• Code Review Team chair urges Paralympic Movement to make their voice heard in this ‘critical’ phase
• Second draft of the Code and new International Standards published as IPC looks to propose a final version to the IPC membership in 2024.
A third consultation phase of the IPC Classification Code Review has started and will continue until 31 October 2023. This is the final stage of consultation for three-year long review of the IPC Classification Code. Following its completion, the Code Review Team will analyse the feedback and prepare a final draft Code, which is envisaged to be put forward for approval to the IPC membership at an Extraordinary General Assembly in 2024.
Each stage of consultation included numerous targeted topics for discussion, followed by draft versions of the Code for stakeholders to consider. Following an engaging second phase of consultation, which took place from August to December 2022, a second Draft IPC Classification Code (version July) 2023 has been prepared. The draft Code is now supplemented with three International Standards: Classification Personnel and Training (version July 2023), Classification Data Protection (version July 2022), and Intentional Misrepresentation (version July 2023).
All documents are available on the IPC website: https://www.paralympic.org/classification-code-review
To accompany the latest draft there is a summary which provides an update of the changes made in the new draft, while it also addresses the outcomes of the previous consultation phase. This document offers a brief rationale for the changes made to the Code and International Standards, and lists questions put forward for consultation. Also, to facilitate wider understanding of the Code, the document is prepared in English, Spanish and French.
Classification is the cornerstone of the Paralympic Movement. It determines which athletes are eligible to compete in a sport and how athletes are grouped together for competition. This will be the third iteration of the Classification Code. The first was published in 2007 and the second in 2015.
In January 2021 the IPC Governing Board approved a review of the 2015 IPC Athlete Classification Code. Two months later they established a Code Drafting Team and appointed an independent chair, Scott Field, who competed in Para swimming for South Africa at the Sydney 2000 and Athens 2004 Paralympics.
Since June 2021 the Code Drafting Team has been conducting an extensive three-year, three-phase open consultation process. They have a mandate to solicit feedback from all facets of the IPC Membership, including athletes, coaches, National Paralympic Committees (NPCs), International Federations (IFs) and classifiers. Other interested parties can also engage in the Code Review.
Scott Field, independent chair of the Code Review Team, said: “We are now at the most critical stage of the Classification Code Review, the final round of consultation. The first two phases have been a huge collaborative effort, but it is vital that this third phase sees continued engagement.
“The Classification Code is a fundamental document upon which classification must be based on the Paralympic Movement, meaning its impact reaches all IPC Members, athletes, classifiers, and other stakeholders.
“It is a document that will serve the Movement for the best part of the next decade and the success of this review process, and the development of the new improved Code, relies on the engagement. Our message is clear: if you care about the future of classification then now is the time to make your voice heard.”
Field added: “We sincerely thank all individuals and IPC members who have joined us and contributed to this Code review journey so far. I would also like to praise the entire Code Review Team for their tireless work in analysing the feedback, considering different perspectives, navigating through complex discussions and producing an updated draft Code.”
This third phase of consultation will be carried out in a similar way to the previous two rounds of consultation, with opportunities for interested parties to join calls and meetings to discuss the changes, the interpretation and implementation of the Code, and the opportunity to provide feedback via multiple channels and formats, including an online survey.
To further engage members, the IPC will take the opportunity of the 2023 IPC Conference scheduled to take place in Bahrain on 27 September 2023 to present and discuss items related to the Code review.
The 2023 IPC Annual Classification Meeting will also serve as a chance to have an extensive dialogue on the Code review with classification representatives from each organisation. That meeting will take place between 28-30 October in Egypt.
In addition to the engagement calls and in-person meetings, the IPC has created an online survey to provide written feedback on the targeted questions prepared for this consultation phase, and feedback on any items related to the Code and International Standards.
This survey, which will remain open until 31 October 2023, is available to anyone who wishes to engage and particularly aims to capture each organisation’s formal views on the topics of interest. Feedback submitted via the survey will be collated and published on the IPC website, as was done throughout the review process.
The survey can be accessed using the following link: https://forms.office.com/pages/responsepage.aspx?id=0bw-rXQtCEmH-W51IjGQgk1Adbbh_d9FsutxRZ-LpjdUNlhTRlAyWDZFREhJODFTNUdKV0NNSDlNNy4u&wdLOR=c6A3DDE78-F246-4B82-9B06-74DA86D07969
Should anyone not consider this the best channel to provide feedback then they are advised to contact the IPC at firstname.lastname@example.org to explore alternative means of feedback over a call or email.