Does your organisation have a safeguarding or child protection policy?

  • Is it still relevant to the organisation?

  • Is the identity of the organisation clear?

  • Is it clear who the policy applies to?


Further links & support

Does it include principles that prioritise the welfare of children?

  • All children and young people have a right to protection.

  • The welfare of children and young people is paramount.

Is the policy written in a clear & easily understood way?

  • Is it written in clear and jargon free sentences?

  • Is it clear what to do in the event of a concern?


Further links & support

Deal with a concern

Is the policy publicised, promoted & distributed to relevant audiences?

  • Do members of your organisation know about it?

  • How is the policy shared with members?

  • How is the policy promoted? (e.g. leaflets, web-shots, etc.)

Implementation & monitoring

Is there a written plan to show what steps will be taken to safeguard children?

  • Does this plan identify priority safeguarding areas?

  • Does the plan state who is responsible for each area?

  • Does the plan spell out when and how each area will be completed?


Note: the plans at this stage can help support the later stages of self-assessment.

Are the resources for implementing the plan made available?

  • What resources are required for each stage of the plan?

  • Is there a commitment from senior managers to prioritise these resources?

  • What are the plans for funding/attainment of these resources?

Will regular reviews be put in place to inform future safeguarding plans?

  • Who will be involved in reviews and where will they be discussed? What support will be available for these?

  • How will the outcome of reviews be acted on?

  • Is there a written process and timetable for future reviews?


Further links and support

Deal with a concern

Will you involve children, young people & parents in these reviews? How will you do this?

  • What are the plans to consult children and young people?

  • Who will this include?

  • Who will lead in this area?

  • How will consultation take place and be resourced?

Are all safeguarding concerns & complaints recorded & monitored?

  • Is there a process to manage incidents, allegations and complaints?
    If yes, where is this outlined? If not, what is the plan to develop this?

  • What arrangements are in place to monitor compliance with safeguarding policies and procedures?

Procedures & systems

Are there clear safeguarding procedures on what to do if there are concerns about a child?

  • Is there a copy of the procedures?

  • Is it clear to whom the procedures apply?

  • Are there clear definitions of abuse within these procedures?

  • Have you included guidance about how to respond to a child in the event of concerns?

  • Are links with statutory agencies (e.g. Police and Children's Social Care/Social Services) outlined at national and local level?

  • Is there information for clubs about how to find their local details including the Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB) and Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) (e.g. a template for them to complete)?

  • Is there a process for recording incidents, concerns and referrals and storing these securely in compliance with relevant legislation?

  • Is there guidance on confidentiality and information sharing?


Further links & support

Information sharing

Deal with a concern

Key safeguarding roles and responsibilities

Online safety

Child protection records retention and storage guidelines (NSPCC Learning) 

Have you included guidance on photography, social networking, texting & emailing?

  • Is there guidance on the use of video and photography at events?

  • Is there guidance on the use of social networking, texting and emailing?


Further links & support

CPSU online safety guidance

CPSU photography guidance

CEOP Thinkuknow website

Are the child protection procedures available to all?

  • How is information about the procedures distributed and promoted?

  • Is information available in different formats if required, for example for those with particular communication needs?

  • Have you acknowledged the particular vulnerability of some children, including disabled children?


Further links & support

Childline – info and advice

NSPCC leaflets and resources

EFDS inclusive communications guide

CPSU safeguarding deaf & disabled children guidance


Is there a designated safeguarding person/s identified within the organisation?

  • Who is the designated person/s at different levels within the organisation?

  • Is there an outline/job description for the role?

  • Do other people within the organisation know who the designated person(s) is?


Further links & support

Key safeguarding roles and responsibilities

Is there a process for dealing with complaints about unacceptable and/or abusive behaviour towards children?

  • Are there clear complaints procedures that include reference to safeguarding complaints?

  • How are these communicated to young people, parents/carers and other members of the organisation?

  • Are timescales built into these procedures?



Are there policies & procedures for recruiting staff & volunteers working with children?

  • Are there clear recruitment procedures that take into account the additional requirements for all those in contact with children?

  • Is your organisation, or that with which you are affiliated, registered or have access to the to the Disclosure and Barring Service/Disclosure Scotland/Access NI?

  • Are there procedures to identify which staff and volunteers are required to have which checks, e.g. criminal records checks for those in regulated activities?

  • Are you clear which posts are eligible for criminal records checks?

  • Do you ensure that applicants for roles working with children complete self-declaration forms?

  • Is there a process to risk-assess concerns arising from self-declaration forms and criminal records checks?

  • Are these forms stored safely?

  • Are at least two appropriate references taken up for all staff and volunteers who have significant contact with children?

  • Do processes include seeing evidence of identity and any relevant qualifications?


Further links & support

Specialist safeguarding training

Sign up to the CPSU newsletter

Disclosure and Barring Service updates

Access NI pre-appointment checking system

Guidance on child protection records retention and storage

Reference form for positions working with children

Are there well-publicised ways to raise concerns about unacceptable behaviour by staff or volunteers?

  • Do you have a whistle-blowing procedure that includes concerns about safeguarding issues?

  • How is this process publicised to members?

  • Is information about support for those raising concerns made available? (e.g. NSPCC)


Further links & support

Putting safeguards in place

NSPCC whistleblowing advice

Deal with a concern: who can support you?


Is there a safeguarding plan & guidance around transporting children & trips?

  • Do you have a standard template to plan for children's welfare when transporting them or taking them on trips?

  • Do you have forms to ensure you have parental consent for activities?

  • Do you have risk assessment templates for activities?

  • Do you have a checklist of issues to be considered for all activities and events?


Further links & support

Safe Events Management Tool

Information for parents and carers

Partnership Check & Challenge tool



Is it clear what the procedures are to ensure that children are adequately supervised at all times where there is direct responsibility for running/providing activities?

  • Do you have details of the required supervision ratios for all activities? 

Education & training

Is there an induction process for all staff & volunteers who have significant contact with children?

  • Is there clear induction documentation or guidance?

  • Is this put into practice?

  • Does this include familiarisation with the safeguarding policy and procedures?


Further links & support

Safeguarding training

Are all staff & volunteers provided with safeguarding training according to their specific roles & responsibilities?

  • What training is available in this area, either directly through the NGB or in association with another agency?

  • How is it decided which level of training is appropriate for different staff and volunteers?

  • How do people know about the training that is available?

  • Do you maintain records of training attendance?

  • Is it a requirement for those working with children to attend basic training?

  • Do those with designated safeguarding responsibilities have access to more specialist training to enable them to develop the necessary skills and knowledge?

  • How is training resourced?

  • What training programs do you run or access?

  • How do you ensure that those roles with designated responsibilities have regular opportunities to update their knowledge and understanding?

  • Is training provided to those responsible for dealing with complaints and disciplinary processes?

  • Are you clear which roles require training around safe recruitment?


Further links & support

Choose the right training 

Basic safeguarding training

Specialist safeguarding training

NSPCC safeguarding training

Are children provided with information on where to go to for help & advice?

  • What information is available for children and young people?

  • How is this information communicated to children about sources of support?

  • Has there been consultation with children and young people to inform development of this material?


 Further links & support

Information for children and young people

Elite and talented athlete welfare


Are there arrangements in place to provide support to individuals affected by safeguarding concerns?

  • What support structures are in place in the organisation?

  • How would these be resourced if required?


Further links & support

Dealing with a concern - who can support you?

Access to advice & support

Are children & young people provided with information about where to get help & support?

  • How do you communicate with children and young people?

  • What information is provided to children about sources of support?

  • Have children and young people been consulted about/involved in the development of this material?


Further links & support


Information for children and young people

Do staff & volunteers with designated safeguarding roles have access to specialist advice, support & information?

  • What are the arrangements for advice and support of designated staff?

  • How do designated roles find information about training, advice and support?


Further links & support

Safeguarding training

Deal with a concern - who can support you?

Are contacts established at a national and/or local level with statutory child protection agencies?

  • Have you developed lists of contacts for specialist advice and information?

Are there arrangements in place to provide support to individuals involved in an investigation or complaint?

  • What support structures are in place in the organisation?

  • How would  these be resourced if required?

  • What external organisational contacts are available to people to provide them with support, advice and information?


Further information & support

Deal with a concern - who can support you?



Codes of practice & behaviour

Do you have a code of ethics?

  • Is there a code of ethics either separate or integrated into the code of conduct?

  • Does this code contain core ideals including valuing children, respecting rights, commitment to fair play, equality?

  • How is the code distributed and promoted?

Does the organisation provide guidance on appropriate & expected standards of behaviour?

  • Are there codes of conduct for adults with the focus on acceptable and unacceptable behaviour?

  • Are there guidelines, where relevant, on the intimate care of disabled children or young people, including appropriate and inappropriate touch?

  • Does the guidance reflect the organisation's views on what constitutes a breach of the 'position of trust' relationship? (e.g. where someone who is in a position of authority misuses that relationship, usually sexually.)

  • Do codes of conduct include a clear statement that discrimination or oppression is unacceptable?

  • Do you provide sport specific guidance on physical contact with children within codes of conduct?

  • Does the code of conduct cross-reference with the disciplinary procedures?

  • How are these signed up to and promoted?


Further links & support

Sample codes of conduct for parents, children and staff

Is there guidance on expected & acceptable behaviour of children towards other children?

  • Do you have codes of conduct for children about behaviour towards other children?

  • Does this include information about bullying?

  • Does the code of conduct cross-reference to disciplinary procedures and outline the consequences of unacceptable behaviour?

  • How are these signed up to and promoted?


Further links & support

Sample codes of conduct for parents, children and staff

Are there processes for dealing with behaviour that is unacceptable?

  • Do you have disciplinary and grievance procedures?

  • Are all disciplinary measures/sanctions in place that are non-violent and do not involve humiliating children and young people?

  • Is there guidance available around dealing with challenging behaviour?

Do senior management promote a culture that ensures children are listened to & respected? How is this done?

  • How do senior management formally adopt and support the child protection/safeguarding policy and procedures?

  • How do you ensure regular consultation with, and involvement of, children and young people and how has this informed organisational development?

  • What opportunities are available for children and young people to become involved in officiating/coaching/administration?


Does your safeguarding policy make it clear that all children have equal rights to protection?

  • Does the policy include an equity policy or statement?


Further links & support

UNICEF Fact Sheet: A summary of the rights under the Convention on the Rights of the Child (PDF)

Do you ensure that staff & volunteers are supported in recognising & responding to the additional vulnerability of some children? How?

  • How is the additional vulnerability of some children addressed within policies, procedures and codes of behaviour?

  • How do your procedures and/or training programmes address issues of equality and child protection?

  • Can you provide examples of ways in which activities and programmes have been adapted to ensure inclusion of some of all these groups?


Further links & support

CPSU guidance on safeguarding deaf and disabled children

CPSU guidance on safeguarding talented and elite athletes

NSPCC training courses

Do your codes of conduct make it clear that discriminatory, offensive & violent behaviour is unacceptable?

  • Do your codes of conduct include the responsibility of adults and children to treat one another with respect?

  • Do the codes make explicit statements that discriminatory, offensive and violent behaviour will be acted on?

  • How are these communicated with the organisation?


Further links & support

Sample codes of conduct for parents, children and staff

Are there complaints procedures that are fair & open to challenge through an appeals process?

  • Do you have complaints and appeals procedures that include safeguarding complaints and appeals?

  • Can you give any examples of how these have been used?



Is the organisation's commitment to safeguard children & young people openly displayed & available to all?

  • Can you detail examples of information - including for children and young people, for parents, for coaches and other staff/volunteers and for the general public?

  • Do these documents cross-reference to other information?


Further links & support

Information for children & young people

Are children & young people made aware of their right to be safe from abuse?

  • How have children and young people been involved in promoting this information, e.g. in the design of product/materials?

  • Is there information about this on the organisation's website, in leaflets and posters or other information?

Is information made available to young people & parents about where to go for help in relation to child abuse & other safeguarding concerns?

  • How is information about where to go for help promoted to young people and parents?

  • Does this include details about useful helplines, e.g. NSPCC, Childline and local sources of information where relevant?


Further links & support

Information for parents and carers

Deal with a concern


Sample codes of conduct for parents, children and staff

Is information provided in a format & language that can be easily understood by all service users?

  • How have you analysed your key audience and their communication needs?

  • What translation facilities could be available for the website and leaflets? How will these be resourced?

  • Have you considered issues such as size of font, use of images, etc. in all promotional materials?

  • Has there been consultation with children and young people to ensure that those materials/sites designed for them are appropriate and accessible?


Further links & support

EFDS inclusive communications guide

Does everyone in the organisation know who to contact in the event of concerns?

  • How are details about the designated child protection or safeguarding officer made available and promoted?

  • Are the contact details for the local children's social care/social services department, police and emergency medical help and the NSPCC child protection helpline readily available?

  • Are there templates for clubs to complete with local contact details on?

  • How do you promote national information around helplines and emergency numbers?


Further links & support

Deal with a concern