Risk Registry

The Canadian Sport Risk Registry contains a number of common risks and is updated following each Risk Management Workshop. The risks and solutions are presented generically and anonymously, to provide insight for sport leaders to think differently about the risks that are ‘keeping them up at night’.

Lack of qualified board directors and/or conflicted board of directors

The Risk and its Impacts:

Insufficient organizational leadership, poor governance, membership dissatisfaction, and failure to deliver quality programming to members.

  • Develop a formal Board of Directors recruitment and application process that is led by a Governance or Nomination Committee.
  • Prepare detailed job/role descriptions for all Directors and Officers.
  • Create and maintain a board Manual that includes duties, responsibilities, board schedules, document access, strategic direction, governing documents and rules, conduct guidelines, insurance, etc.
  • Develop Board Member Agreements/Contracts that address Board conduct, conflict of interest, intellectual property and confidentiality.
  • Develop a standardized new Board Member orientation process.
  • All Board of Directors’ members must complete the Governance Essentials E-Learning Course as part of their onboarding.
  • Use professional groups to assist with board talent recruitment.
  • Establish board performance objectives and complete performance reviews.
  • Identify what motivates board members (i.e., professional development, team culture, recognition) and use this information to retain them.
  • Identify and groom key leaders (i.e., through committee work) for future Board opportunities (talent ID and development).
  • Plan and schedule recognition of board leaders.
  • Develop and maintain a succession plan for all Board of Directors’ members.

Lack of strategic planning

The Risk and its Impacts:

Failure to adopt or use a relevant strategic plan to its full advantage, leading to misuse of resources, lack of direction, and lack of corporate accountability.

  • Develop a communications plan for Board of Directors and general membership that clearly identifies strategic goals and objectives and highlights mission, vision, and values.
  • Integrate priority strategic items into operations plan.
  • Use strategic plan as a guide when assessing the feasibility of new projects.
  • Undertake a regular environmental scan to monitor and plan for risk.
  • Adopt a Management by Values approach to daily operations. Reference values in decision-making and team discussions.
  • Conduct an annual evaluation to assess the use of the strategic plan and the achievement of strategic objectives.

Large-scale incident or force majeure occurs that destabilizes sport activities and participation

The Risk and its Impacts

An event such as a pandemic, war, natural disaster, terrorist attack, economic depression, or other unforeseeable crisis causes the sport system to collapse or pause, which significantly impacts participation, athlete development, revenue, programming, staffing and organizational operations, and achievement of strategic goals and objectives.

  • Develop a Crisis Management Plan that is aligned with other plans and policies.
  • Acquire a list of trusted external advisors who can support the organization through a crisis (legal, trauma, risk management, communications, etc.).
  • Manage crisis or incident via a Management by Values approach.
  • Identify key spokesperson(s) and define key messaging in consultation with executive leadership.
  • Expand online engagement opportunities to keep members engaged and staying relevant.
  • Develop financial contingency and reserve funds to buffer potential losses of revenue.
  • Develop new policies, procedures, and forms that address the incident (i.e., return to play, facility protocols, screening forms, travel consent).
  • Access government funds to diversify programming and sustain operations.

Managing competing priorities

The Risk and its Impacts:

Not being able to determine or decide which projects or programs to prioritize, and which to decline or discontinue.

  • Use part-time staff, temporary staff, or contractors when appropriate.
  • Explore partnership opportunities with PTSOs to complete projects.
  • Invest only in programs that further the organization’s mission and vision.
  • Review strategic plan to reconcile which current priorities are relevant to the plan.

Sport lacks strong international profile

The Risk and its Impacts:

The sport lacks a strong profile and reputation within the international community, which inhibits competitive invitations, hosting opportunities, international funding and decision-making influence.

  • Undertake deliberate succession planning for international appointments. Target and develop emerging leaders and support them in their leadership aspirations.
  • Fully fund all international delegates, and institute reporting requirements in exchange for funding.
  • Pursue development of a hosting strategy in conjunction with sport tourism interests.
  • Collaborate with USA counterpart to enhance North American hosting opportunities, and/or other like-minded nations to address imbalances and identify best practices.
  • Support international representatives in creating a communications network or website portal to improve communication and information sharing among them.
  • Create a facility development strategy. Focus on sustaining a small number of highest quality facilities in Canada to assist in hosting efforts.
  • Educate members on opportunities available as an international federation supporter.
  • Identify and capitalize on all advantages offered by the Canadian approach. Identify the unique assets and strengths we bring to the table (e.g., policy development, diversity, safety standards).
Communication Strategies:
  • Communications strategy is focused on branding Canada as a place worthy of hosting international competitions.

Weak brand and profile of sport in Canada

The Risk and its Impacts:

Risk of not building a strong brand that could raise the profile of sport in Canada (e.g., relationships with common interest groups, brand alignment, messaging).

  • Purposefully align events and communications with common interest groups.
  • Invite common interest groups to sit on committees or boards.
  • Consider collaborating with other sport, recreation, education or health partners with similar goals and issues.
  • Undergo a brand strategy development process to better align with partners, including a communications plan.
  • Leverage LTD into branding.
  • Create a common logo for NSO, PTSOs and host communities.
  • Ensure brand is presented appropriately to various audiences.
  • Use strong international profile when possible to build brand domestically.
  • Build awareness by partnering with a recognizable face of the sport.
  • Develop a branding guidelines document.
  • Leverage unique aspects of the sport.
Communication Strategies:
  • Promote written accolades and letters of support.