Member Protection Information Officers

What is a Member Protection Information Officer?

Member Protection Information Officers (MPIO) are people trained to be the first point of contact within a sporting organisation for any person concerned about the well-being of themselves or other members. MPIOs provide confidential, impartial and timely information and support. They provide information about the local complaint resolution options available to address the individual’s concerns. They do not mediate or investigate complaints.

They can also provide information and advice to sport administrators and complaint handlers with regard to the Member Protection Policy of that sport. They may reside in a club, the state association or a National Sporting Organisation (NSO). They can also be freelance (not linked directly to sport).

What is the value of an MPIO to sport?

The MPIO can play a key role in ensuring your sport is safe, fair and inclusive. MPIOs do this through ensuring club people and administrators know their rights and responsibilities and ensuring policies that focus on member protection are being implemented. Such policies may include but are not limited to the complaints policy and procedures, child protection policies, harassment and discrimination policies.

What DO Member Protection Information Officers do?

  • Listen
  • Act as an impartial support person
  • Provide information about discrimination, harassment and child abuse
  • Provide information about the Member Protection Policy and the options available to resolve the complaint
  • Provide information about relevant laws and the right to complain externally
  • Discuss the possible strategies the individual can use to deal directly with the other person
  • Provide contact details for counselling or other referrals as appropriate or as requested.

What DON’T Member Protection Information Officers do?

  • Give advice on what the complainant should do
  • Take sides or judge
  • Offer to counsel the complainant
  • Intervene in the complaint
  • Investigate the complaint
  • Breach confidentiality
  • Offer to be an advocate on the complainant’s behalf

An MPIO should possess the following qualities:

  • Well-developed interpersonal and communication skills with the ability to deal effectively with people faced with difficult or sensitive issues
  • An in-depth knowledge of Member Protection policies and procedures
  • A commitment to the principles of fair, safe and inclusive sport
  • An ability to provide confidential information about a range of sensitive issues as requested
  • A knowledge of a variety of conflict resolution options and the procedures available to members
  • Personal integrity with the ability to treat individuals and their circumstances with respect and sensitivity.

MPIO Workshop Training – Expression of Interest

Sports Focus has been provided with the opportunity to run MPIO workshops around the Loddon Campaspe region for local sporting clubs. This will be facilitated by the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission (VEOHRC).

If a member of your club would be interested in undertaking this training, please fill out the below form to express your interest.

If you would like more information, please contact Sports Focus. 

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