Carnegie Mellon University

Registering a Program or Activity Involving Minors

As per the Policy on the Protection of Children in Carnegie Mellon Programs, Activities, and Facilities, programs, activities, events, research, and academic courses involving integral interactions minors must register each academic year with Child Protection Operations within the Office of Human Resources by following the procedure below. Please note:

  • Registration for programs, activities and events involving minor interactions should be completed at least 45 days before beginning interactions with minors, although earlier submission is encouraged. 
  • Programs are expected to comply with the university's Visitor Protocol regarding current COVID-19 requirements.

Program Registration Procedure

Program registrations will not be processed by Child Protection Operations until these steps have been completed. Failure to submit the Responsible Party Form and program roster will cause delay in the process, including the facilitation of the required Child Protection Clearances.

  • Programs involving minors must designate a Responsible Party, who will serve as the program administrator or individual who has direct responsibility for the management or administration of the program.
  • The Office of Human Resources also strongly recommends the designation of a Backup Responsible Party to serve in the event the primary Responsible Party is unable to do so.
  • Both the Responsible Party and the Backup Responsible Party must adhere to the Guidance for Responsible Parties [pdf].
  • Student organizations interested in hosting a program involving minors are required to designate a faculty or staff advisor for their program. 
  • Complete and submit the intake form.
  • Once the intake form is submitted, any changes to program operations (e.g., date, location, addition or change in scope of activities, etc.) must be submitted via email to Child Protection Operations.

Once the intake form has been submitted and validated by Child Protection Operations, Responsible Parties will receive follow-up information to commence steps #3–5.

  • Designated Responsible Parties must sign and submit a Responsible Party Form for the registered program.
  • For programs hosted by student organizations, the Faculty or Staff advisor must also sign the Responsible Party Form.
  • Responsible Parties will be issued a roster template (Excel spreadsheet) to complete and submit to Child Protection Operations. The Primary Responsible Party or Backup Responsible Party must compile a roster of CMU faculty, staff, students and volunteers who intend to participate in the program and interact with minors. 
  • All individuals added to the program roster will be required to obtain Child Protection Clearances through the Office of Human Resources if clearances are not already on file, regardless of their role in the program. Individuals on the roster who do not have Child Protection Clearances will be contacted to facilitate the process of obtaining these clearances.
    • Individuals who do not have valid Child Protection Clearances on file with the Office of Human Resources are not permitted to interact with minors either in-person or remotely for CMU operations or programs/activities.
    • Those added to the roster less than three weeks from the anticipated start date for interacting with minors may not receive approval to participate, as the Child Protection Clearance process takes at least this amount of time to complete.
  • Child Protection Operations will meet with the Primary and Backup Responsible Party to review all the Policy requirements and compliance-related components to facilitating a program or activity involving interactions with minors. The meeting will also be used to review program details, logistics and best practices, as well as answer questions which may arise.
  • Program consultations via Zoom are expected to be completed within one week of registration and should not take more than 30 minutes. All consultations are to be held during standard business hours.
  • For courtesy registrations (e.g., IRB-approved research studies, operational registrations), consultations are not required though strongly recommended.

Pre-Program Next Steps

After the program consultation is completed and the required forms have been submitted and validated, Child Protection Operations will finalize the necessary documentation. Responsible Parties will be provided guidance and supplemental information for facilitating programs involving minors, as well as customized Release Forms and a Compliance Checklist outlining any outstanding Policy requirements specific to the program. Once the registration is finalized, the Child Protection Clearances will be initiated.

  • All individuals interacting with minors for Carnegie Mellon programs must obtain Child Protection Clearances as required by the Pennsylvania Child Protective Services Law. Child Protection Clearances (formerly Act 153 clearances) are required to be on file with the Office of Human Resources as per the Policy on the Protection of Children in Carnegie Mellon Programs, Activities, and Facilities.
  • Those who need to obtain Child Protection Clearances will be contacted by Child Protection Operations to initiate the clearance process.
    • Individuals who do not have valid Child Protection Clearances on file with the Office of Human Resources are not permitted to interact with minors either in person or remotely for CMU operations or programs/activities.
    • Responsible Parties are expected to keep the program roster updated by submitting changes (additions and deletions) via email to the Child Protection Operations in a timely fashion, as well as ensuring that individuals who do not have clearances on file do not interact with minors for the purposes of the program.

The Responsible Party and Backup Responsible Party must complete a one-time online training prior to the start date of the program and prior to interactions with minors:

As a best practice for the CMU community, it is recommended that all CMU affiliates interacting with minors complete the training.

  • Written permission must be obtained from each minor’s parent/guardian or unaffiliated adult participant prior to participation in CMU programs. The Office of Human Resources will provide release forms to the Responsible Parties.
  • Minor and unaffiliated adult participants who do not have signed release forms by the start date of the program may not participate. Responsible Parties are required to monitor and maintain the signed release forms from the parent or guardian for minor participants.
  • Changes to program operations (use of photography, recording, transportation, etc.) must be submitted via email to the Child Protection Operations.

Ongoing Program Status Updates

Responsible Parties are accountable for ensuring their programs operate in compliance with the Policy on the Protection of Children in Carnegie Mellon Programs, Activities, and Facilities and satisfy any other requirements as outlined by the university. 

The Child Protection Operations team will send regular reminders to Responsible Parties regarding any outstanding compliance items, as well as updates on the progress of Child Protection Clearances for those on the program’s roster, prior to and throughout the duration of the program. Individuals on the program roster will also receive reminders regarding their clearance status, and those with outstanding Child Protection Clearances are not authorized to interact with minors for the purposes of the program. Individuals who do not have valid Child Protection Clearances on file with the Office of Human Resources are not permitted to interact with minors in person or remotely for any CMU operations or programs.