There have been efforts throughout Canada to mandate concussion education and management protocols, particularly in sport organizations and schools. Some jurisdictions are taking the approach of legislation, while others are moving to implementing policies governing concussion.
Ontario became the first province in Canada to enact legislation around concussion when
Rowan's Law (Concussion Safety) was given royal assent in March 2018 after receiving all-party support.
The law establishes mandatory requirements that call for:
- Annual review of concussion awareness resources by athletes, parents, coaches and other designated individuals
- A concussion code of conduct, reviewed by athletes, parents, and other designated individuals, to set out rules of behaviour to minimize concussions while participating in sport
- Removal-from-sport and return-to-sport protocols, to ensure that an athlete is immediately removed from sport if they are suspected of having sustained a concussion, and that appropriate processes are in place to guide their safe return to training and competition.
These requirements will take effect once the necessary regulations are established by the Government of Ontario.
Rowan’s Law also establishes the last Wednesday in September as “Rowan’s Law Day” in the province of Ontario. This will be marked in 2018 on Wednesday, September 26.
In 2017, Bill 37, The Concussion in Youth Sport Act, was introduced in the Manitoba provincial legislature. Bill 37 proposed requirements for removal-from-sport and return-to-sport protocols in sport organizations and schools, as well as improved concussion awareness education, particularly for coaches. The bill did not proceed to second reading.
Ontario Policy/Program Memorandum No. 158
In 2014, Ontario’s Ministry of Education issued PPM 158, requiring every school board to establish and maintain a policy on concussion. School board policies are required to include, at minimum, the following components: awareness; prevention; identification; management procedures for a diagnosed concussion; and, ongoing training for staff and volunteers.
Concussion Protocols for Sport Organizations and Schools
Concussion protocols should be comprehensive, including prevention and education, through to safe return to school, work, and sport activities. Protocols should be based on the most up-to-date, evidence-based best practice and reviewed regularly. Organizations looking to develop or update concussion protocols can access free protocol templates and supporting resources on our Concussion page.
Have information on a policy in your province or territory that you’d like added to this page? Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.