If you’re looking to encourage children and young people to get physically active or looking to bring in a provider of a specific sport or activity, then it's essential that you undertake appropriate safeguarding checks on the provider.
Has the club or organisation achieved a sports body or local council accreditation (e.g. Clubmark) that is up to date? If so, then this can be viewed as evidence that the club or organisation has attained a certain level of safe practices as assessed by the awarding body
The Clubmark portal provides a list of all accredited clubs and is a good starting point for looking into a club.
If your sport is eligible but your club hasn’t achieved Clubmark, please follow the checklist under the 'quick checklist' heading below and encourage your club to achieve Clubmark. To check if the sport you're interested in is eligible for Clubmark, follow this link.
If the club/provision is martial arts, they can work towards the Safeguarding Code in Martial Arts, whether or not they are eligible for Clubmark. Details can be found here.
Even if a club is accredited, you should check the organisation has:
- A safeguarding policy, with a clear procedure for dealing with concerns or risks of abuse. You should be advised how you can access the policy
- A named and contactable welfare officer responsible for the implementation of their safeguarding policy and issues regarding the protection of children or young people
- Procedures for dealing with complaints or concerns regarding poor practice, abuse or neglect
- Written standards of good practice, such as a code of conduct or behaviour
- A parental consent and emergency details form that you must return to the club
- Safe recruitment procedures for those working with young people that include: a clear job description, appropriate references, criminal records checks (e.g. DBS) for relevant posts and technical qualifications
- Access to appropriate safeguarding or child protection training for its staff and volunteers.
For more information, visit the 'What to look for in a sports club' section of the Child Protection in Sport Unit website.
Remember, a well-run club or activity provider will welcome questions about their activities and policies. They'll know they have a responsibility to give this kind of information to anyone who leaves a child in their care.