Safe Sport

Open & Observable Environments

Open & Observable Environments

Open and observable environments are in reference to the Coaching Association of Canada’s Rule of Two.

This reference has been created to assist individuals in understanding and creating open and observable environments.

For the purpose of this page, the following terms have these meanings:

  • Representative” – All individuals employed by or engaged in activities on behalf of, your Organization/Club. Representatives include, but are not limited to, coaches, staff, administrators, officials, club directors and officers, committee members, and volunteers.

Open and observable environments means making meaningful and concerted efforts to avoid situations where a coach, official or other representative might be alone with an athlete and/or vulnerable individual. All interactions between an athlete and an individual who is in a position of trust should normally, and wherever possible, be in an environment or space that is both “open” and “observable” to others.

What is an ‘open’ environment?

  • An open environment is an environment that is not closed or concealed from others.
  • Interactions should not take place behind closed doors or in secluded locations.
  • Others should be aware the interaction is taking place.

What is an ‘observable’ environment?

  • An observable environment is a space where others can see or take note of the interaction.

Before interacting with an athlete ask yourself:

  • Is this an open interaction?
    • Are we in a closed or secluded place?
    • Who knows this meeting/interaction is taking place?
    • Does the athlete (or individual in a position of lesser power) have an easy and accessible exit path?
  • Is this interaction observable?
    • Is anyone else with us?
    • Can anyone see us?
    • What about hear us?

At the National level, Swimming Canada is committed to creating open and observable environments at all national team events, including training camps and competitions, as well as at the High Performance Centres.