Important changes to the COPA for Kids (CFK) program.


“Flight 23 members may have noticed in the last issue of the COPA magazine that there are some administrative changes to the COPA for Kids (CFK) program. The change involves the COPA National requirement for Police background check (known as a Vulnerable Sector Check - VSC) for pilots who are flying the kids. VSC’s have become the norm for many organizations that deal with the public. From school staff to Meals on Wheels volunteers, everyone seems to be affected.

So, for those pilots who are piloting aircraft with kids on board in the CFK Program, a VSC will be required. You will be happy to know that your Flight 23 Captain has volunteered to be the first to undergo this check and my findings are listed below. Other than going to the police station, it is all pretty painless. The staff was helpful, the application is straight forward, it takes about 10 minutes, but it can take up to two weeks to get a results. As you will see below, and as your Flight Captain can verify, sometimes fingerprints may be required and this will require an appointment to be made for fingerprinting. In my experience it can take up to three weeks to get an appointment, and I was told that the results can take up to a further 8 weeks to process.

Please note the following:

1.  COPA is adopting this policy of requiring a “Vulnerable Sector Check” (VFC) for all pilots involved in COPA for Kids (CFK). This is because pilots spend 15-20 minutes alone with the children. CFK ground crew and Admin staff to not have to do a VSC as they are not typically alone with the children;

2. The VSC is described in the CFK Guide 2018 on pages 9-10:;

3.  Appendix B to the above guide has a form letter that can be provided to the Police when applying for the VSC. It indicates that we are volunteers, specifies the kid’s age group, and specifies the length of time spent with the kids;   Click this link for the pdf form letter>>/UserFiles/ContentPages/CP110.pdf

4.  IMPORTANT – the VSC application must be made at your local police office.  For example, in North Bay it is the North Bay City police whereas for our members in South River it would be the Almaguin OPP Detachment in Burke’s Falls;

5.  Applicants must have 2 pieces of ID. Note that Health card and SIN cards are not allowed;

6.  Each police jurisdiction charges different fees for processing the application. Some waive the fee for volunteer organizations, and some do not. In North Bay the fee is $23.10. The turn around time for the VSC is up to two weeks; and,

7.  Should you have the same name (i.e. John Smith) as someone else who has a police record, you may required to provide fingerprints to prove that you are not the one with the record. As a non-profit organization, the City Police waive the $25.00 fingerprint fee. It may take up to 8 weeks to process fingerprints.

Your Flight 23 Directors have approved that any current Flt 23 members who will be participating in CFK, and are also COPA National members, will have the VSC processing fees reimbursed.  Please keep the receipts and forward them electronically if possible to the Treasurer Luc Beauchamp at He can then E-transfer money to those who so-desire.

So folks, it’s not an arduous process if you show up armed with the information and ID required. Given that these applications can take some considerable time to process, we must apply early. For those pilots who have current VSC’s for other organizations, they may be able to apply to CFK as well - let us know the details. 

Please e-Mail Carole Cooke at and advise her when you have made application for the VSC, or if you have a successfully undergone a VSC within the last three years.

Once again, I must emphasize that time is of the essence. Please get the applications started ASAP so that we have sufficient pilots available to ensure the continued success of the Flight 23 CFK program.


Captain Bill