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SafeSport Requirements 101

04/07/2018, 10:00pm CDT
By Suzie Riewald

Based on my experience interacting with USA Fencing members, people want to do what is right, what is required and be compliant with our SafeSport requirements. When I send emails to members to inform them that they are not current with their SafeSport requirements, I get responses such as “I didn’t know,” “What do I need to do?” and “I did the background screen and SafeSport course several years ago.”

So let’s unmuddy the waters. This blog is dedicated to providing you with information to help you better understand the SafeSport requirements, as we need all members to support our SafeSport goal of creating a safe and positive environment for athletes’ physical, emotional and social development, and ensuring that it promotes an environment free of misconduct.

To start … Who is required to complete the SafeSport course and background screen?

  1. All USA Fencing directors, staff members, division officers, committee/task force members and national team staff;
  2. Officials and volunteers at all USA Fencing sanctioned events who have direct access to fencers participating in such events. This includes persons who interact directly and frequently with athletes as part of their duties, e.g., event administrators, referees, bout committee members, armorers. It does not include volunteers who have incidental interaction with event participants, e.g., at registration or lost and found booths; and
  3. All affiliate and member club coaches, independent contractors, owners, board of director members and administrators. 

What do I need to do if SafeSport is required for me?
SafeSport is managed through USA Fencing Coach and +CheckEd memberships. All Coach members must be SafeSport compliant. Those individuals who need SafeSport who are not coaches, such as referees, need to upgrade their current membership to +CheckEd. To be compliant with SafeSport policies, individuals are required to complete a Background Screen through NCSI (USA Fencing’s background screen provider) and to complete the SafeSport Training Course (online abuse prevention course). Those members who have a current background screen and SafeSport training have satisfied the SafeSport requirements.

How do I access the background screen and SafeSport course? 
You can do this through your membership profile. This also helps ensure that completions are automatically uploaded to your profile.

To access the background screen and SafeSport course in your profile:

a. Log in to your USA Fencing profile.

b. Under “My Membership,” click on the link "Visit our SafeSport page to watch the online training" or “Start your Background Screen.”

c. The SafeSport training link will take you directly to the SafeSport Course website where you can complete the course. Course completion will be automatically uploaded into your member profile within a day.. NOTE: All three modules must be completed to satisfy the SafeSport training requirement. The three modules include Emotional and Physical Misconduct, Mandatory Reporting and Sexual Misconduct Awareness Education.


The background screen can take 7-10 working days to process. Until then, you will show a “pending” in your profile. "Green Light" screens automatically will be updated to your profile with an expiration date. NOTE: A “Red Light” screen could be a function of not having submitted all the required documents such as a driver’s license or government ID, so be sure to submit all required documents.

How often does an individual need to take the course or complete the screen?
Both the SafeSport training and background screen are good for two years. An email notification is sent out 30 days and 15 days prior to the expiration of any current training or screen. But it is always a good practice to keep an eye on your member profile as it shows when your background screen and SafeSport training expire. Thirty days prior to expiration, the links to the background screen and SafeSport course will be “live.” 

A fellow referee told me she was able to use her Global Entry card in place of a background screen. As a foreign referee, can I do that?
Foreign referees who have Global Entry or an equivalent status do not need to submit an NCSI background screen if appropriate documentation (a copy of their Global Entry/NEXUS/SENTRI identification) is on file at the National Office.

Is it true that USA Fencing has a database of all our current members who have met the SafeSport requirements?
Yes. The SafeSport member list is on our website and updated daily. A link can be found on the  USA Fencing Member List page. Parents and others can check that the coaches and club personnel who train and interact with fencers have met the background screen and SafeSport training requirements. If you are hosting a tournament, you can check the SafeSport listing to ensure all the referees you are using are up-to-date on their SafeSport training and screening requirements. 

This should cover the basics, but if you have further questions please contact me at or 719-866-2616.

Tag(s): Blog