The following Policy is courtesy of the PGA of Canada, and applies to all members of the British Columbia Zone. For more information regarding the PGA of Canada Code of Professional Conduct & Safe Sport Policy, please click here.
SECTION 1 - GENERAL PRINCIPLES AND COMMITMENT
1.1 Canadian Sport promises to contribute to the physical, psychological, social, and spiritual health of individuals of varying abilities, backgrounds, and interests, and contributes to societal engagement and pride. The Physical Activity and Sport Act states that: “The Government of Canada’s policy regarding sport is founded on the highest ethical standards and values, including pride, progressive leadership, diversity, excellence, and passion, the treatment of all persons with fairness and respect, the full and fair participation of all persons in sport and the fair, equitable, transparent and timely resolution of disputes in sport.” 1
Only when sport and workplace environments are safe and inclusive can these values be realized. Individuals should have the reasonable expectation when they participate in sport in Canada that it will be in an environment that is accessible, inclusive, respects their personal goals and is free from all forms of Maltreatment. Maltreatment in all its forms is a serious issue that undermines the health, well-being, performance and security of individuals, communities, and society.
Maltreatment is unacceptable and fundamentally incompatible with the core values that lie at the heart of Canadian golf as indicated in the Canadian Sport Policy, including being values- based, inclusive, technically sound, collaborative, intentional and effective.
1.2 The following principles will guide the determination of Maltreatment and imposition of sanctions:
- The Maltreatment in question violates the integrity of the participant in question and undermines the values of Canadian sport and the PGA of Canada.
- The sanctions imposed reflect the seriousness of the Maltreatment and the harm to those affected and the values of Canadian sport and the PGA of Canada.
- Harmonized (applied to all PGA of Canada Professionals, Apprentices, Applicants or Participants across Canada)
- Fair (procedural and substantive due process for all PGA of Canada Professionals, Apprentices, Applicants or Participants)
- Comprehensive (all forms of Maltreatment and potential sanctions described)
- Expert-informed (the determination of Maltreatment and impositions of sanctions will be informed by those with expertise in such areas as sport, child abuse, and the law)
- Trauma-informed (acknowledgement of the physical, psychological, and emotional effects of trauma, and avoidance of re-traumatization)
- Evidence-driven (evidence of Maltreatment required)
- Independent administration (free from all conflicts of interest)
1.3 Following the Safe Sport Working Group’s consensus statements and the Pan-Canadian consultation held from March to May 2019, all parties and organizations committed to the goal of Safe Sport have agreed that Maltreatment has no place in Canadian sport and, when present, must be sanctioned appropriately. The commitments expressed below reflect this common understanding amongst Canadian sport stakeholders:
- All PGA of Canada Professionals, Apprentices, Applicants or Participants in sport can expect to play, practice, and compete, work, and interact in an environment free from Maltreatment.
- Addressing the causes and consequences of Maltreatment is a collective responsibility and requires the deliberate efforts of all PGA of Canada Professionals, Apprentices, Applicants or Participants, golf stakeholders, owners and operators and organization leaders.
- PGA of Canada Professionals, Apprentices, Applicants or Participants in positions of trust and authority have the general responsibility to protect the health and well-being of all other Participants.
- PGA of Canada Professionals have a specific ethical and statutory duty and the additional responsibility to respond to incidents of Maltreatment involving Minors and other vulnerable individuals.
- All PGA of Canada Professionals, Apprentices, Applicants or Participants recognize that Maltreatment can occur regardless of age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, race, ethnicity, Indigenous status, or level of physical and intellectual disability and their intersections. Moreover, it is recognized that those from traditionally marginalized groups have increased vulnerability to experiences of Maltreatment.
- All PGA of Canada Professionals, Apprentices, Applicants or Participants recognize that individuals who have experienced Maltreatment may experience a range of effects that may emerge at different time points and that can profoundly affect their lives.
- All adults working with children and youth have a duty to prevent or mitigate opportunities for misconduct.
- In recognition of the historic vulnerability to discrimination and violence amongst some groups, and that continues to persist today, PGA of Canada Professionals, Apprentices, Applicants or Participants in positions of trust and authority have a duty to incorporate strategies to recognize systemic bias, unconscious bias, and to respond quickly and effectively to discriminatory practices.
2. Our Commitment to Ourselves. PGA of Canada members and Apprentices pledge to:
2.1 Maintain professional integrity, fidelity to the sport of golf, and a sense of great responsibility to employers, employees, manufacturers, golfers, and fellow professionals such that these notions transcend thought of material gain.
2.2 Ensure that the terms ‘Golf Professional’ or ‘Professional Golfer’ are synonymous with honor, service, and fair dealing.
2.3 Adhere to all federal, provincial, municipal, and host country laws.
2.4 Maintain a current awareness of PGA of Canada business, contemporary practices, and golf instruction techniques.
2.5 Promote golf as a doping-free sport by abstaining from the use of performance-enhancing drugs or methods.
2.6 Comply, at all times, with the PGA of Canada’s bylaws, policies, procedures, rules, and regulations, as adopted and amended from time to time.
2.7 Avoid conduct unbecoming of a professional at all times.
3. Our Commitment to the PGA of Canada. We pledge to:
3.1 Hold the brand of the PGA of Canada above our association(s) with any other organization, sponsor, product, or brand.
3.2 Avoid any activity, conduct, or behaviour that brings the PGA of Canada or any of its representatives or members into disrepute, loss of stature, or public embarrassment.
3.3 Never use our membership, standing, or position with the PGA of Canada as a means to earn illicit gains.
3.4 Never abuse the privilege of our membership with the PGA of Canada.
3.5 Promote the sport of golf in the most constructive and positive manner possible.
3.6 Not act as a public spokesperson for the PGA of Canada unless authorized to do so by PGA of Canada officials.
3.7 Publicly support the decisions of the PGA of Canada and its elected officials, avoiding public criticism, disrespect, and opposition.
3.8 Cooperate with the PGA of Canada with any investigation into member conduct or discipline.
4. Our Commitment to Each Other. We pledge to:
4.1 Play, coach, or instruct at another member’s golf course or business establishment only by invitation or with the permission of the other member
4.2 Avoid causing public embarrassment to a fellow member or engaging in communications about others that are defamatory.
4.3 Refrain from coaching, instructing or teaching an athlete or client who is currently being taught by another PGA of Canada member without that member’s express permission.
4.4 Refrain from usurping, poaching, or otherwise aggressively attempting to obtain another member’s clients, students, teaching methods, or equipment.
4.5 Report violations of this Code and/or any criminal activity committed by ourselves or by another member.
 Physical Activity and Sport Act, S.C. 2003, c. 2, Section 1.1
SECTION 2 - DEFINITIONS
Athlete: An individual who is an Athlete Participant encompasses any individual who has participated in the game of golf, at any level.
Applicant: An individual who is registered with the PGA of Canada but has not yet passed the entry requirements set out in PGA of Canada Training Academy.
Apprentice: An Apprentice is a person who may later be considered for admission as a Member, but is not yet qualified as a Member, and who meets the requirements of an Apprentice as determined from time to time by the National Board, inclusive of both an active and inactive status.
Board: The Board of Directors of the PGA of Canada.
Committee Member: An individual elected or appointed to a committee, task force or council of the PGA of Canada.
Complainant: A PGA of Canada Professional, Apprentice, Applicant or Participant or observer who makes a report of an incident of Maltreatment or suspicions of an incident of Maltreatment.
Contractor: A person or company that undertakes a contract to provide (but not limited to) support, programs, services to the PGA of Canada and is not a full-time employee.
Consent by a Person over the Age of Majority: Consent is defined in Canada’s Criminal Code as the voluntary agreement to engage in the sexual activity in question. The law focuses on what the person was thinking and feeling at the time of the sexual activity. Sexual touching is only lawful if the person affirmatively communicated their consent, whether through words or conduct. Silence or passivity does not equal consent. Sexual activity is only legal when both parties consent. The Criminal Code also says there is no consent when: Someone says or does something that shows they are not consenting to an activity; Someone says or does something to show they are not agreeing to continue an activity that has already started; Someone is incapable of consenting to the activity, because, for example, they are unconscious; The consent is a result of a someone abusing a position of trust, power or authority or someone consents on someone else’s behalf. A person cannot say they mistakenly believed a person was consenting if: that belief is based on their own intoxication; they were reckless about whether the person was consenting; they chose to ignore things that would tell them there was a lack of consent; or they didn’t take proper steps to check if there was consent.2 For further information, please see the comment below.
Sexual activity with a minor is a criminal offence as is sexual activity with a person under the age of 18 years when the other person is in a position of trust or authority.
Disclosure: The sharing of information by a PGA of Canada Professional, Apprentice, Applicant or Participant regarding an incident or a pattern of Maltreatment experienced by that PGA of Canada Professional, Apprentice, Applicant or Participant. Disclosure does not constitute a formal report that initiates a process of investigation to address the Maltreatment.
Discipline Committee: Is a PGA of Canada Committee composed of three persons, which will typically include the CEO, Privacy Officer, and Safe Sport designated staff member. The members of the Discipline Committee will have not been involved in the matter that gave rise to the complaint about the Member and, should there be conflict or other reason why a member cannot be part of the Discipline Committee, another individual will be appointed in their place by the Board.
Duty to Report under Child Protection Legislation: A legal duty to report is mandated by law, and the requirement varies by province depending on provincial legislation. Everyone has a duty to report child abuse and neglect under Canadian child welfare laws. Professionals who work with children and youth have an added responsibility to report. Adults are obliged to report child Maltreatment if there is knowledge or suspicion that it is occurring. This is called the “duty to report.” Every person in Canada has the duty to report known or suspected child Maltreatment by law. Known or suspected abuse or Neglect of a child must be reported to local child welfare services (e.g., children’s aid society or child and family services agency), or provincial/territorial social service ministries or departments, or local police.
Duty to Report Concerns Outside of Child Protection Legislation: PGA of Canada Professionals, Apprentices, Applicants or Participants have a duty to report concerns of inappropriate conduct of other Participants to uphold the ethical standards and values of Canadian sport. Reporting inappropriate conduct is important to ensure proper action is taken and expectations are re-established. By addressing inappropriate conduct, a collective responsibility to protect PGA of Canada Professionals, Apprentices, Applicants or Participants from Maltreatment is enacted.
Grooming: Deliberate conduct by a PGA of Canada Professional, Apprentice, Applicant or Participant to sexualize a relationship with a Minor that involves the gradual blurring of boundaries and normalization of inappropriate and sexually abusive behaviour. During the grooming process, the PGA of Canada Professional, Apprentice, Applicant or Participant will gain the trust of the Minor and protective adults and peers around the Minor often under the guise of an existing relationship. Manipulation tactics are then used to blur perceptions and gain further access to and private time with the Minor to abuse or exploit the Minor. Grooming can occur whether harm is intended or results from the behaviour. 3
Minor: An individual who is under the age of majority at the time and in the jurisdiction where the alleged Maltreatment occurred. It is the responsibility of the adult to know the age of a minor. 4
Comment to Minor: The following table illustrates the definition of a child for the purposes of protection in each province and territory at the time of writing the PGA Code of Professional Conduct and Safe Sport Policy. Please check your local jurisdiction for potential changes
Province or Territory
Definition of child for purposes of protection
Newfoundland and Labrador
under 16 years old
Prince Edward Island
under 18 years old
under 19 years old
Under 19 years old
Under 18 years old
under 18 years old
under 18 years old
under 16 years old
under 18 years old
under 19 years old
under 19 years old
under 16 years old
under 16 years old
Note: Children with disabilities are eligible for protective services
Maltreatment: Volitional acts that result in harm or the potential for physical or psychological harm. Any of the various prohibited behaviours and conduct described in Section 2.0. 5
Neglect: Any pattern or a single serious incident of lack of reasonable care, inattention to a PGA of Canada Professional, Apprentice, Applicant or Participant needs, nurturing or well-being, or omissions in care. Neglect is determined by the objective behaviour, but the behaviour must be evaluated with consideration given to the PGA of Canada Professional, Apprentice, Applicant or Participant needs and requirements, not whether harm is intended or results from the behaviour. 6
Participant: Every individual who is subject to the PGA Code of Professional Conduct and Safe Sport Policy. [Note: Participants may become subject to the PGA Code of Professional Conduct and Safe Sport Policy by various means. Athletes through membership in the PGA of Canada, PGA of Canada Professionals, Apprentices, Applicants, coaches, students, interns, officials, self-employed independent contractors, volunteers, and Directors, or by signing an express contract accepting the jurisdiction of the PGA Code of Professional Conduct and Safe Sport Policy.]
Physical Maltreatment: Any pattern or a single serious incident of deliberate conduct that has the potential to be harmful to the physical well-being of the PGA of Canada Professional, Apprentice, Applicant or Participant. Physical Maltreatment includes, without limitation, contact or non-contact infliction of physical harm. Physical Maltreatment is determined by the objective behaviour, not whether harm is intended or results from the behaviour. 7
PGA of Canada Professional: have applied for and been admitted to membership to the PGA of Canada.
Power Imbalance: A Power Imbalance may exist where, based on the totality of the circumstances, a Participant has supervisory, evaluative, a duty of care, or other authority over another Participant. A Power Imbalance may also exist between an Athlete and other adults involved in sport in positions such as high-performance directors, sport specific health-care providers, sport science support staff, care or support persons, guides, or pilots. Maltreatment occurs when this power is misused.
Once a coach-Athlete relationship is established, a Power Imbalance is presumed to exist throughout the coach-Athlete relationship, regardless of age, and is presumed to continue for Minor Athletes after the coach-Athlete relationship terminates or until the Athlete reaches 25 years of age. A Power Imbalance may exist, but is not presumed, where an intimate relationship existed before the sport relationship commenced (e.g., a relationship between two spouses or life partners, or a sexual relationship between consenting adults that preceded the sport relationship).
Psychological Maltreatment: Any pattern or a single serious incident of deliberate conduct that has the potential to be harmful to the psychological well-being of the Participant. Psychological Maltreatment includes, without limitation, verbal conduct, non-assaultive physical conduct, and conduct that denies attention or support. Psychological Maltreatment is determined by the objective behaviour, not whether harm is intended or results from the behaviour. 8
Reporting (or Report): The provision of information in writing by any person or a Participant to a relevant independent authority (the independent person or position charged with receiving a report and determining next steps) regarding Maltreatment. Reporting may occur through either: (i) the Complainant (of any age) or the one who experienced the Maltreatment, or (ii) a witness – someone who witnessed the Maltreatment or otherwise knows or suspects Maltreatment. In either case, the intention of Reporting is to initiate an independent investigative process, which could result in disciplinary action being taken against the Respondent.
Respondent: A Participant who is alleged to have engaged in Maltreatment and thereby to have violated the PGA Code of Professional Conduct and Safe Sport Policy.
Sexual Maltreatment involving a Child: Any form of adult/child sexualized interaction constitutes child sexual abuse. Sexual abuse of a child may occur through behaviours that do or do not involve actual physical contact.
Sexual Maltreatment involving a person over the Age of Majority: Any sexual act, whether physical or psychological in nature, that is committed, threatened, or attempted against a Participant without the Participant’s Consent. It includes any act targeting a Participant’s sexuality, gender identity or expression, that is committed, threatened, or attempted against a Participant without that Participant’s Consent, and includes but is not limited to, the Criminal Code Offences of sexual assault, sexual exploitation, sexual interference, invitation to sexual touching, indecent exposure, voyeurism, and non-consensual distribution of sexual/intimate images. Sexual Maltreatment also includes sexual harassment and stalking, cyber harassment, and cyber stalking of a sexual nature. Sexual Maltreatment can take place through any form or means of communication (e.g., online, social media, verbal, written, visual, hazing, or through a third party).9
Workplace: Any place where business or work-related activities are conducted. Workplaces include but are not limited to, the registered office(s), work-related social functions, work assignments outside the registered office(s), work-related travel, the training and competition environment, and work-related conferences or training session.
 Criminal Code, R.S.C. 1985, c. C-46, [s. 273.1(1)]
 Commit to Kids. Helping Organizations Prevent Child Sexual Abuse. Canadian Centre for Child Protection.
 Crooks, C. V., & Wolfe, D. A. (2007). Child abuse and neglect. In E. J. Mash & R. A. Barkley (Eds.), Assessment of childhood disorders (pp. 639-684). New York, NY, US: Guilford Press.
 (i) Stirling, A. (2009). Definition and constituents of maltreatment in sport: Establishing a a conceptual framework for research practitioners. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 43(14), 1091-9. And (ii) Safe Sport Code for U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Movements. (2019). U.S. Center for Safe Sport.
 Commit to Kids. Helping Organizations Prevent Child Sexual Abuse. Canadian Centre for Child Protection. https://commit2kids.ca/en/
SECTION 3 - MALTREATMENT
3.1 Scope of Application
3.1.1 This section of the PGA Code of Professional Conduct and Safe Sport Policy sets forth expectations for PGA of Canada Professionals, Apprentices, Applicants or Participants regarding the elimination of Maltreatment in sport.
3.1.2 The PGA Code of Professional Conduct and Safe Sport Policy applies to PGA of Canada Professionals, Apprentices, Applicants or Participants active in golf or retired from golf where any claim of Maltreatment occurred when the Participant was active in sport.
3.1.3 The right to participate in sport may be limited, conditional, suspended, terminated, or denied if a PGA of Canada Professionals, Apprentices, Applicants or Participants is alleged to have engaged in Maltreatment. It is a violation of the PGA Code of Professional Conduct and Safe Sport Policy for a PGA of Canada Professional, Apprentice, Applicant or Participant to engage in Maltreatment (however described).
3.1.4 Adults in positions of trust and authority shall be responsible for knowing what constitutes Maltreatment. The categories of Maltreatment are not mutually exclusive, nor are the examples provided in each category an exhaustive list. Rather, what matters for the assessment of the Maltreatment is whether the conduct falls into one or more of the categories, not into which category it falls. Abuse, assault, harassment, bullying, and hazing can be experienced in more than one category of Maltreatment.
Maltreatment can be any of the prohibited behaviours and conduct, provided the Maltreatment occurs in any one or a combination of the following situations (i) within a sport environment or (ii) when the PGA of Canada Professional, Apprentice, Applicant or Participant alleged to have committed Maltreatment was engaging in sport activities or (iii) when the PGA of Canada Professional, Apprentice, Applicant or Participant involved interacted due to their mutual involvement in sport or (iv) outside of the sport environment where the Maltreatment has a serious and detrimental impact on another PGA of Canada Professional, Apprentice, Applicant or Participant. The physical location(s) where the alleged Maltreatment occurred is not determinative.
3.1.5 Subjecting a Participant to the Risk of Maltreatment
It is a violation of the PGA Code of Professional Conduct and Safe Sport Policy for sport administrators or other sport decision-makers in positions of authority to place Participants in situations that make them vulnerable to Maltreatment. This includes, but is not limited to, instructing an Athlete and coach to share a hotel room when traveling, hiring a coach who has a history of Athlete Maltreatment, assigning guides and other support staff to a para-Athlete when the guide or support staff has a reputation for Athlete Maltreatment or assigning such a guide or support staff to a para-Athlete in the absence of consultation with the para-Athlete.
3.1.6 Sport-Specific Considerations
The PGA Code of Professional Conduct and Safe Sport Policy acknowledges that sport-specific differences exist with respect to such aspects as acceptable levels of touch, physical contact, and aggression during training or competition. However, as the PGA Code of Professional Conduct and Safe Sport Policy does not address rules of the game, any relevant sport-specific differences will be considered during investigative processes.
3.2.1 Psychological Maltreatment
220.127.116.11 It is a violation of the PGA Code of Professional Conduct and Safe Sport Policy for a Participant to engage in Psychological Maltreatment.
18.104.22.168 Psychological Maltreatment includes, without limitation, verbal acts, non- assaultive physical acts, and acts that deny attention or support.
22.214.171.124.1 Verbal Acts
Verbally assaulting or attacking someone, including but not limited to: unwarranted personal criticisms; body shaming; derogatory comments related to one’s identity (e.g. race, gender identity or expression, ethnicity, Indigenous status, ability/disability); comments that are demeaning, humiliating, belittling, intimidating, insulting or threatening; the use of rumors or false statements about someone to diminish that person’s reputation; using confidential sport and non-sport information inappropriately.
Verbal Maltreatment may also occur in online forms.
126.96.36.199.2 Non-Assaultive Physical Acts (no physical contact)
Physically aggressive behaviours, including but not limited to throwing objects at or in the presence of others without striking another, hitting, striking, or punching objects in the presence of others.
188.8.131.52.3 Acts that Deny Attention or Support
Acts of commission that deny attention, lack of support or isolation including but not limited to ignoring psychological needs or socially isolating a person repeatedly or for an extended period; abandonment of an Athlete as punishment for poor performance; arbitrarily or unreasonably denying feedback, training opportunities, support, or attention for extended periods of time and/or asking others to do the same.
3.2.2 Physical Maltreatment
184.108.40.206 It is a violation of the PGA Code of Professional Conduct and Safe Sport Policy for a Participant to engage in Physical Maltreatment.
220.127.116.11 Physical Maltreatment includes, without limitation, contact or non-contact behaviours that have the potential to cause physical harm.
18.104.22.168.1 Contact Behaviours
Including but not limited to deliberately punching, kicking, beating, biting, striking, strangling, or slapping another; deliberately hitting another with objects.
22.214.171.124.2 Non-Contact Behaviours
Including but not limited to: isolating a person in a confined space; forcing a person to assume a painful stance or position for no athletic purpose (e.g., requiring an Athlete to kneel on a hard surface); the use of exercise for the purposes of punishment; withholding, recommending against, or denying adequate hydration, nutrition, medical attention or sleep; denying access to a toilet; providing alcohol to a Participant under the legal drinking age; providing illegal drugs or non-prescribed medications to a Participant; encouraging or knowingly permitting an Athlete to return to play prematurely following any injury or after a concussion and without the clearance of a medical professional; encouraging an Athlete to perform a skill for which they are known to not be developmentally ready.
3.2.3 Sexual Maltreatment
126.96.36.199 It is a violation of the PGA Code of Professional Conduct and Safe Sport Policy for a Participant to engage in Sexual Maltreatment.
188.8.131.52 Sexual Maltreatment includes, without limitation, any act targeting a person’s sexuality, gender identity or expression, that is committed, threatened, or attempted against a person, and includes but is not limited to the Criminal Code Offences of sexual assault, sexual exploitation, sexual interference, invitation to sexual touching, indecent exposure, voyeurism, and non-consensual distribution of sexual/intimate images. Sexual Maltreatment also includes sexual harassment and stalking, cyber harassment, and cyber stalking of a sexual nature.
184.108.40.206 Examples of Sexual Maltreatment include, without limitation:
220.127.116.11.1 Any penetration of any part of a person’s body, however slight, with any object or body part by a person upon another person, including but not limited to:
a) Vaginal penetration by a penis, object, tongue, or finger; and
b) Anal penetration by a penis, object, tongue, or finger.
18.104.22.168.2 Any intentional touching of a sexual nature of any part of a person’s body, however slight, with any object or body part by a person upon another person, including but not limited to:
b) Intentional touching of the breasts, buttocks, groin, or genitals, whether clothed or unclothed, or intentionally touching of another with any of these body parts;
c) Any contact, no matter how slight, between the mouth of one person and the genitalia of another person, and
d) Making another touch themselves, the Participant, or someone else with or on any of the body parts listed in b).
e) Any intentional touching in a sexualized manner of the relationship, context, or situation.
22.214.171.124.3 In addition to the criminal acts identified above, the PGA Code of Professional Conduct and Safe Sport Policy prohibits sexual relations between an Athlete above the age of majority (depending upon jurisdiction) and a Participant who holds a position of trust and authority on the basis that there can be no Consent where there is a Power Imbalance. A Power Imbalance that is presumed to exist may be challenged.
126.96.36.199 It is a violation of the PGA Code of Professional Conduct and Safe Sport Policy for a Participant to engage in Neglect.
188.8.131.52 Neglect, or acts of omission, includes without limitation: not providing an Athlete recovery time and/or treatment for a sport injury; not being aware of and not considering an individual’s physical or intellectual disability; not considering supervision of an Athlete during travel, training or competition; not considering the welfare of the Athlete when prescribing dieting or other weight control methods (e.g., weigh-ins, caliper tests); disregarding the use of performance-enhancing drugs by an Athlete; failure to ensure safety of equipment or environment; allowing an Athlete to disregard sport’s rules, regulations, and standards, subjecting Participants to the risk of Maltreatment.
3.2.5 Maltreatment Related to Grooming
184.108.40.206 It is a violation of the PGA Code of Professional Conduct and Safe Sport Policy for a Participant to engage in Grooming.
220.127.116.11 Grooming is often a slow, gradual, and escalating process of building trust and comfort with a young person. Grooming includes, without limitation, the process of making inappropriate behaviour seem normal and gradually engaging in ‘boundary violations’ which have been professionally-identified to Canadian standards (e.g., a degrading remark, a sexual joke, sexualized physical contact; adult Participants sharing rooms with a Minor who is not an immediate family member; providing a massage or other purported therapeutic interventions with no specific training or expertise; private social media and text communication; sharing personal photographs; shared use of locker rooms; private meetings; private travel and providing gifts).
18.104.22.168 Grooming usually begins with subtle behaviours that do not appear to be inappropriate. Many victims/survivors of sexual abuse do not recognize the grooming process as it is happening, nor do they recognize that this process of manipulation is part of the overall abuse process.
22.214.171.124 In the Grooming process, the offender begins by gaining trust of adults around the young person. The offender establishes a friendship and gains the young person’s trust. Grooming then involves testing boundaries (e.g., telling sexual jokes, showing sexually explicit images, making sexual remarks). Typically, behaviour moves from non-sexual touching to “accidental” sexual touching.
126.96.36.199 The young person is often manipulated into feeling responsible for the contact, is discouraged from telling anyone else about the relationship, and is made to feel obligated to protect the offender. The offender also builds trust with those close to the young person so that the relationship with the young person is not questioned. 10
3.2.6 Maltreatment Related to Process
188.8.131.52 The behaviour identified below also constitute Maltreatment and may give rise to a sanction.
184.108.40.206.1 Interference with or Manipulation of Process
An adult Participant, violates the PGA Code of Professional Conduct and Safe Sport Policy by directly or indirectly interfering with a PGA Code of Professional Conduct and Safe Sport Policy process by
a) Falsifying, distorting, or misrepresenting information, the resolution process, or an outcome;
b) Destroying or concealing information;
c) Attempting to discourage an individual’s proper participation in or use of the PGA Code of Professional Conduct and Safe Sport Policy processes;
d) Harassing or intimidating (verbally or physically) any person involved in the PGA Code of Professional Conduct and Safe Sport Policy processes before, during, and/or following any PGA Code of Professional Conduct and Safe Sport Policy proceedings;
e) Publicly disclosing a Participant’s identifying information, without the Participant’s agreement;
f) Failing to comply with any temporary or provisional measure or other final sanction;
g) Distributing or otherwise publicizing materials a Participant gains access to during a PGA Code of Professional Conduct and Safe Sport Policy investigation or hearing, except as required by law or as expressly permitted; or
h) Influencing or attempting to influence another person to interfere with or manipulate the process.
Retaliation is prohibited. A Participant shall not take an adverse action against any person for making a good faith Report of possible Maltreatment or for participating in any process under the PGA Code of Professional Conduct and Safe Sport Policy. Retaliation includes threatening, intimidating, harassing, coercing or any other conduct that would discourage a reasonable person from engaging or participating in PGA Code of Professional Conduct and Safe Sport Policy processes.
Retaliation after the conclusion of investigation and sanction processes is also prohibited. Retaliation may be present even where there is a finding that no Maltreatment occurred.
Retaliation does not include good-faith actions lawfully pursued in response to a Report of possible Maltreatment.
220.127.116.11.3 Aiding and Abetting
Aiding and Abetting is any act taken with the purpose of facilitating, promoting, or encouraging the commission of Maltreatment by a Participant. Aiding and Abetting also includes, without limitation, knowingly:
a) Allowing any person who has been suspended or is otherwise ineligible to be in any way associated with sport or to coach or instruct Participants;
b) Providing any coaching-related advice or service to an Athlete who has been suspended or is otherwise ineligible; and
c) Allowing any person to violate the terms of their suspension or any other sanctions imposed.
3.2.7 Maltreatment Related to Reporting
18.104.22.168 Failure to Report Maltreatment of a Minor
A legal duty to report is mandated by law, and the requirement varies by province depending on provincial legislation. An adult Participant who fails to Report actual or suspected Psychological Maltreatment, Sexual Maltreatment, Physical Maltreatment or Neglect involving a Minor Participant pursuant to the PGA Code of Professional Conduct and Safe Sport Policy processes and to law enforcement or child protection services (when applicable) shall be subject to disciplinary action under the PGA Code of Professional Conduct and Safe Sport Policy.
22.214.171.124.1 The obligation to Report requires the Reporting of any conduct which, if proven true, would constitute Psychological Maltreatment, Sexual Maltreatment, Physical Maltreatment, or Neglect involving a Minor Participant. The obligation to Report is an ongoing one and is not satisfied simply by making an initial Report. The obligation includes Reporting, on a timely basis, all relevant information of which an adult Participant becomes aware.
126.96.36.199.2 The obligation to Report includes making a direct Report.
188.8.131.52.3 The obligation to Report includes personally identifying information of a potential Minor Complainant to the extent known at the time of the Report, as well as a duty to reasonably supplement the Report as to identifying information learned at a later time.
184.108.40.206.4 Participants should not investigate or attempt to evaluate the credibility or validity of allegations involving Psychological Maltreatment, Sexual Maltreatment, Physical Maltreatment, or Neglect. Participants making a good faith Report are not required to prove the Reports are true before Reporting.
220.127.116.11 Failure to Report Inappropriate Conduct
Not all inappropriate conduct may meet the threshold for constituting Maltreatment under the PGA Code of Professional Conduct and Safe Sport Policy. However, such inappropriate conduct may represent behaviour with the risk of escalating to Maltreatment under the PGA Code of Professional Conduct and Safe Sport Policy.
Any PGA of Canada Professional, Apprentice, Applicant or Participant who suspects or becomes aware of another PGA of Canada Professional, Apprentice, Applicant or Participant inappropriate conduct, even if it is not defined as Maltreatment under the PGA Code of Professional Conduct and Safe Sport Policy, has a duty to report such inappropriate conduct through the organization’s internal procedures. Those in positions of trust and authority who become aware of another’s inappropriate conduct have a responsibility for reporting the concern within their organization’s policies and procedures. The person making the report does not need to determine whether a violation of the PGA Code of Professional Conduct and Safe Sport Policy took place: instead, the responsibility lies in reporting the objective behaviour.
18.104.22.168 Intentionally Filing a False Allegation
In addition to constituting Maltreatment, filing a knowingly false allegation, or influencing others to file a knowingly false allegation, that a PGA of Canada Professional, Apprentice, Applicant or Participant engaged in Maltreatment shall be subject to disciplinary action pursuant to the PGA Code of Professional Conduct and Safe Sport Policy.
22.214.171.124.1 An allegation is false if the events Reported did not occur, and the person making the Report knows the events did not occur.
126.96.36.199.2 A false allegation is different from an unsubstantiated allegation; an unsubstantiated allegation means there is insufficient supporting evidence to determine whether an allegation is true or false. Absent demonstrable bad faith, an unsubstantiated allegation alone is not grounds for a PGA Code of Professional Conduct and Safe Sport Policy violation.
3.2.8 What is not Maltreatment
Not every unpleasant or negative interaction, incident, event, or situation is Maltreatment, Bullying and Harassment, or Discrimination. Nothing in this Code restricts the legitimate and good faith exercise of supervisory or managerial rights and responsibilities, without limitation:
• giving advice;
• respectful discussion of different points of view;
• assigning, scheduling or changing work;
• performance appraisal;
• performance or behaviour correction;
• discipline or termination of employment for cause;
• reasonable action taken by a supervisor or manager relating to the management and direction of Personnel, Athletes and/or Coaches and the workplace;
• the freedom of individuals to choose with whom to socialize in activities not related to the workplace;
• interpersonal conflicts or relations unless humiliating, intimidating or threatening to health or safety; and
• different communication styles so long as those communication styles are within the reasonable limits of respectful workplace interactions.
3.2.9 Workplace Harassment
Vexatious comment or conduct against a worker in a Workplace that is known or ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome. Workplace Harassment should not be confused with legitimate, reasonable management actions that are part of the normal work/training function, including measures to correct performance deficiencies, such as placing someone on a performance improvement plan, or imposing discipline for workplace infractions. Types of behaviour that constitute Workplace Harassment include, but are not limited to:
b) Workplace pranks, vandalism, bullying or hazing.
c) Repeated offensive or intimidating phone calls or emails.
d) Inappropriate sexual touching, advances, suggestions, or requests.
e) Displaying or circulating offensive pictures, photographs, or materials in printed or electronic form.
f) Psychological abuse.
g) Excluding or ignoring someone, including persistent exclusion of a person from work-related social gatherings.
h) Deliberately withholding information that would enable a person to do his or her job, perform or train.
i) Sabotaging someone else’s work or performance.
j) Gossiping or spreading malicious rumors.
k) Intimidating words or conduct (offensive jokes or innuendos); and
l) Words or actions which are known, or ought reasonably to be known, as offensive, embarrassing, humiliating, or demeaning.
3.2.11 Workplace Violence
The use of, or threat of, physical force by a person against a worker in a Workplace that causes or could cause physical injury to the worker; an attempt to exercise physical force against a worker in a Workplace that could cause physical injury to the worker; or a statement or behaviour that it is reasonable for a worker to interpret as a threat to exercise physical force against the worker in a Workplace that could cause physical injury to the worker. Types of behaviour that constitute Workplace Violence include, but are not limited to:
a) Verbal or written threats to attack.
b) Sending to or leaving threatening notes or emails.
c) Physically threatening behaviour such as shaking a fist at someone, finger pointing, destroying property, or throwing objects.
d) Wielding a weapon in a Workplace.
e) Hitting, punching or unwanted touching which is not accidental.
f) Dangerous or threatening horseplay.
g) Physical restraint or confinement. Blatant or intentional disregard for the safety or wellbeing of others.
h) Blocking normal movement or physical interference, with or without the use of equipment.
i) Sexual assault; and
j) Any attempt to engage in the type of conduct outlined above.
 Commit to Kids. Helping Organizations Prevent Child Sexual Abuse. Canadian Centre for Child Protection
SECTION 4 - ATHLETE AND COACH PROTECTION
4.1 Rule of Two
PGA of Canada requires that the ‘Rule of Two’ is followed for all Persons in Authority who interact with Vulnerable Participants, to the maximum extent feasible. The ‘Rule of Two’ is a directive aimed at protecting coaches and PGA of Canada Members and Apprentices from ever being alone one-on-one with a minor.
PGA of Canada recognizes that abiding by the ‘Rule of Two’ may not be feasible in some instances, given the dynamics of golf participation and golf training. To the maximum extent feasible, Persons in Authority must take all reasonable efforts to be in open and observable spaces while working with minors.
Compliance with the ‘Rule of Two’ involves adhering to the following guidelines:
a) To the maximum extent possible, the training environment should be visible and accessible so that all interactions between Persons in Authority and Vulnerable Participants are observable.
b) Private and one-on-one situations that are not observable by another adult or Athlete should be avoided to the maximum extent possible.
c) A Vulnerable Participant may not be alone under the supervision of a Person in Authority unless prior written permission is obtained from the Vulnerable Participant’s parent or guardian.
d) Persons in Authority may not invite or host Vulnerable Participants in their home without the written permission from parents or guardians or without parents or guardians having contemporaneous knowledge of the visit.
e) If a Person in Authority and a Vulnerable Participant expect to be away from other PGA of Canada Professional, Apprentice, Applicant or Participant for a lengthy period of time (for example, they will be on the golf course together), they must inform another Person in Authority where they are going and when they are expected to return. Persons in Authority should always be reachable by phone or text message.
For communication in any form between Persons in Authority and Athletes, following guidelines must be followed:
a) Persons in Authority may only send texts, direct messages on social media or emails to individual Athletes when necessary and only for communicating information related to team issues and activities (e.g., non-personal information).
b) Individual communication with an Athlete must remain professional in tone. Communication between Persons in Authority and Athletes that is personal in nature should be avoided. If such personal communication is unavoidable, it must be recorded and available for review by another Person in Authority and/or by the Athlete’s parent/guardian (i.e., if the Athlete is a Vulnerable Participant).
c) Parents/guardians may request that their child not be contacted by a Person in Authority using any form of electronic communication and/or may request that certain information about their child not be distributed in any form of electronic communications.
d) All communication between a Person in Authority and Athletes must be between the hours of 6:00am and midnight unless extenuating circumstances justify otherwise.
e) Communication concerning drugs or alcohol use is not permitted, unless the communication relates to policies prohibiting its use.
f) Communications may not include sexually explicit language, imagery, or content.
For travel involving Persons in Authority and Athletes, adherence to the following guidelines is required:
a) Teams or groups of Athletes to travel with at least two Persons in Authority with them, to the extent that budget and logistical circumstances allow.
b) If two Persons in Authority cannot be present, reasonable efforts should be made to supplement supervision with screened parents or other volunteers.
c) To the maximum extent possible, a Person in Authority should not drive a vehicle alone with an Athlete unless the Person in Authority is the Athlete’s parent or guardian.
d) A Person in Authority may not share a hotel room with an Athlete unless the Person in Authority is the Athlete’s parent/guardian or spouse.
e) Room or bed checks during overnight stays must be done by two Persons in Authority.
f) For overnight travel when Athletes must share a hotel room, roommates must be age-appropriate (e.g., within approximately two years of age of one another) and of the same gender identity.
4.4 Locker Rooms / Changing Areas
For locker rooms, changing areas, and other closed meeting spaces, adherence to the following guidelines is required:
a) Interactions between Persons in Authority and Athletes should not occur in any area where there is a reasonable expectation of privacy -such as a locker room, washroom or changing area. A second adult should be present for any necessary interaction between an adult and an Athlete in any such area.
4.5 Photography / Video
For all photography and video of an Athlete, adherence to the following guidelines is required:
a) Photographs and video should be taken in public view. Content must observe generally accepted standards of decency and be both appropriate for and in the best interest of the Athlete.
b) The use of recording devices in any areas where there is a reasonable expectation of privacy –such as locker rooms or washrooms -is strictly prohibited.
c) If content featuring an Athlete will be used on any form of public media, an Image Consent Form must be completed before the content is recorded.
4.6 Physical Contact
Some physical contact between Persons in Authority and Athletes may be necessary for various reasons including, but not limited to, teaching a skill or tending to an injury. For physical contact, adherence to the following guidelines is required:
a) A Person in Authority must always request permission to make physical contact from the Athlete in advance and clearly explain where, why and how the physical contact will occur. The Person in Authority must make clear that they are requesting to touch the Athlete and not requiring physical contact.
b) In frequent, incidental physical contact during a training session is not considered a violation of policy.
c) Non-essential physical contact may not be initiated by the Person of Authority. It is recognized that some Athletes may initiate non-essential physical contact such as hugging or other physical contact with a Person in Authority for various reasons (e.g., such as celebrating or crying after a poor performance). This physical contact should always occur in an open and observable environment.
All Applicants joining the PGA of Canada are required to successfully complete a Sterling Background Check. On a three-year rotating basis, all PGA of Canada Professionals and Apprentices will be required to complete a Sterling Background Check to be clear of any criminal charges that are contrary to the Code of Professional Conduct and PGA Code of Professional Conduct and Safe Sport Policy. A committee may be comprised by the PGA of Canada to review any special cases and exemptions to this section of the policy.
SECTION 5 - SANCTIONS
In addition to any temporary or provisional measure that may be imposed, where there is sufficient evidence to support a finding that a PGA of Canada Professional, Apprentice, Applicant or Participant engaged in Maltreatment and thus violated the PGA Code of Professional Conduct and Safe Sport Policy, sanctions will be imposed. Different incidents constituting a violation of the same part of the PGA Code of Professional Conduct and Safe Sport Policy may arise out of markedly different circumstances, including various case-specific aggravating and/or mitigating factors.
Any sanction imposed against a PGA of Canada Professional, Apprentice, Applicant or Participant must be proportionate and reasonable, relative to the Maltreatment that has occurred, taking into account previous disciplinary actions. However, progressive discipline is not required as a single occurrence of Maltreatment can lead to a very significant sanction.
Subject to Section 3, if Maltreatment is proven one or more of the following sanctions, but not limited to, may be imposed:
5.1.1 Verbal or Written Warning
A verbal reprimand or an official, written notice and formal admonition that a PGA of Canada Professional, Apprentice, Applicant or Participant has violated the PGA Code of Professional Conduct and Safe Sport Policy and that more severe sanctions will result should the PGA of Canada Professional, Apprentice, Applicant or Participant be involved in other violations.
5.1.2 Verbal or Written Apology
A written apology from PGA of Canada Professional, Apprentice, Applicant or Participant who has violated the PGA Code of Professional Conduct and Safe Sport Policy to the individual(s) as deemed by the review of the incident.
The requirement that a PGA of Canada Professional, Apprentice, Applicant or Participant undertake specified educational or similar remedial measures to address the Maltreatment.
Should any further violations of the PGA Code of Professional Conduct and Safe Sport Policy occur during the probationary period, will result in additional disciplinary measures, likely including a period of suspension or permanent ineligibility. This sanction can also include loss of privileges or other conditions, restrictions, or requirements for a specified period.
Suspension, either for a set time or until further notice, from participation, in any capacity, in any program, practice, activity, event, or competition sponsored by, organized by, or under the auspices of any sport organization subject to the PGA Code of Professional Conduct and Safe Sport Policy. Suspensions within the PGA of Canada may include:
a) Suspension from certain PGA of Canada events or activities;
b) Suspension from all PGA of Canada activities for a designated period of time;
c) Suspension from membership in the PGA of Canada for a designated period.
A suspended PGA of Canada Professional, Apprentice, Applicant or Participant is eligible to return to sport, but reinstatement may be subject to certain restrictions or contingent upon the PGA of Canada Professional, Apprentice, Applicant or Participant satisfying specific conditions noted at the time of suspension.
5.1.6 Eligibility Restrictions
Restrictions or prohibitions from some types of participation but allowing participation in other capacities under strict conditions. Certain privileges of membership with the PGA of Canada may also be removed.
Permanent ineligibility to participate, in any sport, in any capacity, in any program, activity, event, or competition sponsored by, organized by, or under the auspices of any sport organization subject to the PGA Code of Professional Conduct and Safe Sport Policy and/or expulsion from the PGA of Canada membership.
5.1.8 Other Discretionary Sanctions
Other sanctions for Maltreatment may be imposed, including, but not limited to, other loss of privileges, no contact directives, a fine or a monetary payment to compensate for direct losses, or other restrictions or conditions as deemed necessary or appropriate.
5.1.9 Suspension while under Investigation
Members under investigation for violation of the PGA Code of Professional Conduct and Safe Sport Policy may result in the suspension of their membership activities or inactivate their membership status as the independent investigation takes place.
5.2.1 Factors relevant to determining appropriate sanctions for a Respondent include, without limitation:
a) The nature and duration of the Respondent’s relationship with the Complainant, including whether there is a Power Imbalance;
b) The Respondent’s prior history and any pattern of inappropriate behaviour or Maltreatment.
c) The ages of the individuals involved;
d) Whether the Respondent poses an ongoing and/or potential threat to the safety of others;
e) The Respondent’s voluntary admission of the offense(s), acceptance of responsibility for the Maltreatment, and/or cooperation in the PGA Code of Professional Conduct and Safe Sport Policy process;
f) Real or perceived impact of the incident on the Complainant, sport organization or the sporting community;
g) Circumstances specific to the Respondent being sanctioned (e.g., lack of appropriate knowledge or training regarding the requirements in the PGA Code of Professional Conduct and Safe Sport Policy; addiction; disability; illness);
h) Whether, given the facts and circumstances that have been established, continued participation in the sport community is appropriate;
i) A Respondent who is in a position of trust, intimate contact or high-impact decision-making may face more serious sanctions; and/or
j) Other mitigating and aggravating circumstances.
Any single factor, if severe enough, may be sufficient to justify the sanction(s) imposed. A combination of several factors may justify elevated or combined sanctions.
5.3 Presumptive Sanctions
5.3.1 The following sanctions are presumed to be fair and appropriate for the listed Maltreatment, but the Respondent affected may rebut these presumptions:
a) Sexual Maltreatment involving a Minor Complainant shall carry a presumptive sanction of permanent ineligibility;
b) Sexual Maltreatment, Physical Maltreatment with contact and Maltreatment related to Process shall carry a presumptive sanction of either a period of suspension or eligibility restrictions.
c) While a Respondent has pending charges or dispositions in violation of the criminal law, the presumptive sanction shall be a period of suspension.
d) If it is recommended by the Independent Third Party that there is safety risk to others without a suspension
5.4 Public Disclosure
In addition to the publication of a summary of the final outcome of a PGA Code of Professional Conduct and Safe Sport Policy resolution process, a publicly available searchable database or Registry of Respondents who have been sanctioned by or whose eligibility to participate in sport has in some way been restricted shall be maintained, pursuant to the provisions contained in the
PGA Code of Professional Conduct and Safe Sport Policy.
[Note: Whether all sanctions shall be summarized and publicly disclosed (e.g., including a verbal warning or an educational update) and precisely how a record shall be maintained of every sanction outcome imposed on each Respondent has yet to be designed.].
SECTION 6 - SOCIAL MEDIA
Online social networking and media sites are powerful tools that can greatly benefit the PGA of Canada and its Members. Without limiting Members’ ability to utilize these valuable tools, online activities must be governed with a degree of care. The PGA of Canada encourages the use of social media including Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and other similar outlets as a way to interact and raise Members’ profile.
As part of the Association’s Code of Professional Conduct and Safe Sport Policy, it is essential to extend rules governing Member behaviour to online social media networks, as by participating in and contributing to these sites as individuals, Members still bear the responsibility of appropriately representing the PGA of Canada. It is essential that Members understand that utilizing social media to communicate with family, friends, fans, and the general public leaves them open to scrutiny by the public and the media and may reflect on the PGA of Canada and the game of golf.
The PGA of Canada has developed this section for the protection of its Members. Where possible the PGA of Canada has condensed this section to provide a basic outline of guiding principles that Members should keep in mind and always adhere to when participating in social media activities.
6.3.1 This section attempts to cover all forms of social media including but not limited to;
a) Maintaining a profile page on one of the social or business networking sites (like LinkedIn and Facebook, etc.);
b) Actively engaging in live feed social media communication such as Twitter;
c) Producing online video content on YouTube or similar mass media sites;
d) Creating a blog or commenting on other people’s blogs for personal or business reasons;
e) Leaving product or service reviews on retailer sites, or customer review sites;
f) Taking part in online votes and polls; or
g) Participating in conversations on public and private web forums (message boards).
Most of the above activities can be grouped together under the heading ‘social media’. Anything Members do online where they share information that might affect fellow PGA of Canada Members, work colleagues, clients, industry partners, sponsors, competitors, golf club members, Pro-Am partners and industry participants is included in the scope of this section of the PGA Code of Professional Conduct and Safe Sport Policy.
6.4 Social Media
6.4.1 This section is to be read in conjunction with other clauses in the PGA of Canada Code of Professional Conduct and Safe Sport Policy. Members’ activity on social media must:
a) Not interfere with work commitments or the place of work. In the absence of a specific policy within the workplace of a PGA of Canada Member, this policy may apply as a complementary policy;
b) Not mention or link to libelous, defamatory, or harassing content, even by way of example or illustration;
c) Not publish information that is confidential or proprietary to the PGA of Canada or the Member’s workplace, affiliates, or clients;
d) Refrain from using offensive language; and
e) Do nothing to bring the PGA of Canada into disrepute. Members may not represent that the PGA of Canada brand endorses or promotes any product or service, opinion, cause, or position; and it must be abundantly clear to readers that all opinions are the Members’, and do not represent the views of the PGA of Canada.
6.5 PGA of Canada Member Blogs or other Social Media Accounts
a) Posts must not contain or link to pornographic or indecent content.
b) Posts must not be defamatory in any way to either a fellow PGA of Canada Member (or any other person or company).
c) The PGA of Canada has the right to request and ask for the removal of any such content that may be deemed as contravening this policy.
d) All materials published or used must respect the copyright of third parties
e) The PGA of Canada does not endorse a Member hiding behind anonymous or pseudonymous postings. A PGA of Canada Member shall not maintain anonymous accounts on social media sites for the purpose of accessing or commenting on other people or products relating to the PGA of Canada.
SECTION 7 - DISCIPLINE PROCEDURES
PGA of Canada Professionals, Apprentices, Applicants or Participants are expected to fulfill certain responsibilities and obligations including, but not limited to, complying with PGA of Canada policies, By-law, rules and regulations, and PGA Code of Professional Conduct and Safe Sport Policy. Non-compliance may result in sanctions pursuant to this Policy.
7.2 Report an Incident
Any person may report a breach of the PGA Code of Professional Conduct and Safe Sport Policy to the PGA of Canada’s Independent Third Party.
The Independent Third Party is ITP Sport and Recreation Inc:
The Independent Third Party will identify if the complaint falls within the PGA’s Code of Professional Conduct.
The Independent Third Party has an overall responsibility to ensure procedural fairness is always respected during the disciplinary process, and to carry out this process in a timely and discrete manner.
7.3 Review of Reported Incidents
7.3.1 Determination and Disclosure
188.8.131.52 When a complaint is submitted in accordance with the PGA of Canada’s Safe Sport and Code of Professional Conduct Policy, the Independent Third Party will determine if such complaint was a breach of the PGA of Canada’s Safe Sport and Code of Professional Conduct.
7.3.2 The ITP is responsible for ensuring that all complaints, allegations, incidents, or referrals related to Maltreatment and Code of Professional Conduct are dealt fairly and equitably. In particular, and without limiting that responsibility, the ITP shall:
184.108.40.206 Upon receipt of a Complaint, undertake a preliminary confidential review of the Complaint and determine if the Complaint is admissible according to PGA policies.
220.127.116.11 If the Complaint is deemed admissible, make a preliminary assessment of the allegation and determine the appropriate course of action to be taken. The assessment will determine the course of action wherever possible to resolve the Complaint.
18.104.22.168 Contact the person against whom the Complaint has been filed (the Respondent), provide them with a copy of the PGA Code of Conduct and any other relevant policies or legislation against which the Respondent’s behaviour will be measured, as well as the complaint and allow them at least 14 days to submit a response to the allegations.
22.214.171.124 The PGA of Canada and the Independent Third Party will adhere to all disclosure and reporting responsibilities required by the Government of Canada and, if applicable, any government entity, local police force, or child protection agency.
126.96.36.199 Appoint an investigator or team of investigators should the Complaint require a full investigation. The Investigator must be an independent third-party skilled in investigating. The Investigator must not be in a conflict-of-interest situation and should have no connection to either party.
When there is an investigation, the ITP will contact the parties to inform them of the steps of the investigation process, what the investigation will cover, the timeframe of the investigation, and that the investigator will be providing a report to the ITP.
When there is an investigation, it may take any form as decided by the Investigator, guided by any applicable Federal and/or Provincial legislation. The investigation may include:
a) Complainant interviewed;
b) Witness interviewed;
c) Statement of facts (complainant’s perspective) prepared by Investigator and acknowledged by Complainant;
d) Statement delivered to Respondent;
e) Respondent interviewed;
f) Witness interviewed; and
g) Statement of facts (respondent’s perspective) prepared by Investigator and acknowledged by Respondent.
Should the Investigator find that there are possible instances of offence under the Criminal Code, particularly related to Criminal Harassment (or Stalking), Uttering Threats, Assault, Sexual Interference, or Sexual Exploitation, the Investigator shall advise the Complainant to refer the matter to police. The Investigator will further inform the PGA of Canada that the matter should be directed to the police.
When the investigation is complete, the Investigator will provide a report to the ITP. The Investigator’s report will make findings about whether, on a balance of probabilities, the complaint is substantiated. The Investigator’s report, or a summary, will be shared with the parties and the Discipline Committee.
188.8.131.52 Advise both the Complainant and the Respondent of their right to be represented by legal counsel or accompanied throughout the process by another individual of their choice, so long as they are not involved or implicated in the allegations of the Complaint.
184.108.40.206 Advise the Complainant, the Respondent, that they are not to discuss the complaint, incident, investigation, or their testimony with others unless necessary to obtain legal advice with respect to any legal issues.
220.127.116.11 Keep both the Complainant and the Respondent informed as the case progresses.
18.104.22.168 Review the submissions by the parties, the Investigator’s report (when an investigation occurred), and compile an ITP Report taking into consideration all the information made available by all parties, including information discovered in the course of an external investigation that may have taken place.
22.214.171.124 Inform the appropriate statutory agency (the police and/or the Local Authority Children’s Social Care Department) where a report is made relating to concerns about suspected or actual Maltreatment of a Minor, and to comply with any directions or requirements they may make regarding the case.
126.96.36.199 At any time in the process the ITP has the authority to mandate mediation if they feel that a negotiated settlement may be the best course for complaint resolution.
188.8.131.52 The Disciplinary Committee will receive the ITP Report and provide it to the parties. The Committee will hold a conference call hearing involving the parties and their counsel or representatives (when applicable). The Committee will invite oral submissions from the parties during the hearing. No more than seven (7) days following the hearing, the Committee will issue a written decision on the complaint, which may include sanctions as deemed appropriate by the Committee consideration Section 5.0. The decision will be distributed to the respondent, the complainant, Zone Executive Director, and the National Board of Directors.
184.108.40.206 The Disciplinary Committee’s decision may be appealed per Section 8.0.
SECTION 8 - APPEALS
8.1.1 The purpose of this section is to make available procedures by which committee decisions may be addressed openly, promptly, and fairly. This section is available to PGA of Canada Professionals, Apprentices, Applicants or Participants in the PGA of Canada’s programs, events, and activities, who may be affected by decisions of the PGA of Canada.
8.1.2 This section applies to decisions made by the PGA of Canada, by committees of the PGA of Canada, and by individuals who are delegated authority to make decisions on behalf of the PGA of Canada. For further clarity, this section will apply to all decisions of the PGA of Canada except:
a) Decision made based on Rules of Golf;
b) Matters that are decided by and within the jurisdiction of the general membership of the PGA of Canada, such as enactment and amendment of the Bylaws, and approval and revision of Competition Rules;
c) Those decisions which are required of or imposed by outside authorities or agencies such as (but not limited to) Sport Canada, Coaching Association of Canada, Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport, World Anti-Doping Agency, Sport Dispute Resolution Centre of Canada, or Industry Canada;
d) Matters arising during events organized by entities other than the PGA of Canada, which are dealt with by the policies of those entities;
e) Decisions relating to operational structure, staffing or employment;
f) Decisions about allocation of volunteer appointments and the withdrawal of those appointments;
g) Matters of budgeting and budget implementation, and
h) Decisions of a commercial nature for which another dispute resolution mechanism exists.
8.1.3 Disputes within a Zone Association may be heard under this section based on procedural or merit grounds, where the parties to such a dispute and the PGA of Canada, in its sole discretion, agree.
8.1.4 The Independent Third Party of the PGA of Canada will administer appeals under this policy. This individual has an overall responsibility to ensure procedural fairness and timeliness are always respected in the appeals process and more particularly, has a responsibility to:
a) Receive appeals;
b) Determining if appeals lie within the jurisdiction of this Policy;
c) Determine if appeals are brought within 14 days of the decision;
d) Determine if appeals are brought on permissible procedural or merit grounds;
e) Appoint the Appeal Committee (and Chair) to hear and decide appeals;
f) Determine the format of the appeal hearing;
g) Provide administrative assistance and logistical support to the Appeal Committee as required, and
h) Provide any other service or support that may be necessary to ensure a fair and timely appeal proceeding.
8.1.5 If the Independent Third Party is unable or unwilling to serve as Administrator, an alternate Administrator will be designated by the Chief Executive Officer.
8.1.6 Persons who wish to appeal under this policy will submit written notice to the Independent Third Party indicating their intention to appeal, the reasons and grounds for the appeal, a summary of evidence to support the appeal, and the remedy requested. This notice must be submitted within 14 days of notification of the PGA of Canada’s decision that is being appealed.
8.1.7 Decisions may only be appealed on procedural or merit grounds, which are limited to:
a) Failing to follow procedures as set out in this Code;
b) Making a decision which was influenced by bias;
c) Exercising discretion for an improper purpose;
d) Making a decision which was grossly unreasonable; and,
e) Any other grounds which are deemed sufficient.
8.1.8 If the Independent Third Party is satisfied that the appeal may proceed, then a Hearing before an Appeal Committee will take place. The Independent Third Party will appoint an Appeal Committee to hear and decide the appeal. The members of the Appeal Committee will have had no involvement in the matter that is under appeal and will have no connection or relationship with the parties involved in the appeal.
8.1.9 The Hearing will be governed by the procedures and timeliness that the Appeal Committee deem appropriate in the circumstances. The Appeal Committee will have authority to rule in the event of any dispute about procedure, timeliness, format of the appeal, disclosure of documents and participations of witnesses and other persons in the hearing.
8.1.10 After the Hearing, the Appeal Committee will issue a written decision with reasons. The Appeal Committee may decide:
a) To reject the appeal and confirm the decision being appealed, or
b) To uphold the appeal, identify the error and refer the matter back to the ITP and PGA of Canada for a new decision, or
c) To uphold the appeal and vary the decision but only where the Appeal Committee has determined that the error or errors cannot be corrected by the PGA of Canada due to lack of clear procedures, lack of time, or lack of neutrality.
8.1.11 The appeal process is confidential involving only the parties, the Independent Third Party, and the Appeal Committee. Once initiated and until a written decision is released from the Appeals Committee to the parties involved, the parties will not disclose confidential information relating to the appeal to any person not involved in the proceedings.
8.1.12 Decisions of the Independent Third Party rendered under Section 8.1.4 and the decision of the Appeal Committee rendered under Section 8.1.10, will be final and binding upon the parties and upon the PGA of Canada, subject only to any review that may be permitted under the rules of the Sport Dispute Resolution Centre of Canada.