Safe Sport

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.

2.1    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.

3.1    Our Commitment to the PGA of Canada. We pledge to:

3.1    Protect the integrity of the PGA of Canada 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.

4.1    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    Demonstrate respect for each other regardless of body type, physical characteristics, athletic ability, gender, ancestry, colour, ethnic or racial origin, nationality or national origin, sexual orientation, age, marital status, religion or religious belief, political belief, disability, or economic status
4.3    Avoid causing public embarrassment to a fellow member or engaging in communications about others that are defamatory.
4.4    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.
4.5    Refrain from usurping, poaching, or otherwise aggressively attempting to obtain another member’s clients, students, teaching methods, or equipment.
4.6    Report violations of this Code and/or any criminal activity committed by ourselves or by another member.

It is also our responsibility to ensure both the PGA of Canada and the golf industry reflects the diversity of Canada. We strive to champion equity, diversity, and inclusion for all. This empowers us to reach our full potential, fueling innovation and connection with our members, the stakeholders, and the communities we serve.

This Code of Professional Conduct is based on our core values: innovative, diversity and inclusion, excellence, pride, accountability and integrity.

[1] Physical Activity and Sport Act, S.C. 2003, c. 2, Section 1.1