Sask Sport membership conditions require Active and Affiliate Members to have safe sport policies and procedures.
The purpose of this membership condition is to place our members in a position to manage or mitigate discipline concerns, complaints, dispute resolution or appeals using recognized fair and due process.
To support this requirement, Sask Sport is asking member sport organizations to commit to implement and enforce comprehensive, clear and effective policies and process for preventing and addressing all forms of misconduct or maltreatment.
The Safe Sport Manual for Provincial Sport Organizations (PSOs) was created by Sport Lex and intended for member PSOs to be able to align their own standards with those outlined in the Universal Code of Conduct to Prevent and Address Maltreatment in Sport and with the policies and procedures of their affiliated National Sport Organizations.
The policies will help to promote a safer sport environment in a manner that ensures PSOs and their members have access to an independent, fair and timely, provincial complaint handling system. The policies direct PSOs to establish high standards in participant safety and offer due process.
The provincial independent complaint handling system ensures meaningful steps will be taken should any issues arise and member PSOs will aim to prevent infractions by communicating expected standards of behaviour.
Important things to remember prior to implementation:
The Coaching Association of Canada regards safe sport as places that, ‘Create, foster and preserve sport environments that ensure positive, healthy and fulfilling experiences for all individuals’ and to ‘recognize and report acts of maltreatment and prioritize the welfare, safety and rights of every person at all times’.
Safeguarding environments to prioritize participant safety has is an important priority across the Canadian amateur sport system and there has been a lot of recent work done in this area, driven by the 2019 Red Deer Declaration. The emphasis and attention on ensuring safer sport environments for all participants has never been a higher priority than it currently is in Canada.
Developments in the national safe sport movement
The Office of Canada’s Sport Integrity Commissioner (OSIC), developed by the Sport Dispute Resolution Centre of Canada (SDRCC), launched its first phase of operations on June 20, 2022, which includes the following services:
The above services are only available to OSIC program signatories and their UCCMS participants. Abuse Free Sport (OSIC) maintains a current listing of OSIC program signatory organizations.
“UCCMS Participant” – an Individual affiliated with [PSO]’s national sport organization, and who has signed the required UCCMS Participant consent form.
UCCMS Participants are usually athletes, coaches, officials, or other volunteers who are involved in national team programming.
In some cases, national signatory agreements with the SDRCC/OSIC/Abuse Free Sport will include coverage for the national sport body’s provincial members, however we do not expect that many of our members in Saskatchewan will have access to OSIC services through their national sport organizations. For complaints that do not contain allegations of serious maltreatment or that do not involve an OSIC program signatory/UCCMS Participant. OSIC will typically send these complaints back to their provincial members to be handled within the provincial jurisdiction.
Safeguarding sporting environments in Saskatchewan is among the guiding principles in the Sask Sport, Sport Development Framework, especially against minor aged participants, is of the utmost importance.
Sask Sport, as the sport federation in SK, works to ensure that all active members meet a minimum standard in many areas but governance and policy specifically, is an area of focus. Criteria for active members in Sask Sport outlines each required condition for membership. This document lists the requirements for all active members to adopt the dispute resolution policies developed with support from Sask Sport (Point 13 in PSO criteria and point 10 in MSO criteria). This point will be updated to reflect the new policy requirements as they relate to adopting and implementing the Safe Sport policy manual.
The Sask Sport Safe Sport Manual consists of the following:
Sask Sport membership conditions require Active and Affiliate Members to have the eight (8)-part Sask Sport Safe Sport Manual, as outlined in the Criteria for Active Membership in Sask Sport (Point 10).
It is the adopting organization’s responsibility to promote the policies and oversee compliance within their respective organizations, and for the members to align and adhere to the new policies. However, Sask Sport is in regular communication with its membership to ensure that they fully understand the policy suite and the available tools and resources. Sask Sport also conducts audits when necessary to investigate issues that may arise with regards to any PSO’s condition of membership.
Regardless of whether a complaint is made to Saskatchewan’s independent complaint handling system (ITP Sport), through the national sport body’s ITP, or the OISC, independent complaint triage should result in the complaint being directed towards the organization that is deemed to have jurisdiction and its respective policies and procedures will be followed.
ITP Sport will contact the PSO’s designated Safe Sport Laison to confirm the PSO’s choice of service provider to fulfill the required role. Once the PSO has confirmed with ITP Sport, the file will be sent to the appropriate service provider. Eligible service providers are listed on Sask Sport’s website.
If anonymous, report the complaint immediately to ITP Sport via the Integrity Counts online platform. If not anonymous, inform the Complainant to report the complaint to ITP Sport via the Integrity Counts online platform.
Individuals who wish to appeal a decision have 14 days from the date of which they received notice of the decision to submit an appeal in writing, to ITP Sport via the Integrity Counts online platform. The policy suggests an appeal fee of $500 to be submitted along with the written appeal to the provincial organization. The appeal fee will be refunded if the appeal is successful, or forfeited if the appeal is denied.
To get a good estimate of the costs that a PSO may incur, consider requesting an estimate from the applicable service providers prior to the work commencing. Professionals accessed from the ADR Institute of SK’s network have agreed to a rate of $150 per hour.
A mediation session or arbitration hearing can be held in person, by videoconference, by conference call, or any combination of these formats.
The parties MUST comply with the agreement or the decision because they undertook to do so by agreeing to resolution facilitation, mediation, mediation/arbitration, or arbitration before the dispute resolution service provider.
If one of the parties fails to comply with the agreement or decision, the injured party can always ask a court to confirm (ratify) it. When the court confirms (ratifies) the agreement or decision, it becomes enforceable, just as if it had been handed down by the court itself. In short, the injured party can go through the court system to make the offending party comply with the agreement or decision.
The Sask Sport Board of Directors approved the Safe Sport Policy Manual at the November 2023 Board meeting, along with the timeline for all active and affiliate members to have the new Dispute Resolution policy suite approved within their organization by no later than January 31, 2024.
STEP 1: Policy documents are prepared
Sask Sport has provided a template of the Sask Sport Safe Sport Manual, which is available on its website. Member organizations should become acquainted with the Safe Sport Manual, and personalize the policy documents to include:
STEP 2: Policies approved and implemented
Personalized policy documents are then to be approved by PSO Boards; a Board motion to adopt the full component of the Sask Sport Safe Sport Manual will demonstrate that implementation is in place. A Dispute Resolution Policy Implementation Checklist is available on the Sask Sport website to help guide you with policy implementation. Each point must be completed.
STEP 3: Sask Sport reviews finalized policies
Ensure organization reports to Sask Sport when you have the policy implementation requirements completed and please provide the Board approved version of your organization’s Safe Sport Manual. Following Sask Sport’s satisfactory review of the policy submission, a confirmation letter will be forwarded to the organization and the information will be kept on file with Sask Sport.
STEP 4: Policy awareness
Sask Sport recommends that PSOs generate awareness of the new policies to all individual members or guardians of minor aged members, member clubs, leagues and teams.
The following are required PSO submissions to Sask Sport that ensure policy compliance:
Sask Sport will not approve significant variances in the policies and procedures outlined in the provided Safe Sport Manual templates, however some modifications are allowed, as long as the spirit, intent and standards of the Safe Sport Manual are not jeopardized. All proposed changes to any of the policies within the Sask Sport Safe Sport Manual template must be documented and provided to Sask Sport in a format that displays the changes clearly. Sask Sport requests that organizations track all proposed policy changes in a Microsoft Word version of the templates (available on the Sask Sport website by using the “Track Changes” tool.
Sask Sport requests that documents are submitted with the “Track Changes” activated/visible, in order to cross reference, the proposed changes made by PSOs. Sask Sport’s Provincial Sport Consultants are available to answer questions or to discuss potential policy changes.
Dispute resolution is a process that occurs in many forms, including resolution facilitation, mediation, mediation/arbitration, and arbitration. In resolution facilitation and mediation, help is given to facilitate a resolution without rendering any kind of formal decision. In arbitration, the arbitrator considers the merits of both sides of the case then renders a decision. In mediation/arbitration the process starts with mediation and, if the dispute is not resolved, concludes by arbitration.
The two fundamental principles of natural justice are:
The Dispute Resolution policy suite strongly adheres to these fundamental principles.
Sask Sport believes that fair play extends beyond how athletes compete on the field and behave on game day; fair play also applies to how sport organizations operate fairly and equitably when conflict arises. Sask Sport works with its membership to provide good governance practices and policies that reduce the risk of conflicts and disputes.
A “Work Team” comprised of Dispute Resolution committee volunteers, PSO member organization representatives, and Sask Sport representatives worked alongside Sport Lex and ITP Sport, to develop and recommend updated, comprehensive, user‐friendly, policies and procedures.
Alignment of the policies has resulted in a consistent, more comprehensive approach that is common across all member organizations.
The policies, resources, and programs that we have in place today have helped create a strong foundation for helping identify and deal with abuse, neglect, harassment and bullying in sport.
ITP Sport and Recreation supports organizations, stakeholders and participants across the sport community in building awareness and skillsets to prevent and address Maltreatment in sport, while encouraging positive and healthy sport behaviour.
Sask Sport has approved the adoption of a new Sask Sport Safe Sport Manual. This adoption of this manual is required for compliance with Sask Sport membership conditions. Please confirm adoption by completing the checklist.
Cost recovery for Sask Sport member organizations may be provided up to $5,000 each in cases of safe sport and dispute resolution. Please complete form to apply for cost recovery.
Listing of partners and supporters for safe sport complaints and dispute resolution.