Employees and volunteers that direct, supervise, or coach a student activity program that involves athletics, routine or regular physical activity, or activities with health and safety considerations must obtain a pupil activity permit. The Ohio Department of Education issued a recent reminder to begin the process for the application of pupil activity permits for coaches. The application process is completed online through ODE’s website.
Coaches must complete the hiring process at their school district before applying for permits, and they will need to complete all training before ODE will issue the permit. There are four categories of training:
- Fundamentals of Coaching
- Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)
- First Aid for Coaches
- Concussions and Treatment
Details on approved training courses and what entity is responsible for verifying each component of training has been completed can be found here.
All applicants for a pupil activity permit must have an Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) criminal background check at the time they apply. The background checks must be no older than one year at the time of application.
The expiration dates of required coaches’ trainings vary, so ODE encourages coaches to keep a record of the expiration dates for their training sessions. Coaches must re-take trainings that have expired before renewing their permits.
Ohio law requires that FBI background checks be updated every five years for individuals holding pupil activity permits. This requirement does not align with the 3-year renewal cycle for permits, so coaches need to make certain they are in compliance and ODE has an updated background check on record.
Individuals that have lived in Ohio continuously since the date of their BCI background check do not need to update the BCI background check, but if there is a period of residency outside Ohio, they must submit an updated BCI check to ODE.
ODE's FAQ page on background checks indicates “It is the responsibility of educators holding ODE licenses, certificates or permits, as well as their employers, to ensure that the law is followed with regard to obtaining required updated background checks within the five year timeframe prescribed by law, even if the expiration of a background check does not always coincide with the expiration of the license.” Individuals and their employers can check the date of the last background check provided to ODE on the ODE Educator Profile, under the BCI/FBI tab.