Member Protection Information Officers

If complaints regarding discrimination, harassment, child protection or other inappropriate behaviours were being raised in your club, what would you do?

As sport is not immune from issues and conflicts, it is important to make sure that if concerns do arise they are able to be dealt with appropriately. Member Protection Information Officers (MPIOs) are trained to be the first point of call for any concerns, queries or complaints regarding the following issues:

  • Harassment
  • Discrimination
  • Child Protection
  • Abuse
  • Victimisation
  • Other harmful or inappropriate behaviour

Sporting clubs have moral and professional obligations to ensure there are appropriate standards of behaviour. Depending on the complaint or concern there are also policies that need to be considered. For example: child protection policy, harassment policy, discrimination policy, member protection policy and complaint handling.

A Member Protection Information Officer provides confidential, impartial and timely information and support to the club or individual. A MPIO ensures that everyone involved is aware of their rights and responsibilities and works alongside the policies and procedures to ensure a fair and inclusive environment at your club.

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.
  • Understand and follow club policies and procedures in relation to Member Protection.
  • 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.

Are you interested in becoming an MPIO for your club or wanting to get in contact with one?

When considering becoming an MPIO there are specific qualities and attributes that a person must possess.

These include: Strong interpersonal and communication skills, a comprehensive understanding of member protection policies and procedures, the ability to provide confidential information and address all inquiries and concerns with respect and sensitivity.

A person considering becoming an MPIO must:

Complete a free online training course which covers the following topics

  • MPIO role
  • The Law
  • Complaint Management
  • Child Protection
  • Ethics

Attend a face-to-face MPIO workshop

To register for the course of for more information please visit the Play by the Rules website

To get in contact with an MPIO, contact your State Sporting Association, Play by the Rules or alternatively Sports Focus, as there are two trained MPIOs within our organisation.

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

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