Safe Sport

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

Nova Scotia

under 19 years old

New Brunswick

Under 19 years old

Québec

Under 18 years old

Ontario

under 18 years old

 

Manitoba

under 18 years old

 

Saskatchewan

under 16 years old

 

Alberta

under 18 years old

 

British Columbia

under 19 years old

 

Yukon

under 19 years old

 

Northwest Territories

under 16 years old

 

Nunavut

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.

[2] Criminal Code, R.S.C. 1985, c. C-46, [s. 273.1(1)]
[3] Commit to Kids. Helping Organizations Prevent Child Sexual Abuse. Canadian Centre for Child Protection.
[4] https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/corporate/publications-manuals/operational-bulletins-manuals/refugee-protection/canada/processing-provincial-definitions-minor.html
[5] 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.
[6] (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.
[7] Ibid.
[8] ibid.
[9] Commit to Kids. Helping Organizations Prevent Child Sexual Abuse. Canadian Centre for Child Protection. https://commit2kids.ca/en/