Info on Background Check Authorizations
Background Check Authorization Information
and Frequently Asked Questions
IMMEDIATE ACTION REQUIRED
The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) is committed first and foremost to keeping youth safe. Part of that commitment includes continually updating our youth protection policies to help ensure we are always on the forefront of youth safety.
As you know, one of the BSA’s many barriers to abuse is a mandatory criminal background check during the adult volunteer application process. The BSA will now also perform periodic rechecks of criminal backgrounds to support the continued safety of youth in our programs.
Please complete the process listed below at your earliest availability to help us continue to provide the safest environment possible for our Scouts and leaders. Please note that these steps must be completed before your 2020 annual registration can be processed.
Review the separate disclosure document linked above that is being provided to you separately for your review. It is titled “Background Check Disclosure.”
Once you have reviewed that, print the separate document titled “Additional Disclosures & Background Check Authorization.” Review the additional disclosures on that form, then complete and sign the Authorization using an ink/wet signature. Note: A print signature is required for this document. Electronic signatures will not be accepted.
Turn in the signed “Additional Disclosures & Background Check Authorization” form promptly to your:
unit leader for members paid at the unit level. Your form will be turned in with the Unit Recharter Packet
District Executive or local council service center for members paid at the district level.
Scout Executive or local council service center for members paid at the council level.
If you choose to decline the background check, or if you do not complete the Additional Disclosures & Background Check Authorization form and return it to your unit leader or local council service center, your 2020 annual registration will not be processed.
We are truly grateful for your continued commitment to keeping youth safe and for helping them learn, grow, and thrive through Scouting programs.
Frequently Asked Questions
We have received several calls and emails about the message sent by the National Council regarding the authorizations for criminal background checks.
Below, you will find answers to some of the most common questions provided by the National Council.
1. Is the BSA doing credit checks on volunteers?
No. The BSA will only use these signed authorization forms for approval to obtain a criminal background check. State and federal laws regulating background checks and consumer credit checks require that both items be mentioned on the form since a full background check includes both parts. Again, the BSA is only using this form for authorization to obtain a criminal background check.
2. Why is this being done now?
Starting in 2020, rechecks will be performed every five years, but it will take several years to recheck all leaders. Unfortunately, technical limitations and changes in the law over the last five years prevent us from using existing authorizations from older applications. As such, new disclosure had to be sent and new signed authorization forms obtained. Rechartering provides the best window to collect and verify they have been received before the council processes the recharter application.
3. What about volunteers that are not registered with units?
All currently registered adults and employees who have not had a criminal background check in the last five years will be rechecked. Council registrars will individually track district and council registered employees and leaders. (That should also include merit badge counselors). Those registered only at the National Council level will receive instructions on where to submit their authorization forms.
4. What about those with multiple registrations?
Only one authorization form per person needs to be collected and retained by the council.
5. Can the council accept a faxed copy or scanned copy sent via email of the signed authorization?
Yes, so long as it is legible and is sent by the individual who signed it. It must be printed and saved the same as an original.
6. What about unit renewals that have already been processed or will not recharter until after January 1?
For unit renewals that have already been posted because the unit renewal date was prior to the email notification or the unit renewal date is after January 1, authorization forms still need to be collected as soon as possible. All new authorization forms should be received by December 31, 2019.
7. Can the council require the forms be collected at the unit level and not sent to the council service center?
Yes. The council can require the forms be collected at the unit level or by a designated unit representative.