Volunteer Requirements Guide

How Do I Become A Class A Volunteer?

All Class A SOPA Volunteers must complete 2 separate clearance processes:

1. The PA State Police and National Background Check
2. The PA Child Neglect/Abuse Registry Check

For a printable version of these steps, please click here.


Fill out a Volunteer Application and a SOPA profile will be created.



When you click ‘Submit’ at the bottom of your volunteer application, you will be taken to a new webpage to continue the registration process (required trainings, etc.). Download, complete and sign the PA State Disclosure form and upload into your SOPA profile. Please note that your signature and your witness signature must be handwritten. If you have any difficulty uploading the Disclosure Statement, you can also mail the form to us or email the form to us at classAsupport@specialolympicspa.org



*NOTE: As noted on the Disclosure Statement, if you have not lived consecutively in PA for the past 10 years, an FBI Fingerprint Criminal History Check is required in addition to the State and National Background Check and the PA Child Neglect/Abuse Registry Check. This can be completed at the same time that you are completing the rest of your volunteer clearances. The state of Pennsylvania uses Identogo as it's vendor for the FBI Check. If you are completing this clearance in Pennsylvania, please visit www.identogo.com to find locations to support this requirement. Use the code: 1KG6ZJ. If you have any questions, or to submit the results of your FBI Fingerprint Criminal History Check, please email classAsupport@specialolympicspa.org



Check your email for a message from TheAdvocates@SterlingVolunteers.com. This email will have a link to the Sterling Volunteers website, where you will need to complete Part 1 of the clearence process: the PA State Police and National Background check.



When completing your PA State Police and National Background check, you will be asked: "Have you received a PA Child Neglect/Abuse Clearance within the last 5 years?"
If you answer "no" to this question, Sterling Volunteers will add the PA Child Neglect/Abuse Clearance to your background check package. Upon completion of the PA State Police and National Background Check, you will be directed to the PA Compass website and provided with instruction on how to complete Part 2 of the clearance process: the PA Child Neglect/Abuse Clearance. You will be provided with a pre-paid authorization code that you will enter on the last page of the clearance application. The code allows us to directly receive the results of your clearance. Here is a step-by-step user guide to completing this clearance.
If you answer "yes" to this question, Sterling Volunteers will NOT add the PA Child Neglect/Abuse Clearance to your background check package. Instead, you will be asked to upload a copy of your PA Child Neglect/Abuse Clearance into your SOPA profile. You may also email a copy of the clearance to classAsupport@specialolympicspa.org



 ext. 3.When both parts of the clearance process have been completed, you will receive a notification email from TheAdvocates@SterlingVolunteers.com. Throughout the process, you can confirm your status by signing into your SOPA profile. Please reach out to your local program or to classAsupport@specialolympicspa.org for more information about beginning your Special Olympics PA volunteer experience!


Once you complete the background checks and are cleared to start as a Class A volunteer, someone from your local program should be reaching out to you to get you started! You can also contact your local program if you have any questions or when you want to get started.

Do you have any other questions about volunteering? Please reach out to your local program manager or contact us at volunteer@specialolympicspa.org!