As a club or group you have the responsibility for the safety and welfare of both junior and adult members, including volunteers and other people involved in your club, such as spectators, parents and visiting opponents.
Many clubs now have accreditation, either through ERCAS or their National Governing Body (Clubmark), which demonstrates that clubs have got essential minimum criteria in place for the safety of its members.
It is essential that your club or group has a working child protection (safeguarding) policy in operation and has a named child protection (safeguarding) officer to act as a point of contact for any welfare issues that may occur.
The officer must have a robust system in place to ensure that all coaches and volunteers are appropriately vetted, including up-to-date enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service check (DBS), have a policy to decide how often the DBS checks need to be renewed and are fully aware of all reporting procedures with regards to incidents, accidents, complaints and disciplinary action (including allegations against staff or volunteers and concerns about individual children or vulnerable adults).
The officer should also be aware of the procedures to follow if signs of bullying, intimidation, and abuse are observed.
The role of the DBS is to reduce the risk of abuse by ensuring that those who are unsuitable are not able to work with children and vulnerable adults. If your organisation or group work with children or vulnerable adults then it is imperative that all coaches, leaders and volunteers undergo a DBS check which will need to be organised by the club. This is essential good practice in protecting both club members and volunteers.
For information on how to organise DBS checks or for any further advice please use the general enquiry form or visit the website:
GOV.UK - DBS checks (external website)