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Club committee safeguarding responsibilities

Every athletics and running club is responsible for their own governance and has a legal duty of care to all members. As part of this duty of care, there is an additional legal requirement for safeguarding; protecting children, young people and vulnerable adults from harm by providing a safe environment in which they can participate in sport.  

The club committee plays a key role in ensuring that all club activity is safe. Safeguarding responsibilities are the joint responsibility of all club committee members. 

Key responsibilities

  • Agreeing to & implementing policies, procedures and processes​.
  • Ensuring that club officers and volunteers act responsibly and set an example to others​.
  • Developing an environment that promotes the wellbeing and safety of athletes, including the development of performance​.
  • Consistently promoting positive aspects of the sport to ensure rules are upheld. 
  • Willingness to respond to any concerns of abuse or poor practice​.
  • Promoting an environment where all concerns can be raised without fear of victimisation​.
  • Develop a culture where everyone plays a part in upholding safeguarding policies.

Key Ideas

  • Ensure that all committee members understand the club safeguarding code of conduct and are aware of their safeguarding responsibilities. As part of their induction, they should be made aware of the policies and procedures the club has in place

  • Safeguarding should be a standard agenda item at committee meetings. These should include updates on safe recruitment, license checks and any concerns.

  • Ensure safeguarding information (including policies, codes of conduct, and how to report a concern) is visible and accessible to all members. Consider how members can get to know your welfare officers; are all sections of your club equally informed?

  • Provide regular updates and reminders to members on safeguarding. This might include when policies and procedures change, highlighting the welfare officer or reminding members about code of conducts. For new members, you could include this in their induction pack.

  • Whilst there is a minimum requirement to have two welfare officer, clubs should consider the size of the club and types of members when deciding how many welfare officers to have.

  • Ensure all welfare officers have a direct line of communication with the club committee (if they don’t sit on the committee already).

  • An annual members survey to help your club understand if members feel safe, know who the welfare officer is and what to do to report a concern.

Questions

Yes No
Does your club committee adopt the most up to date safeguarding policies and procedures recommended by UK Athletics (UKA) and the Home Counties Athletics Federation (HCAF)?
Excellent. Please ensure your committee and wider - membership understand these policies and procedures.
Your club is at risk if you do not have policies and procedures in place to protect all club members. It is important that you’re aware of your responsibilities. Policies and procedures are in place to protect all as well as knowing how to manage and report a concern.
Has your club committee read, understood, and signed up the UKA and HCAF Club safeguarding code of conduct?
That’s great. Please ensure this is a regular agenda item and review it regularly. Make sure it’s included in all inductions for new committee members.
The club safeguarding code of conduct will help you understand your responsibilities. You’ll be given a checklist to work through.
Does your club committee ensure that all club volunteers are appropriately (DBS) checked when they join and throughout their time at the club?
Well done. It’s vital to ensure all volunteers have undergone the relevant checks and these are up to date and reviewed on a regular basis.
By not undertaking appropriate checks, you’re putting your members at risk. Our safe recruitment collection will provide more information about this.
Does your club committee ensure all club members sign up to the relevant code of conduct and that behaviour is maintained on an ongoing basis?
Brilliant! Ensure that these codes are visible so members can be reminded of them and that any changes are communicated clearly.
By asking members and volunteers to sign up to the code of conduct, they can be aware of what behaviour is expected of them during club activity. This will also assist you when managing a concern.
Does your club welfare officer(s) hold a valid UKA DBS check and are they appropriately trained?
That’s great. Ensure this training is refreshed every three years.
All welfare officers must complete the self-paced ‘Safeguarding in Athletics’ module, followed by the ‘Time to Listen’ course every three years.
Does your club ensure that all club members have access to safeguarding policies, procedures and code of conducts?
Excellent. Ensure that all the information shared is the most up to date version.
By making this information visible and accessible, members are more likely to raise a concern in an appropriate manner. They’ll have a greater awareness of their responsibilities with regards to safeguarding.
Does everyone in your club know how to raise a concern?
Great. Ensure members know how to raise a concern to the club and directly to UKA.
You’re at risk of a concern being missed and a member harmed if you don’t communicate how members can raise a concern to the club or UKA. Review how you can best communicate this information to all members.
Does your committee understand how to manage a concern?
Excellent. Having this clarity of understanding will help protect those involved should a concern arise.
It’s vital that the committee understand how to manage a concern appropriately to ensure the safety of those involved. Please review the UKA safeguarding policies and procedures and discuss with your committee.

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