Protecting our youth is top priority. Rotary District 5340 strives to create and maintain a safe environment for all youth who participate in Rotary activities. To the best of their ability, Rotary members, their spouses and partners, and other volunteers must safeguard the children and young people they come into contact with, and protect them from physical, sexual, and emotional abuse and harassment. Below are some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about youth protection and our Youth Certification process.

Who is protected by these youth policies?

These policies were specifically crafted to protect individual participants in Rotary youth programs. These individuals include, but are not limited to, participants in Youth Exchange, RYLA, LEAD, Rotaract, Interact, MusiCamp™ and Model UN. Participants in these programs include minors under the age of 18, as well as young adults (18-30).

Who should become Youth Certified?

All Rotarians working with youth in Club or District programs should become Youth Certified. Clubs should also consider incorporating the Youth Certification program as part of their new member requirements.

How long is my Youth Certification valid for?

All Youth Certifications will be valid through June 30, 2019. 

Are there youth programs that require annual certification?

Yes, certain programs such as Youth Exchange, RYLA, LEAD, MusiCamp™ and other programs where volunteers have higher levels of personal interaction with youth require annual re-certification. This annual requirement applies to all volunteers, counselors, and host families who have direct, unsupervised contact with program participants. 

We are hosting a Youth Exchange student. Will my spouse need to apply for Youth Certification?

Yes, the Youth Protection Policy applies to all hosts, volunteers, and participants in Rotary youth programs, regardless of whether they are an active member of Rotary. For instance, individuals in a household that is hosting a Youth Exchange student will need to go through Youth Certification.

Who handles the background check?

Rotary District 5340 uses Intellicorp, a trusted third-party verification service that works with Rotary clubs and districts across North America. As part of the check, Intellicorp will verify the applicant's Social Security Number and perform a search against a number of regional and national databases, including criminal, sex offender, corrections, and terrorist watch list (commonly referred to as the "No Fly" list). 

What is the cost to perform the background check?

Cost for the background check is $12.95 plus any county fees charged. While most applicants will see county fees less than $8.00, they can be higher depending on what each county charges to pull court records. Payment is handled directly with Intellicorp, who provides secure processing via credit card. 

What happens if I witness an incident of abuse, harassment, or human trafficking?

The steps spelled out in the Youth Protection Policy include protecting the potential victim and notifying law enforcement by calling 9-1-1. The allegation should be reported in the jurisdiction where the alleged abuse took place, NOT the location where the student may be at the time of reporting to an adult. You can also report alleged child abuse to the California Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-344-6000. There are additional reporting requirements; always consult your club's Youth Protection Officer or the Youth Protection Policy for specific up-to-date guidance.

How should I handle incidents where harm may not be imminent?

In most situations where additional harm is not imminent, you should notify the chair of the Rotary youth program where the incident is alleged to have occurred, and who is responsible for seeking advice from and interacting with appropriate agencies. If the allegation involves the conduct of that Rotary member, the District Governor or the District Youth Protection Officer should be the first Rotary contact. You can email the District Youth Protection Officer at

Are Rotaract members subject to this Youth Certification policy?

Rotaract members are in a unique position, since most are over 18 years of age while also participating in a program covered under the Youth Protection Policy. Rotaract members that come into contact with other youths, including Interact and student programs, should become Youth Certified. In addition, Rotary members that regularly interface with Rotaract members, such as Rotaract chairs or club liaisons, must be Youth Certified. 

A high school student wants to come to our club meeting. Do all of our club members need to be Youth Certified?

No, occasional contact with a minor or young adult, especially in an open and public setting, would not require every attendee to be Youth Certified. At a very minimum, one person present should be Youth Certified.

Will I receive training on youth protection and Youth Certification?

Yes, in-person training is conducted every year at the District Training Assembly, which usually takes place in March or April of each year. Club Youth Protection Officers are excellent resources for training and information within the club. In addition, District 5340 will provide additional in-person and web-based training on youth protection policies. Contact your club's Youth Protection Officer for more details.