with a Kingdom Reimbursement Form, to be compensated for the costs of the BGC. The Kingdom will only reimburse when receiving results and all supporting required documentation.
    http://www.aethelmearc.org/…/exchequ…/reimbursement_form.pdf
  • The Seneschal will scan required documents and distribute to the Kingdom Officers as required for the individual’s specific warrant. The Seneschal Office will maintain a list of all PA and Society BGC requests and outcomes.
  • The ‘originals’ of all documents will be stored with the Kingdom Archivist/Waiver Secretary.
  • Scanned signed documents stored in a static format (PDF) are acceptable as ‘originals’. Email is acceptable for sending these static documents to the Kingdom.
  • When the candidate has completed any additional requirements as required by the specific activity, they will then be warranted. Completion of Background Check requirements is a precursor to training as a Marshal or Youth Officer and does not guarantee warranting as an Officer.
  • Rosters of warranted officers with the PA Endorsement will be maintained in addition to the standard Roster of Officers by the applicable Kingdom Officers.

LINKS AND DIRECTIONS:
Pennsylvania’s Criminal Background Check and Child Welfare Background Checks are free of charge. Once passed, they are valid for 5 years.

LINKS FOR PENNSYLVANIA RESIDENTS:
If you have been a continuous resident of Pennsylvania for the past 10 years:

  • Pennsylvania State Police Clearance (free)
    Click here to apply online OR
    Click here to download the form for printing and mailing
  • Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Clearance (free)
    Click here to apply online OR
    Click here to download the form for printing and mailing
  • Proof of completion of online Mandated Reporter training (free)
    Click here to access the course through the University of Pittsburgh; takes 2-3 hours to complete. This document will show other options available for fulfilling the course requirement.
  • Signed “Volunteer Clearance Exception” statement
    Click here to download the statement
    The “Volunteer Exception Form” is definitely required for people who’ve lived in PA for 10+ years and don’t have to take the FBI Background Check. See the next-to-last paragraph on the first page here. Based on this same document, please get any required FBI checks through the Department of Human Services, not the Department of Education, as the SCA, Inc. is not a school. This also saves a bit on the cost ($25.75 vs. $27)

When forms are completed on line, other than the Volunteer Exception Form which MUST be printed be signed, all of the certifications come as electronic documents by email or as a certificate that displays at the end of the process. As such, it should not be necessary to print and scan those documents. Be aware of this fact when working with the systems as it can be easy to miss where option to print, especially where it shows up at the end of the Mandated Reporter course.

LINKS FOR NON-PA RESIDENTS AND FOR THOSE RESIDENTS OF LESS THAN TEN CONTINUOUS YEARS:

If you have NOT been a continuous resident of Pennsylvania for the past 10 years:

  • Pennsylvania State Police Clearance (free)
    Click here to apply online OR
    Click here to download the form for printing and mailing
  • Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Clearance (free)
    Click here to apply online OR
    Click here to download the form for printing and mailing
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) report-PDE ($27)
    Click here to register online at the Cogent website. After you register online, you will need to visit a Cogent fingerprint facility. The Cogent website includes a map noting where these facilities are located throughout Pennsylvania. Based on this document, please get any required FBI checks through the Department of Human Services, not the Department of Education, as the SCA, Inc. is not a school. This also saves a bit on the cost ($25.75 vs. $27)
  • Proof of completion of online Mandated Reporter training (free)
    • Click here to access the course through the University of Pittsburgh; takes 2-3 hours to complete

When forms are completed on line, other than the Volunteer Exception Form which MUST be printed be signed, all of the certifications come as electronic documents by email or as a certificate that displays at the end of the process. As such, it should not be necessary to print and scan those documents. Be aware of this fact when working with the systems as it can be easy to miss where option to print, especially where it shows up at the end of the Mandated Reporter course.

NON- PENNSYLVANIA RESIDENTS:
If you have your state’s equivalent clearances (typically required for people in positions like teacher, coach, and medical personnel), then you may not need to obtain Pennsylvania clearances. However, you may be required to sign the “Volunteer Clearance Exception” statement noted above for PA residents.

If you do NOT have your state’s equivalent clearances, you may look into acquiring them in your state, or you may be able to obtain PA clearances using the list above for people who have not been continuous residents of PA for 10 years.

Thank you for your patience during these changing times.

YIS,
cori
Seneschale, Æthelmearc