Officials Code of Ethics

Reference: Rule 2508

Effective date: September 2000



The following code of ethics information has been developed to assist in defining the officials’ role in the context of Skate Canada, the principles officials stand for, how officiating functions are performed within Skate Canada, and to outline officials’ conduct. For the purposes of this code of ethics, the term “officials” is used as described in Skate Canada rules to include all evaluators, judges, referees, and data specialists.

In general, the code of ethics outlines standards of conduct in three primary areas as follows:

    1. Technical competence
    2. Loyalty to the Association
    3. Faithfulness to the organization’s mission and policies

In order to be designated as a Skate Canada official, each official will be required to acknowledge in writing that he or she has received and reviewed a copy of this Code of Ethics (and any applicable addendum), and that he or she agrees to be bound by and comply with the Code of Ethics.



Skate Canada is an Association dedicated to the principles of enabling every Canadian to participate in skating throughout their lifetime for fun, fitness and/or achievement.



Evaluators, judges, referees and data specialists are official representatives of the Skate Canada and will at all times conduct themselves in a manner befitting such a privilege of appointment. They will also be held responsible for seeing that all rules and policies of the Association are observed on any occasion when they are present.



The mission of Skate Canada can only be accomplished successfully if all stakeholders involved in the sport of skating (including skaters and parents, coaches, officials and club directors) share a common vision and understanding of their role to create and maintain a positive learning environment. However, it is the actions of each stakeholder that ultimately contribute to or undermine the existence of a positive skating environment.

The onus of establishing and maintaining appropriate ethical behavior in the pursuit of this worthwhile objective falls on and must be accepted by the leaders in our sport. At the club or sanctioned skating school level, these people are: coaches, directors and officials.



To understand the fundamental principles of ethical conduct, it is useful to review the definition of the word “ethical”:

  • Relating to morals or moral principles;
  • Philosophy which governs human character and conduct i.e. the distinction between right and wrong and/or moral duty and obligations to the community;
  • Originating from the Greek word “ethos”, meaning character.



6.1 To maintain technical knowledge of figure skating to ensure that performances are marked accurately.

6.2 To maintain objectivity and integrity of judging by marking a performance based on sound technical knowledge. When judging, to mark only the skating being performed without bias or prejudice and not to be influenced by audience approval/disapproval, the reputation and/or the past performance of the skater.

6.3 When judging, to mark independently and from the commencement to the conclusion of the event not to discuss with any person, except the Referee and/or Assistant Referee of that event, one’s own assessment or marks or the assessment or marks of other judges.

6.4 To share technical and experiential knowledge of figure skating with skaters, parents, coaches, and other officials to enhance the development of the sport.

6.5 To declare a conflict of interest on occasions when applicable and to refrain from officiating in situations where the perception of conflict of interest may be present.

6.6 To be ever mindful of the influence one can exercise over skaters, coaches, and other officials and to never abuse this trust.



7.1 To maintain membership in good standing with Skate Canada.

7.2 To promote Skate Canada and its programs and the sport of skating in general. In represent Skate Canada in a respectful manner, and to ensure that messages given are consistent with the mission of the Association and in compliance with all Skate Canada rules, policies and procedures.

7.3 To refrain from public criticism of the Association and of its members and staff and instead to use appropriate internal communication channels and protocols which are established by Skate Canada from time to time, to communicate concerns or criticism.

7.4 To be familiar with and adhere to the standards of officiating as defined in the Skate Canada Rulebook and regulations (policies and procedures); and to maintain a current working knowledge of the ISU, Skate Canada, Section and club/school rule changes, policies, regulations and programs so as to be able to assess the product of skating in a professional manner.

7.5 To maintain competence by continually pursuing technical upgrading including knowledge in related fields beneficial to skating (e.g. the performing arts, sport science, sport psychology, etc.) and by complying with any activity, training, upgrading, or other certification requirements as determined by Skate Canada from time to time.

7.6 To exhibit the important character traits of honesty, reliability/dependability and cooperation when dealing with all participants in the sport so as to bring credit to officiating.

7.7 To share the responsibility with officiating colleagues, coaches, and club/school officials to initiate and support actions that are required to meet the needs of the skater, the club/school and skating in general.

7.8 To participate in the development and/or maintenance of desirable standards of officiating through regular and on-going communication with partners in the delivery of figure skating programs.

7.9 Immediately upon becoming aware of any breach or possible breach by an evaluator, judge, data specialist of this Code of Ethics or of the applicable Rules, policies and procedures, to make a report in writing to the Referee, Chief Data Specialist, Association as follows:

    1. In relation to a test situation – to the Section Evaluator/Judges Chair.
    2. In relation to a specific event in a competition – to the referee/chief data specialist of the event.
    3. In relation to a specific incident at a competition – to the referee/chief data specialist who will report the issue to the Officials Coordinating Committee Chair if he/she feels it is necessary or warranted.
    4. In relation to an issue occurring outside of the event context, or in the case that the reporting cannot be done via the referee/chief data specialist for some reason – to the Chair of the Officials Coordinating Committee directly.



8.1 To share technical and experiential knowledge with one’s colleagues as they develop as officials of Skate Canada.

8.2 To judge independently and to refrain from sharing one’s assessment or marks with others, except the Referee and/or Assistant Referee, until the completion of an event. At the event review meeting, to present one’s assessment in an impartial and technically sound manner while respecting the assessment of one’s colleagues.

8.3 To avoid criticizing another official’s performance and/or assessment unless done so with the official’s knowledge or permission. (When the assessment of an official is required by the Referee or
Officials Coordinating Committee, to utilize the standard tools and protocol for review as set out by the Officials Coordinating Committee).

8.4 To comply with the reporting requirements described forth above.



All complaints resulting from the application of the Code of Ethics shall be processed in accordance with the Skate Canada Complaint, Suspension and Expulsion policy as outlined in the Skate Canada Rule Book.