Safe Sport

Safe Sport

RCA believes that everyone in rowing has the right to enjoy the sport at all levels of participation. Athletes, coaches, officials, umpires and volunteers have the right to participate in a safe and inclusive training and competitive environment that is free of abuse, harassment or discrimination – collectively referred to as maltreatment. The welfare of everyone involved in the sport is a foremost consideration and in particular the protection of children/athletes in the sport is the responsibility of each individual and member in the rowing community.

RCA recognizes that this is an evolving area of focus for all sports in Canada. Our safe sport program will continue to focus on education, prevention and response, all of which will be supported by strong governance, policies and procedures.

An Independent Third Party (ITP) for Rowing in Canada has been in place since April 2019 and one of our priority initiatives was the creation and now adoption of a Pan-Canadian Safe Sport Policy Manual that is harmonized across our sport – it is uniform and is aligned at the RCA, Provincial Rowing Association and local levels. This ensures that standards of behaviour and conduct, as well as procedures, breaches and sanctions are consistent across the country and at all levels.

Information about the ITP and the Harmonized Approach is found below. Information about Dispute Resolution and the Complaint Management Process is found on the Dispute Resolution tab.

Individuals who are experiencing or are aware of any forms of maltreatment should make use of the support services listed below to obtain advice on how to proceed.

Independent Third Party for Rowing in Canada

RCA knows how important it can be to provide a safe and secure way of reporting issues that are impacting an individual directly or that they have become aware of. As required by Sport Canada, RCA has enlisted the services of an Independent Third Party, Lise MacLean of Wiser Workplaces.

A Certified Human Resources Professional (CHRP) with nearly twenty years of experience as a human resources consultant, manager and executive in the public, not-for-profit, and private sectors, Lise Maclean is a certified Workplace Investigator and is currently a member of the Sport Dispute Resolution Centre of Canada Investigation Unit and the HRPA Discipline Committee.

Lise is a highly trained and skilled professional equipped to deal with Safe Sport issues with sensitivity and in confidence.  She is able to review, advise and refer issues for further action independently of RCA. If you wish to connect with Lise, you may contact her directly at +1 (613) 404-2000 or  lise@wiserworkplaces.ca.

Individuals who feel comfortable doing so are encouraged to try to resolve their dispute informally before contacting the Independent Third Party.

To learn more about the dispute resolution process, click here.

Contact us if you want to learn more. 

The Canadian Sport Helpline

The Canadian Sport Helpline, funded by the Government of Canada, is a confidential listening and referral service monitored by live operators from 8 am to 8 pm Eastern time, 7 days a week. Users will have a choice of communicating via a toll-free phone line, email, text or live chat, in the official language of their choice.

The helpline is 1-888-83-SPORT. 

www.abuse-free-sport.ca 

If you require assistance or would like to talk to a trained professional about a suspected incident of child abuse click here to find your local child welfare agency. If you suspect a child is in immediate danger, call 9-1-1 or your local police.

Harmonized Approach

Safe Sport continues to be an evolving area of focus for all sport in Canada and it remains one of RCA’s top priorities. Collectively, RCA and our member organizations and stakeholders can ensure rowing in Canada is protected and, as a result, all participants are able to thrive because we have created a safe and welcoming environment free of abuse, maltreatment, harassment and discrimination. The adoption of a Pan-Canadian Safe Sport Policy Manual that is harmonized across our sport – it is uniform and is aligned at the RCA, Provincial Rowing Association and local levels will ensure that standards of behaviour and conduct, as well as procedures, breaches and sanctions are consistent across the country and at all levels.

The RCA Safe Sport Policy Manual consists of 8 policies and is available here.

Implementation and Key Dates

The most recent  milestone was the adoption of the Safe Sport Policy Suite at RCA Member Clubs and Special Associations by February 15, 2022.

April 1, 2021

RCA Safe Sport Policy Suite Adopted and in Effect

August 1, 2021

PRA Safe Sport Policy Suite Adopted and in Effect

February 15, 2022

Club/Special Association Safe Sport Policy Suite Adopted and in Effect

March 31, 2022

Screening and Training deadline for key roles – Level 1 and 2*

*deadlines for specific roles provided to individual stakeholder groups

Community Update Webinars about the Harmonized Approach can be viewed online:

Learn more about Safe Sport by completing the Coaching Association of Canada’s Safe Sport Training


Safe Sport Policy Manual
Coaching Association of Canada Safe Sport Training
Rule of Two
Poster: Open and Observable Environments
Poster: Support Services
RCA Safe Sport: A Harmonized Approach to Prevent and Address Maltreatment in Canadian Rowing [webinar recording] [webinar slides]
RCA Safe Sport: A Harmonized Approach – Community Implementation and Next Steps [webinar recording] [webinar slides]

Overview

RCA believes that everyone is entitled to a sport free of maltreatment and misconduct. We have established a complaint management process that is designed to address complaints related to alleged breaches of RCA’s policies where informal resolution is not possible.

Formal complaint management, which may include an investigation and/or Disciplinary Panel, is a detailed, and at times a resource extensive, process that can take several weeks to months to complete. Not all differences of opinion constitute maltreatment or misconduct.  Individuals who feel comfortable doing so are encouraged to try to resolve their dispute informally before engaging in the complaint management process.

How do I know if my complaint should be addressed by the Complaint Management Process?

The Complaint Management process is designed to address complaints related to alleged breaches of RCA’s policies where informal resolution is not possible.

The RCA Safe Sport Policy Manual contains all the relevant policies required for the complaint management process. Equivalent versions are also in place at the local and provincial levels.

The Independent Third Party (ITP) does not render decisions on the merit of the complaint, but rather applies RCA policies to determine whether the complaint will be accepted and what organization will be responsible for its management.  Temporary measures may be put in place during the review process to keep parties safe. 

What constitutes a Safe Sport complaint?

Not all disputes submitted to the ITP will be accepted as complaints.

The following are examples that may fall outside of the complaint management process, depending on the specific circumstances:

  • Selection processes at the local, provincial or national level
  • Differences of opinion, expressed respectfully
  • Governance issues
  • Disagreement with club decisions
  • Club employment matters
  • Complaints made outside of 14 days

In these cases, other avenues, such as the Appeal Policy or contacting club/association administration, may be available to you.

How do I submit a complaint? What do I include in my complaint?

All formal complaints related to alleged breaches of RCA Policies at any level (local, provincial, national) are to be submitted to the ITP for assessment, as outlined below within 14 days of the Incident occurring.

RCA currently does not have an official complaint form. Please provide the complaint to the ITP in an email or in a Word/PDF document.

Think of the complaint as a “standalone” document that explains what happened to an objective third person who has no previous knowledge of your situation.

Please include the following:

  • Your name and your role in the sport
  • That you are making a formal complaint
  • The date you are making your complaint
  • The name and role of the person you are complaining against
  • The nature of the misconduct/maltreatment (RCA Code of Conduct and Ethics
  • The specific dates, times and locations of the misconduct/maltreatment (exact actions and words that were used)
  • The names of witnesses, if any
  • Why you are making the complaint now and/or an explanation of why you waited longer than 14 days
  • Your desired outcome or what you are hoping will happen as a result of your complaint

You do not need to provide supporting documentation (emails, witness statements, meeting notes) as part of your initial complaint submission, but these may be needed further in the process.

If you have questions about the process, you may contact the Independent Third Party or the Abuse Free hotline for information or advice.

How do I contact the Independent Third Party?

RCA has enlisted the services of an Independent Third Party, Lise MacLean of Wiser Workplaces.

A Certified Human Resources Professional (CHRP) with nearly twenty years of experience as a human resources consultant, manager and executive in the public, not-for-profit, and private sectors, Lise Maclean is a certified Workplace Investigator and is currently a member of the Sport Dispute Resolution Centre of Canada Investigation Unit and the HRPA Discipline Committee.

Lise is a highly trained and skilled professional equipped to deal with Safe Sport issues with sensitivity and in confidence.  She is able to review, advise and refer issues for further action independently of RCA. If you wish to connect with Lise, you may contact her by email at lise@wiserworkplaces.ca or by phone at 613 404-2000.

When behaviour standard breaches are alleged and complaints procedures ensue, binding decisions, including those to sanction individuals for unacceptable behaviours, will result. 

Decisions that are required to be made public can be found below.


Disciplinary Hearing Decision – July 27, 2020 – D Thompson

Full Written Decision with Reasons on Complaints – April 20, 2021 – B Williams

Rowing Canada Aviron is committed to Safe Sport and adhering to best practices through our Every Coach Certified (ECC) initiative. This initiative is focused on educating and supporting our coaches through a foundational series of NCCP eLearning modules centered around long term development for athletes and coaches, rower safety, and ethical decision making. Coaches must also complete RCA’s screening requirements, including submitting to a Criminal Record Check.

RCA also acknowledges the dedication and support of our member organizations as we collaborate to deliver on the principles of Safe Sport, ensuring coaches develop programs that provide a safe, fun, and enriching rowing environment.

The following is a list of coaches that have completed all ECC requirements and are registered as a coach at an RCA member organization.

For more information on the ECC initiative and Coaching Education and Development, please visit RCA’s Coaches page. To update the list for your organization, please contact colleenmiller@rowingcanada.org

This list is up to date as of August 3, 2022.