The first step in preventing incidents is mitigating risk. Clubs are encouraged to act proactively to minimize risk and empower their staff to ensure that the appropriate training, progressions, and processes are in place. Examples include NCCP coaching certification, lesson planning, athlete development plans, emergency action plans, accident reporting procedures, safety checks, etc.
The Alberta Gymnastics Federation (AGF) understands that some incidents are merely accidents and may inevitably occur despite all the appropriate steps being implemented. However, the initiative must be taken to correct behaviours that can be changed to prevent future incidents from occurring.
Clubs must take reasonable steps to ensure that their business is operated in an appropriate manner, as there are numerous areas to consider when operating safe and quality programs. Although it is not an exhaustive list, AGF recommends at a base level that clubs ensure:
- Appropriate hiring and Human Resource checks are in place and implemented. E.g. Reference checks, Terms of Employment, Employee Evaluations, Knowledge Sharing, etc.
- All coaches are appropriately trained/screened for appropriate NCCP training, Respect in Sport, Making Ethical Decisions, First Aid, and Background checks).
- Coaches/Clubs prepare and review lesson plans that outline the skills and progressions participants will be performing, with consideration to the ability levels of the participant/coach.
- Coaches collaborate (when possible) to create solutions that mitigate risk, rather than making uninformed or unreasonable decisions that expose participants to unnecessary risk.
- An emergency action plan has been developed and all staff are aware of the actions they must take should an incident occurs.
- The club has an incident reporting system that all staff are briefed on, which can be easily accessed and retrieved when required.
- The club has developed a clear communication plan for information to be distributed from AGF/GymCan/NCCP.