Note: This page is about the steps necessary to register a program to be offered by Northern Michigan University. This is not a page for parents to register their child to participate in a program. Parents can see a listing of all current youth programs on the Registered Programs page.
When preparing to offer a program that will include children/teens/minors, the program administrators must:
Review the Minors on Campus Policy and Guidelines, and agree to adhere to all aspects of this policy and supporting guidelines; both are available on this website and are printed together in the Administrator Handbook.
Complete the initial registration form to register the program. The Initial Registration Form describes basic information about your program and automatically enters some of the fields to a public-facing program registration page. Families who are searching for NMU youth programs will be able to see this information, including the date of the program and link to a website if applicable for more information. The status is initially shown as "Pending." To access this form, look for the tabs on the left side of this page. Expand the one that says Program Registration and click on the one that says Registration Form. Fill the on-line form out and press the submit button on the bottom. When you do that, some behind-the-scenes I.T. processes happen and you get an email inviting you to finish the registration process by clicking a link to open up the (now-expanded) form again. When you are ready, enter the legal name and email addresses of the staff and volunteers. To complete the form, you attest that you are aware of and will follow all the policy requirements. Note that what you type in the form is saved and you can use the email to find your program's form and go back in as many times as you need to finish the registration process. Steps 3-11 below provide more details to this quick summary.
If the program is coordinated through a PK-12 school, contact the school's administrator in charge. If the school already has a program to background screen the teachers, coaches, staff, and/or volunteers attending the program, send the "PK-12 Attestation for School Administrators" form for review and signature; this form is available on the "Forms and Templates" tab of this website. Put your name and email address on the bottom of the form so it can be returned to you. When you have receive the signed attestation, attach it to the registration, and the PK-12 registration is complete. Note that if the school does not background check and/or conduct a volunteer training program, NMU can work with the school to conduct background screening at no cost to them, as well as provide additional forms for them to use. Contact Risk Management with questions.
For all other programs (not coordinated through a PK-12 school) the NMU Police department will use the email addresses you enter in the registration form to contact your staff and volunteers. They will ask for address information and some other identifying information. The policy and guidelines in the handbook detail all criteria for background checks. The Background check webpage covers this as well. Background checks are required for all faculty, staff, and administrators. Certain volunteers will have to be background-checked as well.
Submit all potential drivers to the NMU Police Department for a driving history check and use only those drivers with acceptable results. The background section of the registration page has a checkbox for the program administrator to indicate if the staff or volunteer will be driving minors. The NMU Police Department will check each potential driver based on the driver's license number. The police department knows to ask for the driver's license number because you have checked the box in the registration form.
Prepare and/or deliver the Program Staff Minors on Campus Code of Conduct to all applicable persons working / volunteering in your program.
Use NMU approved handbooks, forms, and handouts as needed.
Review all reporting obligations. It is critical that you are prepared to go over these with your staff/volunteers.
Train or prepare orientation training for all faculty, staff, students, volunteers, and applicable third parties according to the policy. Both the guidelines and the webpage detail the requirements, including the reporting obligations.
Make a file to retain records of program administration, including all participant records, authorized adult records, training evidence, program evaluation forms, accident reports, and any other program records for a period of three years. Note that upon completion of the program, you may send the records to the Records Management department for three years of storage and automatic destruction after the retention period.
Attest that these steps are complete and/or will be completed when the staff and participants are on campus. You attest by clicking the attestation boxes at the end of the registration form. Alternately, you could send a paper form called the Program Administrator Attestation & Final Registration to Risk Management. Risk Management will review the whole registration page and any forms before they change the registration status from "Pending" to "Complete." The program may be marked complete before all the background checks are done; NMU Police will contact the program administrator when their work is complete. They will also contact Risk Management if there is any problem with the background checks.
Some of the steps are about delivering information. Do I have to take steps to collect the signed forms? Of course. You deliver the Program Participant Code of Conduct to every staff and volunteer. You must collect these after the staff and volunteers have signed them. Prepare to have extra copies on the first day of the program so that you have signed copies from each staff member and volunteer. In the same way, you must have participant paperwork signed by the parent of each participant.
What if this is a program in conjunction with a PK-12 school? Do I still have to get a background check on all the adults? Beginning in the Spring of 2019, the procedure was modified so that a high level administrator (typically Principal or Vice Principal) could sign an attestation that the school has its own process to background screen the adults who will be attending the event. Schools administrators can sign the "PK-12 Attestation for School Administrators" form, available on the Forms and Templates tab of the Minors on Campus website. In addition, PK-12 schools will be able to work with the NMU Police Department to background screen participants who have not been vetted through the PK-12 school program.
What if I have participants who are NOT in charge of supervising children? This is a common question. We sometimes have, for instance, performers on a stage, judges for competitions, or presenters who demonstrate a process or craft who are never left alone with the children. If the children are supervised by your teachers, staff, and/or volunteers who are vetted through this policy, you may, but do not have to, background check the non-supervising participants. It would be best practice, though, to tell these non-supervising participants our expectations. Specifically, post a copy of, and inform them about our "Code of Conduct" expectations and our "Reporting Suspected Abuse or Misconduct" form.
What should I tell my staff and volunteers about the background checks? Tell all staff and volunteers that the NMU Police Department will send them an e-mail asking for information such as their legal name and where they have lived. At the same time, they will receive a link to our NMU policy and guidelines for their review. If you have indicated that they will drive during the program, they will be asked for a driver's license number as well. The NMU PD will use the information to do an annual background check. Only the NMU PD will see the results. If there are details that require clarification, the staff or volunteer will be contacted by NMU PD. The program administrator will never know the details of the background or driving check; he or she will only be notified if any potential staff or volunteer is not eligible to work with youth under NMU's policy. Note that ineligibility to work at a youth program or to drive may not mean that anything is "bad." It may simply mean that NMU PD was not able to locate information in time for the event or that the staff or volunteer was outside the policy guidelines for some other reason (such as being too young under our policy to drive minors). If there is exclusionary information that is identified on the background check, the potential staff member or volunteer will be contacted and given an opportunity to either explain, or to show how the information is for someone else with a similar name. This process of giving time for review and explanation is called an "Adverse Action" procedure and is regulated by law.
How will I know if all staff and volunteers "pass" the background check? NMU Police Department will contact the Program Administrator. Risk Management will be contacted as well if any volunteers or staff members are not eligible to work at the youth program.
How will I know if the staff or volunteers have been cleared to drive during the program? NMU Police Department will contact the program administrator.
What if I use RegOnline? Do I still have to use the required forms? Yes. Either the actual form or the text of the required forms should be copied into the RegOnline system. Do not modify or append the text that has been approved by legal counsel except to add the program name or a department name.
When do I train the program staff and volunteers? The program administrator chooses when to conduct training. For short programs, training may be on the day of the program. Collecting the staff and volunteer code of conduct before the program begins will expedite the training process. Longer training, such as concussion and first aid training for sport camps, will take longer and should be schedule in advance of the program start date.
What if my staff have worked for me before? Do I still need to submit them for a background check? Enter the names of all persons who will work or volunteer on the background check form. NMU Police Department has a database of all background checks performed and will mark those who have passed within the prior twelve months as passing (as long as no new information has become available to the NMU PD). Each background check form must include the name of every staff or volunteer for that program. The program administrator must not exclude or skip any volunteer or staff member from the background check form for any reason.
What if I do not know the staff or volunteers by sight? It is best practice to check the government issued picture identification of any program staff or volunteer who you do not know before they work with children. This is to ensure that the information submitted for a background check matches the person who arrives to work at the registered program. It is also best practice to have name badges or tags prepared for all staff and volunteers working the program to help ensure that extra or unverified persons do not join the program.
Who do I contact if I have questions? NMU's Risk Management department at extension 2745 will be able to help with questions.