Safe Sport

Safe Sport

Transition to Abuse-Free Sport – AS OF DECEMBER 13, 2022

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.

Complaint Processes

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 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.

In June 2022, services from the Office of the Sport Integrity Commissioner (OSIC) became available to National Sport Organizations through Abuse-Free Sport, the new independent mechanism to prevent and address maltreatment in sport. Our pan-Canadian Safe Sport Policy Manuals were originally designed with the knowledge that an entity such as Abuse-Free Sport would eventually come into effect. A goal of ours has always been to seamlessly transition oversight of complaints related to maltreatment to an entity such as Abuse-Free Sport, with as little disruption to the harmonized approach and our member organizations as possible.

RCA recently announced that we have signed an agreement to join Abuse-Free Sport and effective December 13, 2022 some complaints will now be filed with Abuse-Free Sport.

A complete overview of how to file a complaint to either Abuse-Free Sport or the ITP for rowing is outlined on the File a Complaint section of this website.


Policies and Resources

Safe Sport Policy Manual – NEW – December 13, 2022
Coaching Association of Canada Safe Sport Training
Rule of Two
Poster: Open and Observable Environments
Poster: Support Services

Webinars

RCA Transition to Abuse-Free Sport Webinar (November 29, 2022) [webinar]
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]

When informal resolution is not possible, depending on the type of complaint, individuals may file a complaint to either the Independent Third Party for Rowing or the Office of the Sport Integrity Commissioner (OSIC), a division of Abuse-Free Sport. 

Formal complaint processes, 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 process.

Effective December 13, 2022, complaints will be filed with either the Independent Third Party for Rowing or Abuse-Free Sport.

Information about Abuse-Free Sport/OSIC and the Independent Third Party are located in this resource, including the following:

  • General information on Abuse-Free Sport and the ITP for Rowing
  • What to consider before filing a complaint
  • Where to file a complaint
  • How to file a complaint

Abuse Free Sport

Learn more about Abuse-Free Sport by visiting their website.

Independent Third Party for Rowing

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 February 6, 2023.