McGill University, in Montreal, Canada is reviewing its hiring procedures for children’s sports camps. According to the Montreal Gazette and CBC News, a former McGill football player who has been charged with sexual assault was working as a counselor at a sports camp at the school.
Two years ago, former football player Ian Sheriff was arraigned on charges of sexual assault, along with two others. According to the Gazette, the case is still pending, as the preliminary hearing will continue in November. This year, Sheriff was hired as a counselor at the camp, making it his third time working for McGill’s sports camp. Both the Gazette and CBC News report he is no longer working at the camp.
Background checks for counselors are routine for many camps. CBC News reported the Quebec Association of Camps requires camp counselors to undergo background screening, and says any sexual assault charges would appear during the search.
Although McGill’s camp is not part of the Quebec association, the school says it has a background screening policy when it hires camp staff. The Gazette questioned the school’s background check policy, “McGill says it does background checks before hiring new staff, but university officials weren’t offering clear answers to questions on Thursday. Does that mean Sheriff wasn’t screened this year because he was returning staff?”
School officials have released statements saying that the situation will be further investigated and background policies will be reviewed.
It is a shame that it takes bad press (or even worse, someone being harmed) to initiate a review of background screening policies. A better process is to regularly review your organization’s background policies, so that you can make changes to ensure that the program you have in place works to suit your needs. Corporate Screening’s knowledgeable representatives can help by providing professional expertise when reviewing and updating your background screening policies.