As an entity that engages in youth golf programs and whose members include adults who are in contact with minors, the PGA of America is subject to certain requirements under the Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse and Safe Sport Authorization Act of 2017 (the “Act”), enacted by the U.S. Congress. This Act has the potential to affect not only national governing bodies, but also camps, public and private schools, collegiate sports, country clubs, community organizations and sport facilities. As PGA Members and facilities consider the impact the Act may or may not have on their own youth programs, the PGA of America is providing an informative update regarding the Act and the PGA of America’s compliance efforts.
The Act, created in reaction to the abuse found at various youth sports organizations, provides for a new standard of care that affects youth-serving organizations nationwide through its creation of requirements for:
- background checks;
- adoption of mandatory reporting policies and prevention policies that provide reasonable procedures that limit one-on-one interactions between an adult and participating youth without being in an observable and interruptible distance from another adult; and
- implementation of prevention training.
Additional information about the Act can be found at https://website.praesidiuminc.com/wp/wp/everything-need-know-safe-sport-act/.
To comply with these requirements, the PGA will introduce a company-wide online abuse prevention course which must be completed prior to working with any youth in a National PGA Youth Program. Each PGA Professional who successfully completes the course and an assessment at the conclusion will earn 2 PGA Required MSR credits. In addition, members will also receive a certificate of completion. Recertification will be required every two years. The education component is expected to initially roll out in November, as part of Captain registration for PGA Jr. League.
Further implementation of the education component into other National PGA Youth Programs, such as PGA Junior Camps and National Junior Championships, will begin in 2019 and will be further communicated as applicable.
Additionally, as part of its compliance efforts associated with the Act, the PGA of America has updated its reporting requirements and prevention policies, effective immediately. Communication of the applicability of the PGA of America’s new reporting requirements and the PGA of America’s new prevention policies will be made to PGA members and participants on a program-by-program basis.
Any National PGA Youth Program Captain, Coach, Volunteer or Parent who has reason to suspect an incident of child abuse - sex abuse, physical or mental injury and negligent treatment - are required, as soon as possible (within a 24-hour period), to report such incident to the appropriate law enforcement agencies, as determined by state or federal law. Reasonable, moderate and non-cruel discipline administered by a parent or legal guardian to their child does not have to be reported. Failing to make a required report may subject one to criminal penalties. A person will not be held liable if they make a report in good faith, including in situations where the reported incident is determined not to be child abuse.
States also have laws related to mandatory reporting of child abuse and neglect. It is imperative that individuals engaging in youth sport activities understand the impact of the Act, as well as the respective state-specific obligations applicable to their participation.
Where to Report
- Appropriate law enforcement authorities
- PGA (via one of the two methods outlined below)
How to Report
- Submit a PGA-provided form to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Call the PGA Youth Safety Helpline (844) 742-7233 / (844) PGASAFE
- Contact your local Law Enforcement (Note: submitting a report to the PGA under one of the methods outlined above does not relieve one from the obligation to report the incident to appropriate law enforcement authorities.)
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