Paralympics Australia Integrity Framework
Integrity, respect, inclusion and safety are core values of our organisation and reflect who we are and what we aspire to every day through our actions and activities.
Paralympics Australia is committed to developing and evolving our systems, processes, programs and policies to safeguard the integrity of our organisation, and those involved in at all levels of Para-sport.
To meet our legal and moral obligations and to maintain best practice as a sporting peak body around safe, fair and inclusive sport we have developed a range of proactive measures to address contemporary challenges to the integrity of individuals and Para-sport. We also clearly outline peoples’ rights and responsibilities to ensure they are aware of illegal and unethical behaviour and positive actions that should be promoted in Para-sport.
As such, we have developed a whole-of-sport Integrity Framework that covers the core integrity areas of Safe Sport, Inclusive Sport and Fair Sport. The Framework also highlights ways for everyone to be aware and get involved to meet the changing environment regarding these integrity issues.
Each section details our commitment to maintaining the integrity of Para-sport through:
- Our organisation’s commitment to child safe sporting environments, inclusive sport that welcomes everyone, and fair sport to protect against integrity issues.
- Policies and codes that outline peoples’ rights and responsibilities.
- Complaints procedures and reporting options.
- Tools and resources to assist people to reach their safe, fair, inclusive sport goals.
- Contacts and links for assistance and further support.
Paralympics Australia will continue to work closely with relevant government sport integrity agencies such as Sport Australia, Sport Integrity Australia, ASADA, the Office of Sport and the National Integrity of Sport Unit to achieve our goals.
Learn more about our Integrity Framework:
Safe Sport Framework
This Framework outlines how Paralympics Australia is committed to providing environments that are safe, supportive and fun for children and young people. We have zero tolerance for any form of behaviour that puts the well-being of children and young people at risk.
The recent Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has shone the spotlight on child protection policies and safeguarding children strategies within the sport and recreation sector, and gave us valuable insights into the characteristics of, and risk factors for, child sexual abuse in sport and recreation.
It is essential that everyone involved in Para-sport understands the important legal and governance responsibilities they have in relation to child safety. Child safety must be embedded in every sport and club’s culture, reflected in their policies and procedures, and understood and practiced at all levels.
Paralympics Australia regularly reviews our child safety policies and codes against the relevant national principles and legislated child safe standards in states/territories.
The Safe Sport Framework brings together everything we do around safeguarding and protecting children and young people, including:
Paralympics Australia has developed a range of policies and codes to guide the expected behaviours of everyone in our organisation, Australian Paralympic Teams and Para-sport, so they understand their rights and responsibilities regarding safe sport, particularly for children and young people. These include:
- Our People Protection Policy (PPP) outlines the policies and processes that ensure a safe, positive environment for children and young people.
- The PPP also outlines our child protection and abuse complaints and reporting process and contacts.
- Our Codes of Conduct highlight appropriate behaviours when dealing with children.
- Taking Images of Children (outlined in our PPP)
- Social Media (covering abuse and grooming is outlined in our PPP)
- Our Child Safe Sport Commitment outlines the obligations of different people within Paralympics Australia to protect and safeguard children and young people.
The policy also promotes the cultural safety of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, children from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds and the safety of children with disability.
Complaints and Reporting
Paralympics Australia has a clear, transparent complaints process and measures in place to ensure that staff, Team members, volunteers and contractors understand their responsibility to report possible abuse or neglect of children and young people, and are aware of our complaint and reporting procedures.
Our process for responding to and reporting suspected child abuse, outlined in our People Protection Policy , includes:
- A clear process for reporting and acting on disclosures or concerns about child safety.
- A clear complaints procedure for use by children, parents, volunteers and staff.
- Policies are provided to parents upon request.
- Policies and procedures are readily available via our website.
- Paralympics Australia People Protection Policy (includes reporting child abuse section)
- ACF Guide to Mandatory Reporting – all states/territories (2016)
- ACF Reportable Conduct Summary
Social Media/Taking Images of Children
Paralympics Australia recognises the benefits of social media for sharing stories and photos and for event and team coordination and promotion. However, we do not tolerate abusive, discriminatory, intimidatory or offensive statements being made online. The appropriate online behavior and complaints and reporting processes for non-compliance or breaches are outlined in the Social Media section of our People Protection Policy.
Taking images of children
A high level of care needs to be exercised when dealing with the issue of photo images/videos of children. Paralympics Australia encourages all staff, Team members and athletes to be aware of such risks and to take steps, where possible, to minimise them.
Working with Children Checks
Working with Children Checks aim to create a child-safe environment and to protect children and young people from physical and sexual abuse. They assess the suitability of people to work with children and young people and can involve:
- criminal history checks
- signed declarations
- referee checks, and
- other relevant background checks to assess a person’s suitability to work with children and young people.
Details on screening requirements and the WWCC process are highlighted in our People Protection Policy.
Note that Working with Children Check requirements vary across Australia. It is important to remember that when travelling to other states or territories, your club and members must comply with their legislative requirements.
Resources and Tools
- Child Safe Sport Framework Definitions
- AHRC National Principles for Child Safe Organisations
- Child Safe Sport Toolkit, Sport Australia has an online advisory toolkit to assist sport organisations with policies and procedures related to child safe environments.
- Play by the Rules also has useful information for steps on how to respond to allegations of child abuse and a Reference Guide for relevant agencies and contacts.
- Safeguarding children in sport– ASC Podcast
- Keeping kids safe in sport – Play by the Rules podcast
- Play by the Rules has useful facts sheets which outline strategies for Parents, Coaches and Clubs/Associations in creating safe environments for children in sport.
- Play by the Rules fact sheet for guidance on taking images of children.
Sexual Misconduct Helpline
A confidential helpline to assist if you have been, or are at risk of being, impacted by sexual misconduct while under Sport Australia’s (including Sport Australia and AIS) care as well as if you are seeking information to prevent or responding to observed sexual misconduct. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or Phone: 1800 272 4357.
24-hour telephone assistance is also available through:
- Lifeline – 1311 14
- 1800Respect – 1800 737 732
- MensLine Australia – 1300789 978
- Bravehearts Inc– 1800 272 831
- Child Wise Helpline– 1800 991 099
- National Office for Child Safety
- National Children’s Commissioner
- NSW Office of the Children’s Guardian
- Office of the Children’s Commission NT
- Queensland Family and Child Commission
- SA Office of the Guardian for Children and Young People
- Victoria Children’s Commission
- Tasmanian Commissioner for Children and Young People
- Commission for Children and Young People WA
Fair Sport Framework
Our Fair Sport Framework outlines how Paralympics Australia are working to safeguard the integrity of Para-sport around contemporary challenges such as illicit and performance enhancing drugs and supplements, doping, match-fixing, illegal gambling and poor governance.
Many of these practices are not only illegal, but they impact on Para-sport and athletes where they exist, and also serve to undermine the confidence in the community’s faith and belief in Para-sport and our competitions and competitors.
The Federal Government’s Woods Review of Australia’s sports integrity arrangements (2018) found that sports are challenged by a range of mounting integrity threats and warned that ‘without the presence of a comprehensive, effective and nationally coordinated response capability, the hard earned reputation of sport in this country risks being tarnished’.
This Framework brings together everything we do around Fair Sport, including:
Sport is being challenged by a range of increasing integrity threats, including doping, match fixing, the use of inside information for illegal betting purposes, increased use of supplements or illicit drugs, and issues around poor governance and poor conduct by administrators, officials, members and spectators.
Paralympics Australia is committed to developing and promoting our processes, policies and behaviours to help safeguard the integrity of Para-sport, Para-athletes and Para sporting events. We will work closely with relevant government sport integrity agencies, including: Sport Australia, Sport Integrity Australia, ASADA, Office of Sport and the National Integrity of Sport Unit to achieve this goal.
We understand there are a range of international, federal and state/territory laws and policies around these contemporary integrity challenges in sport. However, ultimately, the main responsibility for integrity lies with every person in Para-sport to ensure their engagement is based on the principles of fairness, respect, responsibility, and safety.
In our role as a member and National Paralympic Committee of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), Paralympics Australia is the guardian of Paralympic sport and its values in this country.
As part of our membership of the IPC, Paralympics Australia staff, Teams, officials, volunteers, and contractors must adhere to relevant IPC rules and codes (i.e. IPC Classification Code, IPC Anti-Doping Code, IPC Code of Ethics and IPC Medical Code). As a condition of membership, all of our Members must also adhere to these Codes. The rights and obligations of IPC Members (and our Members) are outlined in Chapter 2 of the IPC Handbook and the policies are available at www.paralympic.org/the-ipc/publications
Paralympics Australia have also developed the following policies as part of our proactive and preventative approach to tackling integrity issues in Para-sport. These policies and procedures relating to match fixing, illegal gambling, doping, illicit drug and supplement use, corruption and classification are regularly reviewed and supported with training and resources to meet the changing and evolving sports integrity environment.
- People Protection Policy
- Codes of Conduct
- Anti-Match Fixing Policy
- Anti-Match Fixing Code of Conduct
- Anti-Doping Policy
- TUE Process
- Supplements (part of Anti-Doping Policy)
- Alcohol/Illicit drugs (part of our PPP)
- Whistleblower Policy
- Whistleblower complaints process
- Classification Policy
- Australian Paralympic Team policies
Paralympics Australia is committed to good governance and strong, ethical leadership.
The rights and responsibilities of Paralympics Australia and our Member organisations are outlined in our Constitution.
Paralympics Australia is governed by a Board of Directors which may include elected and appointed members. The Paralympics Australia Board sets Paralympics Australia’s strategic direction and policies and oversees their implementation.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) manages Paralympics Australia business and implementation of the strategic direction and policies set by the Board. The CEO reports to the Board.
The CEO is supported by a senior executive team. The members of the senior executive team manage the divisions into which Paralympics Australia is structured. They oversee its key business elements and implement strategies to meet the corporate objectives.
There are expectations on our directors and managers to ensure good governance right throughout the organisation. They are expected to demonstrate high standards of expertise, behaviour, principles and values which are outlined in our Codes of Conduct.
There are a range of guidelines and governance principles that Paralympics Australia follows to get governance right and minimise risks. These include following Sport Australia’s Mandatory Sports Governance Principles and Integrity Guidelines for Directors of Sporting Organisations.
Classification serves as the backbone of fair and equal competition.
Classification groups athletes who have similar impairments together into classes for competition in their particular sport. Each Paralympic sport has a different classification system, based on the sports specific athletic skills and requirements. Trained medical experts carry out the classification process based on comprehensive data and analysis made over many years. There is a rigorous review and appeal process.
Policies and Standards
Paralympics Australia’s Classification Policy sets out the position, roles and responsibilities of Paralympics Australia as they relate to classification and creates a framework for processes and procedures for the management of classification in Australia. The Policy is supported by its Classification Standard – Athlete Evaluation, Classification Standard – Protests and Appeals and Classification Standard – Classifier Training and Certification.
Intentional Misrepresentation is cheating in Paralympic sport. It is a deliberate attempt by an athlete or athlete support personnel (either by fact or omission) to misrepresent:
- the existence or extent of skills and/or abilities relevant to a Para-sport;
- and/or the degree and/or nature of eligible impairment.
Intentional Misrepresentation rules are published by the IPC Athlete Classification Code.
Any relevant evidence of true and genuine concerns of intentional misrepresentation should always be reported to your sport or Paralympics Australia. You will need to provide as much information and evidence as possible about the suspected intentional misrepresentation.
If we believe that an individual is raising an intentional misrepresentation concern knowing that the basis is untrue, or is intended to be malicious or cause distress, the matter may be referred further for review and possible disciplinary action.
- Classification Policy
- Classification Roles and Responsibilities
- IPC Classification Policy
- Classification Standard – Athlete Evaluation
- Classification Standard – Protests and Appeals
- Classification Standard – Classifier Training and Certification
- Data Protection Standards
- Intentional Misrepresentation
Paralympics Australia is in the process of updating the Classification section on the website. Stay tuned for further updates…
The Paralympics Australia Board, CEO and staff, Australian Paralympic teams and authorised support staff are committed to operating legally (in accordance with applicable legislation and regulation), properly (in accordance with organisational policy and procedures), and ethically (in accordance with recognised ethical principles).
Everyone involved with Paralympics Australia and Para-sport share a responsibility to:
- Support our commitment to legal, proper and ethical operations by speaking up and reporting any non-compliant conduct by other people.
- Ensure that those who do speak with good intentions and for a proper purpose are supported throughout the process and not personally penalised in any way for having the courage to speak up.
This is achieved by our Whistleblower policy and related confidential reporting process. Our policy:
- Encourages disclosure of wrongdoing by providing a convenient and safe disclosure mechanisms and protection for people who make such disclosures.
- Establishes policies for protecting genuine whistleblowers against reprisal by any person internal or external to our organisation.
- Enables Paralympics Australia to deal with reports from whistleblowers in a way that will protect the identity of the whistleblower and provide secure storage of the information provided.
NOTE: This policy does not apply to classification/intentional misrepresentation issues. Disclosure or reporting for these issues are outlined in the Paralympics Australia’s Classification Policy at https://www.paralympic.org.au/classification/
Inclusive Sport Framework
The demographic of the communities in which sport operates in Australia has changed dramatically over the last decade. Today, 25% of Australia’s population is born overseas, almost 50% have one parent born in other countries, 260 languages are spoken, and over 50% are women or girls.
More than one in five Australians, or 4.3 million people, identify as having a disability. For people over the age of 65, this rate doubles to two in five. The disability sector is currently under represented in sport, with only 24% of people with a disability engaged in sport. This is compared to 65% of the general population.
This Inclusive Sport Framework outlines how Paralympics Australia is working to create a more respectful, safer, non-discriminatory and inclusive sport for all and is supported by a Glossary of Terms.
The Framework brings together everything we do around inclusion and diversity, including:
Paralympics Australia believes that every person should be able to participate in sport and physical activity in a welcoming and inclusive way. Everyone should be treated with respect and dignity and made to feel like they belong regardless of their gender, sexual orientation, ability, race, cultural background or ethnicity and no matter where they live.
We are committed to promoting respectful and positive behaviour and eliminate all forms of unlawful discrimination, harassment and bullying in Para-sport. There is simply no place for these forms of behaviour in our sport or at Para sporting events. We recognise that people may not be able to enjoy themselves or perform at their best if they are treated unfairly, discriminated against or harassed.
We will take all reasonable steps to identify and eliminate unlawful direct, indirect, and systemic discrimination from our structures and practices and ensure that all staff and members are afforded reasonable opportunities to participate in and gain access to our programs and services at all levels.
It is essential that everyone involved with delivering Para-sport in Australia understands the important legal and governance responsibilities they have in relation to discrimination, harassment and abuse. This includes Boards, committees, club administrators, volunteers, coaches, parents and participants.
We have zero tolerance for any behaviours that exclude and turn people off Para-sport and all the positive social and health aspects that it provides.
Paralympics Australia’s policies and codes ensure that everyone involved in our organisation, Teams and Para-sport is aware of their legal and ethical rights and responsibilities and provide a complaints and reporting procedures to eliminate discrimination, harassment, child protection issues and other forms of inappropriate behaviour.
The policies include:
These policies are backed up by federal and state/territory anti-discrimination laws that make discrimination and harassment unlawful in relation to a person’s gender, sexuality, disability, race, colour, national and ethnic origin, descent, ethnic or ethno-religious background in all areas of life, including sport. Paralympics Australia recognises its legislative duty of care under these relevant laws.
Child Protection and Safeguarding policies
Paralympics Australia is committed to promoting a safe and respectful environment for all children and young people, and to assist everyone to recognise child protection and safeguarding issues and know the relevant reporting procedures. Relevant information and policies are included as part of the Safe Sport Framework.
A range of Integrity related policies including Anti-Match Fixing, Anti-Doping, Fraud etc. are included as part of our Fair Sport Framework.
Paralympics Australia has an easy to follow and confidential complaints and reporting process that is outlined in our People Protection Policy.
All complaints will be dealt with promptly, seriously, sensitively and confidentially. Details on this process and mediation, tribunals and victimisation are outlined in the Policy.
Keep in mind that you can also complain to external organisations under anti-discrimination, child protection and other relevant human rights laws. See the list of relevant organisations on our Contacts page.
- Face the Facts publication
- Play by the Rules resources and online courses
- Play by the Rules Quick Reference Guide
- Sport Australia Guidelines for the inclusion of transgender and gender diverse people in sport
- Sport for People with Disability – Fast Facts
- Paralympics and Para Sport (Neilsen)
Paralympics Australia’s Website Media Distribution Policy specifies how media outlets may use material from Paralympics Australia’s website and the responsibility for any liability incurred from such use.
Paralympics Australia recognises that sometimes donations are made in error, and does not seek to be the recipient of donations that are not willingly given. Paralympics Australia’s Online Donation Refunds Policy governs the conditions under which Paralympics Australia will refund donations, and the process to be followed.