Member protection is a term widely used in the Australian sports industry to describe the practices that sporting organisations put in place to protect their members from discrimination, harassment, abuse and other inappropriate behaviour.
Member protection is important for any sporting club – both being proactive and reactive. It allows members to take part in your sport in a positive, safe environment.
What club committees can do
There are 8 key steps club committees should follow to create safe and fair clubs. These are essential foundations to managing member protection and other issues.
Specifically, when it comes to member protection consider:
- Be aware of your sports’ Member Protection Policy. Most national and state sport bodies in Australia have a Member Protection Policy
- If your sport doesn’t have a policy, you can download a member protection policy template from Play by the Rules.
- Appoint a Member Protection Information Officer (MPIO) – the Office of Sport and Play by the Rules offer Member Protection Information Officer training for sports clubs
Online module – the Play by the Rules MPIO course is now hosted on the Sport Integrity Australia e-learning hub. There are many other free courses that can be accessed by this e-learning hub.
Webinar session - 2-hour practical session run by the Office of Sport – find upcoming sessions here.
- MPIOs help with complaints - they don’t investigate complaints, but provide information about rights, responsibilities and options under your policy
- It’s a good idea to choose someone who is approachable, accessible, can maintain confidentiality and unlikely to have conflicts of interest.
- Spread the word – make sure members are aware of your policy and MPIO via inductions, meetings, training, newsletters, signage, website and other communication
Information and resources to help
Check with your national or state sporting organisation