Code of Conduct and Ethics Policy

Published by Joelle Duda
Jun 23, 2021
Code of Conduct and Ethics
(Athletes, Coaches, Officials, Parents & Club Board)
“Organization” refers to: The Southern Alberta Competitive Swimming Association Ltd.
*This organization operates locally as the Spartans Aquatic Club.
1. The following terms have these meanings in this Code:
a) “Member” – All categories of membership defined in the Organization’s Bylaws as well as all individuals employed by, or engaged in activities with the Organization including, but not limited to, athletes, coaches, officials, volunteers, managers, administrators, directors and officers of the Organization, and parents/guardians of athletes
b) “Position of Trust” – a job or position in which one individual may exercise power or authority over another individual, such as a team manager or coach.
c) “Vulnerable Individual” – a person under the age of 18 years old and/or a person who, because of age, disability or other circumstance, is in a position of dependence on others or is otherwise at a greater risk than the general population of being harmed.
Zero Tolerance Statement
2. The Organization has zero tolerance for any type of abuse and supports a sporting environment where all members can participate safely and free from any harm. Members are required to report instances of abuse or suspected abuse to the Organization to be immediately addressed under the policies of the Organization.
3. The purpose of this Code is to ensure a safe and positive environment (within the Organization’s programs, activities, and events) by making Members aware that there is an expectation, at all times, of appropriate behaviour consistent with the Organization’s core values.
4. The Organization supports equal opportunity, prohibits discriminatory practices, and is committed to providing an environment in which all individuals are treated with respect.
5. Conduct that violates this Code may be subject to sanctions pursuant to the Organization’s Discipline and Complaints Policy.
6. Conduct that is legally required to be disclosed to law enforcement, including but not limited to suspected cases of child abuse or neglect, will be referred immediately upon knowledge to local law enforcement. Additionally, in alignment with the Organization’s Discipline and Complaints Policy, Members may be temporarily suspended pending the outcome of the matter.
Application of this Code
7. This Code applies to Members’ conduct during the Organization’s business, activities, and events including, but not limited to, competitions, practices, tryouts, training camps, travel associated with the Organization’s activities, the Organization’s office environment, and any meetings.
8. This Code also applies to Members’ conduct outside of the Organization’s business, activities, and events when such conduct adversely affects relationships within the Organization (and its work and sport environment) and is detrimental to the image and reputation of the Organization. Such applicability will be determined by the Organization at its sole discretion.
9. All Members, participating non-members and prospective members of the Organization, may be denied membership, censured, placed on probation, suspended for a definite or indefinite period of time without probation, fined or expelled from the Organization if their conduct is not held to the standard described in this Code of Conduct and in accordance with Swim Alberta’s Discipline and Complaints Policy.
10. Members have a responsibility to:
a) Comply with the Organization’s Bylaws, Policies and Procedures, including but not limited to:
i. Safe Sporting Environment Guiding Principle
ii. Equity, Inclusion and Universal Access Guiding Principle
iii. Screening Policy and Screening Disclosure Procedure Form
iv. Social Media Use Policy and Social Media Use Guidelines
v. Confidentiality Policy
vi. Conflict of Interest Policy
vii. Discipline and Complaints Policy
viii. Dispute Resolution Policy
ix. Appeal Policy
b) Maintain and enhance the dignity and self-esteem of the Organization members and other individuals by:
i. Demonstrating respect to individuals regardless of body type, physical characteristics, athletic ability, age, ancestry, colour, race, citizenship, ethnic origin, place of origin, creed, disability, family status, marital status, gender identity, gender expression, sex, and sexual orientation
ii. Focusing comments or criticism appropriately and avoiding public criticism of athletes, coaches, officials, organizers, volunteers, employees, or members
iii. Consistently demonstrating the spirit of sportsmanship, sport leadership, and ethical conduct
iv. Acting, when appropriate, to correct or prevent practices that are unjustly discriminatory
v. Consistently treating individuals fairly and reasonably
vi. Ensuring adherence to the rules of the sport and the spirit of those rules
c) When interacting with vulnerable individuals, or with individuals with whom there is a recognized power of authority or trust that exists, the individual in the Position of Trust is required to enact practical approaches to these interactions. These include, but are not limited to:
i. Limiting physical interactions to non-threatening or non-sexual touching (i.e. high-fives, pats on the back or shoulder, handshakes, specific skill instruction, etc.)
ii. Ensuring the vulnerable individuals are always supervised by more than one adult
iii. Ensuring that more than one person is responsible for team selection (thereby limiting the consolidation of power onto one individual).
iv. Including parents/guardian in communication
v. Ensuring that parents/guardians are aware that some non-personal communication between individuals and vulnerable individuals (e.g. coaches and athletes) may take place electronically (e.g. texting) and that this type of communication is now considered to be commonplace, especially with other older vulnerable individuals (e.g. teenagers). Note that such communication is subject to this Code of Conduct and Ethics and the Organization’s Social Media Policy.
vi. Ensure transportation of vulnerable individuals is with others present
vii. Ensure accommodations of vulnerable individuals are not shared unless there is additional adult supervision or others present
d) Refrain from any behaviour that constitutes abuse. Abuse refers to violence, mistreatment or neglect one may experience while in the care of someone they depend on or trust. Types of behaviour that constitute abuse include, but are not limited to:
i. Physical abuse; including beating, hitting, shaking, pushing, choking, biting, burning, kicking or assaulting an individual with a weapon. It also includes holding an individual under water, or any other dangerous or harmful use of force or restraint.
ii. Sexual abuse; including fondling, inviting an individual to touch or be touch sexually, intercourse, sexual assault, incest, sodomy, exhibitionism, or involving a child in prostitution or pornography
iii. Neglect; including failing to provide for an individual’s physical, psychological or emotional development and well-being
iv. Emotional or psychological injury or abuse including aggressive verbal threats, social isolation, intimidation, exploitation, or routinely making unreasonable demands. It also includes exposing an individual to violence.
e) Refrain from any behaviour that constitutes harassment, where harassment is defined as comment or conduct directed towards an individual or group, which is offensive, abusive, racist, sexist, degrading, or malicious. Types of behaviour that constitute harassment include, but are not limited to:
i. Written or verbal abuse, threats, or outbursts
ii. The display of visual material which is offensive or which one ought to know is offensive in the circumstances
iii. Unwelcome remarks, jokes, comments, innuendo, or taunts
iv. Leering or other suggestive or obscene gestures
v. Condescending or patronizing behaviour which is intended to undermine self-esteem, diminish performance or adversely affect working conditions
vi. Practical jokes which endanger a person’s safety, or negatively affect performance
vii. Any form of hazing where hazing is defined as “Any potentially humiliating, degrading, abusive, or dangerous activity expected of a junior-ranking athlete by a more senior teammate, which does not contribute to either athlete’s positive development, but is required to be accepted as part of a team, regardless of the junior-ranking athlete’s willingness to participate. This includes, but is not limited to, any activity, no matter how traditional or seemingly benign, that sets apart or alienates any teammate based on class, number of years on the team, or athletic ability.”
viii. Behaviours such as those described above that are not directed towards a specific individual or group but have the same effect of creating a negative or hostile environment
ix. Retaliation or threats of retaliation against an individual who reports harassment to the Organization
f) Refrain from any behaviour that constitutes sexual harassment, where sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome sexual comments and sexual advances, requests for sexual favours, or conduct of a sexual nature. Types of behaviour that constitute sexual harassment include, but are not limited to:
i. Sexist jokes
ii. Display of sexually offensive material
iii. Sexually degrading words used to describe a person
iv. Inquiries or comments about a person’s sex life
v. Unwelcome sexual flirtations, advances, or propositions
vi. Unwanted contact
g) Refrain from any behaviour that constitutes violence, where violence is defined as the exercise of physical force by a person that causes or could cause physical injury; an attempt to exercise physical force against an individual that could cause physical injury to the individual; or a statement or behaviour that an individual may reasonably interpret as a threat to exercise physical force against the individual. Types of violent activities include, but are not limited to:
i. Verbal threats to attack
ii. Sending or leaving threatening notes or electronic communication
iii. Making threatening physical gestures
iv. Wielding a weapon
v. Hitting, pinching or unwanted touching which is not accidental
vi. Throwing an object
vii. Blocking normal movement or physical interference with or without the use of equipment
viii. Sexual violence
ix. Any attempt to engage in the type of conduct outlined above
h) Abstain from the non-medical use of drugs or the use of performance-enhancing drugs or methods. More specifically, the Organization adopts and adheres to the Canadian Anti-Doping Program. Any infraction under this Program shall be considered an infraction of this Code and may be subject to further disciplinary action, and possible sanction, pursuant to the Organization’s Discipline and Complaints Policy. The Organization will respect any penalty enacted pursuant to a breach of the Canadian Anti-Doping Program, whether imposed by the Organization or any other sport organization
i) Refrain from associating with any person for the purpose of coaching, training, competition, instruction, administration, management, athletic development, or supervision of the sport, who has incurred an anti-doping rule violation and is serving a sanction involving a period of ineligibility imposed pursuant to the Canadian Anti-Doping Program and/or the World Anti-Doping Code and recognized by the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport (CCES)
j) Refrain from the use of power or authority in an attempt to coerce another person to engage in inappropriate activities
k) In the case of adults, avoid consuming legal intoxicants in situations where minors are present and take reasonable steps to manage the responsible consumption of legal intoxicants in adult-oriented social situations associated with the Organization’s events
l) Respect the property of others and not wilfully cause damage
m) Promote swimming in the most constructive and positive manner possible
n) Adhere to all federal, provincial, municipal and host country laws
Board/Committee Members and Staff
11. In addition to section 10 (above), the Organization’s Board Members, Committee Members, and Staff will have additional responsibilities to:
a) Function primarily as a member of the Board and/or committee(s) of the Organization; not as a member of any other particular member or constituency
b) Act with honesty and integrity and conduct themselves in a manner consistent with the nature and responsibilities of the Organization’s business and the maintenance of Member confidence
c) Ensure that the Organization’s financial affairs are conducted in a responsible and transparent manner with due regard for all fiduciary responsibilities
d) Conduct themselves openly, professionally, lawfully and in good faith in the best interests of the Organization
e) Be independent and impartial and not be influenced by self-interest, outside pressure, expectation of reward, or fear of criticism
f) Behave with decorum appropriate to both circumstance and position and be fair, equitable, considerate, and honest in dealings with others
g) Keep informed about the Organization’s activities, the provincial sport community, and general trends in the sectors in which they operate
h) Exercise the degree of care, diligence, and skill required in the performance of their duties pursuant to the laws under which the Organization is incorporated
i) Respect the confidentiality appropriate to issues of a sensitive nature
j) Ensure that all Members are given sufficient opportunity to express opinions, and that all opinions are given due consideration and weight
k) Respect the decisions of the majority
l) Commit the time to attend meetings and be diligent in preparation for, and participation in, discussions at such meetings
m) Have a thorough knowledge and understanding of all the Organization’s governance documents
n) Conform to the bylaws and policies approved by the Organization; in particular this Code of Conduct and Ethics as well as the Conflict of Interest Policy and Confidentiality Policy
12. In addition to section 10 (above), coaches have many additional responsibilities. The coach-athlete relationship is a privileged one and plays a critical role in the personal, sport, and athletic development of the athlete. Coaches must understand and respect the inherent power imbalance that exists in this relationship and must be extremely careful not to abuse it, consciously or unconsciously. Coaches will:
a) Ensure a safe environment by selecting activities and establishing controls that are suitable for the age, experience, ability, and fitness level of the involved athletes
b) Avoid compromising the present and future health of athletes by communicating and cooperating with sport medicine professionals in the diagnosis, treatment, and management of athletes’ medical and psychological treatments
c) Support the coaching staff of a training camp, provincial team, or national team; should an athlete qualify for participation with one of these programs
d) Provide athletes (and the parents/guardians of minor athletes) with the information necessary to be involved in the decisions that affect the athlete
e) Act in the best interest of the athlete’s development as a whole person
f) Respect other coaches and, should an athlete desire to change coaches, support and cooperate with the other coach in the exchange of information
g) Meet the highest standards of credentials, integrity and suitability, including but not limited to such considerations established by the Organization’s Screening Policy
h) Report any ongoing criminal investigation, conviction, or existing bail conditions
i) Under no circumstances provide, promote, or condone the use of drugs (other than properly prescribed medications) or performance-enhancing substances and, in the case of minors, alcohol and/or tobacco
j) Respect other athletes and, in dealings with them, not encroach upon topics or actions which are deemed to be within the realm of 'coaching', unless after first receiving approval from the coaches who are responsible for the athletes
k) Not engage in a sexual relationship with an athlete under 18 years old, or an intimate or sexual relationship with an athlete over the age of 18 if the coach is in a position of power, trust, or authority over the athlete
l) Recognize the power inherent in the position of coach and respect and promote the rights of all participants in sport. This is accomplished by establishing and following procedures for confidentiality (right to privacy), informed participation, and fair and reasonable treatment. Coaches have a special responsibility to respect and promote the rights of participants who are in a vulnerable or dependent position and less able to protect their own rights
m) Dress professionally, neatly, and inoffensively
n) Use inoffensive language, taking into account the audience being addressed
13. In addition to section 10 (above), athletes will have additional responsibilities to:
a) Report any medical problems in a timely fashion, when such problems may limit their ability to travel, practice, or compete
b) Participate and appear on-time and prepared to participate to their best abilities in all competitions, practices, training sessions, events, activities, or projects
c) Properly represent themselves and not attempt to participate in a competition for which they are not eligible by reason of age, classification, or other reason
d) Adhere to the Organization’s rules and requirements regarding clothing and equipment
e) Never ridicule a participant for a poor performance or practice
f) Act in a sportsmanlike manner and not display appearances of violence, foul language, or gestures to other athletes, officials, coaches, or spectators
g) Dress in a manner representative of the Organization; focusing on neatness, cleanliness, and discretion. Designated official clothing, if applicable, must be worn when traveling and competing
h) Act in accordance with the Organization’s policies and procedures and, when applicable, additional rules as outlined by coaches or chaperones
14. In addition to section 10 (above), officials will have additional responsibilities to:
a) Maintain and update their knowledge of the rules and rules changes
b) Work within the boundaries of their position’s description while supporting the work of other officials
c) Act as an ambassador of the Organization by agreeing to enforce and abide by national and provincial rules and regulations
d) Respect the rights, dignity, and worth of all individuals
e) Conduct themselves openly, professionally, lawfully, and in good faith in the best interests of the Organization
f) Be fair, equitable, considerate, independent, honest, and impartial in all dealings with others
g) Respect the confidentiality required by issues of a sensitive nature, which may include disqualifications, discipline processes, appeals, and specific information or data about Members
h) Promote a team spirit by respecting people’s differences, valuing diversity of opinion, and working with others to achieve the best decisions for athletes in competitions
i) Dress in proper attire for officiating
15. In addition to section 10 above, Parents/Guardians of athletes at events will have additional responsibilities to:
a) Encourage athletes to play by the rules and resolve conflicts without resorting to hostility or violence
b) Never ridicule a participant for a poor performance or practice
c) Provide positive comments that motivate and encourage athletes’ continued effort
d) Respect the decisions and judgments of officials, and encourage athletes to do the same
e) Respect and show appreciation to all competitors, and to the coaches, officials and other volunteers who give their time to the sport
f) Keep off the competition area and not interfere with events or calls