CFOGA expects all clubs to follow this Code of Conduct at all times.

  1. Consider the safety and wellbeing of all
  2. Adhere to guidelines and rules as set by the CFOGA – Welfare, Health and Safety, Equality, Sea Safety, Racing Rules and General Rules
  3. Promote the benefits of our sport by way of participation, both socially and in competition
  4. Encourage all participants to value their performance and those of others, no matter their ability
  5. Ensure the appropriateness of age, ability and experience to the activity
  6. Set a good example at all times – accept the umpires’ decisions, maintain composure at all times and do not shout at or ridicule rowers or officials
  7. Display high standards in use of language and manners
  8. Promote the positive aspects of our sport, especially fairness, friendship and respect
  9. Bullying of any kind will not be tolerated
  10. Accept responsibility for your actions




The CFOGA exists to support rowing clubs and in doing so fosters a supportive and inclusive community of enthusiastic members.

The CFOGA Code of Conduct sets out the principles of behaviour that govern all rowers, staff, volunteers and anyone who participates in any CFOGA event or activity. Any contractors working at or on behalf of the CFOGA are also expected to abide by the principles outlined below.

Guiding principles

The CFOGA is an organisation that allows rowing and rowers from the breadth of the discipline to flourish through respectful, inclusive and equitable treatment of others.
All clubs, members, volunteers and those participating in any CFOGA events or activities are required to:

  • Act in a manner worthy of the activity and the reputation of the CFOGA
  • Behave professionally and with integrity
  • Comply with all applicable legal requirements
  • Ensure that their activities do not risk the health, safety or welfare of any person
  • Treat everyone equally and with respect
  • Listen to others’ views and engage constructively with them
  • Be committed to helping each other and to be kind
    Discrimination, harassment, bullying and behaviours that are patronising have no place in the CFOGA and will not be tolerated. This applies to electronic forms of communication as well as personal interactions (physical, verbal and non-verbal).


Harassment includes but is not limited to offensive verbal or written comments related to gender, age, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race or religion, sexual images in public spaces, deliberate intimidation, stalking, following, unwanted photography or recording, sustained disruption of events, inappropriate physical contact, and unwelcome sexual attention.

Bullying includes, but is not limited to, coercive or overt behaviours towards another that are threatening, offensive, humiliating, intimidating, coercive, malicious or insulting that cause harm to, or negatively impacts upon, others.

Discrimination, harassment (in any form), and bullying create a hostile environment that reduces the quality, integrity, and pace of the advancement of our sport by marginalising individuals and communities. Such behaviour should be reported and will be addressed with potential consequences for the offender, including but not limited to the sanctions or expulsion described below.



Any allegation of discrimination, harassment, bullying or other breach of the CFOGA’s Code of Conduct will be treated seriously, regardless of the seniority of those involved. If the severity of a reported incident/activity warrants it, the police (and any other relevant authorities) will be notified.

A key principle of the procedure is fairness. This means that when anyone is accused of misconduct, that person must be given full details of the allegations in writing, and they must be given the opportunity to respond to the allegations raised.


All allegations will be investigated in confidence. All those who are involved in the investigation of an allegation, including witnesses, representatives and people providing information, evidence and/or advice, have a duty to maintain confidentiality.

At the initial reporting stage the allegations will be anonymised before they are taken any further to minimise those who know the identities of the person making the allegation (the “Complainant”) and the person(s) who is/are the subject of the complaint (the “Respondent”).

If the process proceeds to a full investigation, it will normally be necessary to disclose the identity of the Complainant as well as other relevant information to the person(s) who is/are the subject of the complaint (the Respondent) and others who will be involved in any subsequent investigation.


All allegations of breaches of the CFOGA’s Code of Conduct should be reported in writing to the Association’s Secretary. (Where the subject of the complaint is the Secretary, the report should be made in writing to the Chairman). Reports should include details of who was involved, what happened and when.

The Secretary (or where relevant, the Chairman) will use their discretion in determining how to follow up on reported incidents and may consult with other CFOGA trustees.

Initial informal action may include a discussion with the Respondent. Where this discussion does not resolve the issue, or where it is not appropriate in the circumstances, formal procedures will be followed:

  • – Where the Respondent is a CFOGA trustee or representative (including the Secretary), the Disciplinary Policy will be followed.
  • – Where the Respondent is an Affiliate Club of the Association, or a participant in a CFOGA activity, the allegations will be referred to a code of conduct panel.

Code of conduct panel

The CFOGA’s code of conduct panel comprises three trustees of the CFOGA and two members of CFOGA Affiliate Clubs. Before reviewing any allegation, all members of the panel will verify that there are no conflicts of interest.

The panel will first determine if the allegations raised are mistaken, frivolous, and/or malicious. They will then determine if the complaints are within the scope of the Association’s code of conduct.

If the allegations are not assessed to be mistaken, frivolous, and/or malicious, but fall outside the scope of the CFOGA’s Code of Conduct, then the panel may opt to notify the club(s) of the Respondent. This option will proceed on a case-by-case basis.

If the panel determines the allegations are not mistaken, frivolous, and/or malicious, and that they fall within the scope of the CFOGA’s Code of Conduct, they will progress the case to a full investigation. The Respondent will be notified of the complaint and will be allowed to provide an anonymised response to the allegation(s). Witness statements may be solicited from the Respondent and Complainant.

The panel will conclude, based on the evidence, whether allegations of misconduct are: (i) upheld in full, (ii) upheld in part, or (iii) not upheld. The standard of proof used is that of ‘on the balance of probabilities’.

The panel will recommend if the matter requires disciplinary action, including expulsion from the CFOGA.

If a complaint is upheld, Respondents have a right of appeal, which should be directed to the CFOGA Chairman. The Chairman will then convene an appeal panel, drawn from Affiliate Clubs and not containing any member of the original panel, to review the case under the same conditions as the original panel.



If there is cause, the Secretary may issue a warning to the Respondent.

If appropriate, the Secretary may send the report of the allegation to the Respondent’s member club and/or local league.

In many cases of minor to moderate misconduct, the CFOGA would normally seek to facilitate training and/or arbitration between the Complainant and Respondent.

In more severe cases, sanctions could include expulsion of rowers and/or clubs from the Association and/or a ban on involvement in Association events and activities.

If allegations are vexatious or malicious, they will be dealt with as breaches of the Code of Conduct.




v.1 (last updated 01/01/2022)


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