Updated March 2022
Whether you are a player, parent, coach, tournament director, volunteer, club member, board member or club leader, SafeSport affects YOU.
It is now mandatory for everyone that is coaching, instructing, or assisting with tennis lessons and/or everyone in a position of authority within an indoor or outdoor tennis club in Canada to have completed the Safe Sport Screening and Education. This affects all indoor and outdoor clubs in BC and across Canada.
In order to help our community better understand the new Tennis Canada – Safe Sport Screening and Education initiatives, we would like to offer the following information to help clarify this important and vital initiative.
What is Safe Sport
Tennis Canada and Tennis BC believe that everyone has the right to enjoy the sport no matter their level of participation or position. Athletes, coaches, officials and volunteers have the right to participate in a safe and inclusive training and competitive environment that is free of abuse, harassment or discrimination. The welfare of everyone involved in the sport is of foremost consideration. The protection of children/athletes in the sport is the responsibility of each individual, member and special interest group in the tennis community. Consequently, Tennis Canada and Tennis BC are committed to protecting the security, safety, and health of its young people, vulnerable persons, volunteers, coaches and staff.
The components of the Safe Sport Screening and Education are:
- Education: Online Respect in Sport Module – must be completed every three years.
- Background check: Police record check through Sterling Backcheck (for those over 18) – must be completed every three years.
- Declaration of Character*: online form – must be completed once a year.
- Signing of code of conduct*: online form – must be signed once a year.
*May be completed upon TPA registration or yearly membership renewal.
Why is it important for our member clubs and coaches to complete the Safe Sport Screening and Education?
- It reduces the liability for Board Members and Coaches: Liability can extend to not only the perpetrator of the act, but also to an organization deemed “sufficiently close” to make a claim of vicarious liability appropriate.
- We have an ethical and moral duty to implement safeguarding and protect our athletes.
- We need to work together to protect our athletes, coaches, officials, administrators, volunteers, and many other stakeholders that enjoy our sport every day in indoor and outdoor clubs.
- It is imperative that all persons in positions of authority be held to a high standard of conduct.
How Can Safe Sport Screening and Education be achieved?
There are three methods of completing Safe Sport Screening and Education:
- TPA Certification: Recommended Method Comprehensive courses that offer various levels of certification for instructors, club professionals and coaches. Certification ensures proven competencies recommended for any individual involved in teaching tennis or running tennis programs. Full Tennis Canada certification includes all benefits of TPA including liability insurance.
- Community Tennis Facilitator: A five-hour non-certification course in-person, plus online education/training including safeguarding education and quality standards. Includes benefits of TPA membership except liability insurance. This option is optimal for those in volunteer positions and parents of players, or those residing in rural communities that do not offer TPA Certification courses.
- Safeguarding only: Online-only option includes safe sport screening and education. No tennis training, certification or benefits of TPA membership. This option is optimal for those in volunteer positions and parents of players, or those residing in rural communities that do not offer TPA Certification courses.
Note: All three methods listed directly above include the four “Components of Safe Sport Screening and Education” as outlined in the “What is Safe Sport?” section; however, Tennis BC highly recommends that everyone that is coaching, instructing, or assisting with tennis lessons and/or everyone in a position of authority within an indoor and/or outdoor tennis club in Canada complete Option 1: TPA Certification.
What are the benefits of hiring and employing only Coaches who are active TPA (Tennis Professionals Association) Certified?
- Your reputation in the community; be known as a facility that prioritizes high standards and integrity, safety of participants and professionally trained staff
- Enhanced pre-employment screening via online background checks stored safely online with global screening provider Sterling Talent Solutions
- Coaches are trained in customer service, total athlete development, programming facilities, conflict resolution and Quality Standards for Kids Tennis
- Trained and certified under TPA’s Gold Standard curriculum (the highest level awarded by International Tennis Federation)
- Coaches have personal liability insurance of up to $2M
- Signed Declaration and adherence to TPA Code of Conduct
- Ongoing professional development every 2-4 years based on certification level
Tennis BC has fully endorsed and adopted the Safe Sport policies as set out in the Tennis Canada Safe Sport Initiative. As someone who is coaching, instructing, or assisting with tennis lessons and/or in a position of authority within an indoor or outdoor tennis club, completing the Safe Sport Screening and Education is your responsibility, and we are here to help you achieve this. As parents of players or players of any age or level, it is your responsibility to seek out coaches, instructors and club leaders who have completed the Safe Sport Screening and Education.
Please let us know if you need assistance with anything in order to comply. We also encourage you to remind your club’s coaches to update their profiles on the TPA website to ensure anyone searching for a tennis coach or facility has the most accurate information available.
Once you have selected the appropriate method, click on the corresponding link to complete your Safe Sport Screening and Education:
TPA Certification (Recommended)
Community Tennis Facilitator
For information on when the next Community Tennis Facilitator Training will take place, please contact Jeannie Rohr at firstname.lastname@example.org.