USA Hockey’s SafeSport Program

SafeSport programAs you may know, the USA Hockey SafeSport Program was implemented in full last season and included online training that was available to all coaches, officials and volunteers. This article is to let you know about the requirements for the 2014-15 season.

As background, the USA Hockey SafeSport Program is designed to prevent abuse and maximize the safety of our participants in the off-ice environment. The SafeSport Training is part of the program and is intended to heighten awareness of those that are in supervisory positions over youth participants. We recognize that adding additional educational requirements increases the burden on our coaches and other volunteers, but as the primary and most direct leaders and supervisors of our youth teams, it is critical that they are trained in ways that can help prevent abuse within our programs. Additionally, providing a safe environment for your participants helps recruit and retain players, and enhances your program in the eyes of parents.

Requirements for Coaches

In the 2013-14 season, all coaches were strongly encouraged to complete the SafeSport training, though some Affiliates did require that their coaches complete the training. For the 2014-15 season, all coaches will be required to complete the SafeSport Training. The SafeSport Training is valid for 2 seasons. Thus, if a coach or volunteer took the training for 2013-14, he or she will not need to take the training again until the 2015-16 season (at which time a shorter “refresher” course will be available). USA Hockey strongly encourages and supports policies requiring that coaches complete SafeSport training prior to being added to a roster (and many Affiliates have adopted such policies). However, for this season only, Affiliates may choose to extend the deadline for a coach to complete the training until 12/31.

Requirements for Other Program Volunteers

Other volunteers in USA Hockey programs that have regular, routine or frequent access to or supervision over youth participants ,such as team managers, locker room monitors, chaperones, etc., are required to complete the SafeSport Training prior to such access.

In the 2013-14 season, USA Hockey also required that at least one person from each USA Hockey program complete the SafeSport training. While we strongly encourage that all board members and other program administrators complete the SafeSport Training, for the 2014-15 season, each program must once again have at least one person complete the training. We do believe that programs that extend the training out to their board members and administrators will benefit by strengthening their program and making it a safe place for participants. As the leaders of local programs, board members and administrators should possess the information to monitor their organization and enforce policies, and should also complete the same training as is required for coaches and other volunteers.

How to Take the Training

The SafeSport Training is available to take right now so your program, coaches and other volunteers can get a head start on the season. The training is available at no cost. The training was produced by the United States Olympic Committee and is comprised of short video segments that take approximately 90 minutes to complete, however, not all training needs to be completed in one session. You will need your USA Hockey Member Number, which can be obtained by clicking HERE (under Member Options, click on ‘Request Duplicate Registration Confirmation’).

If an employee or volunteer in your program is not currently a USA Hockey Member, they can obtain a Member Number to take the training, by registering with USA Hockey at no cost in the Ice Managers/Volunteers category.

Information on how to register and access the SafeSport Training can be found on our website by clicking HERE. Also, please be sure to select the USA Hockey SafeSport course as there are multiple courses available. The website also has links if you have questions about the training or on registering for the training.

We strongly encourage that all of your coaches and volunteers get a head start on the season by completing the SafeSport Training this summer. Thank you for your diligence in helping make our sport as safe as possible!

More information on the USA Hockey SafeSport Program can be found at www.usahockey.com/safesport.



Categories: USA Hockey News

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