Your MPIO (Member Protection Information Officer) – Valerie Barker

Your MPIO (Member Protection Information Officer) – Valerie Barker

The well-being of every member of a sport organisation is integral to the future of sport. Member Protection involves the implementation of practices to protect all members of a sporting organisation, association and club from discrimination, vilification, abuse and other forms of inappropriate behaviour.

Member Protection Information Officers (MPIO) play an important and positive role in the sporting community in helping to ensure that sport is as safe, fair and inclusive as it can be. They provide information and guidance on complaints procedures – they are trained to be the first point of contact for anyone wanting to discuss problems within a sport club, association or organisation, particularly if someone is considering making a formal complaint. They act as a sounding board and provide information about the local complaint resolution options available to address an individuals’ concerns.

What DO MPIOs 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 the relevant laws and the right to complain externally
  • Discuss possible strategies the person 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 MPIOS do?

  • Advocate
  • Take sides or judge
  • Give advice
  • Investigate
  • Breach confidentiality

Orienteering ACT and Orienteering Australia seek to maintain practices and procedures that create safe, welcoming and enjoyable sporting environments. OACT and OA are required to comply with legislative requirements (such as anti-discrimination and racial and religious vilification laws), identify the potential for any incidents relating to harassment and abuse of members and develop strategies to reduce the likelihood or severity of harassment or abuse.
Orienteering Australia has adopted a new suite of integrity policies that apply to all members, and a new way to manage complaints in Orienteering called the National Integrity Framework.

The National Integrity Framework is designed to keep sport safe and fair. It was developed by the independent government agency Sport Integrity Australia, whose role is to keep all Australian sports safe and fair, and then adopted by Orienteering Australia. The Framework is essentially a set of rules that people need to follow when it comes to their behaviour and conduct while participating in Orienteering.

The six policies which make up the National Integrity Framework are:

  1. Child Safeguarding Policy
  2. Member Protection Policy
  3. Improper Use of Drugs & Medicines Policy
  4. Competition Manipulation and Sports Wagering Policy
  5. National Integrity Framework
  6. Complaints, Disputes and Disciplines Policy

These policies outline what types of behaviour are unacceptable in Orienteering – these behaviours are called Prohibited Conduct. Prohibited Conduct is an action that is a breach of a policy – for example, bullying is Prohibited Conduct under the Member Protection Policy.

For more information: Orienteering Australia National Integrity Framework