It may not be excting, but adhering to health and safety
regulations is vital.
Clubs have a legal obligation towards the health and safety of
volunteers; to avoid carelessly causing injury to people. A club
can show its commitment to protecting against the risk of harm or
injury to its members by producing a simple Health
and Safety Policy.
Each club's policy will differ depending on (for example):
To ensure the policy is put into practice the club will need buy
in from as many people in the club as possible. It's important to
discuss the policy with the club committee and club members to get
You should also keep an Incident/Accident
report to record any incidents that have affected club
members/visitors, whether on or off the premises.
The duty of care is a general legal duty on all individuals,
sports/physical activity clubs and National Governing Bodies to
avoid carelessly causing injury to people.
Examples of where duty of care should be applied are:
Clubs with volunteers do not normally have to register their
activities with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) unless they
are classed as 'dangerous activities'. The HSE often works with the
National Governing Bodies of sport to develop guidance on the
approach to risks, however self-regulation also plays an important
role in the majority of sports.
Clubs that own or are responsible for premises or buildings must
register with the local Fire Authority and clubs that prepare,
store, supply or sell food on five or more days in any five week
period must register with the local Environment Health
Ideally, a qualified first aider should be available at all club
training sessions and events.
There should be at least one first aid kit at every training
Clubs should encourage members, coaches and/or volunteers to
attend a first aid training course.
First aid training courses typically cost around £30 and there
are a number available.
Contact your National Governing Body in the first
instance; other training providers include the British Red
Cross and St John Ambulance.
An essential part of any club is to provide a safe and friendly
environment for everyone.
It is every club's duty to consider the way in which it carries
out its activities and to take all reasonable steps to make sure
that participants, visitors and volunteers can enjoy the
sport/activity provided by the club in a safe environment.
This is particularly true when considering young people and
It is vital the club has the correct procedures in place to
protect the junior and vulnerable members and also to protect the
coaches and volunteers. The club needs to make sure that the
policies and procedures which are in place are current, valid and
specific to the type of sport/activity and to the club.
The safe recruitment of any volunteer at a club is crucial, not
only to protect children and vulnerable adults, but also to protect
the coach/volunteer. For more information on safe recruitment visit
the CPSU webpage
Many National Governing Bodies have their own guidelines for
clubs on Welfare and where these exist they should be
followed. As a first step, contact your NGB to see what
policy documents and procedures they have in place.
Another area to access information is The Child Protection in
Sport Unit (CPSU). This unit has been set up throughout the UK
by partnerships between the sports councils (e.g. Sport Wales) and
the NSPCC. The Child Protection in Sport Unit have their own
website, resources and training events that you
can access to make sure your club has everything in place.
It is recommended that all clubs appoint a Welfare Officer who
is responsible for making sure that the right procedures are
followed as well as being the first point of contact for the
It is important that everyone in the club is aware that it is a
collective responsibility to implement the procedures regardless of
their status or role.
job description for a Welfare Officer is available. The
name and contact details of the Welfare Officer should be displayed
prominently throughout the club environment, and given to parents
and members - existing and new. This person then becomes the point
of contact for other members of staff, for parents and children,
and for other organisations such as the Police, Local Authority or
Any officer, volunteer, coach or other responsible
adult with concerns should report these concerns to the
Welfare Officer along with all the details written down and signed
using a standard
incident recording form. If the Welfare Officer thinks
that there is a possibility that the abuse could have taken place
they will report it to the Social Work Department, the Police and
For more information on the role of a Welfare Officer please
visit the CPSU website
Training is available for Welfare Officers. A workshop
'Safeguarding and Protecting Children', formerly Good Practice and
Child Protection is available from the provider SportsCoach UK. This is a 3 hour workshop for
coaches and volunteers in sport and focuses on the essential good
practices to protect the child and coach. These workshops run
throughout Wales. Click here to see details of courses running in
Some NGB's offer sport specific training in this area - contact
your NGB for more information here.
'Vulnerable adult' refers to adults (over 18) who have a
physical disability, mental illness, learning disability or who,
through illness or injury may be in need of assistance, or may be
unable to protect themselves against significant harm or serious
exploitation which may be occasioned by the actions or inactions of
Through the implementation of your club equal opportunities
policy it is likely that your club may attract, if not already
have, staff and members who are 'vulnerable adults'. It is
therefore important that you develop a vulnerable adult policy so
that you are able to involve those staff and members in a safe and
inclusive way. Your National Governing Body may already have a
policy in place which your club could adopt. As a first step you
should contact them to see what policies and documents they may
have. If there is nothing in place you could develop your own using
Some National Governing Bodies have a Welfare policy which
usually covers both Child Protection and Adult Protection as well
as other issues relating to equality. In these cases your club
could adopt the welfare policy.
For classes or accommodation at the National Centre please contact 0845 045 0902