Ombudsperson

Club Ombudsperson

The club has appointed an ombudsman to assist with resolving any complaints or problems experienced by club members.

Before contacting the Ombudsperson, it is important that the complainant follow certain steps as outlined which may involve speaking with your Coach, Age Group Co-ordinator, or Division Executive. 

If you feel you cannot do this, then please feel free to email or write a letter to ombudsperson@wvfhc.com . All letters will be dealt with in a confidential manner.

Ombudsperson 2016

▲Top

Ian Baggott has been a member of our Club for the past 40 years and his 3 sons have been through all levels of field hockey with WVFHC. He served as WVFHC President from 1995 to 2010, was involved in the Vancouver Junior League from 1995 – 2003 and served on the BCFHA Board from 1998 – 2005.  Ian has been a Field Hockey British Columbia Board member since 2005, and an FHC Board member since 2007.

Conflict Resolution Process

▲Top

The WVFHC Conflict Resolution Process:

The following is the dispute resolution method utilized by West Vancouver Field Hockey Club when faced with complaints brought forth by members (parents, players or coaches). It is always the desire of the club to reach a fair and equitable resolution to the concerns presented to it. The club will only hear complaints in instances where the parties involved have follow the dispute resolution steps as described below.

If any situation develops related to playing, coaching conditions, or perceived problems of harassment or mistreatment, those who feel they have a valid complaint must be free to come forward and voice their concerns without fear of reprisals against them or any player. For this purpose:

  1. Any complaint made in good faith will be processed in accordance with this policy. It is a condition of participation in the club’s activities that all those involved accept the process and its outcome, or otherwise voluntarily withdraw from further involvement in the club. 
  1. All complaints will be treated as privileged and confidential. The complaint and any information provided by any persons regarding the complaint will not be used except for the purposes of resolving the dispute. 
  1. A progressive mechanism will be put into place to quickly deal with any complaint without interruption of any team activities wherever possible. 

The steps to be followed if any player, coach or parent has a complaint or dispute are outlined below. The club will NOT hear any complaints which have not been through the following step by step process. It must be a primary goal of all involved to ensure that NO player is at any risk of physical or emotional harm of any kind.

Talk Directly to the Involved Party:  Approach the person with whom you have a difficulty, off the field, away from games or practices at an appropriate time and place. Voice your concerns and attempt to reach an understanding informally between the persons involved. Particularly with respect to the younger teams, these meetings should be held away from the players unless their involvement is necessary.

Talk to your team’s coach or manager: If the matter cannot be resolved between the parties, contact the coach/team manager and clearly express the concerns that are outstanding. Team coaches/managers should attempt an informal resolution if possible and suggest any compromise with a view to allowing team play or involvement of the player to continue.

Seek Assistance from the Next Level Up: If your problem is not resolved at the first step, you may contact the Club official directly above the person involved: e.g., if your concern is with your Coach, you would contact the Age Group Coordinator for your Division.

Ask for Director Involvement: If you are still not satisfied, ask the Club official to take your concern to the Directors responsible for your area of concern: e.g., if your issue is related to junior league, your Age Group Coordinator will contact the Junior Executive. The Junior Executive will investigate the situation, and will respond to you in accordance to Club policies and guidelines.

 Request a Review of the Problem by the Club Ombudsman: If you feel that your concerns have not been appropriately resolved at the Divisional Executive level, you may submit a request for a review of the situation by our Club Ombudsperson.

Please note: Prior to bringing an issue to the Club Ombudsperson, Members are expected to communicate directly with the Divisional Executive for the area of concern, and advise the Directors of their intent, and reasons for the review request.

The Club Ombudsperson reviews the discussion that has taken place and may bring the matter to the All-Club Board of Directors, if necessary.

 Request Assistance from the Club Ombudsperson: At any point in the process, you or the involved Club officials can invite our Club Ombudsperson to assist the process.

Role of the Club Ombudsperson

▲Top

Our Club Ombudsperson is a volunteer, who works directly with our Members and our Club officials to facilitate an agreeable outcome for a Member’s concern or complaint.

After ensuring that the member has followed the recommended steps (see above) to resolve the issue the Club Ombudsperson may:

- Call or meet privately with Members to discuss their issues,

- Facilitate informal conflict resolution meetings,

- Attend Disciplinary Hearings, and

- Offer solutions or recommendations to the Member, Club officials, or the Divisional Executives.

The Club Ombudsperson ensures that both sides have an opportunity to fairly present their concerns, and may ask either side for additional information to assist finding an appropriate outcome. Either the concerned Member, an involved Club official, or a Divisional Executive Member can invite the Club Ombudsperson into the process.

The Club Ombudsperson does not make the final decision on the situation. The Club will strongly consider the opinion and recommendations of the Ombudsperson; however, the final resolution to a problem will be decided by the Divisional Executives with the assistance of the all-club Board of Directors.

How to Request Assistance

▲Top

Members can contact the Club Ombudsperson directly, via email (ombudsperson@wvfhc.com)

The Club Ombudsperson will then advise the appropriate Divisional Director and the all-club President that they have received a concern, and the Ombudsperson will also contact the Member (usually by telephone or by email) to discuss the next steps. Typically, you should allow two to three working days for the Club Ombudsperson to contact you. 

Requesting  Assistance : 

When requesting assistance from the Club Ombudsperson, please include the following information:

Your name & contact information (email, telephone numbers),

Member(s) involved,

Player(s) involved, and

A detailed outline of your concerns; please be sure to include dates, and the names of the Club officials who you dealt with throughout this concern.

Please note: you are required to advise the involved Divisional Executive of your intent to pursue a complaint via the Club Ombudsperson, prior to submitting your request. 

Remember: The Club Ombudsperson does not have the authority to overturn the decisions of the WVFHC Board of Directors or the Divisional Executives. The Board will strongly consider the input from the Mediator or the Ombudsperson; however, the final decision on any issues or concerns remains with the Board.