An Overview of the Universal Code of Conduct to Prevent and Address Maltreatment in Sport (UCCMS)

UPDATE: UCCMS version 6.0 will be released by June 2022.

Description

The Universal Code of Conduct to Prevent and Address Maltreatment in Sport (UCCMS) is the core document that sets harmonized rules to be adopted by sport organizations that receive funding from the Government of Canada to advance a respectful sport culture that delivers quality, inclusive, accessible, welcoming and safe sport experiences.

The UCCMS addresses:

  • common principles and a commitment to advance a respectful sport culture;
  • standard definitions of various forms of maltreatment, including grooming, neglect, and physical, sexual, and psychological abuse;
  • a list of other prohibited behavior such as retaliation, failure to report maltreatment, intentionally filing false allegations, misuse of power, etc.; and
  • ● a framework for determining appropriate sanctions against such prohibited behavior.

Background

The Red Deer Declaration, signed in February 2019, committed all federal, provincial and territorial sport leaders to the elimination of abuse, discrimination and harassment in sport.

That agreement led to an unprecedented collaboration, led by the Coaching Association of Canada and involving a series of Safe Sport Summits. These events built a solid national consensus on the need for decisive action. Summit discussions were informed by a University of Toronto study, in partnership with AthletesCAN and the Government of Canada, that confirmed the disturbing prevalence of maltreatment among current and former national team athletes.

The summits laid the groundwork for extensive consultations involving dozens of national sport leaders and subject matter experts from a broad array of backgrounds (e.g., child protection, criminal law, gender, LGBTQ+, persons with disabilities, athletes and coaches, and academics with expertise in child maltreatment and intimate partner violence).

The product of all of those discussions is the UCCMS, the first drafting of which was led by the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport.

Version 5.1 of the UCCMS can be accessed here: Universal Code of Conduct to Prevent and Address Maltreatment in Sport (UCCMS).

Version 6.0 of the UCCMS will be released by June 2022.