Coaching Association of Canada

Responsible Coaching Movement

  • 3 Steps to Responsible Coaching
  • Keeping Sport Healthy and Safe

For Coaches who work with Children in Sport

Coaches across Canada give athletes the benefit of their knowledge, enthusiasm and passion in sport. Coaches dedicate their time to helping youth build confidence, self-esteem, and foster positive body image development through participation in sport.

Coaches have many responsibilities and one of them is to ensure they provide a safe environment for the athlete and for themselves. When athletes and athletes’ parents entrust a coach as a leader they assume they have taken steps to become a responsible coach which includes implementing the 3 steps to Responsible Coaching.

Have you taken the 3 steps to Responsible Coaching?

The 3 steps to Responsible Coaching supports coaches with the training and knowledge they need to ensure that participation in sport occurs in a safe (open and observable), healthy, and fun environment.

1. Rule of Two

2. Background Screening

3. Respect and Ethics Training

Reporting Concerning Behaviour

Misconduct, Concerning Behaviour and Child Sexual Abuse

As a coach, what is my role in the RCM?

Coaches play a vital role in ensuring their athletes are safe both on and off the field of play. Below are ways coaches can protect both yourself and your athletes:

  • Ensure your organization has taken the RCM Pledge.
  • Support your organization to have key policies such as Travel Policy and Code of Conduct and that these are current and enforced.
  • Ensure all coaches and volunteers are appropriately screened.
  • Encourage coaches and volunteers to take the Commit2Kids, Respect in Sport and Make Ethical Decisions training.
  • What are some ways that I, as a coach, can support the Rule of Two?

With your athletes, identify situations that may make them vulnerable and discuss ways to deal with them.

  • 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 (link to screening matrix), 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 an open and observable environment for all interactions between adults and athletes.
  • Avoid private or one-on-one situations unless in an emergency. Leave the office door open or have the conversation in a visible but removed part of the facility.