Notice: The PSA has agreed to change its Code of Ethics and will not adopt, encourage its members to follow, or enforce any Code of Ethics provision relating to solicitation of coaching work that does not comply with the FTC Consent Order.
Ethics, as defined in Webster's New World Dictionary:
"The system or code of morals of a particular group or profession; conforming to the standards of conduct of a given profession."
Whether you are an arena manager or director, a coaching member of the Professional Skaters Association, or just the parent of a figure skater, you have the right to expect that those with whom you have a working relationship will act in a professional manner. In fact, from a manager or parent’s perspective, the minimum standard expectation should be that hiring a coaching member of the PSA will provide you with a qualified, well educated, and ethical coach. The links on this webpage will not only provide you with the PSA’s code of ethics and tenets of professionalism, but will serve as an educational resource regarding professional standards and the many issues and obstacles facing our industry today. As a final point, when all options and patience have been exhausted, there is the grievance process. If a grievance is filed, it is important that you follow the procedures exactly. Improper or incomplete grievance applications are returned to the filing party to be corrected.
In 1964, a code of ethics was approved and adopted by the PSA at a meeting held in Cleveland, Ohio.
Code of Ethics
A Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct is hereby adopted to the end that the public respect, safety, and the status of the association members in the coaching profession may be enhanced and secured. The ethical principles are to be followed to avoid all actual or perceived impropriety.
The following Code of Ethics shall govern the conduct of members of the Professional Skaters Association. Any complaint concerning any breach thereof shall be considered by the Committee of Professional Standards according to the procedures that are adopted from time to time by the Board of Governors of the Professional Skaters Association. Disciplinary action for an ethics rule violation includes private or public admonition, suspension, expulsion, or permanent expulsion from membership of the Professional Skaters Association.
1. Members of the Professional Skaters Association (hereafter referred to as "Members"), shall at all times exercise the greatest care and discretion in their relationships with other members, athletes, and act in a manner which avoids verbal, mental, emotional, physical, or sexual misconduct of any athlete, coach, parent, or official as defined in the current U.S. Figure Skating SafeSport Handbook.
2. No Member shall represent themselves using false or deceptive statements intended to mislead.
3. In order to protect the safety and development of athletes, no Member shall engage in any in-person solicitation of an athlete while the athlete is actively engaged in a lesson or while “performing.” “Performing” means skating or preparing to skate in an event at an arena in a test, competition, or exhibition, and includes meeting with coaches, locker room time, practice skating, and warmup skating.
4. Members shall at all times be mindful that they have the responsibility to influence athletes to act ethically, with dignity, and with high moral conduct. No Member shall act in any manner inconsistent with a high standard of ethical and moral conduct.
5. Members shall be advocates for drug-free sport and take an active role in the prevention of drug, alcohol, or tobacco abuse by athletes.
6. Members shall not engage in, nor knowingly permit, any athlete with whom they are charged with the responsibility of coaching, to engage in any offense in violation of federal, state, or local law, or laws of a foreign government.
7. Members shall at all times avoid conflicts of interest which can be considered to exist at any time, when the actions of the Member for his or herself or on behalf of an athlete would involve the obtaining of an improper advantage.
8. Members shall not engage in, nor knowingly permit, any athlete with whom they are charged with the responsibility of coaching to engage in any offense in violation of the U.S. Figure Skating SafeSport policies, including willfully tolerating misconduct of an athlete(s), coach(s), official, and/or volunteer.
Copyright © 2018 Professional Skaters Association. All Rights Reserved
Tenets of Professionalism
The purpose of these tenets of professionalism is to provide a framework of conduct above and beyond the minimum standards provided by the code of ethics as set forth in the bylaws of the Professional Skaters Association.
The Professional Skaters Association and its membership aspire to the highest ideals of professionalism and acknowledge that the following tenets of professional conduct should be followed in the performance of professional services provided to those with whom we have contact.
1. As coaches of skating, we will conduct ourselves in a manner which demonstrates respect for the rules under which our skaters compete and we will preserve with decorum and integrity the testing programs and competitions.
2. Professional Skaters Association recognizes that professional courtesy is consistent with the role of the coach. As members of the Professional Skaters Association, coaches will be civil and courteous to all with whom we come in contact and will endeavor to maintain a collegial relationship with other coaches.
3. As skating coaches, we acknowledge that from time to time the students with whom we work may wish to leave us as the coach and seek coaching elsewhere. We acknowledge that we will cooperate with other coaches when conflicts arise and will be willing to make such changes on behalf of the students as will complement the further performance and progress of that student.
4. When competitions or testing situations arise, we agree to keep our students and the parents of those students well informed and involve them in the decision making that affects their interest while at the same time avoiding emotional attachment to our students and their activities both in skating and out of skating which might impair our ability to render professional service.
5. As professionals, and as members of the Professional Skaters Association, we will honor our promises and our commitments, whether oral or in writing, and strive to build a reputation for dignity, honesty, and integrity in the skating profession.
6. As professionals, and members of the Professional Skaters Association, we will not make groundless accusations of impropriety or attribute bad motives to other coaches in bad faith or without good cause.
7. As professionals, and as members of the Professional Skaters Association, we will not engage in any course of conduct designed to harass another coach, skating organization official, another skater, or the parent of another skater.
8. As professionals, and as members of the Professional Skaters Association, we will strive to expand our knowledge of skating and to achieve and maintain proficiency in our area of expertise.
9. We will never allow race, gender, religion, age or other suspect classifications of persons to improperly motivate our actions.
10. At all times and in all things when dealing with the skating public, officials, and other members of the coaching profession, we will adhere to the proposition that our practices shall be governed by the principals of honesty and integrity.
Copyright © 2018 Professional Skaters Association. All Rights Reserved
Filing A PSA Grievance
The integrity of the PSA and its membership is very important to us. In 1953, the Board of Governors established the Grievance Committee. This committee was developed in order to hear the complaints, problems, etc., of a coach or rink and then act promptly and effectively.
The PSA is always concerned when it hears of any breach of ethical conduct. Regardless, it would be a breach of PSA’s bylaws for the PSA to either encourage or discourage a person or persons filing a grievance. No member should have any correspondence, signed or un-signed, placed in their file, that was not sworn to or without an opportunity to be defended. It is an important duty of the PSA and the Committee on Professional Standards to give each grievance filed the proper attention and due diligence.
In order for a grievance to be considered, a formal application must be completed and submitted with an application fee to the PSA in care of the Executive Director at 3006 Allegro Park SW, Rochester, MN, 55902.
In most cases, the PSA will only respond to a properly filed grievance. The exception is a matter where criminal misconduct or sexual misconduct is alleged. In these instances, the reporter will be advised to immediately contact their local authorities. If the victim is a minor, a report should also be made to the appropriate local authority, i.e., child protective services. Additionally, members of PSA and U.S. Figure Skating are required by federal law to report sexual misconduct to the U.S. Center for SafeSport.