Process Overview 

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When a Complaint is submitted through the OSIC's secure, interactive online intake form, a case file will be opened. The OSIC will be responsible for receiving and addressing the Complaint, and will confirm receipt.

Initial Review and Preliminary Assessment

Firstly, the OSIC will review the Complaint for completeness, and ensure it has the information it needs in order to proceed. It will also review for time sensitivity, to identify whether the next steps may need to be accelerated – for instance, if provisional measures may be necessary to prevent serious risk to participants.

After the initial review, the OSIC will conduct a Preliminary Assessment of the Complaint. The purpose of the Preliminary Assessment is to assess the Complaint procedurally and determine how it should move through the process.

Considerations during the Preliminary Assessment may include, among others:

  • Is there enough information available?
  • Is there a legal duty to report to police or child protection?
  • Does the Complaint describe a potential violation of the Universal Code of Conduct to Prevent and Address Maltreatment in Sport (UCCMS), by a respondent who is under the OSIC's authority?
  • Are provisional measures warranted?


Click here to consult an interactive flowchart of the complaint management process.

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After the Preliminary Assessment

After the Preliminary Assessment, the OSIC will determine how to proceed. For example, if the Complaint is accepted, it could be referred for an independent investigation or, if parties agree, move to mediation. If provisional measures are deemed necessary, the OSIC will make a recommendation to the Director of Sanctions and Outcomes (DSO), who is independent and has full authority to impose sanctions on participants.

If the Complaint is not admissible (generally because the OSIC does not have authority to address it), the case will be archived. The OSIC will consider the relevant circumstances based on the information provided and aim to accompany the person who came forward in identifying alternative routes or services that may be available to them. This could include services through the Abuse-Free Sport program as well as external resources. If appropriate, and with the person's consent, the OSIC may refer the Complaint to another organization that has authority to address the matter.

Regardless of the results of the Preliminary Assessment, the OSIC will inform the complainant, and possibly others as required, of the outcome and of any relevant next steps.

If, after the Preliminary Assessment, a Complaint proceeds to an investigation, the OSIC will appoint an independent investigator to look into the situation. The independent investigator will subsequently interview witnesses and generate an investigation report identifying the nature of the alleged violations, the particulars of the allegations, the available evidence, and their conclusions.

Once the investigation report has been reviewed by the OSIC, it will be transferred to the DSO, who will make a decision, which could include imposing a Sanction.

If a party is unsatisfied with a decision of the DSO, they may have the right to challenge it before the Sport Dispute Resolution Centre of Canada's Safeguarding Tribunal, in accordance with Article 8 of the Canadian Sport Dispute Resolution Code.

For more information on the complaint management process, consult the OSIC's policies and procedures.


For more information regarding the length of such process, you can consult the FAQ here.

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A flowchart of the Abuse-Free Sport complaint management process

(For a text description of the flowchart, click here.)

Please note we are in the process of updating this flowchart to reflect the latest changes to the Sport Dispute Resolution Code.