Application Guidelines – Independent Safe Sport Mechanism

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The Independent Safe Sport Mechanism component of the Sport Support Program funds a Canadian organization, on its own or in partnership with other organizations, to establish and deliver an independent mechanism to administer the implementation of the Universal Code of Conduct to Prevent and Address Maltreatment in Sport (UCCMS) for federally funded sport organizations.


Creating a safe and welcoming environment, free from abuse and harassment, is a priority of the Canadian sport system and the Government of Canada.

In December 2019, after extensive consultation and collaboration among the national sport community, the Universal Code of Conduct to Prevent and Address Maltreatment in Sport (UCCMS) was launched.

The UCCMS is a foundational document that provides sport organizations with a common starting point for addressing and preventing maltreatment. The UCCMS provides common definitions and clearly outlines prohibited behaviours in several areas of maltreatment, including: physical, psychological, and sexual maltreatment, as well as addressing grooming behaviours and power imbalances.

The current version of the UCCMS can be found here:

Sport Canada has made the inclusion of the UCCMS into organizational policies and procedures of federally funded sport organizations by April 1, 2021, a condition of funding.

In addition to the drafting and integration of the UCCMS, the national sport community, including athletes, called for the establishment of an independent body or mechanism to oversee the implementation of the UCCMS, and to provide independent services to ensure the fair, transparent, and effective management of reported allegations of maltreatment.

In June 2020, the UCCMS Leadership Group – an informal partnership of athletes, national-level sport organizations, and subject matter experts – engaged a private contractor to provide an independent analysis of existing research, models, and best practices to inform the identification of the most appropriate and effective mechanism(s) to independently administer and enforce the UCCMS for federally-funded sport organizations.

The final report of that analysis, as well as other resources and research related to maltreatment in Canadian sport will be available on the Sport Information Resource Centre website:

The resulting analysis, along with recommendations and additional input from the national sport community, contributed to the identification of the requirements, structures, key responsibilities, and services believed to be necessary for an independent body to effectively administer the UCCMS for federally funded sport organizations.


The Independent Safe Sport Mechanism is a subcomponent of the Sport Support Program (SSP), which supports the development of Canadian athletes and coaches.

The objective of the Independent Safe Sport Mechanism component is to enable the delivery of services and resources that have been identified by the national sport community and the federal government as essential to the effective independent administration of the UCCMS for federally funded organizations.

These include (more information on each element is presented in the How to Apply section of the guidelines):

Respecting the jurisdictional authority of the provincial and territorial governments and sport bodies, the primary focus of the independent mechanism will be to provide services for federally funded, national-level sport organizations and the individuals affiliated with those organizations. The delivery organization may also work with provincial and territorial bodies to identify opportunities to provide services to those bodies as appropriate and requested.

Application deadline

For an application to be eligible for consideration, it must be received by email ( by January 17, 2021 at 11:59 PM ET.

Who can apply

While partnerships between collaborating organizations are acceptable, the application must be submitted by a single lead organization, which will be responsible for signing a contribution agreement with the Government of Canada.

To be eligible for funding, the lead organization must be:

Eligible Expenses

Sport Canada has committed to supporting the establishment and delivery of the independent mechanism to administer the UCCMS for federal funded sport organizations.

The total amount of that support will be determined by the projected costs associated with the project, others sources and amounts of revenue, and the availability of funds.

Eligible expenses

Sport Canada cannot fund expenses incurred before receiving a submission of a proposal. If an organization incurs expenses for the project before receiving written confirmation of funding approval, the organization does so at its own risk.

Sport Canada will fund only project-related expenses. Eligible expenditures include but are not limited to:

Ineligible expenditures include, but are not limited to:

General administration

General administrative costs are related to the management and coordination of a program or project. Eligible expenses include:

Note: Administration costs include only the actual costs associated directly with administering the independent mechanism and must not exceed 10% of the sub-total amount requested before administration costs including, but not limited to:

When a funding recipient further transfers, to a Third Party, funds that were received under this program, the 10% allowed for administration costs must be divided between the parties, as agreed to between the parties. The total administration costs retained by all parties must not exceed 10% of the total funding agreement.

Note: Any travel expenses must not exceed the rates permitted for travel on government business in effect at the time of travel.

Salaries, fees and benefits

Salaries, fees and benefits include the costs of employing or contracting part-time and full-time management and administrative staff. Eligible expenses include:

Operations and programming

Costs related to the development and implementation of the independent mechanism include:

Research and evaluation

Costs related to the research related to preventing and addressing maltreatment in sport, as well as the evaluation and documentation of successes and failures of the independent mechanism include:

Official languages

Support to ensure the organization’s capacity to provide programs, services, events and communications materials in both official languages and to foster bilingual capacity.

Eligible expenses include:

Eligibility criteria

Sport Canada is responsible for determining the eligibility of the applicant, its project and project-related expenses.

Meeting the eligibility criteria does not guarantee funding.

Limits of government assistance

To ensure the success of the project, Sport Canada encourages applicant organizations to have other funding sources. This may include contributions from the applicant organization, the private sector or other levels of government.

The total financial assistance received from the Sport Support Program and other levels of government (federal, provincial, territorial and municipal) cannot exceed 100% of total project-related costs

How to apply

Read the Independent Safe Sport Mechanism – Application Guidelines in their entirety before beginning. Proposals must be submitted by email to:

Requirements related to the proposal's format:

To apply, organizations must submit a full proposal addressing the following information and rated requirements. Please use the following checklist to ensure that the submission package is complete.


1. Applicant information

2. Demonstration of content knowledge

The proposal must demonstrate an in-depth knowledge and understanding of the issues and challenges in Canada related to the existence and prevention of maltreatment of individuals involved in sport, the development and implementation of initiatives related to the UCCMS, and knowledge of existing national and international best practices, models, and approaches in this area.

3. Strategic Plan

The independent mechanism must be established and able to be provide services to federally funded sport organizations within the 2021-2022 fiscal year.

The proposal must describe the proposed operations of the independent mechanism, including:

4. Approach, Methodology and Model

The proposal must outline the approach and methodology to be undertaken to establish and deliver the independent mechanism

This information must be presented in sufficient detail to allow for a complete understanding of the proposed mechanism structure, procedures, services, and deliverables, as well as how each of the required elements are included.

Applicants may suggest enhancements or additional elements to those identified as required, but the required elements must be included in the proposed methodology and model.

Not all elements are required to be implemented from the outset or launch of the independent mechanism, but must be included in a planned approach.

Certain elements may be ‘outsourced’ through partnerships with existing external organizations with the appropriate expertise and capacity.

The required elements of the model include:

5. A work plan

The proposal must specify how the applicant will start up and sustain the independent mechanism over the first four fiscal years, (January 1, 2021, to March 31, 2024). The work plan should include information on proposed initial and future staffing structure, roles, activities, and how the quality control of deliverables will be ensured.

A work time-line must be presented to address the implementation timing for each element included in the proposal, with a clear indication and identification of a date within the 2021-2022 fiscal year for when the mechanism will be established and able to be provide services to federally funded sport organizations.

6. Budget

A provisional balanced budget must be submitted with the application. This budget should provide details of anticipated operational costs and proposed revenues over the first four fiscal years:

The proposed budget should reflect the required sustainable approach, with a phased-in diversification of revenue that includes the federal government and other stakeholders.

7. A description of organizational experience and qualifications

The proposed lead and collaborating organizations must collectively have experience and qualifications in areas relevant to the implementation of initiatives to prevent and address maltreatment in sport.

Areas of experience and qualifications could include:

8. Quality of the proposal

The proposal must be clear and easy to understand. Be precise. Use plain language. No acronyms.

The total submission package must not exceed a maximum of 50 pages, and should include an executive summary of the proposal that does not exceed three (3) pages.

How proposals are evaluated

Proposals will be evaluated by a selection committee made up of representatives from government and individuals with experience and expertise in the Canadian sport and the prevention of maltreatment.

The committee will evaluate proposals against the following criteria:

Rated requirements

Funding decisions

Funding decisions are made by the Minister of Canadian Heritage.

Decisions regarding eligibility and funding amounts are final.

How funding is provided

Sport Canada will provide funding in the form of a contribution. A contribution is a conditional payment issued to an organization for a specific purpose, as outlined in a funding agreement. The funding agreement is signed by Sport Canada and the organization, and specifies the terms and conditions to receive payment.

Funding conditions

The funded organization will be required to submit interim and final reports, including an audit report.

Anti-racism and anti-hate

Canadian Heritage is committed to address systemic racism, promote diversity, and create environments where every individual is valued, respected, and empowered. We strive to challenge discriminatory beliefs and practices, cultivate understanding and empathy, and champion policies and programs that advance equality for all.

Organizations receiving funding, including any representatives whether employees, consultants, or other persons directly affiliated with the organization, must take steps to ensure they respect the values underlying the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the Canadian Human Rights Act, and Canada’s Anti-Racism Strategy.

Workplace wellbeing

The Government of Canada is strongly committed to promoting healthy workplaces where harassment, abuse and discrimination are not tolerated. Organizations that receive funding from Canadian Heritage must take measures to create a workplace free from harassment, abuse and discrimination.

Official languages requirements

Sport Canada is committed to taking positive measures to enhance the vitality of official languages minority communities and to promote the use of English and French in Canadian society. If an organization receives funding, it agrees to comply with the official languages requirements set out in the application or funding agreement.

Acknowledgement of financial assistance

If an organization receives funding, it must publicly acknowledge – in English and in French – the financial support received from the Government of Canada in all communications materials and promotional activities. Additional requirements may be included in the funding agreement.

For additional information, please refer to our Guide on the public acknowledgement of financial support.

Access to information requests

Sport Canada is subject to the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act. The information an organization submits in its application may be disclosed in accordance with these Acts.

Disclosure of information

By submitting a funding application, the organization authorizes Sport Canada to disclose any information submitted with the application within the Government of Canada or to outside agencies for the following purposes:

Audits of recipients and evaluation of the Program

Sport Canada reserves the right to audit an organization's accounts and records to ensure compliance with the terms and conditions of the funding agreement. Sport Canada also conducts periodic Program evaluations during which an organization may be required to present documentation.

Organizations must keep any records, documents, or other information that may be required to perform the audit or the evaluation for five years. Demonstrated failure to maintain such records may result in the repayment of amounts previously received.

Application processing time

Please refer to the Service standards for Canadian Heritage funding programs or contact the program.

We will acknowledge receipt of your application within two weeks of reception in our offices.

Contact us

For further information, please contact us:

Department of Canadian Heritage
Sport Support Program
15 Eddy Street
Gatineau, Quebec
J8X 4B3

1-866-811-0055 (toll-free)
1-888-997-3123 (for people who are deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired)

Agents are available to answer your questions Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (EST).


Audited financial statements
A complete set of financial statements including a statement of financial position; a statement of operations; and a statement of changes in financial position. Audited financial statements are completed by a certified accountant who is not part of your organization. The certified accountant performs auditing activities in accordance with generally accepted auditing standards.
Final report
A final report is submitted at the end of the project based on the requirements in the funding agreement. The final report needs to provide the results of the activities the organization has undertaken for the duration of the project and include a final report of actual revenues and expenses.
Interim reports
Interim reports are submitted during the project based on the requirements in the funding agreement. The interim report will provide the results of the activities the organization has undertaken for a specific period, a report on the status of work to be accomplished and include updated revenue and expense reports.
Lead organization
A single organization that represents a collection of organizations that will contribute to the delivery of the initiative. The lead organization will be responsible for the signing and meeting the requirements of the contribution agreement with the Government of Canada.
Provisional balanced budget
A provisional balanced budget is achieved when the revenues are equal to the expenditures based on reasonable assumptions.

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