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FIRST   Code of Conduct

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The FIRST mission is to inspire a generation of science and technology leaders who are both gracious and professional. This FIRST Code of Conduct lists some of the basic behaviours mentors, coaches, volunteers, team members, affiliate partners, contractors, staff and other participants should adhere to while participating in FIRST activities. 

The official FIRST Code of Conduct is as follows:

  • Exhibit Gracious Professionalism    at all times. Gracious Professionalism is a way of doing things that encourages high-quality work, emphasises the value of others, and respects individuals and the community. With Gracious Professionalism, fierce competition and mutual gain are not separate notions.

  • Ensure the safety of all participants in FIRST activities. 

  • Not engage in any form of bullying, harassment, use of profane or insulting language, or any actual or threatened violence.

  • Adhere to all FIRST Youth Protection Program (YPP) policies. 

  • Report any unsafe behaviour to event or local FIRST leadership.

  • Persons who do not comply with this Code of Conduct may be barred from participating in FIRST activities.

Adults working in FIRST programs are also expected to set an example of Gracious Professionalism,  and consistently provide/maintain:

  • Environments where team members can learn, have fun and feel safe.

  • Age-appropriate oversight by caring adults modelling integrity and respect.

  • Knowledge, experience and skills with a positive and flexible approach.

  • Encouragement to learn by doing, fostering cooperative learning.

  • Environments where team members can develop supportive relationships, while observing appropriate boundaries. 

  • Diligent efforts to protect team members from harm.

  • Appropriate boundaries with students by, for example: 

    • Being alert to the imbalance of power that exists in relationships between adults and students or young adults.​

    • Acting as role models for students.

    • Setting appropriate limits with students and encouraging their growth, learning and autonomy.

  • Environments that are safe and inclusive for all participants and adhere to our FIRST Core Values and commitment to Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.

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All participants in FIRST programs are expected to abide by the FIRST Code of Conduct.

Any adult working with a FIRST team who is aware of a violation of the Code of Conduct or violation of any youth protection requirements, or who is in doubt about whether a behaviour is appropriate, is required to immediately consult a lead coach/mentor (if a team lead coach/mentor is not the potential violator), the hosting school or organisation, local FIRST leadership or FIRST Youth Protection. 

The following behaviours ordinarily constitute violations: 

  • Engaging in an activity that endangers the safety, security or integrity of a youth participant; deliberately makes a child feel shame or humiliation; or demeans a youth, such as making threatening remarks or behaving in a manner that deliberately intimidates or frightens a child.

  • Engaging in personal exchanges such as phone calls, email, texting, social networking, etc. with a youth outside the context of team activities, educational matters or career concerns. A copy of written communications with a child should ordinarily be provided to a parent, guardian or second adult working with the team.

  • Engaging a youth participant in activities that are not related to the FIRST program, educational matters or career concerns; or spending personal time with a child outside of FIRST program activities (unless the adult is a family member or family friend).

  • Keeping any activities with a youth participant secret; encouraging a youth participant to keep any activities secret; or deliberately concealing activities from parents, guardians or other adults working with the team.

  • Making sexually explicit remarks; showing or displaying sexually explicit material; inappropriate physical exposure or contact; or using offensive language or gestures. 

  • Failing to follow the Communication and Reporting Requirements. 

Code of Conduct and Youth Protection Violations

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