Policy 22: Coach Code of Conduct

A responsible swimming coach helps the development of individuals through improving their performance. This is achieved by:

  1. Identifying and meeting the needs of individuals
  2. Improving performance through a progressive programme of safe, guided practice measured performance and/or competition
  3. Creating an environment in which individuals are motivated to maintain participation and improve performance

Coaches should comply with the principles of good ethical practice listed below.

A coach must at all times:

  1. Hold relevant, up to date and recognised coaching qualifications, safeguarding training, insurance and a valid PVG if applicable to their role
  2. Consider the wellbeing and safety of the athlete before the development of performance.
  3. Develop an appropriate working relationship with athletes, based on mutual trust and respect that empower and includes, athletes, both youth and senior in the decision making process.
  4. Promote respect for the ability of opponents as well as for volunteers, officials and fellow coaches.
  5. Always promote the positive aspects of the sport (e.g. fair play) and never condone rule violations or the use of prohibited substances
  6. Make sure all activities are appropriate to the age, ability and experience of those taking part
  7. Recognise the developmental needs and capacity of each athlete and avoid excessive training and competition, pushing them against their will and putting undue pressure on them
  8. Respect the rights, dignity and worth of every person and treat everyone equally within the context of their sport
  9. Encourage athletes to value their effort in performance and not just results
  10. Encourage and guide athletes to accept responsibility for their own behaviour and performance by giving enthusiastic and constructive feedback.
  11. Clarify, at the outset, with athletes (and where appropriate with their parents) exactly what is expected of them and what athletes are entitled to expect from their coach
  12. Consistently display high standards of behaviour and appearance, be an excellent role model including not smoking or drinking or using foul language in the company of athletes
  13. Never ignore, tolerate or engage in any form of bullying
  14. Coaches must not exert undue influence to obtain personal benefit or reward. In particular, coaches must not use their position to establish or pursue a sexual or improper relationship with an athlete or someone close to them
  15. Follow the advice of a physician or other qualified medical professionals when an athlete is injured
  16. Coaches should not allow allegations to go unchallenged, unrecorded or fail to act upon them
  17. Make a personal commitment to keep yourself informed of sound coaching principles and the principles of growth and development of children.
  18. Ensure that the equipment and facilities meet safety standards and are suitable for training.
  19. Follow all guidelines laid down by Scottish Swimming and the club and abide by Scottish Swimming Acceptable use of Mobile Phone Policy and Social Media Guidelines

Emergency action and first aid

All coaches, should be prepared with an action plan in the event of an emergency and be aware of First Aid procedures. This will include:

  1. Access to First Aid equipment
  2. Emergency contact for the athlete
  3. Telephone contact to the Emergency Services

Coaches have the right to:

  1. Access ongoing training and information on all aspects of their role, including safeguarding, wellbeing & protection
  2. Support in reporting suspected abuse or poor practice
  3. Access to professional support services
  4. Fair and equitable treatment by Scottish Swimming/club
  5. Be protected from abuse by adults/youths, other adult members and parents
  6. Not to be left vulnerable while carrying out their role

Breaches of the Coach Code of Conduct will be dealt with in accordance with the Scottish Swimming disciplinary procedures.

I understand that if I do not follow the Coaches Code of Conduct, my club or Scottish Swimming may take any / all of the following actions: ( delete as appropriate )

  1. Be required to apologise formally
  2. Receive a warning; verbal or written
  3. Required to meet with the club, Wellbeing & Protection Officer or designated members of the club committee.
  4. Monitored by another club volunteer/committee member
  5. Required to attend an education course
  6. Suspended by the club
  7. Required to leave or be removed from post

I have read and understood the above Code of Conduct and I agree to be bound by it:

Name (print) …………………..……………………. Signed …………………………….………………

Role …………………………….…………. Date …………………………………