Sports clubs

Child protection

All clubs should put in place child protection and welfare policies, which protect children and promote a safe and friendly club environment. Parents should check which protection measures are in place when deciding which club they would like their child to join.

Child Protection in Sport Unit
The Child Protection in Sport Unit was founded in 2001 to co-ordinate and support sports organisations' implementation of the 2000 National Action Plan for Child Protection in Sport. The CPSU's mission is to safeguard the welfare of children and young people under 18 in sport and to promote their well-being.

The CPSU website provides information to clubs about developing child protection policies, including guidelines covering staffing ratios, changing room use, injuries and illness, collection by parents/carers, discipline, physical contact, sexual activity and people with disabilities. The information also covers planning for events and fixtures, photography and the use of photographic images and standards for safeguarding and protecting children in sport. The CPSU also gives a 'club safety check' which suggests the questions parents and carers should ask when joining a club.

Disclosure and barring service (DBS)
Any organisation including a sports club can and should set up systems and guidance on how to recruit, check and vet volunteers and paid staff. This means that clubs need to check the identity of volunteers and paid staff, where they live, what qualifications and experience they have and whether they have any convictions for violent or sexual offences and for offences against children. Clubs should keep up-to-date records of both volunteers and paid staff.

The Home Office has recognised the need to safeguard the welfare of children and or other vulnerable members of the community and has established the Disclosure and barring service which helps organisations make safer recruitment decisions by providing background checks on individuals on completion of an application form.

Most national governing bodies (NGBs) of sport are registered with the DBS and are accepted as a registered bodies, and so are usually able to process forms for members of affiliated clubs. The check is free of charge for volunteers but the organisation that processes the check may charge an administration fee.

As a registered body with the disclosure and barring service (DBS) the council can carry out disclosure and barring service checks on behalf of non-registered organisations – this is called an umbrella service.

Each NGB has a different policy on DBS checks, so it is best to check with the NGB of your sport or the national or regional sporting body you are affiliated with before embarking on the checking procedure.


Pages in Sports clubs

  1. Sports clubs
  2. Club accreditation
  3. Satellite clubs
  4. You are here: Child protection
  5. Equality in sport
  6. Tax breaks