Sport and physical activity helps children, young people and vulnerable adults to grow, develop and be healthy. It can also provide opportunities for enjoyment and achievement. Through being active they can develop valuable qualities such as leadership, confidence, resilience and self-esteem.
Every child and young person has the right to have fun, be safe and be free from harm when taking part. This includes when training for a local team, playing for a local club or representing a sport at county, national or international level.
It’s essential that parents, guardians and carers have a general awareness of good practice when selecting a sport or physical activity for a child, young person, or vulnerable adult to attend. This will make sure that they can enjoy the activity within a safe and secure environment, where they feel protected and empowered to make the most suitable choices. Providing them with positive experiences means that they will be more likely to achieve their true potential.
PARENTS, GUARDIANS AND CARERS – WHAT SHOULD YOU BE LOOKING FOR?
All coaches, leaders or instructors must hold an up-to-date, nationally recognised governing body coaching qualification which is appropriate to the level of sport or physical activity being coached, lead or instructed.
In general an assistant coach must hold a Level 1 qualification and should coach under the supervision of a more experienced and qualified coach, leader or instructor. A minimum of a Level 2 qualification is normally required for a coach to be coaching on their own however for some sports a Level 3 qualification may be required.
It’s recommended that coaches, leaders and instructors have attended nationally recognised safeguarding and protecting children awareness training. The training should be recognised by the appropriate National Governing Body, UK Coaching or Local Safeguarding Children’s Board. If working in schools it’s recommended that they have attended Adults Other Than Teachers (AOTTs) training.
All coaches, leaders and instructors and personnel who have direct contact with children, young people and vulnerable adults should have been appropriately screened. This should include:
Coaches, leaders and instructors should have up-to-date and appropriate insurance cover for the activity they are delivering.
The ratio of coaches, leaders or instructors to participants varies from sport to sport and should be based on:
Contact the sports National Governing Body for specific guidance on the ratio of participant to coach, leader or instructor.
Organisations, coaches, leaders and instructors need to be aware of any medication that a participant taking, or if they have any other particular health needs. You should be asked when you first attend an activity, but if not inform the coach, leader or instructor so they are aware.
The organisation will take responsibility for ensuring the safety of your child, young person or vulnerable adult whilst in their care and should inform you about the event arrangements. You should know how they’re getting to and from the event. Prior to the fixture you should be provided with a parental consent form. You will need to complete this form and return it clearly stating emergency contact numbers and medical information.
POLICIES, PROCEDURES AND PRACTICE – WHAT TO LOOK OUT FOR
The organisation or club should have, or be working towards National Governing Body Accreditation, or equivalent, that outlines minimum operating systems of the sport. National Governing Body Accreditation ensures that the organisation is committed to providing a safe, effective and child friendly environment. The organisation or club should be working towards minimum operating standards outlined by their National Governing Body.
The organisation or club should have a child protection policy which outlines procedures for dealing with possible abuse, disclosures or poor practice. The organisation has a legal responsibility to act on any instances of abuse, disclosure or poor practice. Parents, carers and guardians should be aware of the policy and be able to view it on request.
The organisation or club should have public liability insurance.
The organisation or club should have a written code of conduct – outlining minimum levels of expected behaviour – for:
The venue and organisation should always have:
YOUR ROLE AS PARENT, GUARDIAN OR CARER
Always ensure that the people you are responsible for have:
Always ensure that you:
Always ensure that the young people you are responsible for know and understand:
WHAT TO DO IF YOU HAVE ANY CONCERNS
Clubs/organisations should have a designated child protection/welfare officer. They are the first point of contact if you have any concerns. If you would like more information, or have any concerns on any of the topics covered please contact the club/organisations child protection/welfare officer. Alternatively you can contact the Child Protection Officer within the relevant sport’s National Governing Body. For more information please use the contacts below.