Instructor Discipline Policy

Draft January 2017


Paddle Canada/Pagaie Canada has adopted a policy of progressive discipline to ensure that instructors have the opportunity to correct any performance or behavioural problems that may arise. Paddle Canada/Pagaie Canada has established a set of reasonable rules and guidelines for instructors to follow. These have not been put in place to restrict the freedoms of our instructors, but rather they are in consideration of their safety and the overall protection of Paddle Canada/Pagaie Canada instructors, course participants, property, and our business practices.


Progressive Discipline Process

In the event that an instructor of Paddle Canada/Pagaie Canada violates program requirements, organizational policy or exhibits problematic behaviour, a system of progressive discipline shall be utilized.

Progressive Discipline can be issued on either: program requirements, policies, conduct, health and safety or performance concerns.

Instructors will be given opportunities to correct the unwanted behaviour, unless the behaviour or concern warrants a progressive action and discipline can be accelerated to match the violation. Typically, progressive discipline will progress through the following steps:

  1. Coaching – informal or formal
  2. Verbal Warning – formal
  3. Written Warning – formal
  4. Suspension – formal
  5. Termination

With each violation or apparent problem, the instructor will be provided with a written document to: 1) alert them to the problem, provide a reiteration of the correct organizational policy regarding the violation, 2) advise them to the consequences associated with further infractions, and 3) provide a suggestion towards a method of improvement. An example of a method of improvement is participation in a training or coaching session with a Grievance Committee appointed Instructor Trainer.

Degrees of discipline shall be used in relation to the problem at hand. As the situation dictates, based on the past performances of the instructor, and the seriousness of the violation, Paddle Canada/Pagaie Canada reserves the right to skip the four step disciplinary process and move straight to termination of membership where necessary.

Investigation and Documentation

All violations or alleged violations will be properly and promptly investigated and documented by the Paddle Canada/Pagaie Canada Grievance Committee and forwarded to the Board. If, after concluding the investigation, the Grievance Committee determines that there is a case for formal discipline, the Grievance Committee will forward that report to the Paddle Canada Board of Directors on the decision on discipline, if any.

All formal measures that have been taken within the progressive discipline process will be documented and kept on file by the Executive Director. These documentations will be presented to the Grievance Committee if future grievances are directed to the same instructor.


The final stage of progressive discipline is termination. Termination with Paddle Canada/Pagaie Canada may occur following an instructor committing multiple violations of policy, after the logical steps for progressive disciplinary action have been taken or immediately following a severe violation.

An example of a violation that could result in termination without implementation of preceding disciplinary steps would be an instructor knowingly placing participants in conditions well outside the remit of the program.


In the event that instructor feels that they have been wrongfully accused, or disciplined, they may file a written appeal with the Board of Directors. Written appeals must contain:

  • Details of the discipline;
  • Events surrounding the discipline;
  • Why the instructor member feels the discipline is not warranted or appropriate.

The Board of Directors shall acknowledge all written appeals within forty-eight (48) hours and review and respond within ten (10) days.

Suspension – Pending Investigation

In the event that a Paddle Canada/Pagaie Canada instructor is placed on suspension pending the results of an investigation or audit, the instructor will be notified of the decision, a stated timeline for the investigation and the actions that predicated the decision.

An example of a call for suspension would be connected to a grievance where termination is being considered, certification of an Instructor Trainer is in question, a grievance has been found to contain evidence of criminal or suspected criminal activity or a human rights complaint has been made.

The form of suspension is not disciplinary but is intended to allow Paddle Canada/Pagaie Canada time to examine the issues thoroughly and to determine appropriate action. Should the investigation or audit not be completed during the stated timeline, Paddle Canada/Pagaie Canada reserves the right to extend the suspension, as necessary.

During the course of the investigation/audit, the suspended instructor will be provided with the details of the allegations and given an opportunity to respond to them. The suspended instructor must ensure that he/she is available for interviews during this period. The suspended instructor must cooperate with the investigation by providing any and all necessary details including the names and contact information of any and all participants. If the suspended instructor fails to make him/ herself available, or cooperate, Paddle Canada/Pagaie Canada will proceed with the investigation and make a determination based on the information available.

The suspended instructor will have the right to legal representation or a Paddle Canada/Pagaie Canada representative present at any such interview, and will be given 24 hours notice prior to any interviews taking place.


If you have any questions or concerns about this policy or its related procedures please contact:

  • Grievance Officer, Grievance Committee, Paddle Canada/Pagaie Canada
  • Toll free 1-888-252-6292 Extension number specified for Grievance Officer (messages)
  • Email to Grievance Officer at Paddle Canada