SafeSport

Coaches play a vital role in ensuring their athletes are safe both on and off the field of play. Reducing and preventing acts of maltreatment is vital to enhancing a safer sporting environment that fosters positive growth and personal development.

Here are ways you can protect both yourself and your athletes:

Training

Below are several options currently available that address creating safe sport environments.

Coach Training

 Make Ethical Decisions (MED)

Make Ethical Decisions training helps coaches identify the legal, ethical, and moral implications of difficult situations that present themselves in the world of team and individual sport. MED is one of the NCCP’s cornerstone workshops, and leaves coaches with no doubt as to what to do when the going gets tough.

find a workshop More information

 Empower+

Empower + is an intense and thought provoking 4-hour workshop that will teach you how to enhance the well-being of the athletes in your care and be a positive role model in the world of sport. In an interactive and dynamic learning environment, our expert facilitators will guide you through how to enhance athlete welfare by; recognizing the potential for, and presence of maltreatment in sport, learning when and how to intervene when you observe or suspect maltreatment.

find a workshop More information

Misconduct Training

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The Respect in Sport Activity Leader program online training course is designed as a tool to assist coaches in identifying and dealing with abuse, neglect, harassment, and bullying in sport.

Target Audience: Coaches, Parents, Recreation Leaders, Teachers

Cost: $35 (Group rates available)

Take the training

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The Commit to Kids for Coaches online training empowers coaches with practical information to help enhance child and youth safety in sport. It highlights the importance of understanding boundaries, sexual misconduct and reporting inappropriate behaviour.

Target Audience: Sport Administrators, Sport Leaders with HR responsibilities

Cost: $12 (Group rates available)

Take the training

Background Screening

Screening involves much more than police record checks. While police record checks are one of the important steps of screening, screening is a comprehensive process that begins long before an individual is selected and continues beyond his or her involvement with the organization.

Not sure where to begin? Check out the Background Screening Matrix which breaks down different screening methods you should use from low to high risk positions.

Screening Matrix

Which screening check  is needed?

Criminal Records Check (CRC)

This process verifies whether an individual has a criminal record (local and nationally) and provides the applicant with the detailed information that can be legally disclosed.

Cost: Varies by jurisdiction and whether you are paid or volunteer ($0 – $75)
How to Obtain: Contact your local police service.

Vulnerable Sector Verification (VSV)

For individuals who are working with a vulnerable sector (such as with minor athletes or with persons with a disability), which also searches for the existence of any pardoned sex offenses.

Cost: Varies by jurisdiction and whether you are paid or volunteer ($0 – $75)
How to Obtain: Contact your local police service.

Enhanced  Police Information Check (E-PIC)

An E-PIC combines a search of the National Repository of Criminal Records in Canada and a search of local police information within multiple databanks. An E-PIC goes beyond a Canadian criminal record check by including searches of local police information that can discover additional conviction and selected non-conviction information which may be relevant to the screening process. The E-PIC does not include a search of the Pardoned Sex Offender Database.

Cost: $28.25
How to Obtain: Visit Sterling BackCheck by clicking HERE.

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Policy & Procedures

Where to start?

It is important as a coach that your organization has up to date policies and procedures. Use the audit checklist below as a roadmap to reviewing your organizations policies and procedures as a first step towards a safer sporting environment.

Audit Checklist

Rule of Two Policy

This rule serves to protect minor athletes in potentially vulnerable situations by ensuring that more than one adult is present at all times.

Purpose of Rule of Two

Rule of Two Implementation Matrix

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For more information on possible dispute resolution services for coaches, organizational risk management assessment and policy creation, contact the Sport Law & Strategy Group.

More Information

Reporting

Reporting a Concern

Contact 9-1-1 immediately if you or an individual is facing a life-threatening emergency.

As someone working directly with children and supporting others who are, you have a legal and ethical duty to report to a children’s aid society when you have reasonable grounds to suspect that a child is or may be in need of protection.

You don’t have to be certain that a child may need protection. Suspicion on reasonable grounds – information that an average person, using normal and honest judgment would need to decide – is reason enough to report.

Locate a Children’s Aid Society

Canadian Sport Helpline

Open 8am – 8pm, 7 days a week, this national toll-free confidential helpline for harassment, abuse and discrimination provides a safe place for victims and witnesses to report their concerns.

1-888-83-SPORT (77678) or by email at info@abuse-free-sport.ca.

The Canadian Sport Helpline will provide callers with advice on the next steps they can take, as well as direct them to the most appropriate national and local services and resources available to them, including the police, child protection services, existing provincial/territorial helplines, or any other relevant services.

For more information visit www.abuse-free-sport.ca.

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As a resource you can provide your athletes and participants Kids Help Phone operates Canada’s only 24/7, professional counselling, referral and information service for young people. Young people reach out to Kids Help Phone from every corner of the country via phone, Live Chat, text, and through Kids Help Phone’s online resources.

By texting CONNECT to 686868, young athletes can chat confidentially with a trained, volunteer Crisis Responder for support with any issue — big or small. You can also reach a Kids Help Phone counsellor 24/7 at 1-800-668-6868.

For more information visit www.kidshelpphone.ca.

Steps for Reporting Abuse

Steps for Reporting Inappropriate Conduct

Frequently Asked Questions

What is my role in keeping sport safe?

  • Ensure you and all other coaches and volunteers receive proper training.
  • Support your organization to have key policies such as Travel Policy and Code of Conduct and that these are current and enforced.
  • Ensure all coaches and volunteers are appropriately screened.
  • Ensure your organization has taken the Responsible Coaching Movement Pledge.

What are some ways that I, as a coach, can support the rule of two?

  • With your athletes, identify situations that may make them vulnerable and discuss ways to deal with them.
  • When identifying your coaching team, consider the demographics of your athletes and try to ensure appropriate composition of staff.
  • When travel is necessary, avoid situations where there is only one coach/volunteer with a single minor athlete. If this is not possible, then ensure that the coach/volunteer has been appropriately screened (link to screening matrix), the athlete is comfortable with the individual, and parental consent is given. As soon as possible when arriving at the destination, and during the event, find a “buddy” coach/volunteer to associate with during the event and when away from the venue.
  • Self-identify situations during practice and competition that may put you or your athletes in a vulnerable situation and consider ways to avoid or alter the environment.
  • Encourage parents to appropriately support their children’s involvement.
  • Allow training environments to be open to observation by parents.
  • Ensure an open and observable environment for all interactions between adults and athletes.
  • Avoid private or one-on-one situations unless in an emergency. Leave the office door open or have the conversation in a visible but removed part of the facility.

What kind of record check do I need and why?

The requesting organization will ultimately decide what kind of criminal record check you will need. This will also depend on the scope of your involvement with the organization. Please refer to the Background Screening Matrix to help determine what options are best.

 

For more information about SafeSport in Ontario contact info@coachesontario.ca.