Information for sports clubs

Why should clubs protect the welfare of young people?

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)

Why should clubs have accreditation?

An accredited club is one that has attained certain standards that prove they can provide a safe, child-friendly environment for young people. Gaining accreditation enables clubs to achieve quality operating standards which will lead to better quality sports provision for young people in the East Riding.

To deliver sessions in East Riding schools and leisure centres or hand out publicity material, it is essential that clubs are accredited.

How can clubs gain accreditation?

There are two main types of accreditation for voluntary sports clubs:

  • East Riding Club Accreditation Scheme (ERCAS)
  • Clubmark, through your National Governing Body of Sport (NGB) or Clubmark through Sport England.

What is ERCAS?

ERCAS enables clubs to set and meet standards which will lead to better quality sports provision for young people. It aims to recognise clubs that offer an acceptable quality of service and to improve the quality and safety of the club's infrastructure.

Clubs who have achieved accreditation in line with ERCAS must demonstrate they have the following policies and procedures in place within their organisation:

  • qualified coaches
  • Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checked coaches and volunteers
  • first aid requirements
  • health and safety procedures (including risk assessment)
  • child protection policy and procedures
  • skill and development progression
  • appropriate insurance
  • club constitution.

How to apply

To apply for East Riding club accreditation, please contact Health and Wellbeing admin :

What is Clubmark?

Clubmark is an accreditation scheme run by Sport England which recognises and values the commitment made by sports clubs to develop high quality, welcoming environments for young participants.

Clubmark accreditation is awarded to clubs that comply with minimum operating standards in four areas:

  • The playing programme
  • Duty of care and safeguarding and protecting children and young people
  • Knowing your club and its community
  • Club management.

Clubs need to register with their National Governing Body of Sport to begin the Clubmark accreditation process.

For further details on Clubmark, please visit the Clubmark website:

Clubmark (external website)

Can sports businesses gain accreditation?

Yes. The council has ERMOS (East Riding Minimum Operating Standards) for all sports businesses or sole traders who wish to:

  • deliver coaching sessions within any East Riding school (curriculum/after school/holiday activities)
  • hand out publicity materials in schools to advertise club taster sessions/activities
  • hire school facilities through the directed community use of schools (DCU) team
  • book or hire an East Riding leisure/sports centre facility.

All businesses or sole traders have to demonstrate the following standards are in place in order to become accredited by the council:

  • governance
  • health and safety procedures
  • public liability insurance
  • child protection policy and procedures
  • Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checked coaches and volunteers
  • code of conduct
  • qualified coaches (National governing bodies, first aid, and safeguarding).

Once businesses become approved, they are issued with an award letter and certificate of achievement which is renewed on an annual basis. Businesses are then entered into a quality-assured list of providers that is circulated amongst schools. Businesses not approved will be unable to operate within schools and leisure sites.

Sports businesses are quality assured in terms of their policies, procedures, and safety. Note: It is the responsibility of all sports businesses to trade responsibly and meet all the conditions set out by the HM Revenue & Customs in terms of VAT and tax returns.

For any sports businesses that wish to apply to become an approved East Riding Sports Business, please contact us on:

Tel: (01482) 392523.

How can our club recruit volunteers?

There are many roles volunteers can get involved in with local sports clubs. If you are looking for new coaches, administrators, treasurers, secretaries, fundraisers, referees or even a website designer.

It is essential that before clubs recruit volunteers, they must have the correct policies and procedures and support network in place.

The easiest way for voluntary sports clubs to recruit volunteers is to register with the "Hive". This is a database run by the HEY Smile Foundation. Smile Community Hive is supported by East Riding of Yorkshire Council to help charities and volunteer groups succeed. The Hive is completely free! Smile can help all charities and community groups with all aspects of volunteer management and support volunteers to find the right opportunity.

Please see the website for more details:

HEY Smile Foundation website (external website)

Can my club apply for rate relief?

If you are situated in the East Riding and are a voluntary, not-for-profit, sports club or organisation or playing field association you are able to apply for rate relief.

The aim of discretionary rate relief is to provide a mechanism for sports clubs and organisations to maintain and expand their role in providing sports development opportunities. This is achieved by maximising the availability of relief to those clubs who support good practice.

How do clubs apply for rate relief?

Clubs need to complete an application form and provide supporting documentation, which demonstrates how they meet the criteria for funding.

The first set of criteria termed 'essential factors' is worth a maximum of 70 per cent relief. If this is achieved then a second set of criteria termed 'Desirable Factors' is considered, worth up to a further 30 per cent of additional relief.

Any relief granted under this scheme will normally be for a period of no more than three years, at which time a review will take place.

The essential criteria which must be met to attract 70 per cent relief. This includes:

  • the primary purpose of the club or organisation should be to provide sporting opportunities to its membership or to a local community
  • membership should be open to all members of the community irrespective of sex, ethnic origin, religion or any other possible discriminatory factor
  • membership fees should be realistic and not used as a means of restricting membership to a particular sector of the community
  • profits and or surpluses must be used to further the sporting objectives of the club or organisation and not distributed as share or dividend amongst some or all members
  • a legal constitution must be in existence and applicants must demonstrate that they are operating in accordance with its requirements
  • a minimum of 50 per cent of its members are resident in the East Riding.

If the club or organisation is a registered charity and or has achieved Community Amateur Sports Club Status (CASC) 80 per cent will be automatically achieved.

If a club or organisation or Playing Field Association (PFA) achieves the essential criteria, an additional 30 per cent relief (20 per cent for CASCs) can be applied for by achieving the following criteria:

  • all sports clubs must have achieved East Riding Club Accreditation (ERCAS) and all Playing Field Associations and other organisations must have achieved ERMOS (East Riding Minimum Operating Standards) (10 per cent or 5 per cent if CASC or charity)
  • Demonstrate being involved in a number of initiatives such as club/school links, holiday schemes. (10 per cent or 5 per cent if CASC or charity)
  • have a written sports development plan/action plan (5 per cent)
  • be affiliated or have membership to the relevant governing body or associated body. If PFA has proof of public liability insurance.
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