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Resources & Responsibilities for Program & Activity Directors

Smith College has adopted a Policy on Safety and Wellbeing of Minors to promote the well-being and safety of minors who participate in programs or activities run by or associated with Smith. Directors of programs or activities involving Minors (“Program Directors”) must take the steps outlined below on this site.

We have developed a checklist to assist you in completing all legal and College requirements.

Managers and directors involved in theater and stage productions should also review child safety in the Theater Department.

Program & Activity Registration

The first step for Program or Activity Directors is to begin the registration process by completing a personal registration form. The default access is "Assistant". When you have completed your personal registration, request "Manager" access from Five College Office of Risk Management by emailing your request to

Once granted Manager access, the Director must register their program or activity on the Child Safety Certification WebsiteAll programs, events, and activities involving minors must be registered, regardless of whether or not individual staff members might have unsupervised access to a minor during the course of the activity.

You will need to provide activity-specific information which will include, among other things:

  • Program/Activity Name
  • Program/Activity Dates
  • Description
  • Director/Manager Information (name, email, phone)
  • Email addresses of faculty, staff, employees, students, and other individuals working or volunteering in the program/activity - or you may simply instruct these individuals to select your program when completing their own certification.
  • Description of the types of interactions with minors (including whether program staff stays overnight with minors or regularly interacts with minors in one on one situations)
  • Approximate age group and number of minors participating in the program or activity

Please note that all questions on the registration form are mandatory.

Review the Child Safety Certification Database Manager's User Guide for detailed instructions on entering programs, adding and checking program participants, and creating reports.

Child Safety Certification

Once registration is complete, certification (training and in some cases a background check) is required for every employee and volunteer involved with the program or activity. Like program/activity registration, training and the background check are both completed through the Child Safety Certification Website.

For more information on the certification process, see Background Checks and Child Safety Certification.

It is the responsibility of the Smith program/activity director to ensure that an individual (whether faculty, staff, student or volunteer) who is required to have a background check in accordance with this policy does not commence their employment or volunteer service until both the background check and training have been completed.

Directors/managers are encouraged to supplement the College’s training to meet the needs and specifics of their program or activity:

  • Train all employees and volunteers on the program or activity’s Emergency/Crisis Response Plan
  • Train all employees and volunteers on other essential college policies, including Sexual Harassment Prevention.
  • Have all employees and volunteers read the Smith College Guide to Working with Minors

Emergency/Crisis Response Plan Required

Every college-sponsored program or activity which involves minors shall establish an appropriate Emergency/Crisis Response Plan.

  • Establish a procedure for the notification of the minor's parent/legal guardian in case of an emergency, including medical or behavioral problem, natural disasters, or other significant disruptions. Authorized Adults with the program or activity, as well as participants and their parents/legal guardians, must be advised of this procedure in writing prior to the participation of the minors in the program/activity. 
  • For residential programs at college facilities, provide a list of all program participants and a directory of program staff to campus safety. This list shall include participant's name; local room assignment (if applicable); gender, age, address, and phone number(s) of parent or legal guardian, as well as emergency contact information.
  • Provide information to parent or legal guardian detailing the manner in which the participant and a manager can be contacted during the program or activity. 
  • Follow guidance from College Health Services or MA Department of Health concerning communicable diseases. 
  • Establish a procedure to access emergency medical services at all locations. Medical care appropriate for the nature of the events, expected attendance and other variables may be discussed with the Director of Health Services if necessary.

Permission Forms Required

See Forms for more information.

Program and Activity Organization

If you are runnning a summer program or activity, review MA Camp Standards & Updates. Consult with Summer Program staff for further guidelines.

To the extent applicable, develop and make available to participants the rules and discipline measures applicable to the program or activity. Participants and staff must abide by all College regulations and may be removed from the program/activity or face disciplinary action for non-compliance with rules. The following must be included in program/activity rules: 

  • The possession or use of alcohol and other drugs, fireworks, guns and other weapons is prohibited.
  • Adults shall not provide prescription drugs or any medication to any minor unless specifically authorized in writing by the parent or legal guardian as being required for the minor’s care or the minor’s emergency treatment. Participants’ medicines may be distributed by staff, following the conditions outlined in the Medication section of this document. 
  • The operation of a motor vehicle by minors is prohibited while attending and participating in the program/activity.
  • See Transportation for the requirements on transporting minors.
  • Rules and procedures governing when and under what circumstances participants may leave College property during the program or activity.
  • No violence, including sexual abuse or harassment, will be tolerated, whether between participants or for any Authorized Adult to strike, hit, administer corporal punishment to, or touch in an inappropriate or illegal manner any minor.
  • Hazing of any kind is prohibited. Bullying including verbal, physical, and cyber bullying are prohibited.
  • No theft of property regardless of owner will be tolerated.
  • No use of tobacco products will be tolerated (smoking is prohibited in all college buildings).
  • Misuse or damage of College property is prohibited. Charges will be assessed against those participants who are responsible for damage or misuse of College property.
  • The inappropriate use of cameras, imaging, and digital devices is prohibited including use of such devices in showers, restrooms, or other areas where privacy is expected by participants.

Ensure adequate supervision of minors while they are participating in your college program or activity, whether on or off campus. In general, programs and activity involving minors should be supervised by at least two or more Authorized Adults or by their parent(s) or legal guardian(s) at all times, unless the activity is specifically a one-on-one activity such as Smith College students hosting High School students, including prospective athletes, who are participating in pre-enrollment visitation; Big/Little Sisters; private music lessons; etc.

Some of the factors to consider in determining "adequate supervision" are the number and age of participants, the activity(ies) involved, type of housing if applicable, and age and experience of the counselors.

To the extent applicable, investigate and follow relevant safety rules and guidelines promulgated or approved by the Office of Environmental Health & Safety for laboratory and research work.

Ensure all participants in a college program or activity, or a program/activity taking place on college property, understand what facilities and equipment they are permitted to use.

Field Trips and Transportation

See the Five College Field Trip Guide and Transportation for more information.