Follow these 7 points to ensure you're ahead of the game when it comes to safeguarding your sport.
As an organisation serious about safeguarding, you should have an up-to-date safeguarding policy in place that will inform visitors on your stance on safeguarding. You should also make sure visitors are aware of what to do if they have any concerns and have robust codes of conduct in place for all coaches, volunteers and young people.
Having thorough safeguarding policies in place not only helps protect the children under your care but also highlights the fact you are a credible organisation who takes the safety of children and young people extremely seriously.
Your club will have a designated Welfare Officer, who should be there on occasion to answer any questions visitors may have about their children or themselves.
Your designated Welfare Officer is responsible for implementing procedures and dealing with any concerns, acting as someone to turn to for individuals who have concerns.
Do you have any accreditations such as 'Clubmark' or a National Governing Body equivalent? If so, are your visitors aware of this? This will indicate to your visitors that your club has achieved the right standard for providing a good sporting experience and facilities to attendees.
As an organisation that provides sporting activities to young people, you must ensure you have the appropriate recruitment processes in place. This can include interviewing, reference checking and undertaking relevant police checks for your staff and volunteers.
Conducting the appropriate checks on your staff and volunteers is crucial. If a member of your staff is coaching/training children they will be eligible for an Enhanced DBS check. Members of staff who coach/train adults will be eligible for a Basic Disclosure.
Do your staff and volunteers actively promote the welfare of children and young people who attend your sports club? This can include a range of activities such as;
Actively promoting the welfare of children/young people will encourage others to also think this way creating a safe culture throughout your club.
Your club should not only have open communication with children and young people but also their parents/carers too. If your club uses text messaging or social media to communicate with visitors, you should have robust guidelines in place to ensure the use of these methods are appropriate and are adhered to by all your staff and volunteers. It may also be a good idea to keep this monitored by your welfare officer to ensure the language used stays in conjunction with your policies.
You must also ensure that parents and carers are well informed of any club activities or events. Many safeguarding rules and regulations will apply across all sports however you should be aware that each sport has its own policies and procedures that your staff and visitors should be aware of. These policies will cover staffing ratios and guidelines involving physical contact, these are crucial in ensuring a safe environment for the sport in particular.
Make sure all your coaches and volunteers have undertaken the appropriate training which is updated regularly to be able to deliver safe sporting sessions and recruit other team members suitably. This will include recognised National Governing Body awards and safeguarding awareness training.
For more information on how to safeguarding your sports club, speak to a member of the Personnel Checks team today!