YPP Screening for Non-Lead Mentors: A How-To

With the latest discussions about how to better protect our students, I figured I’d make a post showing how to get background checks for all your mentors - not just Lead Mentors 1 and 2. I personally recommend every team require that all their mentors register on firstinspires.org and have a YPP screening on file.

Lead Mentor 1 or 2 can request a YPP screening on the FIRST dashboard. Here’s how:

  1. Log into the dashboard on firstinspires.org.

  2. Click on Contact Options → Manage Contacts

  3. Scroll down to the “Other Contacts” section is. This is where any mentors that you have added as contacts will show up.

  4. Find each mentor you want to request a screening for. Click Options → Request Screening. It will confirm that you want to request screening, select “Send”.

  5. Thats it! The mentor will recieve an email requesting that they initiate a YPP screening through FIRST’s screening partner. The mentor’s contact card will update with “Youth Protection Screening verified” once the screening processes.

To be clear, this is not a replacement for the rest of FIRST’s Youth Protection Program guidelines. This is simply one more layer of defense to protect our students. I highly recommend, if you are not already doing so, to implement the YPP guidelines and procedures on your team.

I hope this helps. I think this a feature that not many know about, and I hope now teams can use it to help keep our students safe.

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Thank you Ryan, this is a practice that my team has already been doing, and it is a great early step that teams should take.

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An excellent suggestion Ryan_Blue. We have been using this in conjunction with local police checks for a few seasons now.
This works well in an organization where there are checks and balances. The real challenge is where the supervision is little to none. That is where predators thrive.
Parents and students do need to perform their own due diligence.

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It’s been a few years, and I had to go through the YPP again as a volunteer, but when I was on a team, all mentors had to do the YPP certification. Has that changed since 2019?

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I don’t think that’s ever been the case, at least not since before 2019. As far as I know, it’s been only lead mentors for a long time. FIRST also has guidance that mentors attending 30% (?) or more of a team’s meetings should complete YPP screening.

It may have been a requirement imposed by your lead mentor.

Here is the YPP FAQ: https://www.firstinspires.org/sites/default/files/uploads/about/ypp-faq.pdf

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I am not sure what the rule is, I am not a lead mentor but I took YPP. Our mentor registration became important before we went to champs in 2019.

It is sometimes hard to delineate between mentor and present parent. The 30% rule seems good though.

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The school where I work draws the line at anyone who comes to volunteer on campus more than once. So for example a one-time guest speaker wouldn’t have to get background checked, but a parent who plans to help out at two or more robotics meetings would. Not a FIRST policy, but I thought it might be helpful insight anyway.

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I am replacing my pithy description of the YPP components with the FTC 11/14 blog on this. It is a lot more informative. There already a CD thread on this. FIRST Youth Protection | FIRST

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After reading a lot of the threads, how is this not REQUIRED for ALL mentors? Yeah it doesn’t catch a lot of stuff, but it’s at least a minimum standard. Yes a lot of organizations already check, but this is just another check/verification.

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I agree that it should happen for all regular mentors. But that’s a very blurry line. I’ve had many adults (parents or otherwise) express interest in mentoring just to disappear a few weeks later. We usually wait a couple months to ensure they’re going to stick around before going through the time and expense (our school has its own background check as well).

Where we draw a very hard line is if the mentor is ever going to be alone with any number of students (including the 10 minutes before and after meetings). They must have gone through the school’s background check and FIRST’s YPP for this.

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