England Athletics wants to assist clubs to ensure they are operating in a safe and responsible way in accordance with the good governance code set out by Sport England and in line with relevant legislation by providing ‘Club Standards’. The standards are listed below, and clubs can access supporting resources (guidance and templates) through the new England Athletics Resource Section at www.englandathletics.org/resources Clubs will also receive support when accessing our services and programmes, and our team of Club Support Managers will be on hand to offer advice and guidance.
Good governance is the foundation of a well-run club. Good governance will protect the club’s values and reputation whilst looking after the club’s funds and people and being accountable for the club’s actions and decisions. It is represented by the structures, rules, policies and practices for the club’s operation. England Athletics recommended the following;
- A Constitution that is reflective of the club legal structure. A club constitution is a simple document that outlines its functions and the rules under which it will operate. Having a constitution should help to clarify how club procedures work. England Athletics provide a template constitution for unincorporated clubs and advice for incorporated clubs or clubs with not-for-profit status (CASC, Charity). Clubs can seek advice through Muckle PLC and the England Athletics Club Legal Structures Guidance.
- A Committee made up of representatives from the Club who will fulfil the roles of Club Chair, Club Treasurer, Club Secretary and a person responsible for Membership, Welfare, DBS Verifier, Coaching and Officials. Each specific role must have one individual person assigned however, the Club Secretary and Person responsible for Membership and the Person responsible for Welfare and DBS Verifier can be dual roles and shared by the same person. Conflicts of interest should be recognised, managed by the chair and recorded. At least three of the people on the committee should be unrelated or not cohabiting.
- A grievance & disciplinary procedure (either embedded in the club constitution or a separate policy). We hope that you don’t have many club disputes to deal with, but if you do the committee will be responsible for managing this. The policy will provide the club with a clear process on how to manage grievance and disciplinary matters.
Duty of Care
‘Duty of Care’ is a common law duty that applies to all individuals and organisations. Clubs have a duty of care towards their members and are responsible for ensuring all club activity is safe. Everyone has a role to play in keeping others safe and all club members should know what to do if they have any concerns. England Athletics recommends the following:
- Adopt the UKA Safeguarding Policy and ensure your club is welfare compliant with England Athletics guidance. Clubs should work through the England Athletics Club Welfare Framework and ensure they are compliant with all areas.
- Appoint a minimum of two Welfare Officers that are appropriately trained. England Athletics provides an online safeguarding course through Educare and a face to face workshop (Time to Listen) that must be completed by Club Welfare Officers.
- Only use appropriately licensed UKA coaches or leaders (therefore DBS checked) at a level relevant to their membership base and activities. Clubs can check this through MyAthletics Portal.
- Implement a Health & Safety policy. Clubs should document a Health & Safety policy that is relevant to their activities and carry out the required risk assessments. Both the Policy and Risk Assessment should be written down, accepted by the Committee and then communicated to all members in a simple and easy to understand way.