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Volunteer Screening Policy


1. The following terms have these meanings in this Policy: 

  • a)    “Police Vulnerable Sector Check (PVSC)” – For individuals who are volunteering in a vulnerable sector (such as with minor athletes), a PVSC searches for the existence of a criminal record, outstanding charges, various charges and convictions, and any pardoned sex offences.
  • b)    “Personnel” - Byron Optimist Soccer Club personnel include members and volunteers whose position with Byron Optimist Soccer Club is one of trust or authority. Byron Optimist Soccer Club personnel are required to obtain a PVSC. Personnel includes, but are not limited to, team officials, coaches, managers, convenors, Byron Optimist Soccer Club Board of Directors, and staff.


2. To ensure a mutually beneficial experience for volunteers, Personnel, and participants, all potential volunteers will be screened before they can be accepted and placed within the organization. Ongoing screening through supervision, evaluation, and feedback ensures high standards in Byron Optimist Soccer Club operations. Specific screening procedures, including implementation procedures for recurring volunteers, will be dependent on the individual’s role.

3. Like a growing number of sports organizations, Byron Optimist Soccer Club requires some Personnel who interact with athletes, or who are placed in a position of trust or authority, to obtain a PVSC.

Application of this Policy: 

4. This Policy applies to all Personnel.

5. Not all positions pose a risk of harm to Byron Optimist Soccer Club or its participants and therefore Personnel will be screened with different screening tools as determined by Byron Optimist Soccer Club.

Screening Categories:

6. As part of its screening process, Byron Optimist Soccer Club will require Personnel who work closely with athletes and who occupy positions of trust and authority within Byron Optimist Soccer Club, to be screened via screening tools:

  • a)    Team Officials
  • b)    Coaches
  • c)    Managers
  • d)    Trainers
  • e)    Members of Byron Soccer’s Board of Directors
  • f)    Employees

7. Personnel in the following categories will be required to obtain a PVSC and complete a Screening Disclosure Form (Appendix B):

  • a)    Team Officials
  • b)    Coaches
  • c)    Managers
  • d)    Members of Byron Soccer’s Board of Directors


8. It is Byron Optimist Soccer Club’s policy that: 

  • a)    All Team Officials must have a PVSC on file that has a certification date within the last two years.
  • b)    When Personnel are required to be screened using a PVSC and the Screening Disclosure Form, there will be no exceptions.
  • c)    Failure to participate in the screening process as outlined in this policy will result in the individual being ineligible to participate in sanctioned Byron Optimist Soccer Club events.
  • d)    Byron Optimist Soccer Club will not knowingly permit an individual who has a conviction for a ‘relevant offence,' as defined in this policy, to have a role with Byron Optimist Soccer Club.
  • e)    However, where the Screening Committee is of the opinion that, notwithstanding a conviction for a relevant offence, a person can occupy a position without adversely affecting the safety of Byron Optimist Soccer Club, an athlete, or member of Byron Optimist Soccer Club, the Screening Committee may approve an individual’s placement in a specific role.
  • f)    If a person subsequently receives a conviction for or is found guilty of, a relevant office, he or she will report this circumstance immediately to Byron Optimist Soccer Club.
  • g)    If a person provides falsified or misleading information, that person will immediately be removed from his or her position and may be subject to further discipline in accordance with Byron Optimist Soccer Club's Discipline and Complaints Policy.

Screening Committee: 

9. The implementation of this policy is the responsibility of Byron Optimist Soccer Club’s Screening Committee. The Screening Committee consists of three (3) to five (5) members appointed by, and at the sole discretion of, Byron Optimist Soccer Club Board of Directors. The Board of Directors will ensure that the members appointed to the Screening Committee possess the requisite skills, knowledge, and abilities to accurately assess PVSCs and Screening Disclosure Forms and render decisions under this policy. The quorum for the Screening Committee will be three (3) members.

10. The Board of Directors may, at its sole discretion, remove any member of the Screening Committee. When a position on the Screening Committee becomes vacant, either because a member has been removed or because a member has resigned, the Board of Directors, at its sole discretion, will appoint a replacement member.

11. The Screening Committee will carry out its duties in accordance with the terms of this Policy, independent of the Board of Directors.

12. The Screening Committee is responsible for determining the screening process that shall be applied to Personnel. The screening process may use any of the following screening tools singularly or in combination:

  • a)    Application forms
  • b)    Interviews
  • c)    Reference checks
  • d)    Submission of a PVSCs and/or Screening Disclosure Form

13. The Screening Committee is responsible for receiving and reviewing all PVSCs and Screening Disclosure Forms and, based on such reviews, shall make decisions regarding the appropriateness of individuals filling positions within Byron Optimist Soccer Club. In carrying out its duties, the Screening Committee may consult with independent experts including lawyers, police officers, risk management consultants, volunteer screening specialists, or any other person.

How to Obtain a Police Vulnerable Sector Check (PVSC):

14. PVSCs must be obtained every three years, and proof of the PVSC must be submitted to Byron Optimist Soccer Club by March 1st (for Competitive coaches) and prior to interacting with young athletes (or other Personnel). 

15. Personnel may obtain a PVSC by visiting the police station, submitting two pieces of government-issued identification (one of which must have a photo) and completed paperwork. The following link provides additional information: http://police.london.ca/d.aspx?s=/Services/Background_Checks/default.htm 

16. The PVSC fee for volunteers is determined by each region’s police force.

17. Personnel must submit the proof of the completed PVSC to Byron Optimist Soccer Club in any of the following ways:

a)    Scan and email to compliance@byronsoccer.ca


18. Personnel who do not submit a PVSC or a Screening Disclosure Form will receive a notice that they are ineligible for participation in Byron Optimist Soccer Club sanctioned events, and they may not interact with minor athlete members of Byron Optimist Soccer Club until the individual’s PVSC and Screening Disclosure Form are verified by the Byron Optimist Soccer Club office.

19. The Screening Committee will receive and review all PVSCs and Screening Disclosure Forms and determine whether any PVSC or Screening Disclosure Form reveals a relevant offence.

20. After reviewing an individual’s PVSC and Screening Disclosure Form, the Screening Committee, by majority vote, will:

  • a)    Approve an individual’s participation; or
  • b)    Deny an individual’s participation; or
  • c)    Approve an individual’s participation subject to terms and conditions as the Screening Committee deems appropriate.

21. If an individual’s PVSC and Screening Disclosure Form do not reveal a relevant offence, the Screening

Committee will advise the Board of Directors that the individual is eligible for participation in a specific position. After providing notice, the Screening Committee will destroy the original PVSC.

22. If an individual’s PVSC or Screening Disclosure Form reveals a relevant offense, the Screening Committee will render its decision and provide notice of its decision to the Board of Directors and the individual. After providing notice, the Screening Committee will return or destroy the original PVSC.

23. The decisions of the Screening Committee are final and binding and will be effective upon notice being communicated to the individual.

24. PVSC are valid for a period of three years, but a Screening Disclosure Form must be completed and submitted by Personnel on an annual basis. However, the Screening Committee may request that an individual provides a PVSC to the Screening Committee at any time. Such request will be in writing and will provide the reasons for such a request. 

Relevant Offences: 

25. For the purposes of this Policy, a ‘relevant offence’ is any of the following: 

a) If imposed in the last five years: 

     i. Any offence involving the use of a motor vehicle, including but not limited to impaired driving

     ii. Any violation for trafficking and/or possession of drugs and/or narcotics

     iii. Any offence involving conduct against public morals

b) If imposed in the last ten years:

     i. Any crime of violence including, but not limited to, all forms of assault

     ii. Any offence involving a minor

c) If imposed at any time:

     i. Any offence involving the possession, distribution, or sale of any child-related pornography

     ii. Any sexual offence involving a minor

     iii. Any offence involving theft or fraud


26. Byron Optimist Soccer Club will retain verification of PVSCs for three (3) years and Screening Disclosure Forms for one year. Byron Optimist Soccer Club may also retain written records of communication with individuals whose PVSC or Screening Disclosure Form indicated a relevant offense, as well as copies of its decisions and written reasons for decisions. All records will be maintained in a confidential manner and will not be disclosed to others except as required by law, or for use in legal, quasi-legal, or disciplinary proceedings.

Application Form: 

27. Personnel may be required to submit an application form (Appendix A) as determined by Byron Optimist Soccer Club.

Reference Checks: 

28. Personnel may be required to submit personal and/or professional references. When required, Personnel will be asked to consent to give the organization permission to contact the provided references.

29. When the Screening Committee decides to use reference checks as part of the screening process, the following questions may be asked: 

  • a)    How long have you known (name of applicant)?
  • b)    What is your relationship to (name of applicant)?
  • c)    It is important that our volunteers are reliable. Tell me about your experiences with (name of applicant) in regard to reliability.
  • d)    What are (name of applicant’s) strengths and weaknesses in regard to working with (indicate specific participant group: age, gender, playing level etc.)
  • e)    How would you feel about having (name of applicant) work on a one-to-one basis with your child?
  • f)    It is important to us that our volunteers are comfortable with being supervised and also are able to work independently with little or no supervision. What is your experience with (name of applicant’s) ability to accept being supervised and evaluated or working independently?
  • g)    This volunteer position requires handling many tasks at once and can be stressful at times. How does (name of applicant) deal with stressful situations?
  • h)    Is there anything else you would like to tell me about (name of applicant)?
  • i)    Is there any reason you know of why (name of applicant) would not be able to perform the duties necessary for this volunteer position?
  • j)    Would you ever consider re-appointing (name of an applicant)?

30. The references will also be provided with a contact number or email address at which they may contact the Screening Committee.


31. Personnel may be interviewed to determine suitability and interest for the position. Interviews will be conducted by a designated person or persons and may be conducted by the Screening Committee or by other Personnel.

32. Questions asked during the interview process may include:

  • a)    What kind of experience (sports, coaching, and communication) do you bring to Byron Optimist Soccer Club? Feel free to include your involvement with children and with volunteer work.
  • b)    How do you handle conflicts among the players on the team?
  • c)    If you have an issue (personal or soccer related) with a child on the team, how do you approach the situation and at what point do you get the parents involved? If this has come up in your previous coaching positions, what the problem was and what actions did you take to address the problem?
  • d)    What actions, if any, do you take if a player on your team is bullying another teammate?
  • e)    Do you involve parents in team decision-making? If so, how are they involved?