Disciplinary and Corrective Action Policies and Procedures applies to all athletes, coaches, and volunteers (herein known as member) participating in programs and events sanctioned by Special Olympics Ontario.


1. Offenses
The following actions of behaviour by participants in Special Olympics Ontario programs will be considered offenses.


  1. Illegal conduct.
  2. Disregard of the Volunteer and Coach Code of Conduct/Athlete Code Of Conduct & Athlete Rights And Responsibilities.
  3. Actions which interfere with the enjoyment of Special Olympics Ontario programs by other participants.
  4. Any action or behaviour which may bring discredit to Special Olympics Ontario.
  5. Any action or behaviour which may discredit, bring  into question the safety and/or well being of athletes and/or coaches and /or other members of Special Olympics Ontario.
  6. To falsely present information to members and/or the public or to falsely represent Special Olympics Ontario.
  7. To go outside of the boundaries of your role and damage, tarnish, harm and/or cause disruption to another member’s role, activity, team or function.


2. Guidelines for Dealing with an Offense

When any of the above offenses is alleged against a member in a Special Olympics Ontario program, the following steps are provided as guidelines in dealing with such a situation. Situations requiring reprimand, suspension or dismissal will follow policies and procedures fairly and consistently, while respecting the safety and dignity of all concerned. Dignity and respect are important, but only after the safety and well-being of Special Olympics volunteers, families, athletes and staff are considered.

  1. Ensure that there is documentation of the incident, which caused the concern. Documentation should include a description of the incident, dates, times, locations, names of witnesses, and person reporting incident. The SOO Code of Conduct should be used as a guideline when considering volunteer behaviour.
  2. Discuss the situation with the individual outlining the inappropriateness of the incident and positive alternative actions that could have been taken. Where the safety of those involved or the integrity of the organization is brought into question by the actions of the individual, contact a representative from the Provincial Office to discuss the handling of the situation.
  3. Provide the individual with a written warning outlining the concern, detailing what is expected and time lines by which changes are required. A copy of the letter must be filed with a representative from the Provincial Office. Where necessary, develop and implement a program that is designed to shape the individuals inappropriate behavior. This may involve the assignment of a volunteer to monitor the effect this program is having on the athletes.
  4. If the inappropriate behavior continues and disciplinary action must be taken, a copy of all documentation must be forwarded to a representative from the Provincial Office.


3. Corrective Action

In appropriate situations, Communities may take further corrective action following an investigation that replaces some or all of the above procedures.


  1. Reassignment of volunteer duty or participation in sport program.
  2. Requirement by the affected member to take additional training/education.
  3. Suspension (Long Term or Short Term):  The Community may suspend until a specified date any coach/volunteer/athlete or club when a violation of any of the given offenses is proven after an investigation is conducted in the prescribed manner.  A Community that suspends a member shall inform Special Olympics Ontario Provincial Office of the period of suspension.
  4. Reinstatement:  A suspended member or club is automatically reinstated at the end of the period of suspension.  The member shall be informed by way of a meeting or by phone call with the Community to discuss re-involvement to be held after the suspension have been served.
  5. Probation:  Once re-instated or in direct result of an offence, a volunteer may be put on probation for a set period of time with a start and end date.  If the volunteer during their probationary period commits another offence their case will be reviewed and the individual may be re-suspended or dismissed immediately.
  6. Dismissal:  If the Community considers, after an investigation of the offence, that due to the gravity of a violation, a member shall be dismissed, the matter shall be referred to the Provincial Office for further investigation.  The member shall be considered suspended until the Provincial Office reaches a decision. No member will be dismissed until the member has had an opportunity to discuss reasons for possible dismissal with either the Community representative or a provincial staff representative.  
  7. Reasons for Dismissal: Possible grounds for dismissal may include, but are not limited to, the following: Gross misconduct or insubordination, being under the influence of alcohol or drugs, theft of property or misuse of SOO equipment or materials, abuse or mistreatment of another individual, failure to abide by policies and procedures, failure to meet physical or mental standards of performance, and failure to satisfactorily perform assigned duties.
  8. Upon dismissal: the Community or Provincial office will convey to the affected member the reasons for dismissal due to the members’ actions or lack of actions. This may be communicated through writing, a phone call or in person.


4. Notice of Departure or Re-Assignment

In the event that a member departs from Special Olympics Ontario, whether voluntarily or involuntarily, or is re-assigned to a new position or program, it shall be the responsibility of the Community to inform those affected volunteers and athletes that the member is no longer assigned to work/practice with them. In cases of dismissal for cause, this notification shall be given in writing and should clearly indicate that any further contact with the member is outside any scope of relationship with Special Olympics Ontario.


5. Concerns and Grievances

Decisions involving corrective action of a member may be reviewed for appropriateness; the affected member shall be informed of the appeal procedures for expressing their concern or grievance.


6. Appeals

  1. The decision of the Community or Sport Club may be appealed by the individual in writing to the provincial office within thirty days of the meeting at which the decision was made.
  2. The Appeals Committee, set up by the Provincial office, shall review all documentation and make a decision.
  3. The decision of the Appeals Committee is final.


7. Resignation

Volunteers/athletes may resign from their involvement with Special Olympics at any time. It is requested that volunteers who intend to resign provide advance notice of their departure and a reason for their decision.


8.Exit Interviews

Exit interviews, where possible, should be conducted with volunteers and athletes who are leaving the organization. The interview should ascertain why the member is leaving, suggestions the member may have to improving the position, and the possibility of involving the member in some other capacity with Special Olympics Ontario.


9. Communication with Special Olympics Ontario

Communities are responsible for maintaining regular communication with their District Developer and the Database Administrator, on the status of volunteers, and are responsible for the timely provision of all necessary paperwork to the office. The provincial office should be informed immediately of any substantial change in the work or status of a member and should be consulted in advance before any corrective action is taken.


Immediate Suspension

A person may be subject to immediate disciplinary action, including suspension, for conduct which in the sole and absolute discretion of Special Olympics is so inherently harmful or egregious as to warrant immediate action.  Immediate disciplinary action, including suspension, may be imposed for any of the following:

  1. Illegal Conduct:  Engaging in any illegal or criminal activity when the Special Olympics Provincial office has a good faith belief that there has been illegal activity, whether or not there has been a formal charge made.
  2. Behavior Problems.  Any person behaving in a manner that is inherently dangerous to him/herself or others.  This includes any violent acts, harassment, or any behavior which impacts the integrity of Special Olympics programs.
  3. Alcohol, Cannabis or Illegal Substance.  The use or consumption of alcohol, cannabis or illegal substances that may affect the safety and well being of other athletes.  This includes but is not limited to all training/practice sessions, the duration of competition events, or any other Special Olympics sponsored or sanctioned activity where athletes are present.
  4. Abuse.  Any person accused or suspected of abusing (physical or sexual), molesting, assaulting, or harassing another person.  




If you would like to submit an appeal to Special Olympics Ontario please fill out the Appeals & Complaints Submission form.


You can directly access the Appeals & Complaints Submission form by clicking on the following link:



You will be contacted by a SOO manager within 7 business days of receipt of your submission.