Preventing abuse of positions of trust within sport

Last updated: 21 Jan 2015 Topics: Inappropriate or concerning behaviour

This briefing paper defines abuse of a position of trust within a sports context, outlines relevant legislation and highlights recommended best practice for sports clubs, activities and organisatons.

Author: NSPCC Child Protection in Sport Unit (CPSU)
Published: 2015


  • who is this briefing for?
  • what is a position of trust?
  • how may positions of trust be abused in sport?
  • what does the law say?
  • positions of trust in the sports context
  • the nature of the problem in sport
  • managing abuse of positions of trust within sport
  • why abuse of trust by those in authority positions be addressed?
  • what can sports organisations do?
  • what can sports coaches and others in positions of trust do?

What to do if you have concerned

If you suspect that an abuse of power and position of trust has occurred, is occurring or may occur you should report this to the Welfare Officer or designated safeguarding lead for the club, activity, or organisation in line
with the complaints or safeguarding policy and procedure.

Alternatively, you can seek advice from the NSPCC Helpline – 0808 800 5000.

Related resources

Download the briefing (PDF)