Local Minor Hockey Associations

An LMHA has the responsibility to:

  • Provide a safe environment for all of its participants. Policies and procedures are required to help create and maintain safe programs in safe facilities overseen by qualified, certified and/or trained volunteers or staff.
  • Make decisions fairly that will affect their members, notably having and following proper policies and procedures when handling complaints/disputes and when making important decisions.
  • Protect its assets and resources including money, equipment, facilities, data and image.

As an executive member, it is important that critical elements be in place prior to operation as a Minor Hockey Association. These elements include:

  • Bylaws and Regulations.
  • Incorporation under Alberta’s Societies Act.
  • Vision, mission, goals and objectives, with written policies and procedures to administer these elements.
  • Written job descriptions for all volunteer and paid staff positions.
  • Provide insurance protection including Directors’ and Officers’ Insurance and Dishonesty Insurance.
  • Consistent application of rules and regulations.
  • Ensure a safe building/playing environment through a strong Risk Management program.
  • Widest possible circulation of game and conduct management related bulletins and materials.
  • Adopt the Hockey Alberta Codes of Conduct or develop your own
  • Adopt a Prevention of Harassment and Abuse Policy.
  • Develop a Volunteer Screening Program with clearly defined procedures for hiring, training, monitoring and dismissing Volunteers.

Reducing the Risk to LMHA Volunteers

  1. Ensure all the statutory requirements of being a non-profit organization are met.

  2. Ensure that the organization maintains a safe place and method of work for its volunteers and members. Check for defective furniture or equipment, evaluate activities for hazards or unnecessary risks, and control the behavior of animals and persons who are on the premises. Have a written safety procedure prepared and distribute it to all employees and volunteers.

  3. Provide proper training and supervision, and carefully screen potential volunteers to ensure they have the skills and aptitude for the job. A proper training program should include documentation on what steps are taken in the training process. A careful record should be kept on all participants in the training program. This is especially important if the training or orientation process is for a large group rather than just one or two individuals.

  4. Develop a detailed job description for each volunteer position which clearly describe the responsibilities involved and the line of authority. Keep these descriptions on file, and also give each volunteer a copy of their job description.

    A good job description for volunteers should incorporate the following elements:

    • Job or Position title: Clearly reflects the role the volunteer will play.

    • Duties/Responsibilities: A description of each of the duties and functions of the volunteer, and any limitations to their duties (for example, a statement that the volunteer will not have the authority to make purchases on behalf of the organization).

    • Qualifications: Any prerequisites for the particular volunteer function, and a clear statement of what security checks the volunteer went through (checking with previous employers, driving record check, criminal record check).

    • Time Commitment: A clear statement on the required time commitment of the volunteer.

    • Training and Supervision: A description of the training a volunteer will receive, who will be responsible for supervising the volunteer, and the line of authority above the supervisor.
  5. Ensure that the practices and standards of your association conform to the generally accepted practice of other Minor Hockey Associations.

  6. Investigate the possibility of optional insurance protections (Directors and Officers Liability).

  7. Prepare documented loss control activities (preventive measures to avoid insurance claims).There are a number of things an organization can do to undertake proper loss control:

    • Establish clearly written procedures for promptly investigating and reporting incidents that may lead to future claims. Prepare complete and accurate documentation on any accidents or potential claims that arise. This can also provide valuable evidence if a claim is made against the organization. Immediately report to Hockey Alberta.

    • Have regularly scheduled and well attended board meetings. Minutes of these meetings should accurately reflect decisions and the processes by which these decisions were reached.

    • Prepare a manual that carefully outlines personnel policies. This should also include any volunteer positions in the organization.
  8. Have access to proper legal counsel.

  9. Take preventative steps to lower the organization’s exposure to risk by educating all participants on safety and risk management, and by ongoing monitoring and evaluation of standards, practices and behaviours.

  10. Register all players and team officials with Hockey Alberta to ensure Hockey Canada/ Hockey Alberta Insurance programs are available to them.

  11. Provide copies of the Hockey Alberta Bylaws and Regulations and Hockey Canada Playing Rules to Executive Members and appropriate team officials.

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