Code of Conduct and Ethics for Coaches (2016)
What is a code of ethics and conduct?
A code defines what is considered good and correct behaviour of all triathlon coaches, by British Triathlon. It reflects the values held by the coaching profession, and outlines the expected conduct of members while they perform their duties. It can also be used as a benchmark to assess whether certain behaviours are acceptable or not acceptable. As a qualified triathlon coach, you are expected to adhere to this code of ethics and conduct at all times.
The code of conduct is divided into 5 key areas:
1. Respect for Participants: The principle of respect for athletes, challenges coaches to act in a manner respectful of the dignity of those involved in triathlon. This principle is based on assumption that each person has value and is worthy of respect and free from harassment. Acting with respect for participants means that coaches do not make some participants feel more or less worthy than others, on the basis of gender, race, place of origin, athletic potential, colour, sexual orientation, religion, political beliefs, socio-economic status, marital status, age or any form of disability.
2. Integrity in Relationships: Developing professional relationships with individuals is a central role of being an effective coach. However, it must be recognised that behaving with integrity is crucial, and will be expected to be honest, sincere, and honourable in their relationships with participants and others.
· · Must not engage in behaviour that constitutes any form of abuse (physical, sexual, emotional, neglect, bullying)
· · Should promote the welfare and best interests of their triathletes
· · Must have a high degree of self-awareness and the ability to reflect critically how your values and opinion influence others
· · Must avoid sexual intimacy with triathletes with whom they have a coaching relationship
· · Coaches and others in positions of authority and trust in relation to athletes aged 16 and 17 years must not engage in sexual relationships with them while that unequal power relationship exists
If any child (ie under the age of 18) shows inappropriate interest in a coach, this must be reported to the Club Welfare Officer by the coach. A suitable course of action will then be agreed and enacted eg. watching brief, speaking with child, speaking with parent/carer, other
· · Should empower triathletes to be responsible for their own decisions
· · Should clarify the nature of the coaching services being offered to triathletes in advance
· · Should communicate and cooperate with other organisations and individuals in the best interests of triathletes.
· · Follow the appropriate welfare guidelines and take the necessary actions if they have a concern over the wellbeing of a child
3. Responsibilities: Personal Standards: triathlon coaches must demonstrate proper personal behaviour and conduct at all times.
· · Must be fair, honest and considerate to triathletes and others in the sport, e.g. officials, club members, race organisers
· · Make a personal commitment to providing a quality service to participants at all times
· · Should not be under the influence of alcohol when operating in the professional capacity as the coach, this includes travelling to and from as well as delivering sessions
· · Must be a positive role model for triathletes, the club and the sport of triathlon throughout Great Britain
· · Take pride in being a coach, this includes, projecting an image of health, well-dressed, hygiene, appearance, and use of appropriate language and actions
4. Professional Responsibilities: The principle of coaching responsibilities carries the expectation that the activities of all coaches will benefit society in general and athletes in particular, and will do no harm. Fundamental to the implementation of this principle is the notion of competence, which implies that coaches should be well-prepared and possesses up-to-date knowledge of triathlon so they will be able to maximize benefits and minimize risk to the athletes.
Triathlon coaches will:
· · Ensure that the environment is as safe as possible for training and competition, taking into account and minimizing possible risks
· · Any physical contact with athletes should be appropriate to the situation; necessary for the athletes skill development – always ask prior permission if contact is required
· · Promote the execution of safe and correct practice at all times
· · Be professional in their work and accept responsibility for their actions
· · Make a commitment to providing a quality service to their triathletes
· · Recognise the power inherent in the position as a coach
· · Contribute to the development of triathlon coaching by exchanging knowledge and ideas with others
· · Acknowledge the limitations of their knowledge and competence
· · Obtain appropriate triathlon coaching qualifications to the level of operation required
Coaches must ensure they hold valid and appropriate insurance policy for their coaching activities
5. Fair Play Principles: Coaches and athletes alike should abide by the principles of fair play during training and competition. Applying fair play principles implies that all those involved in sport recognize the importance of fairness, a respectful attitude and appropriate conduct when engaged in triathlon related activities and agree to model and promote them at all times.
The following are examples of fair play behaviours for coaches, athlete’s officials and parents:
· · Never condone the use of any illegal or banned drugs to enhance performance.
· · Follow all the rules and never seek to deliberately break a rule.
· · Aim to compete fairly, using talent, training, and ability to win; refuse to win by illegal means or by cheating.
· · Respect all race and technical officials, and their decisions without doubting their integrity.
· · Recognise and acknowledge good performances by others.
· · Maintain dignity in all circumstances, and demonstrate self-control.
For the coaches – know the rules and regulations well, and apply them with impartiality at all times.
Breaches of the code of conduct
British Triathlon qualified coaches will at all times represents their role and their participants in a way which reflects positively on their club, National Governing Body and the UK-wide coaching profession. All complaints will be dealt with according to the relevant Home Nation Association ‘Complaints and Disciplinary Procedures’.
Please also view Safeguarding and Protecting Children Policy of The British Triathlon Federation, dated March 2016. https://www.britishtriathlon.org/britain/documents/about/child-protection/british_triathlon_safeguarding_policy.pdf