Learn more about the requirements if you are an athlete, parent of an athlete under 18, coach, team trainer or official.

Information for schools

School boards are required to comply with policies and guidelines about concussions involving students under the Education Act.

The Ministry of Education updated the concussion policy (PPM 158) for school boards in September 2019 to be consistent with Rowan’s Law. School boards are required to address concussion safety across all school and school board activities and update their existing 2015 concussion policies with the updated PPM.

Effective January 31, 2020, all school boards were required to establish:

  • Concussion Codes of Conduct for individuals participating in board-sponsored interschool sports. This will include students and parents of students under 18 years of age, as well as coaches and team trainers.
  • A process for removing students with a suspected concussion from physical activity and, for those diagnosed with a concussion, a Return to School Plan, which includes their return to learning and to physical activity.
  • A process to document and track a student’s progress, from removal from an activity due to a suspected concussion to the return to learning and to physical activity.

School boards must also require:

  • Individuals participating in board-sponsored interschool sports to confirm every school year that they have reviewed a Concussion Code of Conduct and a Concussion Awareness Resource. This will include students and parents of students under 18 years of age, as well as coaches and team trainers. Team officials are only required to review a Concussion Awareness Resource.
  • Annual concussion training for relevant staff about the school board’s concussion policy and the content of the Concussion Awareness Resources.

The Concussion Awareness Resources are available to support schools and school boards with the implementation of PPM 158.

Additional tools and resources are available to support school boards with implementation, including:

Information for sport organizations

Certain sport organizations will need to comply with Rowan’s Law, now that some of the rules are in effect. Sport organizations could include:

  • a person or entity that carries out, for profit or otherwise, a prescribed activity
  • municipalities
  • universities
  • colleges of applied arts and technology
  • other post-secondary institutions

Sport organizations should review both Rowan’s Law and the associated regulation for details about the specific requirements of Rowan’s Law. Some of the new rules are already in effect, while others came into effect at a later date as follows:

  • rules requiring the review of Concussion Awareness Resources and Concussion Codes of Conduct came into effect on July 1, 2019; and
  • rules requiring the establishment of Removal-from-Sport and Return-to-Sport Protocols came into effect on January 1, 2022.

Information for health care providers

  • As of January 1, 2022, a sport organization must immediately remove an athlete from further training, practice or competition if the athlete has sustained a concussion or is suspected of having sustained a concussion, in accordance with the removal-from-sport and return-to-sport protocols
  • Physicians and nurse practitioners are specified as the only health care providers that can medically assess and provide confirmation of medical clearance for athletes to return to participation in amateur competitive sport
  • Information about how Rowan’s Law involves health care providers, additional considerations, along with resources to support health care providers are outlined in Rowan’s Law: Information for health care providers

An overview of some of these requirements is provided in the following sections.

Concussion Awareness Resources

The Rowan’s Law concussion awareness rules came into effect on July 1, 2019. After that date, sport organization must not register athletes under 26 years of age* into a sport activity unless they, as well as their parent (for athletes under 18), provide confirmation that they have reviewed one of the Concussion Awareness Resources within the previous twelve months. * Exception: A sport organization that is a University, College of Applies Arts and Technology or other Post-Secondary Institution must not register any athlete irrespective of age unless the same requirements are met.

Sport organizations must also not allow coaches, team trainers and officials to serve as a coach, team trainer or official for or in respect of the sport organization unless they provide confirmation that they have reviewed one of the Concussion Awareness Resources, every year.

These Concussion Awareness Resources are also available to support schools and school boards with the implementation of concussion policies.

Code of Conduct template

The Rowan’s Law Concussion Code of Conduct requirements came into effect on July 1, 2019. After that date, sport organizations must require that athletes under 26 years of age*, as well as their parent (for athletes under 18), coaches and team trainers confirm that they have reviewed the sport organization’s Concussion Code of Conduct every year before:

  • registering in a sport activity within the sport organization
  • serving with the sport organization

* Exception: A sport organization that is a University, College of Applied Arts and Technology or other Post-Secondary Institution must not register any athlete irrespective of age unless the same requirements are met.

A sample template is provided here to assist sport organizations with developing a Concussion Code of Conduct.

Information about the specific requirements for the establishment and review of Concussion Codes of Conduct, are outlined in the Rowan’s Law and its associated regulation.

Code of conduct for Coaches (WORD) Code of Conduct for Athletes (WORD)

Requirements for school board concussion policies are consistent with Rowan’s Law, and came into effect on January 31, 2020. Further details about these requirements, and sample Concussion Codes of Conduct templates are available to support school boards with implementation.

Removal from sport/Return to sport protocols

The Rowan’s Law Removal-from/Return-to-sport requirements will come into effect on January 1, 2022. After this date, sport organizations will be required to have a removal-from/return-to-sport protocol.

A sample template is provided here, to assist sport organizations with developing a Removal-from/Return-to-sport protocol.

Removal and Return to sport protocols (Word Doc)

Removal and Return to sport protocols (PDF)

Information about the specific requirements for the establishment of removal-from/return-to-sport protocols, are outlined in Rowan’s Law and its associated regulation.

Requirements for school board concussion policies are consistent with Rowan’s Law and came into effect on January 31, 2020. Further details about these requirements, and a sample Return to School Plan (to support return to learning and return to physical activity) are available to support school boards with implementation.