What is Safe Sport?
Safe Sport provides a framework to ensure that everyone in the sport of fencing is able to enjoy the sport. Fencers, coaches, officials and volunteers have the right to participate in a safe and inclusive environment that is free of abuse, harassment or discrimination.
Canadian Fencing Federation – Commitment to Abuse-Free Sport Safeguarding
The Canadian Fencing Federation (CFF) is committed to, and strongly supports, the need for independent safe sport entities both through the SDRCC, with the establishment of Office of the Sport Integrity Commissioner (OSIC)/Abuse-Free-Sport for reporting and addressing all violations of the Universal Code of Conduct to Prevent and Address Maltreatment in Sport (UCCMS), as well as our partnership with W&W Dispute Resolution, for confidential reporting of safe sport policy violations.
The CFF Board of Directors approved a revised Safe Sport Policy Manual on March 29, 2023
Abuse-Free Sport is an independent program that is part of a growing national movement to rid Canadian sport of all forms of harassment, discrimination and abuse. As a Program Signatory, the Canadian Fencing Federation (CFF) is an active player in this movement. The CFF is a Program Signatory of the Office of the Sport Integrity Commissioner as of March 31st, 2023.
As a Program Signatory to Abuse-Free Sport, the CFF has agreed to adopt the Universal Code of Conduct to Prevent and Address Maltreatment in Sport (UCCMS) and retain the services of the Office of the Sport Integrity Commissioner (OSIC) to hear all complaints of potential violations of the UCCMS involving designated UCCMS Participants.
A UCCMS Participant is an Organizational Participant affiliated with the CFF who has been a) designated by the CFF and b) who has signed the required consent form. UCCMS Participants may include athletes, coaches, officials, athlete support personnel, employees, administrators, or volunteers acting on behalf of, or representing the CFF in any capacity. CFF UCCMS Participants are designated, appointed, hired, and/or selected by the CFF.
As such, UCCMS complaints will be reported and addressed directly through the Office of the Sport Integrity Commissioner (OSIC).
To see the CFF Safe Sport Complaint Process click here
Office of the Sport Integrity Commissioner
Unlike the previous approach, where each national sport organization created its own system for dealing with complaints of maltreatment, this is a centralized “one-stop shop.” It is independent and led by experts in their fields, using education and research to prevent maltreatment at all levels of sport.
The Office of the Sport Integrity Commissioner (the Office) serves as the central hub. It operates independently to administer complaints about alleged violations of the Universal Code of Conduct to Prevent and Address Maltreatment in Sport (UCCMS).
Where there are admissible allegations of abuse, harassment or discrimination, the Office conducts independent investigations and recommends sanctions against individuals who violate the UCCMS.
The Office will also maintain a national sanctions registry, which prevents individuals from evading sanctions be moving in different sports or in different jurisdictions.
For designated participants within our organization, there is access to a wide range of resources, including victim services and referrals to specialized mental health professionals and experienced lawyers – all of it available in English and French.
For more information, visit the Abuse-Free Sport website.
TO REPORT SUSPECTED ABUSE
If you are the victim of abuse, harassment or discrimination, or you’ve witnessed such an incident within our sport, you are encouraged to contact the Canadian Sport Helpline by phone or text at 1-888-83SPORT (77678), or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org, 12 hours a day, 7 days a week.
When the incidents recounted appear admissible, operators can assist you in filing a report through a confidential online platform, if desired.
It is important to note that the OSIC reporting mechanism only applies in situations where the Respondent to a complaint has been designated as a UCCMS Participant. If the Respondent is an individual who has not been identified as a UCCMS Participant, they are outside the jurisdiction of the Office of the Sport Integrity Commissioner (OSIC) process. In these situations, where a complaint is against a Respondent that is not a UCCMS participant, the reporting would be re-directed to the CFF’s independent third party (ITP) W&W Dispute Resolution. The ITP is empowered to supersede CFF staff and Directors and launch appropriate policies as required based on evidence or a situation reported. Your contact with the ITP is confidential, subject to certain legal limits. For general disputes, you are encouraged to try to resolve your situation at the club or provincial level before contacting the Canadian Fencing Federation.
The existence of this Independent Third Party does not prevent individuals from contacting the CFF directly with complaints if they are comfortable with the process.
Responsible Coaching Movement
The CFF has taken the pledge of The Responsible Coaching Movement (RCM) committing to implementing supportive policies and processes that adhere to the three key areas of focus in Phase 1 of the Responsible Coaching Movement – The Rule of Two; Background Screening (Including Criminal Record Checks); and Respect and Ethics Training.
The CFF has implemented required criminal background checks for all certified coaches, staff, volunteers and activity leaders through MyBackCheck.com. All Fencing Provincial Sport Organizations (PSO’s), including clubs have access to the services of this system.
The CFF has also established the RESPECT in Sport for Activity Leaders training which is a requirement for volunteers, staff and coaches directly involved in CFF programs. The Respect in Sport Activity Leader/Coach Program educates youth leaders, coaches, officials and participants (14-years and up) to recognize, understand and respond to issues of bullying, abuse, harassment and discrimination (BAHD). The platform enables PSO’s to also access the training services for their clubs and members.
The Coaching Association of Canada’s Safe Sport module is another acceptable option for coaches, athletes, officials, parents and volunteers to meet their Safe Sport training requirement.
The RCM web page also includes valuable resources for parents including links to report suspected abuse. Parents play a vital role in shaping the organizations in which their children are involved. By proactively supporting organizations to implement policies and procedures focused on protecting athletes and coaches from unethical behaviour, parents contribute to the ongoing development of our sport system and ensure a positive environment for all.
Finally, the CFF Board is currently reviewing policies and procedures and will work closely with national sport partners and agencies who are working together to create more effective reporting, screening and tracking policies for coaches. These new policies and procedures need to be implemented at all levels within our sport to ensure that we work together to ensure a safe sport environment for fencers.