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The role of the communication counselor in prevention

The communication counselor can give advice on prevention to participants in clubs and organizations that fall under the communication counselor’s area of work. This way, they can help clubs establish codes of ethics, codes of conduct, and response plans.


Education and prevention go hand in hand. Preventative measures help us to recognize undesirable behavior, dare to stand up to it, and report when we experience it. Counteracting undesirable incidents requires informing all parties about what is right and what is wrong in certain situations, what is allowed and what is not. Rules need to exist that govern these same situations, and penalties have to be in place for when the rules are broken.

​Open discussion

It is not enough to simply mention it once that harassing people is not acceptable. Prevention means increased discussion about tough topics. The more open the conversation is surrounding incidents like sexual violations, the more the community becomes aware that such behavior is not accepted. What is acceptable becomes common knowledge, and people will know of the help they can get when they find themselves in such situations.

Can we prevent abuse within the club or organization?

Unfortunately, the answer is no. But we can do our best to reduce the chances of it happening. The best way to prevent any kind of violence is through education and shared values. Does your club or organization honor common values? What expectations and demands do we place on coaches, instructors, and staff? How do we want to communicate with parents? Has your club or organization prepared a code of ethics that reflects the values your club aspires to uphold? Are these codes easily accessible and available to everyone?

A code of ethics can include rules like:

  • In this club, we speak nicely to each other.

  • We do not tolerate rude calls or comments about each other’s bodies.

  • Every club trip is supervised by at least two coaches, or a coach and another adult.

  • Coaches and staff do not enter changing rooms without making sure everyone is dressed.

  • Coaches do not invite individual children to their homes.

  • The club or its board is obligated to take reports of sexual harassment seriously and react quickly.

  • The club gets permission to look up a new hire’s criminal record or requires new coaches to hand in their certificate from the police registry.

  • Suppose there are indications that a child has suffered sexual violence. In that case, the club is obligated to file a report in its name to the relevant Child Protective Services.

Bórn að leik og forvarnir

Supervisors, instructors, and coaches must handle communication problems according to directives when they arise immediately.

Codes of conduct support preventative measures against violence, harassment, bullying, and discrimination.

Codes of conduct are an excellent method to counteract undesirable behavior. They govern one's conduct toward others. The National Olympic and Sports Association of Iceland (ÍSÍ) has published a code of conduct that supports their ethics code to guide everyone within the sports association. Anyone is welcome to use the same method and ideology.


The National Olympic and Sports Association of Iceland’s code of conduct consists of four parts;

  1. For coaches

  2. For practitioners

  3. For staff and management

  4. For parents and guardians

​​​​​The ÍSÍ code og conduct


Code of conduct template (IS)

Code of conduct for coaches (IS)

Code of conduct for practitioners (IS)

Code of conduct for staff and management (IS)

Code of conduct for parents (IS)

Code of Conduct in English

Be a good role model, show respect, and be honest.

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