It has become the standard among youth serving organizations to require volunteers working with children to complete a criminal background check. USPC began developing a program for background checks in 2008. As a youth serving organization committed to the safety and security of members and volunteers, USPC must adhere to best practices by requiring a favorably completed background check on record.

In accordance with Policy 0721, Background Checks,  those who must favorably complete a background check include, but are not limited to: Executive Committee, Board of Governors and Advisory Committee members, National Examiners, Chief Horse Management Judges, DCs, JtDCs, RSs, VRSs, CAs, ACAs, RICs, HMOs, Club and Regional Treasurers, Chairs of National Committee, coaches and chaperones of International Exchanges, Center Facility Operators, and volunteers with the National Youth Board . 

One favorably completed USPC background check per volunteer will generally suffice for all duties performed by that volunteer within USPC.  At this time USPC requires this check to be repeated by volunteers on a three-year rotation. Situations with people do change, so repeating the background check periodically will ensure we have current information on our volunteers.


Submit Your Background Check

STATE REQUIREMENTS: Some states have requirements for volunteers that need to be done that are either in addition to the USPC background check or are required in lieu of the USPC background check.  If your state is listed below, please click on the state name and read through the information and take the proper steps to complete your background check requirement as directed.

Pennsylvania            Virgin Islands

 

To submit the Pony Club background check, volunteers will need to click on the Fastrax Application link leading to our private section of the Selection.com website, enter and submit their information to Selection.com.  (Exception: Volunteers in PA)

After reading and signing a release, the volunteer will submit information about him or herself including name, address, and social security number. The volunteer will then be guided to a secure site for payment of the fee for the report.  See FAQ for cost information.

Background checks with incorrectly entered names do not produce any results, thus the background check must be submitted AND PAID FOR AGAIN.  Tips to avoid this error:

  •  Please enter your LEGAL name as printed on your Social Security card.
  • Be certain to enter your LAST and FIRST name in the appropriate boxes
  • If your legal last name is hyphenated, please use a space instead of a hyphen in the last name field.
  • If you have changed your name recently, please contact the Pony Club Compliance Coordinator before submitting your background check. Working with our background check provider, we can recommend the appropriate way to enter your name.
  • If you have a Junior, Senior, or numerals after your last name, please do not enter those in the last name field. Please indicate those along with other names you may be using in the box titled Notes.

Access the Fastrax Application.   (Additional requirements for volunteers in VI)


Frequently Asked Questions

How long will it take to get results from Selection.com? Background checks routinely take several days to complete but may take up to six weeks.

What is the cost for the background check?  The basic report for most volunteers will cost $31, but in certain states (including New York) there may be additional fees for the individual county searches. 

Are there additional fees that might be charged beyond the basic background check fee? Additional fees apply in certain county searches, both for clerk searches and for public access searches. The exceptional court access fees are listed on the link from the USPC website to Fastrax at the bottom of the applicant information page under "Show Court Fees”.  These additional charges typically run in the $10 - $20 range. New York OCA fees are currently $65.

How does the National Office know I have completed this process? Selection.com notifies USPC when volunteers have logged in to our secure site and initiated the process for background checks. Selected staff members have access to view the "red light” or "green light” result.  You can assume your background check was successful, unless you are contacted by USPC or Selection.com.

Is this a one-time background check and fee?  USPC currently requires this check to be repeated by volunteers on a three-year rotation. Situations with people do change, so repeating the background check periodically will ensure we have current information on our volunteers.


Additional Questions

What company performs background checks for Pony Club? After extensive research, USPC chose Selection.com as its background check service. This company was recommended by USPC's legal counsel, and is based in the greater Cincinnati area. USPC selected this company because of the combination of its competitive price, overall responsiveness, commitment to maintaining the privacy of individuals, and ease of use of its website. Selection.com has undertaken to USPC to conduct its operation in accordance with applicable laws, including the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

What risk factors are screened? The background check has essentially two elements: The first is verification the social security number and name of the volunteer match, and the second is a criminal background check raising a red flag for felony convictions and certain misdemeanor convictions within the last seven years, or as far back as allowed by individual state law. In addition, certain open arrest records without resolution will raise a red flag. The records searched include national databases as well as local county court records and sex offender databases. Of course, listing in a sex offender database will raise a red flag. No credit records will be checked at this time, although USPC may in the future implement such checks for certain positions.

How far back in time does the record search go? This depends upon the state law. A standard search will look back 7 years in an individual’s history. However, certain states require there be no limit to the timeline, so in those states, the search will look back into an individual’s entire record. The timeline for the actual report depends on the reporting restrictions in each state.

What are specific criminal risk factors which will result in a red flag? The following is a listing of non-competitive risk factors:

  • Two or more worthless check convictions with the past 5 years
  • Two or more DUI/DWI convictions
  • Two or more misdemeanor marijuana convictions
  • All convictions involving violence, weapons, controlled substance, sexual activity, theft, dishonesty or burglary
  • Three or more misdemeanor convictions
  • Failure to appear in court
  • Contributing to the delinquency of a minor
  • No matching identifiers available/Name Match Only
  • Records with a pending disposition or outstanding warrant
  • All felony convictions for the following crimes:
    • Murder
    • Manslaughter
    • Aggravated Assault
    • Terrorist Threats
    • Sex Related Acts
    • Crimes Against Children
    • Robbery/Armed Robbery
    • Forgery
    • Conspiracy To Commit Arson/Arson
    • Kidnapping
    • Welfare Fraud
    • Falsification (ID) to Law Enforcement
    • Theft
    • Worthless Checks
    • Illegal Manufacture, Sale, Distribution or Trafficking In Controlled Substances
    • Aiding A Prisoners Escape
    • Possession of Concealed Firearm
    • Conspiracy To Commit Any of the Above

What risk factors will still allow me to be competitive as a volunteer for USPC (green light)? The following results of the background check are considered acceptable for volunteering with USPC:

  • No Record Found
  • Dispositions of Not Guilty, Nolle Prosse, Waiver By The Clerk, Adjudication Withheld, Dismissed Or Expunged
  • All traffic violations
  • Maximum of two Misdemeanors convictions in the past 5 years except for crimes involving violence, weapons, controlled substance, sexual activity, theft, dishonesty or burglary
  • Maximum of one DUI/DWI conviction
  • Maximum of one misdemeanor marijuana conviction
  • Maximum of one worthless check conviction

Why does the release refer to a credit check? All background checks are classified as Consumer Reports for purposes of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, which governs all credit/background/employment/etc. checks. That is why the release references both Consumer Reports and the Fair Credit Reporting Act. At our request, Selection.com deleted any reference to credit checks from the items specifically listed in the release that USPC might check. We are not now doing credit checks, but reserve our ability to institute credit checks in the future for certain positions involving handling funds.

To make absolutely clear we are not now doing credit checks, we asked Selection.com to insert an additional statement to that effect. The following is the language used in the release: "In conjunction with my intention to act as a volunteer for you, I understand that you intend to use Selection.com to obtain Consumer Reports and / or Investigative Consumer Reports (hereinafter called "Reports”) about me as defined in the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). These "Reports” do NOT include my Credit Report but may include information concerning my motor vehicle record, civil litigation history and/or criminal record.”

Who will see the results? Selection.com will provide USPC with results solely by means of a "green light” (all reports clear) or a "red light” (some risk factor detected). Any volunteer whose result is a "red light” will receive an adverse action letter from Selection.com. If the volunteer wishes to dispute any results, they must contact Selection.com directly regarding this process.

Staff members at USPC will only see the "green light” or "red light” and will not be involved in resolution of disputes.

Can I get a copy of my background check? This may be requested in writing, email or Fax, (please include picture ID) directly from Selection.com. If you live in CA, MN, or OK, there is a box to select this option under "Applicant Notices”. Others may request their results in writing, (Selection.com; 155 Tri-County Pkwy, Suite 150 Cincinnati, OH 45246) email or Fax (513-728-4420) from Customer Service Representative LeeAnn Bick at Selection.com. This report may or may not be suitable for use by other organizations, as each organization selects their own criteria or factors to screen.

Why do the volunteers have to pay for the background check themselves? In order to keep membership rates as low as possible, the Board opted to have the volunteer leader pay the fee for background checks. This is the model most in use by many youth recreation league sports. If you want to coach, referee, or otherwise volunteer, then you pay a fee to do the background check.

Can I deduct the cost of the background check on my tax return? Yes, this expense would qualify as a legitimate expense of volunteering for a charitable organization, and may be deducted if you file Schedule A of the IRS 1040 return.

Can I pay for the background check another way? Yes, if you are opposed to the online credit card payment method, it is possible to request a copy of the Selection.com volunteer release form from our office, which you may fax, mail, or submit by encrypted email to Selection.com. They will enter your information and you may then call them with your credit card payment. Because of the volume of background checks performed on our volunteer leaders, we ask you to please submit information and payment online whenever possible.

Why don't we use one of those free background check companies? While there may be companies that are 'free' or cheaper to use, we want the one with the most reliability and in use by other similar type organizations.  We also did not want to levy the costs of our background checks to our members (which is a procedure some organizations use). Every bit of your fee goes to the costs of the background check by the company.

If I have had a background check for a job or other organization, can USPC just use that one? No. The reason we have to do the USPC background check in addition to any other checks you may go through for other professional or volunteer positions is because USPC has a standardized program that applies to volunteers. USPC does not have access to background checks provided by other services, and for the privacy of our volunteers, does not wish to have any personal information submitted to our office by volunteers. Thus, the need to use a consistent service which houses the results securely outside of our office.

What if I do not agree to the background check? Regretfully, this will mean you will no longer be allowed to participate as a USPC volunteer.

Can I appeal the result of my background check if I come back as a "red light?" Yes. Policy 0721, Background Checks discusses the background check appeal process.  Certain results do not qualify for appeal.  To initiate an appeal, please contact the Compliance Coordinator.