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
18.104.22.168 It is a violation of the PGA Code of Professional Conduct and Safe Sport Policy for a Participant to engage in Psychological Maltreatment.
22.214.171.124 Psychological Maltreatment includes, without limitation, verbal acts, non- assaultive physical acts, and acts that deny attention or support.
126.96.36.199.1 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.
188.8.131.52.2 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.
184.108.40.206.3 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
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 Physical Maltreatment.
18.104.22.168 Physical Maltreatment includes, without limitation, contact or non-contact behaviours that have the potential to cause physical harm.
22.214.171.124.1 Contact Behaviours
Including but not limited to deliberately punching, kicking, beating, biting, striking, strangling, or slapping another; deliberately hitting another with objects.
126.96.36.199.2 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
188.8.131.52 It is a violation of the PGA Code of Professional Conduct and Safe Sport Policy for a Participant to engage in Sexual Maltreatment.
184.108.40.206 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.
220.127.116.11 Examples of Sexual Maltreatment include, without limitation:
18.104.22.168.1 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.
22.214.171.124.2 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.
126.96.36.199.3 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.
188.8.131.52 It is a violation of the PGA Code of Professional Conduct and Safe Sport Policy for a Participant to engage in Neglect.
184.108.40.206 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
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 Grooming.
18.104.22.168 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).
22.214.171.124 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.
126.96.36.199 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.
188.8.131.52 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
184.108.40.206 The behaviour identified below also constitute Maltreatment and may give rise to a sanction.
220.127.116.11.1 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.
18.104.22.168.3 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
22.214.171.124 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.
126.96.36.199.1 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.
188.8.131.52.2 The obligation to Report includes making a direct Report.
184.108.40.206.3 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.
220.127.116.11.4 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.
18.104.22.168 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.
22.214.171.124 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.
126.96.36.199.1 An allegation is false if the events Reported did not occur, and the person making the Report knows the events did not occur.
188.8.131.52.2 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