Code of Conduct

1. Organization & Governance
Policy Number: 
Policy Section: 
Ethical Conduct
Approved by: 
Executive Director, Board
Date Approved: 
Tue, Jan 24, 2006
Date Effective: 
Date Last Amended: 
Fri, Mar 17, 2017
Date of Next Review: 
Tue, Mar 17, 2020
Executive Director


1.1 Membership and participation in the activities of Youth Science Canada offer many benefits and privileges. At the same time members and participants are expected to fulfil certain responsibilities and obligations, including complying with this Code of Conduct of Youth Science Canada which results in an environment free of abuse and harassment to protect individuals' physical and psychological integrity and preserve their dignity.


2.1 The following terms have these meanings in this Policy:

  1. “Individual(s)” will mean all categories of membership defined in the Youth Science Canada Bylaws, as well as all people employed by Youth Science Canada or engaged in programs and events with Youth Science Canada including but not limited to, delegates, alternate delegates, finalists, CWSF host committee members, guests, judges, volunteers, staff and members of Youth Science Canada.
  2. “Finalist” will mean any young person who has been chosen to attend a Youth Science Canada event (i.e., CWSF, ISEF, MILSET, etc.).
  3. “CWSF” will mean “Canada-Wide Science Fair”.
  4. “ISEF” will mean “Intel International Science and Engineering Fair”.
  5. “MILSET” will mean “MILSET Expo Sciences International”.


3.1 This Policy applies to Individuals relating to conduct that may arise during the course of Youth Science Canada’s programs, activities and events, including but not limited to, the CWSF and the ISEF.

3.2 This Policy applies to conduct that may occur outside of Youth Science Canada’s programs, activities and events, when such conduct adversely affects relationships within Youth Science Canada and/or is detrimental to the image and reputation of Youth Science Canada.


4.1 Youth Science Canada will provide an environment in which all Individuals are treated with respect and free of abuse and harassment. Further, Youth Science Canada supports equal opportunity and prohibits discriminatory practices.

4.2 Individuals will conduct themselves in a manner consistent with this Policy. Conduct that violates this code may be subject to sanctions pursuant to Youth Science Canada’s 1.5.2 Discipline Policy.

4.3 All Individuals have a responsibility to:

  1. Maintain and enhance the dignity and self-esteem of other Individuals, members and participants in Youth Science Canada events;
  2. Demonstrate respect for Individuals regardless of body type (i.e., body size, shape, etc.), physical characteristics, gender, ancestry, colour, ethnic or racial origin, nationality, national origin, sexual orientation, age, marital status, religion, political belief, disability or economic status;
  3. Direct comments or criticism appropriately and avoid public criticism of Individuals, including but not limited to, finalists, judges, delegates, alternate delegates, host committee members, volunteers, guests, staff and members of Youth Science Canada;
  4. Demonstrate ethical conduct and practices.
  5. Abstain from the non-medical use of drugs;
  6. Refrain from any behaviour that constitutes harassment, where harassment is defined as comments or conduct, directed towards an Individual or group, which is offensive, abusive, racist, sexist, degrading or malicious. Types of behaviour that constitute harassment include, but are not limited to:
    1. Written or oral abuse, threats or outbursts;
    2. The display of visual material which is offensive or which one ought to know is offensive;
    3. Unwelcome remarks, jokes, comments, innuendos or taunts;
    4. Leering or other suggestive or obscene gestures;
    5. Condescending or patronizing behaviour which is intended to undermine self-esteem, diminish performance or adversely affect working conditions;
    6. Practical jokes which cause awkwardness or embarrassment, endanger a person’s safety or negatively affect performance;
    7. Any form of hazing or bullying;
    8. Coercing another person to act against their will;
    9. Stalking;
    10. Using force or intimidation;
    11. Unwanted physical contact including touching, petting, pinching or kissing;
    12. Physical assault;
    13. Behaviours using intimidation, blackmail, manipulation, lies, tricks, breach of trust, threat, coercion or physiological violence;
    14. Behaviours such as those described above that are not directed towards Individuals or groups but have the same effect of creating a negative or hostile environment; or
    15. Retaliation or threats of retaliation against an Individual who reports harassment.
  7. Refrain from any behaviour that constitutes sexual harassment, defined as unwelcome sexual comments and sexual advances, request for sexual favours, or conduct of a sexual nature. Types of behaviour that constitutes sexual harassment include, but are not limited to:
    1. Sexist jokes;
    2. Unwelcome sexual attitudes or gestures;
    3. Display of sexually offensive material;
    4. Sexually degrading words;
    5. Inquiries or comments about a person’s sex life;
    6. Unwelcome sexual flirtations, advances or propositions;
    7. Persistent unwanted contact; or
    8. Sexual assault.
  8. Refrain from the use of power or authority in an attempt to coerce another person to engage in inappropriate activities.
  9. Respect the property of others and not wilfully cause damage.
  10. Respect the privacy of others.
  11. Refrain from accessing inappropriate online materials, or violating the computer, network, or online account security of others.
  12. Adhere to all Federal, Provincial, Municipal or host country laws.
  13. Comply at all times with the Constitution, Bylaws, policies, rules and regulations of Youth Science Canada and Youth Science Canada events (i.e. CWSF, ISEF etc.), as adopted and amended from time to time, including complying with any contracts or agreements executed with Youth Science Canada.

4.4 In addition to the responsibilities described in Section 4.3, all Individual adults at Youth Science Canada events (i.e., CWSF, ISEF, etc.) will:

  1. Abstain from the use of alcohol and tobacco where minors are present;
  2. Ensure that the consumption of alcoholic beverages is reasonable in social situations where minors are not present.

4.5 In addition to the responsibilities described in Section 4.3, Delegates, Alternate Delegates and chaperones at Youth Science Canada events such as, but not limited to, CWSF and ISEF will:

  1. Ensure a safe environment at the Youth Science Canada programs and events by selecting activities and establishing controls that are suitable for the age, experience and background of the finalists in their charge;
  2. Ensure that expectations for finalist behaviour and conduct are made clear to the finalists in their charge;
  3. Provide supervision for the finalists in their charge in a manner that fulfils what a judicious parent would expect (in loco parentis). While delegates are not expected to be physically present with their finalists 24 hours a day, finalists should have physical access to their delegate, chaperone or stand-in 24 hours a day;
  4. Provide supervision and or assistance to other finalists at Youth Science Canada events when the need arises or if help is requested by a finalist or another delegate;
  5. Communicate and cooperate with the parents/guardians of finalists and ensure that parents/guardians are aware of the expectations for their children at the Youth Science Canada event (i.e., CWSF, ISEF, etc.) and the range of consequences for misbehaviour by a finalist.
  6. Understand the consequences of serious misbehaviour as described in Youth Science Canada policy 1.5.2 Discipline Policy;

4.6 In addition to the responsibilities described in Section 4.3, Finalists will:

  1. Support and cooperate with every member of his or her Regional or National Team.
  2. Adhere to the expectations set out in writing for them by their Regional Delegate or chaperone;
  3. Attend and participate in all programs, activities, tours and events that are part of the Youth Science Canada event;
  4. Be punctual at all Youth Science Canada programs, activities and events;
  5. Attend their displays at all designated times during the period that the CWSF or ISEF is open to the public;
  6. Ensure that their delegate or chaperone knows at all times where they are and with whom;
  7. Obtain their delegate’s explicit permission before leaving the group;
  8. Respect all curfews explained to them by their delegate or chaperone;
  9. Get sufficient sleep;
  10. Properly represent themselves and not attempt to enter an event or activity for which they are not eligible, by reason of age, classification or other reasons.
  11. Understand the consequences of serious misbehaviour as described in Youth Science Canada policy 1.5.2 Discipline Policy; or
  12. Respect academic integrity as described in Youth Science Canada policy 1.5.5 Academic Integrity.

4.7 Finalists will not:

  1. Visit any areas declared off limits;
  2. Engage in any activity that will bring the moral tone of any Youth Science Canada sponsored event into disrepute;
  3. Buy, possess, consume or distribute alcohol; or
  4. Buy, possess, consume or distribute tobacco products, illegal substances and materials (including drugs) as prescribed by local and applicable laws.

4.8 In addition to the responsibilities described in Section 4.3, Judges will:

  1. Be fair and objective.
  2. Avoid situations in which an actual or perceived conflict of interest may arise.
  3. Make independent judgments.


5.1 Youth Science Canada will develop and provide Individuals participating in or involved with its activities with a Guide to Ethics and Conduct relating to prevention and intervention.

5.2 The Board of Directors shall adopt a Volunteer Recruitment Policy.

5.3 The Board of Directors shall ensure that the clauses applicable to this policy are integrated into the Employee Recruitment Policy.

5.4 The Board of Directors is responsible for taking steps to verify the integrity of the Executive Director and for implementing an effective selection process. The Executive Director shall be responsible for verification of the integrity of all other employees and for implementing an effective selection process.

5.5 Youth Science Canada will disseminate the information contained in this Policy. Specifically, Youth Science Canada will be responsible for the following:

  1. Informing all Individuals of the existence and contents of this Policy;
  2. Ensure that the procedures for recruiting and hiring employees and volunteers is in compliance with this Policy;
  3. Raise the awareness of all Youth Science Canada volunteers and employees of the issue of abuse and harassment, as well as the procedure indicated in this Policy;
  4. Receiving complaints from persons, or their representatives, who feel they are victims of abuse or harassment;
  5. Acting quickly to stop any instances of either abuse or harassment;
  6. Should the nature of the act deem it necessary, submitting all complaints to the police;
  7. Reviewing the conditions of the policy periodically in order to ensure that it complies adequately with the legal obligations and objectives of Youth Science Canada.