Ensuring your club / session is safe and appropriate

Ensuring a safe and appropriate environment for all.

Looking for up to date advice on how to safeguard children and adults during the COVID-19 Pandemic?

Click here for advice and guidance from the Child Protection in Sport Unit (CPSU)

A guide to safeguarding adults through the Coronavirus (Covid 19) Pandemic Developed by the Ann Craft Trust and Club Matters.


Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility, but as a club official or coach, you also have specific responsibilities to ensure that the right policies and procedures are in place.

This section will give you the resources and support you need to ensure your club and/or sessions are a safe, and appropriate environment for all.

Safeguarding and child protection can seem like a complicated area, below are explanations of some key terms.


What is safeguarding?
Safeguarding refers to the process of protecting children (and adults) to provide safe and effective care. This includes all procedures designed to prevent harm to a child or vulnerable adult.

What is child protection?
Child Protection is part of the safeguarding process, protecting individual children who have been identified as suffering or likely to suffer significant harm. This includes the child protection procedures which detail how to respond to concerns about a child.

What is abuse?
You can get more information about the definitions of abuse from the Child Protection in Sport Unit (a partnership between the NSPCC and Sport England.)

Read their FAQs section and the NSPCC fact sheet on The definitions and signs of child abuse.


What do you need to know / do?


  • Your club should have a designated welfare / safeguarding officer who is the person within a sports club with primary responsibility for managing and reporting concerns about children and for putting into place procedures to safeguard children in the club.
  • Policies and codes of conduct should be in place to ensure that coaches, participants and parents/carers all know what is expected of them and what they should expect of others to ensure a safe environment. Click here to view our Leap Child Protection Policy
  • Club officials should attend Safeguarding and Child Protection training, this workshop will raise your awareness of the tell-tale signs of abuse, and give you the tools and confidence you need to deal with any issues sensitively, appropriately and effectively should the need ever arise in your coaching career. Newly updated to address the impact of the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012. We provide workshops throughout the year, find out more.
  • DBS Checks for club officials. The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS), which replaces the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA), helps organisations make safer recruitment decisions and prevent unsuitable people from working with vulnerable groups, including children.
  • Review and revise regularly your safeguarding and child protection to ensure that they are robust, fit for purpose and that you keep up to date with any national policy changes. The Child Protection in Sport (CSPU) website has a wide resource package for you to access.

We can advise you on policies, what action to take if you have a concern, DBS checks and steps your club can take to safeguard children, vulnerable adults and the use of photographs.

The following organisations have expertise in terms of vulnerable groups:

Activity Alliance


Sporting Equals

Contact Mark Stokes (Safeguarding Lead) for more information by e-mail mstokes@leapwithus.org.uk or by phone 01296 585204 or 07738314190