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Staff Member Code of Ethics

Coaches and staff members play a significant role in the personal and athletic development of their student-athletes. They are conduits through which the values and goals of the University of Ottawa and its sport programs are channeled.

In accepting a coaching or staff member position at the University of Ottawa (uOttawa), a coach must understand that the appointment carries a responsibility and obligation of representing their sport, their student-athletes, and the institution in an exemplary fashion.

Coaches and staff members at uOttawa must adhere to the following responsibilities and imperatives of coach ethical conduct:

  • Coaches and staff members will be responsible for setting and monitoring the boundaries between a working-coaching relationship and friendship with their players; at no time may a coach or staff member become intimately and/or sexually involved with an athlete in their charge. This includes requests for sexual favours or threat of reprisal for the rejection of such requests.
  • Athletes can choose to share aspects of their medical information to allow coaches to provide a more appropriate training environment. Coaches and staff members are to keep this information strictly confidential.
  • Coaches and staff members will abstain from the use of tobacco products while in the presence of their student-athletes and discourage their use by student-athletes.
  • Coaches and staff members will ensure that their student-athletes do not use alcohol in conjunction with athletic events or celebrations at competition venues outside the parameters established in the behavioural guidelines as established by Varsity Athletics.
  • Coaches and staff members will not consume alcohol so that it has an impact on the fulfillment of their duties nor should the odour of alcohol be present on their breath while coaching.
  • Coaches and staff members will be punctual for all practices, games, and meetings. Coaches and staff members will always be dressed appropriately for the activity to be undertaken, presenting themselves in a way that reflects well on their sport, their athletes and uOttawa.
  • Coaches and staff members will refrain from using profane, insulting, harassing or otherwise offensive language in the conduct of their duties.
  • Coaches and staff members will consistently advocate against the use of any banned substances.
  • Coaches and staff members will treat all student-athletes equitably within the context of their activity, regardless of gender, place of origin, colour, sexual orientation, religion, political belief, or economic status.
  • Coaches and staff members will ensure confidentiality and security of student-athletes information or data gained in the exercise of their functions (from data collection to interview notes etc.) unless they evaluate a situation as potentially dangerous or that the health and safety of the student-athlete is in jeopardy at which point they will share that information with qualified professionals.
  • Coaches and staff members will remain current with and abide by the NCCP Ethical, and Standards of Behaviour expected of coaches included below.

NCCP Ethical Principles and Standards of Behaviour Expected of Staff Members


Standards of Behaviour Expected of Staff Members

Physical safety & health of athletes

Ensure that training or competition site is safe at all times. Be prepared to act quickly and appropriately in case of emergency. Avoid placing athletes in situations presenting unnecessary risk or that are beyond their level. Strive to preserve the present and future health and well-being of athletes.

Coaching responsibly

Make wise use of the authority of the position and make decisions in the interest of athletes. Foster self-esteem among athletes. Avoid deriving personal advantage for a situation or decision. Know one’s limitations in terms of knowledge and skills when making decisions, giving instructions, or taking action. Honour commitments, word given, and agreed objectives. Maintain confidentiality and privacy of personal information and use it appropriately.

Integrity in relations with others

Avoid situations that may affect objectivity or impartiality of coaching duties. Abstain from all behaviours considered to be harassment or inappropriate relations with an athlete. Always ensure decisions are taken equitably


Ensure that everyone is treated equally, regardless of age, ancestry, colour, race, citizenship, ethnic origin, place of origin, language, creed, religion, athletic potential, disability, family status, marital status, gender identity, gender expression, sex, and sexual orientation. Preserve the dignity of each person in interacting with others. Respect the principles, rules, and policies in force.

Honouring sport

Strictly observe and ensure observance of all regulations. Aim to compete fairly. Maintain dignity in all circumstances and exercise self-control. Respect officials and accept their decisions without questioning their integrity.

COACH AND STAFF MEMBERS STATEMENT: I have read, and I understand the above statements and the NCCP Ethical Principles and Standards of Behaviour Expected of Staff Members and agree to conduct myself in accordance with them. I also understand that uOttawa reserves the right to discipline or terminate a coach or staff member for actions or behaviours that could be considered detrimental to Varsity student-athletes, a sport program or the University of Ottawa.