Member Protection Policy
The Australian Football League Québec (AFL Québec) is committed to providing a safe, inclusive and respectful environment for all members. AFL Québec do not condone, support, promote or in any other way tolerate any form of discrimination, objectification, harassment, bullying, abuse, assault or neglect of any members. AFL Québec will implement this policy and associated codes of practice and provide assistance, support and guidance to victims of discrimination, harassment, abuse and assault. In addition, AFL Québec will provide education and training on this policy's contents, and provide complaint and support mechanisms to maximize member safety and protection. This policy aims to promote ethical and informed decision-making and responsible behaviour in Australian football in Canada and to create a climate of understanding and mutual respect where each member feels a part of the AFL Québec community. This policy also serves to formally record AFL Québec’s commitment to uphold the rights of its members to be treated with respect and dignity and to be protected from any form of discrimination, harassment, abuse and assault.
Any reported cases of inappropriate behaviour will be handled seriously, in a timely manner, and if necessary, investigated thoroughly.
This policy sets a standard of behaviour for all individuals associated with AFL Québec (referred to in this document as "members") at the national, provincial and club levels, including:
- Coaches and assistant coaches;
- Umpires and officials;
- Support personnel (including managers, physiotherapists, trainers, psychologists and masseurs);
- Individuals sitting on executive committees and sub-committees; and,
- Spectators and sponsors, to the full extent that is possible.
This policy is endorsed by AFL Québec Executive and is subject to review, amendment and modification. This policy begins with effect as of May 13, 2017. A copy of this policy can be found on the AFL Québec website at www.aflquebec.ca - About Us.
Inappropriate behaviour that is considered a breach of this policy includes:
- Any physical or sexual assault;
- Any remarks, slurs, jokes, taunts or discrimination of any kind that is unwanted and/or humiliates or insults any member;
- Any unwelcome physical contact;
- Any form of encouragement of any type of physical or sexual assault;
- Victimizing any other member for reporting a complaint, or engaging in victim-blaming in any other complaint or investigation;
- Any form of discrimination based on race, ethnicity, colour, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, family status or disability.
- Unwelcome sexual remarks, invitations, requests or any pressure for unwanted sexual acts;
- Display or distribution of sexually explicit, sexist, racist, offensive or derogatory material of any kind;
- Any form of bullying, including cyber-bullying;
- Written or verbally communicated abuse or threats;
- Vexatious, untrue or malicious claims against any other member;
- Hazing of any kind; and,
- Suggestive or offensive gestures.
COMPLAINTS AND INVESTIGATIONS
A member becomes the subject of a complaint if they are suspected of or have been accused of breach of this policy. If no resolution is reached between the member making the complaint and the subject of the complaint, an investigation will be ordered. An investigation may also be ordered in the absence of a complaint if warranted by suspicion of a policy breach.
Making a complaint
A member may make a complaint about any other member. The complaint should be made to the most senior accessible member, including an assistant coach, head coach, or an individual sitting on an executive committee or sub-committee. A complaint can be made on behalf of any other member. All efforts must be made to protect the privacy of all affected parties.
Receiving a complaint
A Record of Complaint must be completed by the member making the complaint, and the most senior accessible member to whom the complaint was reported to. Once the most senior accessible member receives a complaint of policy breach from any other member, they must make every effort to complete this report and:
- Take confidential notes about the complaint;
- Try to determine facts of the allegation;
- Determine what outcome the complainant desires to resolve the complaint;
- Provide options for resolution;
- Act as a support person if requested;
- Recommend an investigation into the complaint, if necessary; and,
- Inform the relevant authorities and/or police, if necessary.
All efforts must be made to ensure that investigations are completed within 90 days of an incident being reported. Any extension beyond this date must be explicitly justified and approved by the AFL Québec Executive committee. Any member requiring investigation whether as the complainant, the subject of a complaint or a witness will receive a Notice of Investigation and be required to give an interview regarding the alleged incident(s).
In the event of an investigation, the investigating body will interview any member(s) they deem necessary to the case. Investigation scripts for interviews with the complainant, the subject of a complaint or a witness can be found in Schedule 10: National Complaint and Investigation Guidelines of the AFL Member Protection Policy.
All complainants maintain the right to request that the investigating body is equally represented by males and females.
CONSEQUENCES FOR VIOLATION
If it is determined that a member has breached this policy, one or more of the following forms of discipline may be imposed by AFL Québec:
- Direction to make a verbal or written apology;
- A written warning;
- Direction to attend counseling or education sessions on this policy;
- A withdrawal of any awards, records or achievements bestowed in any tournaments, activities or events sanctioned by AFL Québec;
- A suspension of the member's participation with AFL Québec;
- Termination of the member's participation with AFL Québec;
- A monetary fine;
- Any other form of discipline that AFL Québec deems appropriate.
In the event of a criminal charge, other discipline may be taken by the relevant authorities.
Depending on the nature and severity of the complaint, the subject of the complaint may be suspended while an investigation is pending. The consequences for violation will be elevated in the event of any prior warnings or prior disciplinary action.
The consequence(s) for violation will be determined either by a direct resolution between the complainant and the subject of the complaint, or as the result of the findings of the investigation report if an investigation was required. The recommendations for discipline will be made by the investigating body and must be approved by AFL Québec Executive committee.
Any determined consequences for violation must be communicated to both the complainant and the subject of the complaint immediately following approval.
DUTY TO REPORT
AFL Québec members have a responsibility to implement and uphold this policy. All members are encouraged to immediately report any breach of this policy, whether directed at themselves or any other member.
PROVISION OF EDUCATIONAL SUPPORT
The AFL Québec Executive as well as coaches, support staff, volunteers and players must be made aware of this policy and it must be accessible on the AFL Québec website. All efforts must be made to educate any new members that enter the organization.
All AFL Québec members should make every effort to familiarize themselves with this policy, and are responsible for adopting, implementing and complying with this policy. All members are expected to cooperate in providing a supportive environment that is safe, inclusive, welcoming and free from any form of harassment, discrimination, bullying, abuse and assault.