Complaints and Dispute Resolution Policy

The North Toronto Soccer Club (NTSC) encourages all members (players, parents, and coaches) to attempt to resolve issues in good faith prior to club intervention keeping in mind the criteria provided in our published Club Codes of Conduct, Policies and Procedures, but understands that this is not always possible.

General

Members who have a serious issue are encouraged to discuss it first with club coaching, refereeing and/or management staff, whose names and email addresses are listed on the club website: https://www.ntsoccer.com/contact 

The following matters are excluded from this policy:

a)  The Complaints and Dispute Resolution processes shall not be used for soccer game-related discipline. The normal discipline and appeals processes shall be followed.

b)  Complaints regarding breaches of the Privacy Policy are to be directed to the club’s General Manager at GM@ntsoccer.com , who shall act as the Club’s Privacy Officer.

c)  Complaints regarding the normal administration of the Club, such as: fee refunds; teaming requests; placement of players on teams; etc. will be addressed and finally decided by Club staff, with the General Manager as the final decision maker.

Dispute Resolution

Dispute resolution is defined as “the process of resolving disputes between parties”. In the case of the North Toronto Soccer Club, disputes are typically brought to the attention of the club first by way of informal discussions.  Only if good faith informal discussions are not successful can a formal complaint be ledged with the Club.  Resolution is most often achieved following informal discussion.  Only if that fails will further steps, such as investigation by club officials; follow-up discussions; provision of education/training be considered.

Formal dispute resolution for matters of “a corporate nature” (as shown below), may be addressed through the OSA Dispute Resolution Policy, if the steps indicated above are not successful:

a) The calling and holding of general meetings

b) The presentation and approval of financial statements

c) The nomination and election of Directors and Officers

d) The removal of Directors and Officers

e) The acceptance, rejection and removal of members

f) The calling and holding of Board meetings

g) Breaches of parliamentary procedure

h) Other matters of a similar corporate or governance nature

For complaints or reports of inappropriate behavior pertaining to NTSC soccer related activities that are not excluded from this policy and which cannot be resolved by staff, or members believe that staff is not following club policy or applicable laws (a ”Complaint”), the following process applies:

Complaints

Encouraging open communication, NTSC is committed to address fairly, and without bias, all Complaints .  If the Club deems it appropriate, an independent review of a Complaint may be sought.

· If a member of the North Toronto Soccer Club wishes to make a Complaint about a Director, they may do so, in writing. Any such complaint is to be directed to the Chair at boardchair@ntsoccer.com.

· If the subject of the Complaint is the President of the Board, the complaint may be submitted to the Vice Chair of the Board at vicechair@ntsoccer.com.

·  The Club will immediately report all complaints of sexual abuse to the police (with the consent of an individual alleging abuse). The club will immediately report criminal activities to the police without a written complaint.

 · Complaints regarding club members, staff, volunteers, coaches, players, referees, etc. also fall within the scope of this policy

Formalizing Complaints

a) Any Complaint can be communicated verbally, initially, to a club official or employee but must be followed up in writing (letter and/or email) in order to be acted upon.

b) All Complaints to the club must be in written form before a Complaint is dealt with. A confirmation from NTSC that the Complaint has been received will be provided via email if possible; other confirmation forms may include telephone or letter.

c) Once a written Complaint has been filed with the club, a Review Committee consisting of one Board member will review the Complaint and determine a course of action. .   This review will be conducted within ten (10) business days of receipt/filing of the Complaint.

d) If necessary, the Board member reviewing the Complaint will schedule a Complaint Hearing within ten (10) business days of finalizing the review of the Complaint.  Notice will be provided to the individual(s) who are the subject of the Complaint and requested to appear at the Complaint Hearing.

e) Hearings shall be conducted by three (3) persons, at least one of whom shall be a Board member (members who were NOT part of the initial Review wherever possible), at least one of whom is to be a certified Discipline Chair, if possible. If a certified Chair is not available the hearing will proceed without a certified Chair.

f) The individual(s) named on the complaint is/are entitled to be present at the hearing. Only individuals called by the committee shall be allowed to attend and participate in a hearing.

g) Hearings can take place by way of written submissions or oral submissions and with differing degrees of formality and complexity. The main consideration will be to arrive at a decision which, among other consideations, allows the affected individual(s) to adequately answer the case against them given the circumstances of the complaint and the nature of the matter being considered.

h) The hearing committee shall then deliberate in camera following the Hearing.  .

i) The goal of the the committee is to communicated its decision within ten (10) business days of the Complaint Hearing.

j) Penalties can range through a permanent suspension from the club, suspension for a specified period of time, a probationary period where the individual is allowed to continue with the club, a reprimand to a requirement that a person undertake training.

k) All committee decisions are final, and the issuing of “Reasons for Decision”, along with the decision is not mandatory.

l) Individual(s) who are charged with a criminal offense involving club related incidents may be immediately suspended from the club pending resolution of the charges, depending on the nature of the charges. No Complaint or Discipline Hearing shall take place when an individual is facing criminal charges for club related incidents. Club members who are convicted of a Criminal Code of Canada offense are subject to suspension or removal.

m) Any individual who is convicted of a criminal offense resulting from sexual or physical abuse shall be banned for life from the club.

n) Subjects to the letter and the spirit of the constraints discussed in this policy, individual(s) who violate the Zero Tolerance Policy for non-criminal activities may apply for reinstatement to the club in writing one month prior to the end of a time specified penalty.