Club Operations Manual

The Swim BC Club Operations Manual was prepared by the Sport Law and Strategy Group for generic use in all provinces in Canada. Swim BC has revised and edited the content of the document to align with Swim BC operations and to the statutes in effect in the Province of BC.   

The purpose of this manual is to provide Swim BC clubs with an overview of multiple topic areas that clubs face in their regular operation. The manual can be used as an effective tool for both new or rebuilding clubs as well as established organizations looking to update or address emerging policy trends or gaps. Templates for specific policy areas are provided and can be modified by each club. 

 Many of the template policies in this document are generic sport templates and will look different than Swim BC policies.  They remain a very good guide to the type of policy your club should consider adopting, however you have the option of utilizing Swim BC policy as a template or developing your own. 


The following are templates we have available for Swim BC clubs to use. To request a template, please email Tracy Gardner, Club Services Manager. If you do use our templates, please make sure you read through them thoroughly and update them with your club name.


  • Nominations Committee Terms of Reference 
  • Finance Committee Terms of Reference 
  • Coaches Committee Terms of Reference 
  • Discipline and Complaints Policy
  • Dispute Resolution Policy 
  • Appeal Policy 
  • Code of Conduct and Ethics 
  • Human Resources Policy 
  • Employment Agreement 
  • Volunteer Agreement 
  • Fundraising Policy 
  • Financial Policy 
  • Privacy Policy 
  • Confidentiality Policy 
  • Travel Policy 
  • Social Media Guidelines 
  • Team Manager and Chaperone Policy 
  • Social Media Use Policy 
  • Waiver 
  • Assumption of Risk 
  • Registration Form 

Insurance coverage is one of the services provided by Swim BC membership. Our policy is held with Sport BC (SBC) Insurance. The Swim BC Insurance Policy runs from January 15th to January 15th of each year. We have moved to a Master Certificate of Insurance (COI) which includes all the registered Swim BC clubs and facilities that they use. If you need a copy of the COI or any information added, please reach out to Swim BC. You can see a brief overview of our coverage and information on how to report an incident below.

Insurance Overview

The Swim BC Insurance Policy runs from January 15th to January 14th of each year. Our policy is held with Sport BC (SBC) Insurance. Registration with Swim BC includes this insurance coverage (among many other services).

Here is a broad overview of our insurance:

Commercial General Liability coverage

  • Who is insured: Swim B.C. and its “Members” for all “Sanctioned Activities” authorized by the Association. Members include Executives, Coaches, Directors, Officers, Officials, Employees, Participants and Volunteers while acting on behalf of the association. Sanctioned Activities mean all competitions, sport demonstrations including related practice and training, social and fundraising activities authorized by the Association and run by ‘members’.
  • This coverage will pay those sums that the insured becomes legally obligated to pay as compensatory damages because of bodily injury to or damage to property of others, such as spectators, passer-by, property owners and others resulting from your operations or actions. Coverage includes your legal liability for injury to participants. The coverage provided, also includes Injury to Participants that result from our association, member clubs, or individual members’ negligence. The coverage also includes Additional Insured’s, such as Municipalities, Government Departments, Sponsors and Owners of the facilities in whose name we have agreed to provide insurance for their vicarious liability arising out of our operations.

Sport Accident Insurance

  • Responds over and above BC Medical Services Plan (BCMSP) and any extended health plan. Once the limits on both BCMSP and any extended Health plan have been exhausted, the sport accident policy kicks in.
  • For information on Reporting an Incident, please see the adjacent tab.

Directors and Officers (D & O) Liability Insurance

  • Coverage for settlement and defence costs for directors and officers wrongful acts and decisions.
  • Protection extends to directors, officers, de facto director, trustee, employee, volunteer or member of the staff, faculty or any duly constituted committee or the equivalent in any jurisdiction, of the insured organization

The Swim BC insurance does not include Contagion coverage. Clubs are protected under the BC Ministerial order against liability with regards to the transmission of COVID-19. You can find the order here.

SBC Insurance provides a Master Certificate of Insurance (COI) that lists all member clubs and facility “owners”.  This certificate can be given to all the facilities that request a COI. To request a copy of the Master COI or to have another facility or municipality added to the current Master COI, please contact Elisa Greenway.

Swim BC is a member of Sport BC and as such we receive priority service, meaning all member inquiries are at “at the top of the list” for SBC Insurance services. We have a dedicated broker and certificate specialist assigned to us. Given SBC Insurance functions as an operating branch of a not-for-profit organization (Sport BC), brokerage fees are kept very low. SBC Insurance is able to provide collective membership leverage that definitely plays in our favour.

If you have any questions regarding insurance, please contact Ken Radford.

Reporting an Incident

What is an incident?

  • Any injury large or small requiring any level of first aid.
  • An incident may be a recurring overuse injury requiring medical attention


Steps to take if an incident occurs:

  1. Ensure appropriate first aid measures are provided, and or cooperation with facility staff (lifeguards) is optimized.
  2. Immediately document the incident as thoroughly as possible.  Where appropriate, secure comments from witnesses.


Following an incident all clubs must:

  1. Submit an incident report  to Swim BC within 72 hours of the incident. (Notice of any accidents or potential insurance claims must be reported for coverage to apply. This form is only used to report a potential claim to Swim BC, it is not in lieu of the submission of the accident claim form)
  2. Provide the injured member with the Allsport Athletic Accident Claim Form 

An Incident Report is required to be submitted by a coach, official or someone affiliated with the club or facility any time there is an accident or injury during any Swim BC approved or sanctioned activities (i.e. swim meets, practices, approved social events, team functions, etc.) The form must not be submitted by a parent or the injured party.


Filing an Accident Claim:

All Swim BC members seeking reimbursement for expenses not covered by their primary insurance must:

  1. Complete the accident claim form
  2. Submit the accident claim form  to club management for certification and signature.
  3. Submit the claim form to Swim BC within 21 days of the incident. Swim BC will verify membership status and forward the accident claim form  to the insurance company.
  4. Have the attending dentist or physician complete the applicable form for dental and medical reimbursement.
  5. Claim documentation must be received within 90 days.


Please note:

  • The insurance company will not process a claim until it is verified by Swim BC.
  • Swim BC will verify and forward the claim to the insurance company the same business day it is received.
  • Due to the time constraints, it is very important that all claim forms are sent to Swim BC– do not send directly to the insurance company.
  • The time required to process a claim varies depending on the severity of the incident and how complicated the claim becomes.


What else should you inform Swim BC of?

  • Supplemental reports on injury status, allegations of wrong-doing or any other matter related to the incident
  • Any contact with a lawyer for any matter related to the incident

If you have any questions, please email Ken Radford.

Club By-Laws Guide

Swim BC partnered with the Sportlaw and Strategy Group to develop a comprehensive “BC specific” resource to support and guide clubs towards a pragmatic review of their bylaws. For those of us who have lived in the sport administration space for many years, we know that a strong stable effective club is the foundation for progressive athlete development, athlete retention and coach retention. We encourage you to use these resources to review your current bylaws, and to re-visit and address any non-aligned elements of your bylaws you may discover on an annual basis.

The Swim BC By-laws Guide touches on all the critical elements required in your bylaws, the importance of your Constitution, Compliance and record keeping, the elements of governance within your club, through to ensuring your clubs bylaws are appropriately transitioned to the ‘new’ BC Societies Act.  Our review of all clubs’ bylaws over the past two years has indicated there are not many clubs that have properly transitioned to the new act.

The Common Issues resource touches on examples taken from a sample of current club bylaws and addresses unnecessary and unclear content, samples of “not good governance” and non-compliant content.

2023-24 SWIM-A-THON

The Swim-a-Thon is an in-pool fundraiser where swimmers earn pledges to swim a set number of lengths or participate in a fun and challenging swimming event. Each club can personalize its Swim-a-Thon event to match its club and swimmer needs. All donations are collected online through a personalized website created by Swimming Canada, and 90% of the funds earned are distributed back to the clubs.

The 2023-24 Swim-a-thon Registration is now open! Swim-a-thon events can be hosted anytime between now and August 31st, 2024. The campaign is a great fundraising opportunity for all clubs.

2023-24 Information Package

2023-24 Swim-a-thon Registration

For complete information, visit Swim-a-Thon Online. Please email Kyle Johnston at Swimming Canada, if you have any questions.


Sport Law has recently launched a podcast named: Sportopia, featuring conversations about healthy, human sport. This podcast features 2 members of Sport Law, Steve Indig & Dina Bell-Laroche. Steve and Dina hold conversations on the current state of sport and share their insights to better address issues related to governance, safe sport, leadership challenges, trends in human relations and much more.

You can listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music, or on their website.

Please see the list below of most recent episodes:

Episode 15 – Managing through conflict better than before

Episode 16 – Taking a pause for risk management

Episode 17 – Preparing to give the gift of feedback

Episode 18 – Hope on the Horizon – Update!

Episode 19 -Demystifying the Litigation Process

Episode 20 – Creating Cultures of Belonging

Employment Resources

Swim clubs are employers and club boards should be aware of their responsibility as an employer. The following resources are great starting points.

Club Development Series

The Club Development Series is intended to be a learning experience to continue to support our volunteer members undertaking the challenging task of serving as Board members for Swim BC and MSABC clubs.  Themes included roles and responsibilities, conflict resolution, and policy development. You can watch the recordings of these talks on the Swim BC youtube linked below:

The Swim BC office is located on the unceded territories of the lək̓ʷəŋən speaking people known today as the Songhees, the SXIMELEL (Esquimalt) and the WSÁNEĆ First Nations.

Swim BC gratefully acknowledges the financial support of the Province of British Columbia.


305-4420 Chatterton Way
Victoria, BC V8X 5J2



Copyright © 2022, Swim BC. All rights reserved.

Pin It on Pinterest