Education is, without a doubt, the cornerstone of curbing abuse and harassment in sport. Prior to 2020, a number of organizations in Canada, including the Canadian Centre for Child Protection and the Respect Group, had already developed and delivered education programs to assist child-serving organizations in the prevention of sexual abuse.
In 2020, the Coaching Association of Canada (CAC) was selected by Sport Canada to lead the Nationally Mandated Safe Sport Training. On April 1, the CAC launched Safe Sport Training, a free eLearning module that aligns directly with the tenets of the Universal Code of Conduct to Prevent and Address Maltreatment in Sport. The module meets the minimum standards for mandated safe sport training for individuals under the authority of all Sport Canada-funded organizations, but its principles apply at any level of sport. Safe Sport Training is offered in English and French, takes 90 minutes to complete, and meets accessibility guidelines.
The training can be access at the following link: https://safesport.coach.ca/
Mandatory Training at the National Level
As per Sport Canada’s funding expectations, federally funded sport organizations have the obligation to ensure that, prior to April 1, 2021, all their members complete Safe Sport Training or a recognized equivalent.
For now, the program offered by Respect in Sport is the only recognized equivalent. It is anticipated that Safe Sport Training will need to be taken every year by these members, but further directives are expected in this regard.
Commit to Kids Program
Created by the Canadian Centre for Child Protection, the Commit to Kids program helps child-serving organizations reduce the risk of sexual abuse and create safer environments for children in their care.
The program’s tools provide organizations with information on the issue of child sexual abuse which forms the basis for educated policies and procedures — from hiring and screening to reporting and staff training. This enables all employees and volunteers throughout an organization to uphold standards of conduct that protect children and youth in their care by focusing on healthy interaction between adults and children.
Even though this program is not a recognized equivalent to Safe Sport Training, it is highly recommended for administrators of sport organizations whose services primarily target children, so they can establish policies and procedures to prevent child sexual abuse in their programs.