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Rowing Canada – Coaches are ambassadors of our sport and vital to the success of our sport. Investing in their knowledge, practical learning experiences and opportunities to assess their competencies will positively shape our sport and prepare us for future growth. Ensuring we know who our coaches are and that they meet our standards, is necessary for rowing to be one of the safest and most respected sports in Canada.

In January 2018, Rowing Canada Aviron (RCA) announced the ‘Every Coach Certified’, initiative as one of our top Safe Sport priorities through 2020. RCA has reviewed existing coach education materials to ensure its alignment with the appropriate target audience, addresses key topics essential for all coaches, and ensures the delivery methods meet the needs of our participants. Additionally, RCA has initiated the creation of a framework that will safeguard individuals in our sport from abuse and harassment. Safe Sport continues to remain at the forefront of our agenda.

A number of exciting new changes and requirements are outlined below. These shifts have been created through consultation with external industry leaders and internal stakeholders – the Coaching Association of Canada, the RCA Coach Education and Development Committee, National Coach Certification Program Coach Developers and individuals integrated within the Canadian rowing community. Key stakeholders from Provincial Rowing Associations have also provided significant feedback. Specific requirements fall directly in line with expectations set out by the Sport Canada.

Significant effort has been made to ensure that the new requirements are considerate of the realities of our rowing community. A phased implementation plan was designed to provide sufficient time for existing coaches and clubs to prepare for these new changes.

Overview of Key Changes

  • All coaches will be required to complete a foundational series of online eLearning modules. Active coaches may already have completed some of the modules and will not be required to complete again.
  • Member Organizations will be required to oversee that all of their active coaches have completed a Criminal Record Check or Vulnerable Sector Screen. RCA expects our Member Organizations to oversee that this is completed every 3 years.
  • The Learn to Row Coach Workshop will now be delivered in one day, instead of 2 days. The former LTR Coach Workshop has been redesigned with a new focus on technique and practical coaching aspects. A portion of the recent curriculum will now be delivered during the online eLearning modules, and MED training will be available through the network of provincial coaching representatives.
  • The RCA Coach Workshop Weekend 1 curriculum has been reduced to exclude MED and Safety components.  This portion of the existing curriculum is now delivered during the online eLearning modules, similar to the changes that have been created within the LTR Coach Workshop.

Further details, updates, expectations, and timelines are described below.
Please connect with us for questions and comments related to these new requirements and implementation.
Colleen Miller – Manager, Coach Education and Development
Jennifer Fitzpatrick – Director, Partnerships and Sport Development

Every Coach Certified
‘Every Coach Certified’ is an initiative that ensures coaches increase their knowledge base, gain practical experience through mentorship and demonstrate their coaching competency.
RCA will ensure all coaches are equipped with safety, ethics and athlete development training and is also requiring that coaches submit to screening processes, as overseen by their RCA Member Organization.
*Coaches: Please confirm with your Member Club and Provincial Rowing Association if there are additional requirements.
All coaches are required to complete two eLearning Modules in the Coaching Association of Canada (CAC) Locker. All eLearning modules need to be completed only once.

  1. NCCP Coach Initiation in Sport. Developed by the CAC, Coach Initiation in Sport is an online NCCP module developed to introduce new or experienced coaches to the foundational skills in coaching, such as: long-term athlete development, ethics, coaching motivation, and athlete safety and wellness. The Coach Initiation in Sport module will also introduce coaches to the NCCP, a valuable tool for preparing for a coach’s first in-person NCCP workshop.
  2. RCA Rowing Essentials (New). Developed by RCA, Rowing Essentials equips coaches to provide a positive and safe experience of all rowers. This course will introduce you to the RCA Athlete Development Pathway preparing coaches to identify the athlete development stages and be a framework for developing programming. Rowing Essentials will inform coaches on the RCA Safety Guidelines, RCA Safety Video, and prepare coaches to identify strategies and implement plans to minimize rowing safety risks.


Make Ethical Decisions (MED) Module. Developed by the CAC, MED training is a cornerstone of the National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP), and leaves coaches with no doubt as to what to do when the going gets tough.
By successfully completing the MED training, coaches will be fully equipped to handle ethical situations with confidence and surety. MED training helps coaches identify the legal, ethical, and moral implications of difficult situations that present themselves in the world of team and individual sport. Coaches can access the MED training through their Provincial/Territorial Coaching Representatives.  Coaches have the option to complete the training by taking an in-person workshop, online delivery or a home study program. 
RCA Coach Background Screening
Rowing Canada Aviron (RCA) understands that screening personnel and volunteers is a vital part of providing a safe sporting environment and has become a common practice among sport organizations that provide programs and services to the community.

All Criminal Record Checks (CRC)/Vulnerable Sector Screening (VSS) must be completed by March 31st, 2020.  Following this deadline, all coaches are expected to have this completed before coaching any program. All coaches are required to complete a CRC every 3 years. RCA Member Organizations will be required to ensure this has been completed for all active coaches. Coaches requiring only a VSS need to complete this once, then only the CRC will be required in future years. Information and recommendations about CRC/VSS can be found here
Requirements and deadlines for the eLearning Modules differ depending on where the coach is on their pathway.

Timeline Chart – eLearning

  NCCP Coach Initiation in Sport RCA Rowing Essentials Make Ethical Decisions Module or Evaluation CRC/VSS
Coaches beginning LTR or RCA Coach Workshop Before in person workshop Before in person workshop *Before in person workshop March 2020
All Coaches not presently engaged in NCCP training March 2021
March 2021
March 2021
March 2020
LTR or RCA Coach in Training March 2021
March 2021
March 2021
March 2020
LTR or RCA Coach Trained **Not Applicable March 2021 March 2021 March 2020
Performance Coaches in Training or Trained **Not Applicable March 2021 March 2021 March 2020
All Certified Coaches **Not Applicable March 2021 Completed March 2020

**Coaches who have already engaged in the NCCP workshop and achieved Trained status in the Locker do not need to take NCCP Coach Initiation in Sport.
*We recommend that coaches complete the Make Ethical Decisions (MED) Module before attending the in-person Rowing workshop. Coaches not able to complete MED training before the workshop must consult their Provincial Rowing Association before the workshop begins. Coaches must take MED to achieve fully “Trained” status before the coach can continue with the certification process. Coaches also have the option to challenge the evaluation although taking the MED module provides enhanced learning especially for the new coach in the NCCP.
NCCP Coach Initiation in Sport, Rowing Essentials and MED online evaluation must be completed by March 31st, 2021.  After that deadline all coaches are expected to have this completed before coaching any program.
Summary of Important Timelines and Deadlines

  • Starting April 1st, 2019: All NEW coaches planning to attend NCCP LTR Coach or RCA Coach Workshops are required to register in the CAC Locker and complete the two eLearning modules and MED training. These online eLearning modules will be available in the Locker as of March 1st, 2019, available for coaches who are attending Learn to Row and RCA Coach Workshops later in March.
  • Starting March 31st, 2020: All coaches are required to complete a CRC or VSS. This requirement needs to be renewed every 3 years. Clubs will be required to ensure this has been completed for all active coaches.
  • Starting March 31st, 2021: All coaches are expected to have completed NCCP Coach Initiation in Sport, Rowing Essentials, MED, and a CRC/VSS as per RCA requirements and deadlines table. This is for any coach who is actively coaching, regardless of when they plan to continue with further coach education through our NCCP program. *Coaches that have “Trained” status in the NCCP do not need to complete Coach Initiation in Sport.

NCCP Coach Initiation in Sport   $15
RCA Rowing Essentials               $20
Make Ethical Decisions Module/Evaluation – TBD by Provincial Coaching Association (Typical training module range is $25-$75, this includes FREE access to the online evaluation, MED Evaluation only is $85)
What’s Next?

  • As part of the Annual Declaration process, Member Organizations with active coaches will once again be required to declare that all coaches have been registered in the Web Registration System (WRS). The WRS is currently under development to become the accountability framework for member organizations to indicate that a CRC or VSS has been completed and is up to date for all active coaches. More information will be released by RCA in Spring 2019.
  • Review of RCA Coach Workshop resources will begin in the Fall of 2019.

Important Resources