RUGBY FOOTBALL CLUB
SAFEGUARDING CHILDREN, YOUNG
PEOPLE AND VULNERABLE ADULTS
January 2014 / September 2014 / August 2015)
The Club Safeguarding Policy as detailed below is available to download here in PDF (775kb)
1. Hertford RFC acknowledges its' responsibility
to safeguard the welfare of all children, young people and vulnerable adults involved in Hertford RFC from harm. Hertford RFC
confirms that it adheres to the Rugby Football Union's Safeguarding Policy. This policy should be read in conjunction with that
Policy and does not replace nor supercede it.
2. A child or young person is anyone under the
age of 18 engaged in any rugby union activity. Where a 17 year old player is playing in the adult game every reasonable precaution
will be taken to ensure their safety and wellbeing are also protected..
3. The Key Principles of the RFU Safeguarding
Children & Vulnerable Adults Policy are that:
a. The welfare of the child, young person or
vulnerable adult is, and must always be, paramount to any other consideration
b. 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
c. All allegations or suspicions of abuse,
neglect, harm and poor practice will be taken seriously and responded to swiftly, fairly and appropriately
d. Working in partnership with other organisations,
statutory agencies, parents, carers, children and young people is essential for the welfare of children and young people
4. Hertford RFC recognises that all children
and young people have the right to participate in sport in a safe, positive and enjoyable environment whilst at the same time
being protected from abuse, neglect, harm and poor practice. Hertford RFC recognises that this is the responsibility of everyone
involved, in whatever capacity, at the Club.
Codes of Conduct
5. Hertford RFC follows the RFU Code of Conduct
and the Codes of Conduct for Coaches, Spectators and Officials. These Policies are in Appendix A. [Quick
Link to view APPENDIX A - Codes of Conduct]
Websites, Online and Mobile Communications
6. Hertford RFC follows the RFU Guidance for
Websites, Online and Mobile Communications as set out on the RFU website. RFU Guidelines are attached in Appendix B. [Quick
Link to view APPENDIX B - Online Guidance]
7. Hertford RFC Photographic Policy is published
on the Club website and in Appendix C. Hertford RFC follows the RFU Photographic Policy recommendations and Best Practice guidelines.
[Quick Link to view APPENDIX C - Photographic Policy].
8. The Club Safeguarding Officer and Assistant
Safeguarding Officers are published on Club Noticeboards, in the Club Yearbook and in the Contacts and Safeguarding sections of
the Club Website. Anyone witnessing or aware of an incident where the welfare of a child, young person or vulnerable adult has
been put at risk must in the first instance inform the Club Safeguarding Officer or an Assistant Safeguarding Officer. If an incident
involves the Club Safeguarding Officer the Club Chairman should be informed and also either the Herts RFU Safeguarding Manager
or the RFU Safeguarding Executive. The chart in Appendix E provides guidance on who to contact and in what circumstances. [Quick
Link to view APPENDIX E - INCIDENT REPORTING Flowchart]
Disclosure And Barring Service (DBS)
9. All members of Hertford RFC who have a regular
supervisory contact with children or a management responsibility for those working with children must undertake an RFU Disclosure
and Barring Service (DBS) check. It is a criminal offence to work with children unsupervised without
such a check.
Wondering whether you need a check? In short,
if you are working with children or young people more than once per week or 4 or more times in a 30 day period, you need a check.
This DBS Eligibility Decision Flowchart should help. If in doubt, please contact the Club Safeguarding officers for advice. [Quick
Link to view APPENDIX D - DBS Flowchart]
Safeguarding Best Practice
10. Hertford RFC will ensure that all coaches,
volunteers, and officials comply with the Safeguarding Best Practice Guidance as issued by the RFU. In summary, the following
are NOT acceptable and will be treated seriously by the club and may result in disciplinary action being taken by the Club, Herts
RFU or the RFU:
a. Working alone with a children or young people
b. Consuming alcohol or smoking whilst working
with children or young people
c. Failing to comply with the Club’s
guidelines on phone, email, messaging, internet and online contact with children or young people given in APPENDIX B
d. Providing alcohol to children or young
people or allowing its supply
e. Humiliating children or young people
f. Inappropriate or unnecessary physical contact
with a child, young person or vulnerable adult
g. Participating in, or allowing, contact
or physical games between adults and children or young people
h. Having an intimate or sexual relationship
with any child, young person or vulnerable adult developed as a result of being in a “position of trust"
i. Making sexually explicit comments or sharing
sexually explicit material.
11. Hertford RFC ensures all its' coaches, parents,
officials and spectators are aware that adults must not use the changing facilities at the same time as children, young people
or vulnerable adults.
12. Adults must only enter changing rooms when
absolutely necessary due to poor behaviour, injury or illness. Adults must only ever enter the changing rooms by themselves in
an emergency and when waiting for another adult could result in harm to a child. If children need supervising in changing rooms,
or coaches or managers need to carry out a range of tasks in that environment this must involve two DBS checked individuals of
the same gender as the children
13. No pressure should be placed on young people who feel
uncomfortable changing or showering with others, if this is the case they should be allowed to shower or change at home.
14. Hertford RFC will provide its coaches and
volunteers with the support and safeguarding training required for their position and role. Coaches and Volunteers must ensure
they attend this training.
15. Any events held on Hertford RFC premises
must comply with this Policy and if appropriate a Safeguarding Plan specific to that event should be discussed and circulated
to those affected.
16. Any tours, overseas or domestic, undertaken
by Hertford RFC must comply with the relevant RFU Regulations and Guidance relating to tours. All Tours must be notified to the
RFU in advance and all overseas tours require RFU approval in advance. Tour organisers should contact the Club Safeguarding Officer
in the first instance.
Hertford RFC has adopted the RFU’s Anti–Bullying policy. This can be viewed on the RFU website at www.rfu.com.
18. The welfare of children at Hertford RFC will
only be protected properly if this policy is implemented effectively.
Hertford RFC have designated individuals with child protection responsibility. Their names and contact details are on the Club’s
website and on display in the Clubhouse.
A: RFU CODES OF CONDUCT
THE GOOD COACHES CODE
IN RUGBY UNION, COACHES OF YOUNG PLAYERS
• 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 young players 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 young players, both during coaching sessions and games.
IN RUGBY UNION, COACHES OF YOUNG PLAYERS
• Provide experiences, which are matched
to the young players’ ages and abilities, as well as their physical and mental development.
• Ensure all youngsters are coached
in a safe environment, with adequate first aid readily to hand. Avoid the overplaying of the best players, by using a squad
system, which gives everybody a satisfactory amount of playing time.
• Never allow a player to train or play
• Ensure good supervision of young players,
both on and off the field.
• Recognise that young players should
never be exposed to extremes of heat, cold, or unacceptable risk of injury.
• Develop an awareness of nutrition
as part of an overall education in lifestyle management. 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.
REMEMBER: COACHES WORKING WITH YOUNG
PLAYERS BELOW THE AGE OF 18 MUST FOLLOW THE GUIDELINES LAID DOWN BY RFU RUGBY AGE GRADE REGULATIONS.
THE GOOD PARENT’S 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.
• Be familiar with the teaching and
coaching methods used by observing the sessions in which your child participates.
• Be aware that the Club has a duty
of care and therefore, where appropriate, assist coaches with the supervision of the young players, particularly where numbers
are large and there is a need to transport youngsters to away games.
• 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 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
• 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.
THE GOOD PLAYER’S 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 team mates.
• Recognise that every young 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 young players feel they are not being treated in a manner that is acceptable, then you have a right to tell an adult
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
• 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 team mates, 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.
THE GOOD SPECTATOR’S CODE
SPECTATORS ARE ENCOURAGED TO:
• Act as positive role models to all
• Be familiar with, and abide by, the RFU Child Protection Guidance in relation to verbal and emotional abuse.
• Respect the rugby Club with regard to spectator behaviour.
• Remember children play sport for their
enjoyment not yours.
• Acknowledge good individual and team
performance from all youngsters 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 young 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 ‘win at all costs’ ethic.
• Verbally encourage all youngsters
in a positive way. If you do want to shout make sure it is ‘for’, not ‘at’ the players.
• Encourage all youngsters irrespective
of their ability - never ridicule any individual player, regardless of the team for whom they play.
THE GOOD MATCH OFFICIAL’S
MATCH OFFICIALS SHOULD:
• Recognise the importance of fun and
enjoyment when officiating young players.
• Provide positive verbal feedback in
a constructive and encouraging manner during games. Emphasise the spirit of the game.
• Appreciate the needs of the young
players before the needs of the sport.
• Understand the physical, social and
psychological development of young players.
• Be a positive role model. You set
an example, and as such, comments you receive should be positive and supportive.
• Look to self-improvement e.g. participation
in Mini/Midi or National 15-a-side courses.
MATCH OFFICIALS MUST:
• Recognise that the safety of young
players is paramount.
• Explain decisions - all young players
are still learning.
• Always penalise foul play.
• Play advantage whenever possible in
order to let the game flow.
• Show empathy for the age and ability
of young players.
• Be consistent and objective.
• Ensure that verbal abuse from players,
coaches or spectators is not tolerated and is dealt with by Club officials immediately.
• Be aware of, and abide by, the RFU
Child Protection Guidance policies and procedures.
B: HERTFORD RFC SAFEGUARDING POLICY RELATING TO CLUB WEBSITES, MOBILE AND ONLINE COMMUNICATION WITH CHILDREN AND VULNERABLE ADULTS
Website and Message Board.
The Club Website is a key part of the daily
operation of the Club. In particular, the Message Board on the website is the primary means of communicating with Parents, Players
and Members. They are also a very safe way to communicate with children given their wide accessibility.
However, in the same way that Hertford RFC has
responsibility for the physical safety of Mini and Youth members when on the Club’s premises, Hertford RFC will also ensure
that there is nothing on its’ website which could harm a child, directly or indirectly. Hertford RFC is responsible for
the content of its website. Message Board content, which can be posted by all members, will be moderated by Board moderators to
ensure inappropriate content is removed.
Given our Club Website and Message Board are
open to the public, there are 2 key risks to guard against when posting information:
1. Disclosing personal information about a
child to people accessing the website. This could be the child’s name, address, or any information about a child’s
life, interests or activities which would help a stranger target a child, or engage that child in conversation.
2. Abusive or inappropriate content (photos,
video or text), on the site itself. This includes material which criticises or humiliates a child. It could also be information
which places undue pressure on the child to participate in some aspect of a Clubs’ activities.
Online Photos and video
Photos and video clips can make any child featured
vulnerable to grooming if information about the child (name, address, activities or interests) is also disclosed. Furthermore,
posting an image on a website carries a risk that the image could be taken and adapted for an inappropriate use.
• Use group images, rather than individual
• For images of individual children
(such as in action shots) where possible use models or illustrations.
• Only use images of children in suitable
dress, to minimise the risk of inappropriate adaptation of the image
• If a child is named on the site, do
not include an image (individual or group). If a child features in an image on the site, do not use the child’s first
name or last name, either in text on the site or in the image file name.
• Hertford RFC will abide by all RFU
recommendations regarding photo and video images and will obtain consent from the appropriate responsible person(s) before using
any images of children or vulnerable adults on its website. Consent request clauses are included in the registration form which
is completed each season and are also held by the Club age group administrators.
Webcams and Live Image Streams
Hertford RFC will not use webcams to stream
live images of children or vulnerable adults and if use of a webcam to broadcast images of children or vulnerable adults is requested,
the Safeguarding Officer at Hertford RFC will contact the RFU for further guidance before permission is granted.
Mobile and Online Communication with
Technology is moving very fast in this area.
There are now many different ways for people to communicate. In addition to landlines, there are mobile phones for voice and text,
and most new phones incorporate cameras that take still shots and video. Two-way video calling is commonplace. On-line communication
can be by email, instant messaging and social networking sites.
The risks posed by such methods of communication
• The privacy. It is often one-to-one
• The wide range of content that can
be transmitted, including content of a violent, sexual or hateful nature
• The ease with which images can be
forwarded onto others
• The difficulty in knowing truly who
you are communicating with. Where grooming happens, it often involves this type of communication.
In sport, there are additional risks:
• Inappropriate pressure can be exerted
by adults, particularly coaches, on children (such as to play when injured)
• There can be inappropriate criticism
of a young player’s performance
• An official position or role within
a Club, such as Coach, can carry with it a level of authority and engender a level of trust that facilitates the control of
Against this background, Hertford RFC will abide
by all RFU guidance with regard to mobile and online communication with children and vulnerable adults and will cascade any information
for them to the parents (or carer) of that child or vulnerable adult. Hertford RFC will not directly contact a child or vulnerable
adult directly by mobile phone unless prior consent is given by the parent or carer.
• All Age Group communications –
for example fixture information, team selection – should be sent via the Club Message Board. Emails can be sent linking
to the Message Board as a reminder to parents to check the Message Board. Emails should only be sent using email groups comprising
email addresses given by parents. An email should not be sent to a child unless the parent is also copied. Such emails should
only come from age group coaches or administrators as communicated to Parents.
• Other Online (Social Media) Services.
No Club Member may initiate a social media outlet that is directly linked and intended to be used by Hertford RFC members without
the express permission of the Club Executive Committee or, for Mini or Youth matters, the respective Mini or Youth Committees.
Administrators of social media outlets must ensure the content complies with the Website and Message Board policy above. Further::
- Twitter can be used for broadcasting information
but must not be used for 1-1 (Direct) Messaging between Adults and Young People. Content must conform to the Website and Message
Board policy above
- Facebook. Communication via Facebook is
permitted only via public club Facebook pages where the content is public and conforms to the Website and Message Board policy
above. Private, closed groups and 1-1 messaging between Coaches and Young People is not permitted.
- Other online and social media services
whether public or private are not permitted. Requests to add other services to the approved list should be directed to the
Club Safeguarding Officer.
• SMS Messaging (Texting): Club Officials
and Coaches should only communicate directly with individual children by text at any time, on any matter, if the parent or carer
is copied on such communication or there is an immediate risk to the welfare of that child which can be lessened by such contact.
• Telephone: When communication by phone
is needed, Club Officials and Coaches can speak to individual young people on phones provided they have prior consent from the
child’s parents or carer and from the young person if old enough to understand.
C: HERTFORD RUGBY CLUB PHOTOGRAPHIC POLICY
Rugby Club's photography policy derives from the RFU’s Policy. The basic principles are:
• Permission: Every
parent or carer has the option to decline permission for the taking and publication of images/videos of a young person in their
• Appropriate Circumstances
& Attire: Photography/video must be undertaken in appropriate circumstances. All young people must be appropriately
attired at all times
• Publication and Identification:
Publication should not be done in such a way that young people are identifiable; images should be published without accompanying
sensitive personal details such as a young persons address
• Focus of the Photography:
The imagery should focus on the activity rather than any particular individual
• Equity Policy: Wherever
possible, imagery should reflect the diversity of the young people making up The Clubs membership
• Third Party Photography:
Whenever professional photographers or outside media are invited or commissioned, the Club will require identification and safeguarding
measures to ensure only the proper use and dissemination of imagery
Circumstances of photography/video
of junior players are usually taken in the following contexts. This list is not exhaustive.
• Coaching - video may be filmed and
used thereafter for coaching purposes
• Action photographs - general photographs
of players during a game
• Team photographs - posed group photos
• Awards and ceremonies
• Press coverage - local, national and
specialist rugby media photographs/video
• Tours and festivals - at other Clubs
and grounds which will be subject to the host Clubs policy permission.
All parents/guardians are asked to indicate on
Registration Forms if they do not consent to the taking and use of photographs/videos featuring their children throughout the
season. If consent is not withheld, the parent or carer permission continues throughout the season, terminating at its conclusion,
unless the parent or carer notifies the squad manager and Club Safeguarding Officer, in writing, of a change of mind.
The result of withholding or withdrawing permission
is that the Club reserves the right to require the parent or carer to be present throughout an event where photo/video is expected
to be taken and to undertake to supervise and monitor the event for the purpose of safeguarding their child.
Focus and content of the imagery
Images taken by parents, carers, supporters
and coaches at the Club’s grounds, and at away games, tours and festivals where the host Club applies no stricter policy,
should comply with the following restrictions:
1. The Club adopts the RFU guidelines on appropriate
dress for young players. These recommend that all young people featuring in photographs/videos be appropriately dressed with
outer clothing/ garments covering their torso between the bottom of the neck and the thighs i.e. a minimum of a vest/shirt and
shorts. For formal photographs players should be properly dressed in Club kit.
2. Wherever possible the Club also undertakes
to reflect the RFU Equity Policy. Accordingly photographs/videos should represent the diversity of young people participating
in rugby at the Club.
3. Photographs/video should focus on the activity
rather than any particular young person. Where possible photography of young people should concentrate on small groups of players.
Photographs/videos should not include nor be
accompanied by sensitive information which might enable a stranger to identify the players. Such information might include, but
is not limited to, an image of the players parent or guardian, the players full name, age, address, email address, telephone number
or such personal details of the parent/guardian or the parents/guardians personal details.
Publication by the Club of Imagery
The Club must have general parent or carer permission
to use an image of a young person (see above). When such permission has been given, the Club may publish photographs/videos in
its own materials or via third party media organisations such as the local press. Such publication of photographs/videos will
not include any sensitive information described or identified above of the young people or of their parents or carers.
Where the reason for publication is an individual
achievement (i.e. a players selection for a representative side, triumph over adversity), particular attention will be paid to
ensuring specific permission is also secured from the young person to use their image.
Publication by Others of Imagery
The Club must have general parent or carer permission
to use an image of a young person (see above).
Photography/Video by the Media or Third
The Club reserves the right to invite photographers
from the local media or rugby specialist press to record the Clubs events. If it does so it undertakes that it will
1. Require any such photographers to register
upon arrival at a Club event; to carry with them, at all times, bona fide and appropriate identification which must be produced
on request and to abide by the overarching principles set out above
2. inform parents and participants that one
or more media photographers will be present and
3. not approve/allow unsupervised access to
the players, one-to-one photography sessions with players, nor photo sessions outside the event or at any players home.
Use of photographic/video equipment
by parents/guardians and adult supporters
Parents and carers are advised that if they
have concerns about inappropriate or intrusive photography/filming these should be reported to the squad manager, to an event
organiser or to an official so that these may recorded and dealt with in the same manner as any other child protection concern.
If parents or carers or adult supporters wish
to take images of a game, session, or event at a Club ground, they must ascertain whether any member of the squad has had permission
withheld for photography; at any other ground they must also be prepared to comply with the policy of the host Club.
In addition, wherever the Club’s young
players are playing photographers may be required to identify themselves and state their purpose for photography/videoing an event.
They must, if advised that any visiting or host Clubs young player withholds permission for photography, cease doing so immediately
unless able to come to an arrangement with that players parent or guardian.
The Club reserves the right to contact authorities
in the event that any individual refuses to stop taking photographs/video or refuses to identify themselves upon challenge by
D- WHO NEEDS A DBS CHECK?
DBS Eligibility Decision Flow-Chart
E: INCIDENT REPORTING FLOWCHART
Contact Us for more information