Newport (Salop) RUFC
- Introduction 6
- Child Protection and Welfare 8
- Bullying 9
- Roles and Responsibilities 10
- Taking Appropriate Action 11
- Recruitment and Selection, Coaches and Volunteers 16
- Good Practice at Newport Salop RUFC 18
- Changing Rooms 22
- Photography 23
- Social Media Policy 24
- Tours 26
NEWPORT SALOP RUFC recognises its moral and legal obligation to ensure that, the coaches and volunteers who have a responsibility for young people within the club provide them with the highest possible standard of care.
Through the implementation of a policy for the Welfare of Young People and the support of its coaches and volunteers, NEWPORT SALOP RUFC will maintain the professionalism and safeguards of good practice, which are associated with the game.
The policy outlines the following key areas:
- It recognises the responsibility of all those involved in the club to safeguard and promote the interests and wellbeing of the young people with whom they are working
- It provides a framework on the recruitment, selection, suitability and deployment of individuals working with young people
- It emphasises the value of working closely in partnership with coaches, parents, professionals and volunteers to protect children and young players from harm and discrimination.
- It acknowledges that abuse does take place in sport and that raising awareness and understanding of the main forms of abuse and establishing communication and reporting procedures if abuse is suspected will further safeguard the young players, coaches and all others working within the club.
I would encourage you to read this important document, and if you have any question please contact either The Club Safeguarding Officer or The Mini & Junior Chairman(Details in the current season Club fixture card)
- NEWPORT SALOP RUFC acknowledges its responsibility to safeguard the welfare of all children involved in NEWPORT SALOP RUFC from harm.
- NEWPORT SALOP RUFC confirms that it adheres to the Rugby Football Union’s Safeguarding Policy and the procedures, practices and guidelines and endorse and adopt the Policy Statement contained in that document and any successor policy.
- A child is anyone under the age of 18 engaged in any rugby union activity. However, where a 17-year-old male player is playing in the adult game it is essential that every reasonable precaution is taken to ensure his safety and wellbeing are protected.
- The Key Principles of the NEWPORT SALOP RUFC Safeguarding Policy are that:
- The welfare of the child is, and must always be, paramount to any other considerations.
- All participants regardless of age, gender, ability or disability, race, faith, culture, size, shape, language or sexual identity have the right to protection from abuse or harm.
- All allegations or suspicions of abuse, neglect, harm and poor practise will be taken seriously and responded to swiftly, fairly and appropriately.
- Working in partnership with other organisations, statutory agencies, parents, carers, children and young people is essential for the welfare of children.
- Children have a right to expect support, and personal and social development delivered by an appropriately recruited, vetted and managed in relation to their participation in rugby union, whether they are playing, volunteering or officiating in the community or professional areas of the sport.
- Working alone with a child.
- Consuming alcohol whilst responsible for children.
- Providing alcohol to children or allowing its supply.
- Smoking in the presence of children.
- Humiliating children.
- Inappropriate or unnecessary physical contact with a child.
- Participating in, or allowing, contact or physical games with children.
- Having an intimate or sexual relationship with any child developed as a result of being in a ‘position of trust.’
- Making sexually explicit comments or sharing sexually explicit material.
Child Protection and Welfare
- Recognising Abuse and Poor Practice
In order to provide young people in the club with the best possible experiences and opportunities in Rugby Union, it is imperative that all club members operate within an accepted ethical framework and demonstrate exemplary behaviour. This not only ensures that Rugby Union makes a positive contribution to the development of young people and safeguards their welfare but also protects all club personnel from false allegations of abuse or poor practice.
It is not always easy to differentiate poor practice from abuse, albeit intentional or unintentional. It is not, therefore, the responsibility of adults within the club to determine whether or not abuse is taking place. It is however their responsibility to identify poor practise and possible abuse and to act if they have a concern about the welfare of a young person/s.
The four main types of abuse are:
In a rugby situation, emotional abuse may occur when:
- coaches provide repeated negative feedback.
- Repeatedly ignore a young player’s efforts to progress.
- Repeatedly demand performance levels above those of which the young player is capable overemphasise the winning ethic.
Abuse By Neglect
In a rugby situation neglect may occur when:
- Young players are left alone without proper supervision.
- A young player is exposed to unnecessary heat or cold without fluids or protection.
- A young player is exposed to an unacceptable risk of injury.
In a rugby situation physical abuse may occur when:
- Coaches, Managers or helpers expose young players to exercise/training which disregards the capacity of the players immature and growing body.
- Coaches, Managers or helpers expose young players to overplaying, overtraining or fatigue.
- Coaches, Managers or helpers expose young players to alcohol or give them the opportunity to drink alcohol below the legal age.
- Coaches, Managers or helpers expose young players to performance-enhancing drugs and recommend that they take them.
The close proximity of coaches and others, to young people, provides opportunities for potential abusers to exploit their position of trust to sexually abuse.
- Bullying is not easy to define, can take many forms and is usually repeated over a period of time. The three main types of bullying are: physical (e.g. hitting, kicking), verbal (e.g. racist or homophobic remarks, threats, name-calling) and emotional (e.g. isolating an individual from activities). They will all include:
- Deliberate hostility and aggression towards the victim
- A victim who is weaker than the bully or bullies
- An outcome which is always painful and distressing for the victim.
- Bullying behaviour may also include:
- Other forms of violence
- Sarcasm, spreading rumours, persistent teasing or theft
- Tormenting, ridiculing, humiliation
- Racial taunts, graffiti, gestures
- Unwanted physical contact or abusive or offensive comment of a sexual nature
- Emotional and verbal bullying is more likely to be found in rugby than physical violence, it is also difficult to cope with or prove.
- As a club we will:
- Take the problem seriously
- Investigate any incidents
- Talk to the bullies and victims separately
- Decide on appropriate action, such as:
- Obtain apology from the bully(ies) to the victim
- Inform parents of the bully(ies)
- Insist on the return of items “borrowed” or stolen
- Insist bullies compensate the victim
- In serious cases, membership of the club may be withdrawn.
Roles and Responsibilities
- The role of the Rugby Club:
- To appoint a Safeguarding Officer who will act as the first point of contact for concerns about the welfare of young people (Appendix B for Terms of Reference).
- To accept that all officers and committee members have a responsibility in this area and be prepared to respond to any indication of poor practise or abuse and to put in place structures and systems to ensure that this is followed in practice.
- To adopt and implement a policy of Best Practice for all adults working with young people (see 37Appendix D).
- To ensure that all relevant members who have regular supervisory contact with children or management responsibility for those working with young people undertake a Criminal Records Bureau disclosure.
- To ensure that relevant training is available for all those working with young people.
- To identify a disciplinary panel which, where necessary, will be convened to hear case (Appendix A)
- To keep written records of player attendance, parent contact details.
- Coaches and Team Managers Responsibility
- Be familiar with and adhere to the club Child Protection Policy and Best Practice Guidelines.
- Undertake any relevant training provided by the club.
- Undertake a DBS Disclosure.
- Ensure the club has relevant details relating to their son or daughter.
- Share any concerns initially with the club welfare officer.
- Be involved in Club Activities.
- Assist in the supervision of the young player where able and when appropriate.)
Taking Appropriate Action
Concerns about poor practise and possible abuse within the rugby club.
This relates to anyone working with young people within the Rugby Club. For example, volunteer coaches, club helpers, administrators.
The club will take all allegations seriously and appropriate action will be pursued.
Allegations will often relate to poor practice where an adult’s behaviour is inappropriate and may be causing concern to a young person/s, colleagues or parents.
- Poor Practice
- Infringes on an individual’s rights
- Is a failure to fulfil the highest standards of care
- NEWPORT SALOP RUFC will take the following action if a young person discloses that he/she is concerned about someone’s behaviour towards them within the rugby club or an adult expresses concerns about the welfare of a young person/s
- Compile full written record of what has been said, heard seen as soon as possible
- Club Safeguarding Officer to be informed immediately
- Club Safeguarding Officer will report the matter to the RFU Ethics and Equity Manager, with copy to the CB Welfare Manager.
- Following guidance that the issue is POOR PRACTICE then the Club Safeguarding Officer should follow club disciplinary procedures for a first report of poor practice (See appendix 1)
- Forward a written report on action taken to CB Welfare Manager and RFU Ethics and Equity Manager
- If an individual is identified by the club as being guilty of poor practice on subsequent occasions then the CB Welfare Manager in consultation with the RFU Ethics and Equity Manager may conclude that the issue constitutes abuse and should be referred to the RFU Disciplinary Officer.
- Following guidance that the issue is ABUSE then the club welfare officer should:
- If the young person requires immediate medical attention:
- An ambulance must be called
- The doctor should be informed that the concern relates to Child Protection
- Refer the allegation to Police or Social Services They will give advice relating to the contacting of parents/guardians.
- Inform the CB welfare officer and the RFU Ethics and Equity Manager and forward a written report utilising the Incident Referral Form
Non-action is not an option. “The welfare of the young person/s is paramount”.
- High Wycombe Rugby Club limited will take the following action if through an adults observations or through a third party, the club becomes aware of possible abuse occurring at a young person’s home or in some other setting (outside of the rugby club). If this happens:
- Ensure the safety of the young person – if he/she requires immediate treatment, call an ambulance, inform doctors of concerns and ensure they are aware that this is a Child Protection issue.
- The following procedures will then be followed:
- Concerns reported to Club Safeguarding Officer.
- Club Safeguarding Officer may seek advice from RFU Ethics and Equity Manager CB Welfare Manager, RFU Child Protection Helpline or NSPCC. If there is any delay in receiving advice contact must be made with Social Services.
- If a formal referral is made, make it clear to Social Services/Police that this is a Child Protection referral.
- All police forces have dedicated Child Protection Teams (CPTs) which deal with allegations of abuse within the family setting and by people in a position of trust. In a real emergency dial 999.
- Parents/carers should only be contacted following advice from Social Services.
Non-action is not an option “The welfare of the young person/s is paramount” Delay in acting can increase the risk to the child
- In all cases NEWPORT SALOP RUFC recognises that:
- It is often more difficult for some young people to disclose abuse than others. Young people from ethnic minorities may have regularly experienced racism which may lead them to believe that certain groups including those in authority roles do not really care about their well being. They may well feel they have good reason to question whether the response may be different.
- Disabled young people may have to overcome additional barriers before feeling that they can disclose abuse. They may rely on the abuser for their daily care and not know of alternative sources of care. The abuse may be the only attention/affection they have experienced. There may be communication difficulties and they will almost certainly have to overcome prejudices which block our willingness to believe they may be abused or to use their medical condition to explain away indicators which in an able-bodied young person would concern us.
- In all cases, every effort will be made by the club to ensure that confidentiality is maintained
Information will be handled and disseminated on a need to know basis. This will include the following people:
- The Club/CB welfare Officers.
- Designated Officers within the RFU.
- The person making the allegation.
- Social Services and Police.
- Parents of the young person alleged to have been abused.
Dealing with Concerns Within the Rugby Club
Dealing with Possible Abuse Outside of the Rugby Club
Recruitment and Selection, Coaches and Volunteers
NEWPORT SALOP RUFC recognises that anyone may have the potential to abuse young people in some way and NEWPORT SALOP RUFC will therefore ensure that unsuitable people are prevented from working with young people within the Rugby Club. The club recognises that Under the Protection of Children Act 1999 all individuals working on behalf of the club are treated as employees whether paid or volunteers.
NEWPORT SALOP RUFC will carry out the following recruitment checks
If any form of advertising is used to recruit staff, it will reflect the:
- Responsibilities of the role
- Level of experience or qualification required ( e.g. working with children an advantage)
- The club stance on Child Protection
All adults who are in contact with young people, whether paid or voluntary, should complete an application form (See appendix 5).
- Checks and References
All adults within the club who have “regular supervisory contact with young people” will undertake DBS disclosure.
These people will include:
- Professional Staff (if relevant)
- All coaches/assistant coaches
- Heads of Mini/Midi Rugby sections
- Heads of Youth Rugby Sections
- Team Managers
- All referees who manage mini/midi and youth games
- Safeguarding Officers
- A minimum of two written references will be taken up and at least one will be with former work with young people. If an applicant has no experience of working with children, training is strongly advised.
- Interview / Induction
- Where appropriate e.g. all professional appointments for full or part-time will undergo an interview.
- All staff paid or voluntary working with young people will undergo an induction process where:
- Coaching qualifications, if applicable verified
- Training needs are identified.
- Codes of Conduct and Codes of Good Practice are signed up to.
- The roles, responsibilities and expectations of the role are clarified.
- Child Protection Procedures are explained and training needs established.
NEWPORT SALOP RUFC will offer training which will enable all adults working with young people to recognise their responsibilities with regard to their own good practice and the reporting poor practice or concerns of possible abuse.
NEWPORT SALOP RUFC will offer the following opportunities to adults working with young people
- “RFU Guide to Best practice and Child Protection”
- “An appropriate RFU Coaching Course”
It is vital that all staff working with young people in Rugby Union are conversant with
- Player centred Coaching techniques
- How to work with young people safely and effectively
- Monitoring and Appraisal
NEWPORT SALOP RUFC will provide appropriate feedback to adults working with young people which will;
- Identify training needs
- Set new goals
- Highlight concerns about inappropriate behaviour
Good Practice at NEWPORT SALOP RUFC
The following section sets out Good Practice Procedures which all those involved in the delivery of Rugby Union to young people at NEWPORT SALOP RUFC will adhere to;
- Good Practice Procedures:
- The club has in place a Safeguarding Policy with an implementation and monitoring programme.
- A designated officer (Club Safeguarding Officer) is appointed with representation on relevant club committees.
- The Safeguarding Policy will be publicised and available to show the clubs commitment to providing a safe environment.
- The club has in place procedures in place to deal with complaints or concerns which is available to all club members.
- The Club will provide training opportunities for adults who work with young people.
- The club has Codes of Conduct and Codes of Practice in place and will ensure that all coaches sign up to the relevant codes.
- Parents/carers will be made aware of what the organisation and coaches are doing and also of the correct procedures to express any concerns they may have.
- The club will ensure that there is an Equity Policy and that all discrimination is challenged and prohibited.
- The club will ensure that all adults who regularly supervise young people undertake DBS disclosure.
- The club will ensure guidelines are in place to control and monitor the use of photographic images of children. (see page 22).
- the club has an anti-bullying policy which is actively promoted (page 9 of this document).
- The club will monitor coaches and provide them with feedback with particular reference to “poor practice”.
- High Wycombe Rugby Club Codes of Good Practice for Coaches and Officials.
- Always be publicly open when working with young people. Avoid situations where you and an individual child are completely unobserved.
- Rugby is a physical game. Situations will occur when, in order to teach or coach certain techniques, it is necessary to make contact with the player. However, the following must apply:
- Parents and young players must be made aware of situations in which this may happen when they join the club
- Physical handling should only be used for safety reasons or where there is no other way of coaching the technique
- Contact or touching which is inappropriate (not directly related to the coaching context) or aggressive, will not be tolerated
- If groups are to be supervised in changing rooms, always ensure that individuals work in pairs, and that gender is appropriate. Ideally, young people should not have to change at the same time or in the same place as adults
- Where mixed teams compete away from home they should always be accompanied by at least one male and one female adult.
- Coaches must place the well-being and safety of the player above the development of performance. Coaches should:
- Avoid overplaying of players (particularly talented players). All players need and deserve equal opportunity to play
- Remember that young people play for fun and enjoyment and that winning is only a part of it
- Motivate youngsters through positive feedback and constructive criticism
- Ensure that contact skills are taught in a safe, secure manner paying due regard to the physical development of young players.
- Never allow young players to train/play when injured.
- Ensure equipment and facilities are safe and appropriate to the age and ability of the players.
- Coaches should hold current RFU coaching awards or a recognised qualification.
- Coaches should keep up to date with knowledge and technical skills and should be aware of their own limitations. Coaches should only work within the limitations of their knowledge and qualifications
- Coaches must ensure that the activities which they direct or advocate are appropriate to the age, maturity and ability of the players.
- Coaches should always promote the positive aspects of their sport (e.g. fair play), and never condone law violations or use of prohibited substances.
- Coaches must consistently display high standards of personal behaviour and appearance.
- Coaches should never overtly criticise players or use language or actions which may cause the player to lose self-esteem or confidence.
- People should not be allowed to drink alcohol or encouraged to drink alcohol if they are under the legal age to do so.
- Practice to be avoided
Everyone should also be aware that, as a general rule, it does not make sense for a coach to:
- Spend amounts of time alone with young people away from others.
- Take young people alone on car journeys, however short.
- Change or shower with players (agree a timetable, or use separate facilities where available)
If it should arise that such situations are unavoidable they should only take place with the full knowledge and consent of someone in charge in the club/governing body and/or a person with parental responsibility for the player.
If you accidentally hurt a player, or cause distress in any manner, or the player appears to respond in a sexual manner to your actions, or misunderstands, or misinterprets something you have done, report the incident to a colleague supported by a written report of the incident as soon as possible. Parents/carers should also be informed of the occurrence.
- Practice that is prohibited by the RFU / RFUW Individuals should never:
- Take young people to their home or other secluded places where they will be alone.
- Engage in rough, physical games, sexually provocative games or horseplay with young people.
- Take part as a player in any dynamic contact games or training sessions with young people. If there is a need for an adult to facilitate learning within a coaching session through the use of coaching aids e.g. contact pads, this should be done with the utmost care and with due regard to the safety and wellbeing of the young players.
- Share a room with a young person unless the individual is the parent/guardian of that young person.
- Allow any form of inappropriate touching. (not specifically related to the coaching of the game).
- Make sexually suggestive remarks to a young person even in fun.
- Use inappropriate language or allow young players to use inappropriate language unchallenged.
- Allow allegations by a young person to go unchallenged, unrecorded, or not acted upon.
- Do things of a personal nature for a young person that they can do for themselves unless you have been requested to do so by the parents/carer (Please note that it is recognised that some young people will always need help with things such as lace tying, adjustment of Tag belts, fitting head guards). 7
- Depart the Rugby Club until all the safe dispersal of all young people is complete.
- Cause an individual to lose self-esteem by embarrassing, humiliating or undermining the individual.
- Treat some young people more favourably than others.
- Agree to meet a young person on your own on a one to one basis.
- Positions of Trust
All adults who work with young people are in a position of trust which has been invested in them by the parents, the sport and the young person. This relationship can be described as one in which the adult is in apposition of power and influence by virtue of their position. In Rugby Union, most adults in a position of trust recognise that there are certain boundaries in the coach/player relationship which must not be crossed in terms of the relationship with the young player. The relationship is no different from that between a school teacher and the pupils in their care.
RFU Code of conduct on the Abuse of Trust
- Any behaviour, which encourages a physical, or emotionally dependant relationship to develop between the person in a position of trust and the young person in their care must be avoided.
- All those within the club have a duty to raise concerns about the behaviour by coaches, officials, volunteers, administrators which may harmful to the young people in the club, without prejudice to their own position.
- Allegations relating to a breach of the code of conduct will be investigated according to RFU disciplinary procedures.
The key issue is that the open plan nature of the changing rooms effectively makes them a single-sex facility.
- Changing rooms are only allocated to teams playing matches priority will go to the oldest age group first.
- Mini section teams must book a changing room in advance of a match
- Visiting Teams will be allocated a changing.
- The allocation of the Changing Room number will be posted on the board at the entrance to the changing room corridor.
- Female can not share a changing room with male players or coaches.
The use of mobile phones or any photographic recording equipment is strictly forbidden in the changing rooms whilst players are changing and only at other times with the permission of the club committee.
While High Wycombe Rugby Football Club, the Rugby Football Union recognise that publicity and pictures of young people enjoying rugby are essential to promote the sport and a healthy lifestyle.
The following rules should be observed:
- Ensure parents/guardian/young person have granted their consent for the taking and publication of photographic images and have signed and returned the Parent/Guardian and Young Person Permission Form. This permission form is incorporated into the annual club registration form and will therefore only need to be completed once a year.
- All young people must be appropriately dressed for the activity taking place.
- Pictures should be of general activity, avoid close-ups of children other than your own.
- Photography or recording should focus on the activity rather than a particular young person and personal details which might make a young person vulnerable, such as their exact address, should never be revealed.
- Where possible, to reflect the NEWPORT SALOP RUFC Equity Policy photographs/recordings should represent the diverse range of young people participating in rugby.
- Anyone taking photographs or recording at any rugby event must have a valid reason for doing so and should have made checks with the Head Coach / Team Manager for the teams involved to ensure there are no children who are NOT to be photographed.
- All concerns regarding inappropriate or intrusive photography should be reported in confidence to the RFU Equity and Ethics Manager via the Rugby Club safeguarding officer or Constituent Body Welfare Manager
- No photograph of a child or young person should be posted on Social Media sites, that identifies the child or young person by either name or address.
- The use of mobile phones or any photographic recording equipment is strictly forbidden in the changing rooms whilst players are changing and only at other times with the permission of the club committee.
- Comply with requests from club/parent to cease taking photographs immediately.
Social Media Policy
Members of NEWPORT SALOP RUFC enjoy the opportunities and rewards of a community-based sports club combined with affiliation to county and national rugby union associations. It is subsequently expected that members will uphold the ethos of the club in all social media interactions. Members will not act in such a way that the image of NEWPORT SALOP RUFC is brought into disrepute nor in a way that harms it’s immediate and wider rugby community.
Social media can be, when appropriate, an effective tool and is commonly used by the NEWPORT SALOP RUFC community to disseminate information, express their views, comments, ideas and criticism on a whole range of issues. NEWPORT SALOP RUFC expects members to use social media in a respectful and responsible manner. Social media should not be used to insult, present offensive or inappropriate content or to misrepresent the club or any member of the club or the external rugby community.
The purpose of this section is to set standards of behaviour for the use of social media that are consistent with the broader values and expectations of the rugby community.
Social Media – refers to all social networking sites such as (but not limited to) Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Formspring, YouTube and MySpace, Team sites such as Pitchero, and includes email and mobile devices.
This Policy applies to all members of NEWPORT SALOP RUFC
- Members are expected to show respect to others, including members of the wider rugby community and act at all times within the core values of the game.
- Members are also expected to give due respect to the reputation and good name of NEWPORT SALOP RUFC.
- When using Social Media, members are expected to ensure that they:
- Respect the rights and confidentiality of others;
- Do not impersonate or falsely represent another person;
- Do not bully, intimidate, abuse, harass or threaten others;
- Do not make defamatory comments;
- Do not use offensive or threatening language or resort to personal abuse towards each other or members of the High Wycombe Rugby Club or the wider Community;
- Do not post content that is hateful, threatening, pornographic or incites violence against others;
- Do not post content that harms the reputation and good standing of NEWPORT SALOP RUFC or those within its community;
- Members are expected to report any content that they encounter that is in breach of this policy to the Club Secretary.
- Any Member wishing to set up any social media interaction which contains any NEWPORT SALOP RUFC branding, whether explicit or implied, must seek approval of the General Committee and agree to moderate the content in accordance with this policy.
- Communications must NOT be sent directly to any youth section member directly. Such communication must be sent to the parent or guardian of the young member.
- If a young player has a social media account they should NOT offer or accept invitations to or from coaches/club officials on a private platform. The club asks that no child have access to age and age groups specific page with out a parent also having access.
- Coaches/Officials should NOT have young players contact details on an electronic device – primary contact should be with a parent/guardian.
A breach of this policy will be considered by the committee, or their delegates, and will be dealt with in the current disciplinary structure on a case-by-case basis.
The club reserves the right to request deletion of any material it deems inappropriate from any club related social media site.
All reports of cyberbullying and other technology misuses will be investigated fully and may result in notification to the police where the rugby club is obliged to do so. Sanctions may include, but are not limited to, suspension, or banning from membership of NEWPORT SALOP RUFC. Members must be aware that in certain circumstances where a crime has been committed, they may be subject to a criminal investigation by the police over which NEWPORT SALOP RUFC will have no control.
- A tour is defined as any time a team travels to play in a match and an overnight stay is involved.
- All tours planned by NEWPORT SALOP RUFC will adhere to the North Midland RFU and RFU regulations governing such tours.
- When planning to either undertake a tour or host an incoming tour at any age group should adhere to the guidelines published on the England Rugby website –
- In the case of outgoing tours, the completed Outgoing Tour Form with the declaration duly signed by the Club Secretary, Chairman or President and Mini & Junior Chairman must be submitted to the North Midlands RFU Secretary at least 4 weeks prior to the tour start date in order for the tour to be approved
- The forms for Tour Checklist and Risk Assessment can be downloaded from the club website of from the RFU Website.
- Tours involving any Youth Section teams must submit the completed forms to the Youth Section Chairman with sufficient time for them to then be forwarded on to the relevant authorities.
- Example of the Tour Checklist and Risk Assessment can be found in Appendix E
- All relevant forms for tours can be found at:
Club Procedures to Manage cases of Poor Practice
Poor practice is defined as any behaviour which contravenes RFU Codes of Conduct (Fair Play Codes) or RFU Guidance for Good Practice.
- Once an incident is reported to the Club Welfare Officer he/she should consult with RFU Ethics and Equity Manager in order to ascertain whether the allegation is poor practice, bullying or abuse
- Once the incident has been identified as poor practice and in consultation, with senior club officials (Club Chairman/Mini & Junior Chairman) a decision will be made whether or not to suspend, temporarily, the person accused. Each case will be considered on its merits
- A disciplinary hearing may be called. The panel should be made up of three club members with regard to the following criteria
- No person who has been involved in bringing the case to the disciplinary hearing should sit on the panel
- Senior management of the club must be represented
- If the case relates to poor coaching practice experience in this field must be represented
Power of the Club Disciplinary Panel (examples of, but not limited to)
- Temporary suspension
- A person may only coach whilst supervised
- The coach must undertake the RFU Best Practice and Child Protection Course
- The coach must attend ScUk “Good Practice and Child Protection Course
- The coach must attend the appropriate RFU Coaching Course
Terms of Reference for Club Safeguarding Officer
- Ensure the club has a Child Protection Policy and implementation plan.
- Ensure Codes of Conduct are well publicised and adhered to.
- In consultation with North Midland RFU welfare Officer ensure all reported incidents are managed at the appropriate level in line with RFU procedures.
- Ensure all relevant club members are aware of training opportunities.
- Ensure all parents are aware of the club policy on Child Protection and the correct protocols for voicing concerns.
- Be aware of local Social Services and Area Child Protection Committee contacts.
- Sit on relevant club committees.
Application and Reference Form
A copy of the Application / Self Declaration form will be emailed to the applicant and can be found on the club website.
Who must complete the form?
Any member of the Club/CB or Organisation, who is seeking to work/volunteer in a role where they will have contact with children (persons under 18 years of age) or “Adults at Risk”.1
Do I have to complete this form?
Yes, as it is in line with the safer recruitment processes, as set out in the RFU’s Safeguarding Children Policy, Guidance and Procedures and the Safeguarding Toolkit. Non-completion will be taken into account when making any risk-based decision regarding suitability to be deployed in a role with children or Adults at Risk.
What will happen to the form once completed?
The form will be kept and stored securely in accordance with the Data Protection Act 2018. Any concerns will be reported to the RFU Safeguarding Department for investigation. Where necessary, statutory agencies may be contacted and the outcome recorded.
Who do I return my form to?
The completed form must be returned to the club Safeguarding Officer marked ‘Private and Confidential - SDF’. If you are considered to be unsuitable to work with children or Adults at Risk, appropriate action may be taken and the relevant organisation(s) will be informed.
1 For a full definition of Adults at Risk see RFU Safeguarding Policy - Adults at Risk in rugby union which may be found here: http://www.englandrugby.com/governance/safeguarding/at-risk-adults
The Good Coaches Guide
In rugby union, coaches of young players should:
- Recognise the importance of fun and enjoyment when coaching young players. Most learning is achieved through doing.
- Appreciate the needs of the players before the needs of the sport.
- Be a positive role model - think what this implies.
- Keep winning and losing in perspective - encourage all players young and old to behave with dignity in all circumstances.
- Respect all referees and the decisions they make (remember it could be you refereeing next week) and ensure that the players recognise that they must do the same.
- Provide positive verbal feedback in a constructive and encouraging manner, to all players, both during coaching sessions and games.
In rugby union, coaches of young players must:
- Be up to date with current safeguarding practices.
- Provide experiences, which are matched to the young players’ ages and abilities, as well as their physical and mental development.
- Ensure all activities are appropriate to the age, ability and experience of those taking part.
- Ensure all players are coached in a safe environment, with adequate first aid readily to hand.
- Avoid the overplaying of players, by using a system, which gives everybody a satisfactory amount of playing time.
- Never allow a player to train or play when injured.
- Ensure good supervision of young players, both on and off the field.
- Recognise that players should never be exposed to extremes of heat, cold, or unacceptable risk of injury.
- Recognise that it is illegal for young players under 18 to drink alcohol.
- Ensure that their knowledge and coaching strategies are up to date and in line with RFU philosophy.
- Be aware of, and abide by, the RFU recommended procedures for taking young people on residential tours at home and abroad.
- Be aware of, and abide by, the policies and procedures outlined in the RFU Child Protection Guidance Booklet.
- Ensure that any equipment used is returned to the correct storage area and that those areas are left tidy.
- Promote the ethos of the club and the RFU – T.R.E.D.S.
The Good Parent Code
Parents are encouraged to:
- Be familiar with the coaching and training programme in order that you can ensure that your child is fully involved and the coaches are aware of their availability.
- Ensure your child is ready and on time for training and matches.
- Be involved with club activities and share your expertise.
- Share concerns, if you have them, with club officials.
- Be familiar with the Good Coaches Code. In particular:
- Coaches should recognise the importance of fun and enjoyment when coaching young players.
- Coaches should keep winning and losing in perspective, encouraging young players to behave with dignity in all circumstances.
- It is important that parents support coaches in instilling these virtues.
- Remember that young people play rugby for their own enjoyment not that of their parents.
- Encourage young people to play - do not force them.
- Focus on the young players’ efforts, rather than winning or losing.
- Be realistic about the young players’ abilities; do not push them towards a level that they are not capable of achieving.
- Provide positive verbal feedback both in training and during the game.
- Remember that persistent, negative messages will adversely affect the players’ and the referee’s performance and attitude.
- Always support the rugby club in their efforts to eradicate loud, coarse and abusive behaviour from the game.
- Remember young people learn much by example.
- Always show appreciation of good play by all young players both from your own club and the opposition.
- Respect decisions made by the match officials and encourage the young players to do likewise.
- Encourage their child to socialise after a match with the opposition team members.
The Good Player Code
Players are encouraged to:
- Recognise and appreciate the efforts made by coaches, parents, match officials and administrators in providing the opportunity for you to play the game and enjoy the rugby environment.
- Understand the values of loyalty and commitment to adults and teammates.
- Recognise that every player has a right to expect their involvement in rugby to be safe and free from all types of abuse.
- Understand that if an individual or group of players feel they are not being treated in a manner that is acceptable, then you have a right to communicate this to an official either at the rugby club or outside of the game.
- Play because you want to do so, not to please coaches or parents.
- Remember that skill development, fun and enjoyment are the most important parts of the game.
- Be attentive at all training and coaching sessions.
- Work equally hard for yourself and your team - both will then benefit.
- Recognise good play by all players on your team and by your opponents.
- Be a sportsman - win or lose.
- Play to the Laws of the Game and accept, without question, all referees’ decisions.
- Control your emotions. Verbal or physical abuse of teammates, opponents, or match officials is not acceptable.
- Treat all players, as you would like to be treated. Do not interfere with, bully or take advantage of any player.
- After playing a match either at home or away junior players (U13 – U18), out of respect for their opposition, are expected to change into smart clothes and socialise with their opposition and partake in the player’s meal (if provided).
- After training assist the coaches in returning any equipment to the correct area for storage. Leaving the store room/container tidy.
- Respect the values and ethos of rugby at the club and the RFU – T.R.E.D.S.
The Good Spectator Code
Spectators are encouraged to:
- Act as positive role models to all young players.
- Be familiar with, and abide by, the RFU Guidance in relation to verbal and emotional abuse.
- Respect the rugby club with regard to spectator behaviour.
- Remember both teams play sport for their enjoyment, not yours.
- Acknowledge good individual and team performance from both sides irrespective of the team for whom they play.
- Respect match officials’ decisions. Remember - they are volunteers providing an opportunity for youngsters to play rugby.
- Never verbally abuse any players, match officials, fellow spectators or coaches. Such behaviour can create a negative environment for young players and their behaviour will often reflect this.
- Acknowledge effort and good performance rather than the ‘win at all costs’ ethic.
- Verbally encourage all players in a positive way. If you do want to shout make sure it is ‘for’, not ‘at’ the players.
- Encourage all players irrespective of their ability - never ridicule any individual player, regardless of the team for whom they play.
- Where respect barriers are in place around the pitch, do not stand in front of the rope, nor press forward to the touchline. Respect the other spectators and do not obstruct their view, or the movement of match officials.
Touring with Children Tour Risk Assessment
Touring with Children Tour Checklist
Club Safeguarding Officer
Useful Contact Details
Matthew Bowyer Tel: 07860 171071 e-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
North Midlands RFU Safeguarding Manager
Clive Haley Tel: 07884 235790 e-Mail: email@example.com
RFU Safeguarding Manager
Vivien Rimmer Tel: 0208 8317832 e-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
RFU 24 hour Child Protection line Tel: 0208 831 6655
RFU General Enquiries
0808 800 500
0800 096 7719
0800 100 2524
Deaf User Textphone
0800 056 0686
This is a 24 hour free and confidential telephone helpline that provides counselling, information and advice to anyone concerned about a child at risk of ill-treatment or abuse.
This policy was adopted at the General Committee Meeting held on
This policy was adopted by the General Committee on …………………………………and signed by the club chairman. The signed copy is held by the Hon Secretary
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