Police certificate for sports clubs
Sports clubs should be a safe space for young people. It's essential that workers responsible for children are able to provide an up-to-date police certificate. This also applies to those who work with disabled people.
Below, we have collected some common questions that we get from sports teams in connection with obtaining police certificates, and their answers:
What is a police certificate?
There are different types of police certificate, according to what role or type of responsibilities the worker has, which requires a check. Based on the position, police will check relevant registries to verify if the person is a registered offender, if for example they have been convicted of a crime. Such crimes would then be written up in the certificate. In youth sports, the relevant certificate is a so-called childcare certificate (barneomsorgsattest). In this case, police will check for sexual crimes, violent crimes, and drug-related crimes.
Who needs to present a police certificate?
Everyone in a relationship of trust or responsibility toward minors and disabled people in sports, need to be able to present an up-to-date police certificate. This applies to everyone from 16 years of age regardless of whether they are paid, or unpaid volunteers.
Typical examples of this may be coaches, team leaders and instructors. It can also apply to other roles, in which case the sports team will need to make an assessment of each individual case. Either way, it's always best to be on the safe side and ask for police certificates from all workers involved in any activities. Anyone in direct contact with minors and disabled people need the certificate regardless.
As a rule of thumb, if you're in doubt, you should have a police certificate.
Can anyone ask for a general police certificate at any time?
No. Norwegian police can only issue certificates for positions or situations authorized by law. This means that you cannot just ask for a certificate to see if you have any notations. In addition, it is the responsibility of the sports team, i.e. employer or client, to confirm that the certificate is needed by including a letter of intent.
What is a letter of intent?
When applying for a police certificate, the club is required to include a letter of intent for the police that shows what type of role the candidate will have and why they need a certificate, i.e. the purpose of the certificate. Based on the given intent, police will only look at the relevant registers to see if the candidate appears with notations that may be included in the certificate. It is the responsibility of the sports club to issue the letter of intent.
For how long is the police certificate valid?
For new employees, police certificate needs to be presented within 3 months after being issued by police.
If you continue in the same role over several years, the certificate will retain its validity as long as you do not change position or attain new responsibilities.
Why is the police certificate necessary?
Everyone with responsibility for children and minors in sports is required to have no remarks in their police certificate pertaining to serious sexual, violent or drug-related crimes. This is to prevent violence and abuse in sports and to create a safe environment for minors.
Is abuse in sports really that big of a problem?
Overall, at least 7 cases of abuse against children are reported every day in Norway. The newspaper VG has revealed that there have been convictions for sexual abuse against over 200 children and young people in sports between 2005 and 2020. The numbers could be even higher as there could be many cases that are not reported. At any rate, sports clubs should be a safe environment for children, and one case of abuse is one too many. It is all our responsibility to prevent this problem.
Who in the sports club should see the police certificate?
All clubs and sports teams should have a designated person to be responsible for police certificates as well as a substitute. They should be appointed by the executive board of the club which at all times should know who the responsible person is.
What should the person responsible for police certificates do?
This person should make sure that everyone in the club with responsibility for children and minors (and disabled people) has presented an up-to-date police certificate. They should also keep an archive and overview that documents the work.
This is sensitive information - how should it best be handled?
This is protected by confidentiality. Only the person with responsibility for the police certificates and potentially their substitute should handle the information and content that comes to light in the acquisition of a police certificate.
Can coaches and volunteers perform their roles if they do not provide a police certificate?
No. And there is no room for exceptions from this rule. The basis for presenting a police certificate is to create a safe environment for minors and an important part of preventing abuse is for everyone involved to have a clean record.
Do coaches and volunteers under the age of 18 need to provide police certificate?
Yes, the requirement is for everyone over 15 years old. However, as long as they are under 18, they will need a signature from a legal guardian on their letter of intent.
What does the police certificate include?
When police is asked to issue a police certificate for sports clubs (barneomsorgsattest), they will specifically go into their systems and verify the relevant areas for this type of certificate.
How do I see the status of my police certificate?
After submitting your application for a police certificate, you will see it being in process on the police's webpages. Once it's ready, its status will change to processed, and it will be sent either via regular mail or to your digital mailbox. You can log in to check status here: attest.politiet.no
Where is my certificate sent?
It will be sent to your digital mailbox (Digipost or e-Boks) or if you do not have this, it will be sent to your registered address via normal mail. If it is sent to your digital mailbox, you will receive a downloadable PDF.
It is strongly recommended that everyone create a digital mailbox. This will ensure you receive the certificate faster, and it will be stored there if ever you need it at a later date. It is free of charge to create and maintain a digital mailbox, and it is quite convenient for receiving information that is too sensitive for normal email.