Coaching Association of Canada

The Responsible Coaching Movement (RCM) is a call to action for sport organizations, parents, and coaches to enact responsible coaching across Canada – on and off the field.

The RCM is a multi-phase movement that affects all sport organizations and coaches across Canada. It stems from extensive and ongoing consultation with the sport community in Canada that showed us some of the systemic issues in sport, the role various parties play, and strategies for addressing these issues.

The Coaching Association of Canada and the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport support the Canadian sporting community in improving practices that ensure the health, safety and well-being of all participants.

Keeping Sport Fair, Fun, and Safe

Responsible coaching allows you to support your participants’ right to a safe, positive environment. Here are some ways to protect your athletes and yourself both on and off the field of play:


Take Three Steps to Responsible Coaching

The Three Steps to Responsible Coaching help participants and coaches benefit fully from sport participation in a safe, healthy, and fun environment. This methodology is a call to action for coaches and sports organizations to learn and apply consistent best practices in coaching.

Rule of Two Background Screening Ethics Training
Ensures open and observable interactions to protect participant and coach alike.
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Ensures coaches meet important requirements to coach participants of all ages.
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Prepares coaches to respond ethically and with confidence in challenging situations.
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Protect Your Participants

With your participants, identify situations that may make them vulnerable and discuss ways to deal with them. For example:

  • When identifying your coaching team, consider the demographics of your participants.
  • When travel is necessary, avoid situations where there is only one coach or volunteer with a single minor participant. If this is not possible, then ensure that the coach or volunteer has been appropriately screened (link to screening matrix), the athlete is comfortable with the individual, and that you have parental consent. As soon as possible when arriving at the destination, and during the event, find a “buddy” coach or volunteer to associate with during the event and when away from the venue.
  • Identify situations during practice and competition that may put you or your participants 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 participants.
  • Avoid private or one-on-one situations except in an emergency. Leave the office door open or have the conversation in a visible but removed part of the facility.

Responsible Coaching Resources

To help you on your RCM journey, we’ve developed a detailed RCM Checklist that includes resources, templates and useful links. We update it regularly with new information and tools.