What is SafeSport?

Critical information to help keep every program safe: Athletes will perform better, soar higher and get more from the sport if they feel safe. Misconduct threatens that safety, and it can happen in every sport and at every competitive level. This SafeSport online training program teaches you about the nature of misconduct in sport: how to recognize it, how to prevent it and how to take action. The information in this course will help to keep sport a positive experience for every athlete, coach, and volunteer. (Credit:

Report Safe Sport Violations


While anyone is welcome to take the SafeSport online training course, the following are required to take it to remain credentialed.

  • National Team Coaches
  • National Team Assistant Coaches
  • National Team Managers
  • Senior National Coaches
  • Senior International Coaches
  • Parents who want coaching credentials
  • Referees/State Chairs
  • Meet Directors


  • USA Powerlifting Membership
  • Background Screen – every 4 years
  • SafeSport Training – Completion immediately upon certification and then every 4 years of the Olympiad
  • Agreement with the policies in the Safe Sport Handbook

Parents who wish to get more training and information on Misconduct in Sport. Can take the Parent’s Guide to Misconduct in Sport, free of charge at


Certified Officials Background Screen

Background Screen

The Certified Officials Background Screen application process includes: (1) a current USA Powerlifting Membership, (2)completion of USOC SafeSport course, (3) a background screen through VerifiedVolunteers which shall be emailed following completion of the JotForm, and (4) agreement with the policies in the SafeSport Handbook.

Background Screen Provider Verified Volunteers
Screening Criteria See Below
Screen Length 4 Years
Expiration All screens expire four years from the date the screen was passed.
Applicable to All USA Powerlifting certified officials must submit a background check through VerifiedVolunteers.

VerifiedVolunteers provides a comprehensive search with the assurance of the highest quality information available, and they work confidentially with each client. The following are included in the comprehensive search:

  1. Identity verification
  2. National Criminal Database search
  3. OFAC terrorist database search
  4. Sex Offender registry search of all available states
  5. County search of residency within the last five years

Screening Criteria

Convictions for, disclosures of convictions for, and pending dispositions for any of the following crimes, and registrations or sanctions, or disclosures for any listed registrations or sanctions, will prompt a determination that an applicant ‘does not meet’ the criminal background screening criteria:

  1. Any felony including an element of violence or of a sexual nature regardless of the amount of time since the offense, and any non-violent felony within the past five (5) years (felony defined as any crime punishable by confinement greater than one year).
    1. Defined on the basis of exposure to the offense for which the defendant was convicted, pled guilty or pled nolo contendere. If pled down, then the crime to which the defendant ultimately pled.
    2. Defined by all crimes punishable by greater than one year in jail or prison, regardless of how characterized by jurisdiction. If range, alternate sentencing, or indeterminate sentencing, outer range greater than one year.
  2. Any lesser crime involving force or threat of force against a person within the last ten (10) years.
  3. Any lesser crime in which sexual relations is an element, including “victimless” crimes of a sexual nature (including but not limited to pornography, lewd conduct, and indecent exposure) regardless of the time since the offense.
  4. Any lesser crime involving controlled substances (not paraphernalia or alcohol) within the last five (5) years.
  5. Any lesser crime involving cruelty to animals within the last ten (10) years.
  6. Any criminal offense which causes harm to a child regardless of the amount of time since the offense.
  7. Any sex offender registrant.
  8. Any individual that is not in good standing (sanctioned) with the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), any USOC Sport, International Powerlifting or USA Powerlifting (As monitored by USA Powerlifting)


    1. Who is required to take this course? All those that qualify in at least one of the categories listed above. We ask that all involved in the organization in a position of authority: refereeing, coaching national teams, hosting meets, serving as state chairs, etc take this course. It is important to protect the organization and you as a volunteer.
    2. Are we responsible for the background check fee? Who is responsible? No, you’re not responsible for the fee. USA Powerlifting is committed to keeping our athletes safe, this means that we have allotted the resources to cover background checks for ALL meet directors, referees, state chairs, National Team coaches and their managers. Yes, ALL referees (State to International) are required to complete SafeSport and Background Check.
    3. February 15th is short notice, will you extend the deadline? We understand that this may seem very short notice. We also understand that everyone who volunteers has a life outside of USA Powerlifting. The course takes 1.5 to 2 hours to complete but can be paused at any time. If you take 15 minutes a day, in the span of a week, you will be done with the course and the background check takes just a few minutes. We ask that everyone complete this by February 15th before the bulk of our competitions begin.
    4. Which Modules do we need to complete? You will have to complete ALL three modules to complete the requirement for the SafeSport cause.
    5. My employment offers more stringent background checks than Verified Volunteer, do I need to do this? Yes, while we understand that this is a hassle especially when you’ve been cleared with more stringent background checks, we as an organization do not have access to your employment background checks. It is important for USA Powerlifting as an organization to know that the people that are weighing-in athletes, coaching internationally, and helping lifters at meets are people without prior issues. We are doing this to better protect our athletes.
    6. Can others who do not fall under the required list take this course? Of course! Anyone who wants to complete this course may do so. However, only those specified in the aforementioned categories will have their background checks covered by USA Powerlifting. Anyone outside of those categories can do the background check at an out of pocket expense of $50 (correction from the previous email). Note: Personal coaches traveling with athletes to international competitions will need to complete this step to attain coaching credentials. However, they will have to complete the background check and pay that expense out of pocket.
    7. What happens after I submit my certificate via JotForm? After we receive your certificate and information through JotFormwe submit your email to Verified Volunteers. They will contact you directly with information on how to get your background check done. Currently, we are submitting information Tuesdays and Saturdays at 5 pm EST.
    8. I have not received my background check, What should I do? Two things could have happened. Possibly the JotForm did not submit or the Verified Volunteer email went to your promotions/spam folder. Please check these folders for your background check email. If you cannot find the Verified Volunteer email in your folders, send Adriana an email.
    9. When do I need to be re-certified? You only have to take the SafeSport course and complete their background check once every quad.
    10. Jotform will not allow me to submit. What do I do? If JotForm is not allowing submission of your certificate/information. We have removed the size requirement.
    11. I have tried all of these steps and I still cannot get it to work. What do I do? No problem email Adriana Da Costa at and she’ll troubleshoot the issue with you. If you’re having technical problems completing the SafeSport modules email the helpdesk:

Lastly, USA Powerlifting wants to thank everyone who has already completed their SafeSport course or has sent emails in support of this program. We thank you for aiding us in our efforts to continue to make USA Powerlifting a safe environment for all.