Risk Management Policy
As the provincial sport organization governing basketball throughout Nova Scotia, Basketball Nova Scotia recognizes that there are risks inherent in all facets of our governance, program delivery and business operations.
Basketball Nova Scotia is committed to managing risks to the organization and to its PTSOs, clubs and registered participants. We take the safety, well-being and satisfaction of our members and participants seriously. While we are not averse to taking organizational and financial risks and pursuing opportunities, we will do so thoughtfully and in an informed manner so as not to jeopardize future opportunities.
The aim of this policy is to provide a guiding statement on how risk management is to be performed within Basketball Nova Scotia. In general, we view risk management as a comprehensive approach to improving organizational performance. This policy has other purposes as well, namely:
- Reinforcing an understanding of risk management as having a broad focus, beyond merely preventing lawsuits, reputational damage and financial losses;
- Performing an educational function for staff, volunteers, PTSOs, clubs and registered participants;
- Over the longer term, contributing to enhancing a ‘risk management culture’ within Basketball Nova Scotia.
Ultimately, successful risk management has the following benefits for our organization:
- Prevents or limits injury or losses to participants, volunteers and staff;
- Helps to protects Basketball Nova Scotia and its PTSO partners, clubs and individual participants against litigation;
- Ensures that Basketball Nova Scotia is compliant with all applicable laws, regulations and standards;
- Improves the programs and services that Basketball Nova Scotia provides to its members, participants, partners and sponsors;
- Promotes improved business management and human resource management practices;
- Enhances Basketball Nova Scotia’s brand, reputation and image in the community;
- Overall, enhances Basketball Nova Scotia’s ability to achieve its strategic objectives.
Scope and Authority
The Executive Director is appointed as Risk Manager for Basketball Nova Scotia, responsible for the implementation, maintenance and communication of this policy. This policy applies to all activities undertaken by Basketball Nova Scotia at the provincial level. Where Basketball Nova Scotia exercises authority over activities below the provincial level, risk management measures may also be prescribed by Canada Basketball for implementation by PTSOs and clubs. Clubs are encouraged to prepare policies similar to this policy, to govern the management of risk within their jurisdictions.
Basketball Nova Scotia makes the following commitments to its member Clubs and registered participants:
- All activities and events undertaken by Basketball Nova Scotia will be analyzed from a risk management perspective;
- Systematic and explicit steps will be taken to identify, assess, manage and communicate risks facing Basketball Nova Scotia;
- Risk control strategies will be reasonable and will reflect the given standard of care in any circumstance (where standard of care is determined by written/published standards, industry practices, established case law precedent, and common sense).
Basketball Nova Scotia acknowledges that risk management is a broad activity and a shared responsibility. All directors, officers, staff, and volunteers have an ongoing responsibility to take appropriate measures within their scope of authority and responsibility to identify, assess, manage and communicate risks.
The Risk Management Process
Managing risks involves three steps:
1) identify potential risks using an informed, environmental scan approach,
2) assessing the significance of a risk by considering its possibility and consequences, and
3) developing and implementing measures to address those risks deemed significant by reducing possibility, consequences or both.
Risks arise from a number of categories of Basketball Nova Scotia’s operations. In the sport domain, facilities, equipment, people and programs all give rise to potential risks. Basketball Nova Scotia has determined that the following categories will be used when identifying risks:
- Operational/Program Risks: Risk related to key programs in the areas of coach, official and athlete development; management of human resources, including staff and volunteers; organizational capacity to meet participant and stakeholder expectations; event and competition management; remaining vital and relevant to our members; the inherent physical risks of our sport.
- Compliance Risks: Risk related to failure to comply with existing laws and regulations governing employment, privacy, workplace safety, new corporations’ legislation, tenant legal responsibilities, RCAAA charitable status, Imagine Canada standards, anti-doping standards, Sport Canada/OTP standards for funding and accountability, fulfillment of contractual obligations.
- Communication Risks: Risks related to internal and external communications; information management systems; crisis and issues management; media relations; image and reputation management; missed opportunities to promote and exploit successful outcomes; management of intellectual property; social media management; confidentiality.
- External Risks: Risks that are not in direct control of the organization such as funding frameworks from government, OTP and other agencies; relations with governments, games organizations and international federations; involvement in other sport partnerships; hosting decisions and requirements.
- Governance Risks: Risks related to clarity of roles and responsibilities, decision-making and oversight, organizational structure and performance; management of disputes and conflict of interest, planning for diversity and succession within the Board and committees, knowledge retention and transfer.
- Financial Risks: Risks related to financial monitoring and reporting, deficit reduction, flexibility to direct funds, sponsorship attraction and retention, investment and management of reserve funds, long-term financial sustainability.
All risks faced by Basketball Nova Scotia can be addressed by one or more of the following four general strategies:
- Retain the risk - no action is taken because the possibility and consequence of the risk is low. It may also be that the risk is inherent in the sporting activity itself and thus can be accepted in its present form.
- Reduce the risk - steps are taken to reduce the possibility of the risk, and/or its potential consequences, through efforts such as improved planning, policies, organization, delivery, supervision, monitoring or education.
- Transfer the risk - accept the level of risk but transfer some or all of it to others through the use of insurance, waiver of liability agreements or other business contracts.
- Avoid the risk - eliminate the risk by avoiding the activity giving rise to the risk - in other words, simply decide not to do something, or to eliminate some activity or initiative.
The above general strategies translate into a variety of risk control measures, which for Basketball Nova Scotia may include (but are not limited to):
- Policy development
- Effective communication
- Education, instruction, professional development and specialized training
- Ensuring a core set of organizational values have been identified, defined and communicated throughout the organization and the sport
- Adherence to minimum, mandatory qualifications or certifications for key staff and leaders
- Use of robust and legally sound contracts (codes of conduct, athlete and coach agreements, employment agreements, contractor agreements, partnership agreements)
- Improving role clarity through use of written position descriptions and committee terms of reference
- Supervision and monitoring of staff, volunteers, participants and activities
- Establishing and communicating procedures to handle concerns, complaints and disputes
- Implement schedules for regular review, maintenance, repair and replacement of equipment
- Preparing procedures and protocols for emergency response and crisis management
- Use of warnings, signage, participation agreements and waiver of liability agreements where warranted
- Purchasing appropriate insurance coverage for all activities and reviewing regularly
Reporting and Communication
To ensure that risk management remains a high priority within Basketball Nova Scotia, and to promote an organizational culture that embraces a risk management perspective, risk management will be a standing item on the agenda of every regular Board meeting, so that the Executive Director can provide updates on risk management as required.
Basketball Nova Scotia recognizes that communication is an essential part of risk management. This Policy will be communicated frequently to our staff, committees, and clubs, and we will encourage all members and participants to communicate to Basketball Nova Scotia their risk management issues and concerns.
Basketball Nova Scotia maintains a comprehensive insurance program that provides General Liability, Sports Accident and Directors and Officers Errors and Omissions coverage to the directors, officers, staff, members, volunteers and sponsors of Basketball Nova Scotia. Upon annual renewal of this policy, Basketball Nova Scotia consults with the insurance provider to determine if there are any emerging gaps, issues or concerns to be addressed through insurance renewal.
Not all risks are insurable. However, as part of its commitment to risk management, Basketball Nova Scotia will take all reasonable steps to ensure that insurance coverage is available for those activities essential to the mission of Basketball Nova Scotia that pose significant risks and that may be insured.
This Policy was approved by the Basketball Nova Scotia Board of Directors on Sunday, October 23, 2016.
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