Safeguarding in sports

If you run an organisation which provides sport activities for children and young people, it is essential that you have the correct safeguarding policies and procedures in place. It is also important that your staff (paid or voluntary) know what their responsibilities are with regards to the safety and welfare of children and what to do should they be concerned about a child within their care. Having the correct policies and procedures in place to safeguard children and young people shows that your organisation/ group takes safeguarding seriously.


Why should you have safeguarding procedures in place?

In England the law states that people who work with children and young people have a duty to keep them safe. This legislation is set out in The Children Act 2004. There is also further guidance in the Government document Working Together to Safeguard Children 2013.


Guidance for clubs

The following list of guidance and links will help you create a safeguarding pack for your sports club:

Safeguarding checklist - This checklist is a guide to the policies, procedures and practices you should have in place to maximise safeguarding efforts in sport.

Safe recruitment and selection procedures - This briefing provides organistions with guidance on developing effective recruitment and selection procedures. This will ensure that staff and volunteers have clearly defined roles and responsibilities, which will have a positive impact on children.

Disclosure and Barring Service - Provides information on getting a criminal record check, the DBS update service and all the latest updates on changes to the service, including applicant only disclosures.

Updates to Disclosure and Barring Service - IMPORTANT CHANGES you need to know

Defining supervision and regulated activity - This guidance was produced by the Child Protection in Sport Unit in partnership with the Sport and Recreation Alliance. It is designed to support sports organisations understanding of Regulated Activity and in particular how to define supervision in their unique environments.

Reporting concerns – If you have any concerns about a child or young person in a sports setting you should contact the Leeds Duty and Advice team: What to do if you are concerned about a child

Managing allegations – The Local Authority Designated Officer should be alerted to all cases in which it is alleged that a person who works with children has:

  • behaved in a way that has harmed, or may have harmed, a child
  • possibly committed a criminal offence against children, or related to a child, or
  • behaved towards a child or children in a way that indicates s/he may pose a risk to children. (Working Together 2013)

You should also contact the national governing body of sport lead safeguarding officers. See: Dealing with a concern; Child Protection in Sport Unit.


Further information and support is also available from:

Your organisation or group may already be doing many things to help keep children and young people safe. But could you do more?


The LSCP has created an online questionnaire which enables you to do a safeguarding assessment of your organisation. The questionnaire is based on the standards set in Section 11 of The Children Act 2004 and is known as the Section 11 audit tool.

Completing this questionnaire will help you ensure that you are keeping your safeguarding policies and procedures up to date and are doing all the right things to keep children and young people safe.

To find out more information about the Section 11 audit tool click here.

To complete the online Section 11 audit tool click the button at the top of the screen.