Parents, Players & Coaches towards any coach, player, parent, participant, official or any other attendee
Keys to handling disciplinary issues at Footstepz Football Academy
Establish the facts of each case: –
- It is important to carry out necessary investigations of potential disciplinary matters without unreasonable delay to establish the facts of the case. In some cases, this will require the holding of an investigatory meeting with the player, parent or coach before proceeding to any disciplinary hearing.
In others, the investigatory stage will be the collation of evidence by the CWO for use at any disciplinary hearing.
- In misconduct cases, where practicable, different people should carry out the investigation and disciplinary hearing.
- If there is an investigatory meeting this should not by itself result in any disciplinary action.
- In cases where a period of suspension is considered necessary, this period should be as brief as possible, should be kept under review and it should be made clear that this suspension is not considered a disciplinary action. Inform the Player, Parent of Coach of the problem
- If it is decided that there is a disciplinary case to answer, the Player, Parent or Coach should be notified of this in writing. This notification should contain sufficient information about the alleged misconduct and its possible consequences to enable the Player, Parent or Coach to prepare to answer the case at a disciplinary meeting. It would normally be appropriate to provide copies of any written evidence, which may include any witness statements, with the notification.
- The notification should also give details of the time and venue for the disciplinary meeting and advise the Player, Parent or Coach of their right to be accompanied at the meeting. Hold a meeting with the Player, Parent or Coach to discuss the problem
- The meeting should be held without unreasonable delay whilst allowing the Player, Parent or Coach reasonable time to prepare their case.
- Coach/Management Team and Player, Parent(s) or Coach (and their companions) should make every effort to attend the meeting. At the meeting the Coach/Management Team should explain the complaint against the Player, Parent or Coach and go through the evidence that has been gathered. The Player, Parent or Coach should be allowed to set out their case and answer any allegations that have been made. The Player, Parent or Coach should also be given a reasonable opportunity to ask questions, present evidence and call relevant witnesses. They should also be given an opportunity to raise points about any information provided by witnesses. Where a Coach/Management Team or Player, Parent or Coach intends to call relevant witnesses they should give advance notice that they intend to do this. Allow the Player, Parent or Coach to be accompanied at the meeting
- Player, Parent or Coaches have a right to be accompanied by a companion where the disciplinary meeting could result in:
- • Verbal warning being issued; or
- • Written warning
- • Exclusion from specified number of Matches
- Exclusion from specified number of Training sessions
- Removal from team for remainder of current season (No financial refund will be awarded)
- Refusal to register with Team for future season
- The chosen companion may be a fellow Player, Parent or Coach
- To exercise the right to be accompanied Player, Parent or Coach must make a reasonable request. What is reasonable will depend on the circumstances of each individual case. However, it would not normally be reasonable for Player, Parent or Coach to insist on being accompanied by a companion whose presence would prejudice the hearing.
CODE OF PRACTICE 1 – DISCIPLINARY AND GRIEVANCE PROCEDURES 7
- The companion should be allowed to address the hearing to put and sum up the Player, Parent or Coach’s case, respond on behalf of the Player, Parent or Coach to any views expressed at the meeting and confer with the Player, Parent or Coach during the hearing. The companion does not, however, have the right to answer questions on the Player, Parent or Coach’s behalf, address the hearing if the Player, Parent or Coach does not wish it or prevent the Coach/Management Team from explaining their case. Decide on appropriate action
- After the meeting decide whether or not disciplinary or any other action is justified and inform the Player, Parent or Coach accordingly in writing.
- Where misconduct is confirmed or the Player, Parent or Coach is found to be performing unsatisfactorily it is usual to give the Player, Parent or Coach a written warning. A further act of misconduct or failure to improve performance within a set period would normally result in a final written warning.
- If a Player, Parent or Coach’s first misconduct or unsatisfactory performance is sufficiently serious, it may be appropriate to move directly to a final written warning. This might occur where the Player, Parent or Coach’s actions have had, or are liable to have, a serious or harmful impact on Footstepz.
- A first or final written warning should set out the nature of the misconduct. The Player, Parent or Coach should be told how long the warning will remain current. The Player, Parent or Coach should be informed of the consequences of further misconduct, or failure to improve conduct, within the set period following a final warning. For instance, that it may result in disciplinary outcome 5 or 6 above being awarded.
- A decision to remove can only be taken by a minimum of 3 Coaches/Management Team members. The Player, Parent or Coach should be informed as soon as possible of the reasons for the dismissal, the date on which the employment contract will end, the appropriate period of notice and their right of appeal.
- Some acts, termed gross misconduct, are so serious in themselves or have such serious consequences that they may call for Removal without notice for a first offence. But a fair disciplinary process should always be followed, before dismissing for gross misconduct.
- Disciplinary rules should give examples of acts which the Coach/Management Team regards as acts of gross misconduct. These may vary according to the nature of Footstepz and what it does, but might include things such as, physical violence, health & safety contravention or serious in-subordination.
- Where a Player, Parent or Coach is persistently unable or unwilling to attend a disciplinary meeting without good cause the Coach/Management Team should make a decision on the evidence available. Provide Player, Parent or Coach with an opportunity to appeal
- Where a Player, Parent or Coach feels that disciplinary action taken against them is wrong or unjust they should appeal against the decision. Appeals should be heard without unreasonable delay and ideally at an agreed time and place. Player, Parent or Coach’s should let Coach/Management Teams know the grounds for their appeal in writing.
- The appeal should be dealt with impartially and wherever possible, by a manager who has not previously been involved in the case.
- Player, Parent or Coaches have a right to be accompanied at appeal hearings.
- Player, Parent or Coach’s should be informed in writing of the results of the appeal hearing as soon as possible.