Safe Sport

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 for all participants.

Questions regarding COVID-19 and your role as a coach? Looking for coach resources and opportunities during this time? Visit our Coach Resources for COVID-19 page for information regarding:

  • remote learning courses
  • coach bursary updates
  • webinars
  • free & discounted eLearning
  • and more!

Free & discounted training, funding, and resources

Here are several options currently available for creating safe sport environments:

Safe Sport Training

By completing the Safe Sport Training e-module, you will gain the knowledge and skills to create healthy and safe environments by recognizing, addressing and preventing maltreatment in sport.

Target Audience: Coaches, administrators
Cost: FREE

NCCP Make Ethical Decisions

Make Ethical Decisions training helps coaches identify the legal, ethical and moral implications of difficult situations, leaving coaches with no doubt as to what to do when the going gets tough.

Target Audience: Coaches, teachers, recreation leaders.
Cost: $15 – $85

NCCP Empower+

Empower+ provides coaches and leaders the tools 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.

Target Audience: Coaches, teachers, recreation leaders, administrators.
Cost: $15 – $85

Respect in Sport

The Respect in Sport Activity Leader 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, recreation leaders, teachers
Cost: $30

Commit to Kids

The Commit to Kids online training provides leaders with practical information to help enhance child and youth safety in sport. It highlights the important of understanding boundaries, sexual misconduct and reporting inappropriate behaviour.

Target Audience: Sport administrators, sport leaders with HR responsibilities.
Cost: $12

LGBTQI2S Community Inclusion in Sport

Learn how to foster inclusive environments by introducing strategies, best practices and tips for working with LGBTQI2S athletes and coaches.

Target Audience: Coaches, recreation leaders, teachers

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

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 Stirling Backcheck

Where To Start?

It is important as a coach that your organization has up to date policies and procedures. Check out the audit checklist as a road map to reviewing your organization’s policies and procedures as a first step towards a safer sporting environment.

Travel Guidelines

Ensure you have established a common understanding of expectations and support considerations for safe and inclusive travels, including overnight trips. Download the travel guidelines tool to review your organization’s practices, including billeting.

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. Download the Rule of Two guidelines to understand how you can support the Rule of Two in your organization.

More Information

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

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 judgement would need to decide – is reason enough to report.

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.

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

The Canadian Sport Helpline exists to provide advice, guidance, and resources on how to proceed/intervene appropriately in the circumstances.

Kids Help Phone

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.

Text CONNECT to 686868 or call 1-800-668-6868
Live Chat online or through the app at kidshelpphone.ca/live-chat

Young athletes can chat confidentially with a trained, volunteer Crisis Responder for support with any issue – big or small.

NEW Adult Crisis Support Line during COVID-19.

Text TALK to 741741

As Stage 3 begins in multiple regions around the province, many coaches are wondering what these new provisions mean for them?

For answers to commonly asked returning to coaching questions, click HERE.

For more information on what COVID-19 resources are available to you, click HERE.

What does Ontario’s Stage 3 plan mean for coaches?

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

View all available courses in Ontario

  • With your athletes, identify situations that may make them vulnerable and discuss ways to address the situations.
  • 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, 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 and open and observable environment for all interactions between adults and athletes.
  • Avoid private or one-on-one situations. Leave the office door open or have the conversation in a visible but removed part of the facility.

  • 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.

A call to action to keep sport fair, fun and safe

Please contact us – the CAO Team is here to help!

View all available courses in Ontario

Free & discounted training, funding, and resources