Possible Background Checks for Volunteer Coaches


Background checks are not just used as part of the process of screening potential paid employees. Background checks can be used for screening possible volunteers as well.

In Hanover, Virginia, county school board members are debating background checks after one board member suggested that volunteer coaches at county schools undergo full background checks.

Currently, volunteer coaches are checked against the Virginia Sex Offender Registry during the application process. However, they do not undergo a full background check, according to school officials. Will that soon change? It’s possible such background checks will soon be mandatory.

As of now, there are around 400 paid coaches in the county’s middle schools and high schools. There about 40 volunteer coaches in those schools. Those volunteer coaches do not have to go through the same criminal background checks as the paid coaches. Some school officials say it’s time for that to change, saying many of the volunteer coaches do some of the same thing as paid coaches and have the same access to students.

The question of whether to submit volunteers to background checks came up after a recent review of salaries and policies for coaches.

One local news report says a fingerprint check would be part of the criminal background check process. The fingerprinting process would cost $37 per person. Officials also pointed out that individuals applying for paid positions undergo background checks. Some school officials say they would not be comfortable making volunteer coaches undergo the same scrutiny.

The Hanover County School Board met last week but has not yet reached a firm decision.

This shows the importance of the background screening process. A thorough background checks can protect against negligent hiring lawsuits and provide a safer work environment for everyone involved. An incorrect hiring can mean lost revenue and a damaging decrease in productivity.

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