How to deal with alleged breaches of code

How to Deal with Alleged Breaches of the Code of Behaviour


This Code of Behaviour outlines the minimum levels of behaviour that we require of
those that are involved in under age games and activities. The Code applies equally
to under age players, coaches and mentors, to parents and guardians and to our
supporters, referees and club officials. While the promotion of the Code at club
level may be seen as the responsibility of the Club's Children's Officer ultimately it is
everybody's responsibility to ensure that the Code is fully implemented.
Breaches of our Code will unfortunately occur from time to time. This may happen
as a result of carelessness, poor practice, lack of understanding or there may in
some instances be deliberate or indeed calculated breaches of the Code.


When a minor breach of the Code is witnessed it may be opportune and appropriate
to deal with such breaches as they occur. Therefore it may, depending on the level
of breach, be deemed appropriate for a coach, mentor or other official to deal with
such instances as they happen. However, repeated or non-trivial breaches of the
Code would require levels of intervention as outlined in Steps 1-10.

 

Many breaches of our Code of Behaviour are in fact instances of poor or bad
practice and with the co-operation of all concerned, may be rectified and may not
occur again. Certain breaches, due to their nature, may best be dealt as breaches of rules or in more extreme circumstances may actually fall within a category of abuse and should be dealt with accordingly.


Therefore when the Code is breached or when people refuse to adhere to its
contents, certain actions may be deemed necessary so as to protect the integrity
of our work with children and young people and ensure that they receive the best
possible care and attention while participating in our Games.


Dealing with an alleged breach of the Code
An alleged breach of the Code should be dealt with in a fair and impartial manner
with the presumption of innocence maintained until otherwise proven. If at any
stage the person against whom the breach is alleged is under 18 years of age
no formal meetings should take place with that person without the presence or
permission of a parent or guardian.


Any action(s) taken should at all times be seen to be proportionate to the alleged
breach that may have taken place.
Should a false allegation be made regarding a breach of the Code and should the
matter be subsequently deemed to be of a malicious nature the person making
any such false allegation(s) may be subject to sanctions by the relevant Sports
Governing Body and/or by the statutory authorities.


There is however a difference between a false allegation and an incorrect
assumption or an allegations that may be unproven. Where a person may believe
or observe that a breach of the Code has occurred they should report this matter to the person in the relevant Club who may deal with such matters. While it is always preferable that allegations or concerns are received in writing the Club is equally obliged to investigate any alleged breaches of the Code whether they are reported verbally, anonymously or in writing.


How is a breach of the Code processed?
If an alleged breach of the Code of Behaviour is reported or observed it is
recommended that the Club Children's Officer initially oversees any enquiry into
such an allegation. The following should be adhered to:


Step 1 Alleged breach of the Code is reported or observed
• Matter should be reported to the Club's Children's Officer.


Step 2 Confidentiality
• At all times the Children's Officer must maintain the highest degree of
confidentiality in their work on behalf of the club and should only discuss the
details of any alleged breach of the Code on a need to know basis with those
that are required to be informed or consulted. The Club's Children's Officer
shall record and retain a record of all discussions and actions taken.

 

Step 3 Initial assessments by the Club Children's Officer
• If possible, following assessment of the matter as reported or witnessed, the
Club Children's Officer should identify if the alleged breach would constitute an
example of poor practice or a more serious breach of the Code.

 

Step 4 Collate the information
• Carefully take account of what has been reported or alleged and retain a record
of all actions taken on behalf of the Club. Such records may be required as part
of any subsequent investigation or in the event of an appeal at a later stage.
• Check what has been reported for accuracy.
• Corroborate the facts if necessary with others who may have witnessed the
alleged incident.

 


Step 5 Inform the person accused of the alleged breach of the Code
• Inform the person against whom the alleged breach has been made as to the
nature of the breach and how it may have contravened the Code.
• Seek a response from the person.
• Inform the person if any further action is deemed necessary or shall be
recommended.


Step 6 If a breach of the Code is acknowledged
• If a breach of the Code is acknowledged and is not deemed to be of an extreme
nature (e.g. poor practice as opposed to a deliberate breach), the Children's
Officer should inform the person against whom the breach has been alleged
how they may have breached the Code and that they must in future adhere to
all aspects of the Code.
• If the breach is deemed to be of a more serious or a re-occurring nature it may
then be subject to reporting within the Club. Such matters, on a case by case
basis, shall be dealt with in accordance with the principles of natural justice and
with club internal disciplinary structures, or in extreme circumstances may be
categorised as abuse and would be dealt with accordingly. The Club Children's
Officer may not make a decision to remove a person from their role(s) due
to a breach of the Code of Behaviour. Such actions may only be taken by the
relevant Club Committee but may be recommended by the Club Children's
Officer, following an appraisal of the alleged breach.*
• Should any action be taken against a person deemed to have breached the
Code the action taken will undoubtedly be proportionate to the level of beach
that occurred. However, such action could include a verbal warning, a removal
from their role for a specific period of time, a permanent removal from their
role, a directive that they undertake a specified training programme, a request
that the matter be dealt with as a disciplinary issue or a referral of the breach to
the Designated Person dealing with allegations of abuse.
• All such action shall be taken by the relevant Club Committee having
considered any recommendations that may be made to them.

 

Step 7 If a breach of the code is denied
• If a breach of the code is denied the Children's Officer must make a
determination and may seek the assistance of other Club officials as
appropriate to the Club's structures.
• If the facts point to a breach of the Code due process must allow for a response
from the person against whom the alleged breach has been made.
• If, following this procedure, it is deemed that a breach of the Code has
occurred the Children's Officer may recommend a course of subsequent
action. This matter must also be reported to the relevant Club Committee and
also to the person against whom the allegation been made.
• The relevant Club Committee shall consider the recommendation and reach a
conclusion on the matter.
• If the breach is deemed to be of a more serious or a re-occurring nature it may
then be subject to reporting within the Club. Such matters, on a case by case
basis, shall be dealt with in accordance with the principles of natural justice and
with club internal disciplinary structures, or in extreme circumstances may be
categorised as abuse and would be dealt with accordingly. The Club Children's
Officer may not make a decision to remove a person from their role(s) due
to a breach of the Code of Behaviour. Such actions may only be taken by the
relevant Club Committee but may be recommended by the Club Children's
Officer, following an appraisal of the alleged breach.*
• Should any action be taken against a person deemed to have breached the
Code the action taken will undoubtedly be proportionate to the level of beach
that occurred. However, such action could include a verbal warning, a removal
from their role for a specific period of time, a permanent removal from their
role, a directive that they undertake a specified training programme, a request
that the matter be dealt with as a disciplinary issue or a referral of the breach to
the Designated Person dealing with allegations of abuse.

 

Step 8 Appeal against decision
• If the person against whom an allegation has been made is unhappy with the
outcome or decision(s) made a right of appeal should be afforded to them in
accordance with Club and Governing Body structures.
Step 9 Informing the aggrieved party as to any decision reached following a
breach of the Code
• Any person, who due to the actions of another may have experienced or have
been the recipient of actions deemed to be in breach of the Code is entitled to
know what outcomes and decisions have been reached following investigations
into such matters. Such persons should be informed in a confidential manner
as to what has been agreed but may not be part of the decision making process
when determining an outcome.
Step 10 Review use of the Code in your Club
• On an on-going basis the Club's Children's Officer should review the
implementation of the Code of Behaviour within the Club and where necessary
appraise the Club's Executive Committee on how the Code may be promoted at
all times.

 


* Reference has been made throughout this section to the use of
‘club internal disciplinary structures'. Where such actions are required
they must be processed in accordance with the procedures as adopted
by either Cumann Lúthchleas Gael, Cumann Camógaíochta, Cumann
Peil Gael na mBan, Comhairle Liathróid Láimhe na hÉireann or
Comhairle Cluiche Corr na hÉireann.
It is recommended that you contact your relevant Governing Body for
further information on appropriate disciplinary procedures.