IOC launches the International Safeguarding Officer in Sport Certificate
The URL has been copied
The URL has been copied
As part of its ongoing efforts to promote athletes’ safety, the IOC has launched the “International Safeguarding Officer in Sport Certificate” and is now accepting applications for its first cohort, to begin in September 2021.

Approved by the IOC Executive Board in September 2020, this eight-month course, hosted on Sportsoracle, has been developed by the IOC in partnership with an Academic Advisory Board of international experts that is overseen by three Programme Directors. The course will be delivered by a wide range of experts and practitioners from around the world who specialise in safeguarding and child protection in sport.

Registration for this course will be open to everyone but is aimed particularly at International Federations (IFs), National Federations (NFs) and National Olympic Committees (NOCs). While a fee is attached to the course, all NOCs will be able to enroll one candidate free of charge, with Olympic Solidarity covering the registration fee through a dedicated scholarship programme. 

All participants involved with safeguarding athletes of all ages from harassment and abuse (non-accidental violence) in sport will leave the course equipped with the knowledge, skills and confidence needed to fulfil the role of Safeguarding Officer or Focal Point for their sport organisation.

The course aims to deliver the following skills and knowledge to participants:

  • Describe the core concepts involved in safeguarding athletes in and through sport: the building blocks necessary to create a safe environment for everyone in sport.
  • Offer advice and support to their sports organisation in the development, adoption, implementation and monitoring of safeguarding policies, procedures, and practices in line with the organisation's values, code of ethics, code of conduct, and good governance principles.
  • Describe the core components of an athlete-centred approach to safeguarding based on the fundamental right of all persons to participate in Safe Sport: Sport, which is fair, equitable, accountable, and free from all forms of non-accidental violence.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of and competence in what is needed to ensure effective implementation of these core components.
  • Describe their role (and that of others inside and outside their organisation) in implementing appropriate, athlete-centered systems for receiving and responding to all reported safeguarding concerns, including all forms of harassment and abuse, received by their sports organisation.
  • Demonstrate a sound understanding of mechanisms to monitor and evaluate the implementation of safeguarding policies, procedures, and practices.

More information can be found on the Sportsoracle website.

Through the work of its Prevention of Harassment and Abuse in Sport (PHAS) Working Group, the IOC has been striving to guide and assist the IFs and NOCs in developing their own policies to prevent harassment and abuse.

As of Rio 2016, an IOC Safeguarding Officer has been present and available to all athletes competing at the Olympic and Youth Olympic Games.

In 2017, the IOC launched the “IOC Athlete Safeguarding Toolkit” in collaboration with over 50 stakeholders, including athletes, IFs, NOCs and subject-matter experts. Previously, in 2016, the “IOC Guidelines for IFs and NOCs related to creating and implementing a policy to safeguard athletes from harassment and abuse in sport” were released.

Additionally, the IOC Athlete Safeguarding Webinar series were held in 2019 for International Federations and in 2020 for National Olympic Committees.

These virtual meetings, led by some of the world’s leading experts in the field of child protection and athlete safeguarding, focused on the common challenges faced by sports organisations looking to build policy and implement athlete safeguarding measures.

  • Further information on the IOC’s educational activities to prevent harassment in sport can be found here