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Member Protection Information Officers
What is a Member Protection Information Officer?
Member Protection Information Officers are people trained to be the first point of contact within sporting organisations for any person considering making a complaint under the Member Protection Policy. MPIOs provide confidential, impartial and timely information and support. They act as a sounding board and 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?
- 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?
- Take sides or judge
- Give advice
- Breach confidentiality
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.
Need to talk to a Member Protection Information Officer?
There are a number of trained MPIOs in the region and within each sport. Sports Focus have staff who are MPIO trained therefore If you could like to make contact with an MPIO to discuss an issue contact Sports Focus.
You can become a certified MPIO by taking the following steps:
1. Complete online course at any time. The course will take approximately four hours and you can pause and resume the course at any time. For information on how to become a MPIO email Play By The Rules.
2. Once the course is completed you will receive a completion certificate that includes your online certification number (you need to keep this).
3. Complete the face to face workshop. Contact Jason Calleja Jason.Calleja@sport.vic.gov.au for information about when the next workshop is in Victoria.
4. On completion of the face to face workshop you will receive your certification number. You will need both this number and your online certificate number to finally register as a MPIO to receive your certificate of recognition.