Sport safeguarding training

Choose the right training

It is crucial that everyone plays their part in safeguarding and protecting children and young people. By attending training and events, you will develop your knowledge and skills to help you to recognise and respond to abuse or harm. 

There are currently no formal qualifications specifically for safeguarding children in sport, however, a number of organisations have developed courses to help you and your team to keep children safe. 

This section will explain the different levels of training and will direct you to where you can access this training. 

Choose the right training

The correct safeguarding training for you will depend upon your role within sport, as well as your existing safeguarding experience and knowledge. 

A range of training courses and learning opportunities are available to enable staff and volunteers in various roles within sport to increase their knowledge and skills in order to safeguarding children effectively. 

Training courses may be delivered face-to-face, in a virtual classroom, e-learning or as a combination of these (blended learning). The cost can vary considerably from one provider to another. 

Our training grid (pictured) will provide you with a snapshot of the suitable training for different roles. 

If you have previously received training for working with children in a different role or capacity, you may still need to undertake some sport-specific training. This will depend on your previous experience, training and your role within the sports organisation, as well as the procedures of your national governing body. 

Choosing your training delivery method

Safeguarding training includes complex and sensitive information where participants' values, assumptions and experiences can affect their interpretation of learning materials. An interactive course (delivered either on a digital meeting software or face-to-face) enables individual experiences to be explored, judgements challenges and different opinions and perceptions discussed in a supportive environment. It also enables the development of support networks between groups involved in safeguarding young people in sport.

Online safeguarding courses

Online courses, such as the NSPCC's Child protection in sport and physical activity – online course, may be more appropriate for Introductory-level training, where the attendee doesn't have regular contact with, or responsibility for, children and young people. They can also be a useful foundation (or refresher) for people who are required to complete a face-to-face course. The quality of online and e-learning courses varies from simple tick-box formats to more interactive experience. If you're in doubt about the quality of a course, consult CIMSPA, who manage the safeguarding training standards, and/or contact the CPSU

Blended safeguarding training

Some safeguarding courses include a proportion of online learning alongside interactive training. This can provide a useful introduction to safeguarding that can then be explored in more detail in an interactive environment. Questions to consider when looking at possible blended learning are:

  • Who will be delivering the interactive element of the training, and what safeguarding knowledge and experience do they have?
  • How much opportunity will participants have to explore and discuss decisions and judgements around safeguarding issues? 
  • Do scenarios covered within the training include a range of issues from poor practice to abuse? 
  • What is the ratio of interactive to online learning, and how do the two fit together? 

See our guidance on minimum standards, safe training and learning requirements for roles with responsibility for children and young people. This guidance is informed by research from Edge Hill University and supplements information reflecting the changes of delivery due to the Covid-19 pandemic. It provides information for anyone in a role with regular or significant responsibility for children and young people. 


Related Information

Further resources

Safeguarding training standards are managed by CIMSPA and were developed by CIMSPA with the support of the Safeguarding Skills & Knowledge Working Group.

Introductory safeguarding training

Introductory safeguarding training

Everyone can benefit from taking an introductory safeguarding course.

This training may be a precursor to basic training, which details more specific safeguarding issues and concerns.

Introductory courses provide basic information, sufficient for those with:

  • no contact with children and young people
  • incidental contact with children and young people
  • regular contact with children and young people but no direct responsibility for them

How to access introductory training

The NSPCC has designed an e-learning course, Child protection in sport and physical activity training. By the end of this course you’ll be able to:

  • identify what is meant by child abuse and safeguarding
  • recognise, respond, report and record concerns about the safety and welfare of a child or young person
  • describe the types, signs and indicators of abuse and neglect
  • apply good safeguarding and child protection practice to your sport or physical activity setting
  • describe how sport and physical activity settings can put safeguards in place.

The NSPCC has also designed an e-learning course, Safer sports events training. By taking this course you'll:

  • understand aspects of safeguarding and child protection for event planning
  • create an environment where concerns will be shared and reported
    learn how to recognise and respond to concerns
  • share good practice examples and ways of fulfilling safeguarding and child protection responsibilities
  • recognise activities that may present additional challenges and risks, and which make safeguarding more complex

Many national governing bodies also have their own training for this level. A number of Local Authorities have courses available too.

Basic safeguarding training

Basic safeguarding training

Basic training provides opportunities for more in-depth discussions and consideration of the application of safeguarding knowledge and information. It is required by those with:

  • regular responsibility for children and young people – supervised
  • regular responsibility for children and young people – unsupervised
  • responsibility for children and young people – overnight or residential activities, or at an event
  • designated safeguarding (children and young people) – whether at club level, country or regional, or national level

How to access training

Some national governing bodies (NGBs) of sport have their own training for this level, while others access generic training such as the Safeguarding and Protecting Children training provided by UK Coaching or direct delivery safeguarding courses delivered by the Local Safeguarding Partnerships (LSPs).

For more information on these training opportunities:

Specialist safeguarding training

Specialist safeguarding training

Specialist training builds on basic safeguarding training with information more specific to particular safeguarding roles with children and young people. It's recommended for:

  • anyone who has completed basic safeguarding training
  • designated roles, such as lead safeguarding officers, club welfare officers
  • case-management group members
  • people at managerial, board or senior leaders
  • roles with responsibility for recruitment decisions
  • people involved in event management
  • young volunteers

How to access training

Club-level training

Welfare Officer Training - Time to Listen

This course is for Club Welfare Officers (CWOs) who have attended a basic safeguarding course such as Safeguarding and Protecting Children (SPC), or equivalent.

The 3-hour course helps CWOs to:

  • learn how their role works with others to create a child safe environment
  • understand how their role fits into a wider safeguarding network
  • apply this learning to case studies

Previously delivered by CPSU, Welfare Officer Training - Time to Listen is now being managed by UK Coaching. For more information please email

Designated Safeguarding Children Officer (DSCO) training – Northern Ireland

The aim of this workshop is to enable participants to become familiar with the role of a Designated Safeguarding Children's Officer in sport clubs and develop their competence and confidence in carrying out this role within sport.

The course is delivered by Sport Northern Ireland. For more information please email 

Young coaches and volunteers courses

Safeguarding and Protecting Children 16-18 is a course by UK Coaching which has been designed in partnership with the NSPCC Child Protection in Sport Unit, to help young volunteers and coaches to understand and recognise safeguarding and child protection best practice within sport. Visit the UK Coaching website to book onto this course.

National-level training

The CPSU run a number of courses at a national level. Sport England, Sport Wales, Sport NI and UK Sport fund places on national level courses. Charges may apply for organisations who do not receive whole sport funding from these bodies.

Please get in touch with us for further information about our national training courses and to register your interest. 

  • Introduction to safe events – This course is for those working in the management and delivery of sports events and will explore how to ensure that safeguarding is a key consideration in these events. 
  • Risk assessment in safe recruitment – This course is for those involved in recruitment decisions within sports organisations. 
  • Introduction to NGB lead safeguarding officer – This course explores the tasks and enhances the skills and knowledge of this role. 
  • Introduction to case management – This course is for National Governing Bodies with case management systems in place to review and develop these processes.
  • Introduction to Active Partnerships lead safeguarding officer – This courses explores the tasks and enhance the skills and knowledge of this role. 

Our commercial sport team can offer safeguarding training to sport and leisure organisations. This support can be tailored to your specific needs and will incorporate the latest best practice and UK safeguarding guidance. If you are interested in speaking to our commercial sport team about the services we offer, please contact us

NSPCC national training programmes

The NSPCC offer a range of national training programmes to help attendees to develop an understanding of specific issues and legislation which may differentiate around the UK. We have 3 sports specific course available to book on to. 

Designated safeguarding lead for sport and leisure training - a one-day course for recently appointed safeguarding leads at a leisure facility or sports organisation or if you are looking to improve your organisations safeguarding and child protection practices.

Safeguarding for management board members in sport and leisure training - a half-day course for newly appointed board members or if you want to gain a greater understanding of your safeguarding responsibilities. 

Safer sports events training - a one-day course for anyone planning or delivering sports events. 

You can find more information about all NSPCC national training on the NSPCC Learning website. 

Further and refresher training

Further and refresher safeguarding training

Training courses will need to be followed up with refresher courses – typically every 3 years or when there is a significant change in legislation or guidance. Individual national governing bodies (NGBs) may also have their own requirements.

Everyone can benefit from continuing professional development on specific topics. The CPSU runs a programme of free webinars and workshops, as do other training providers.

Take a look at our podcasts and webinars.

Visit the NSPCC Learning website to listen to more podcasts.

Many National Governing Bodies (NGBs) and Active Partnerships will also have information about new developments and opportunities so you may want to contact them for specific details.

Refresher courses

The CPSU has worked in partnership with UK Coaching in the development of a refresher course – Renewal: Safeguarding and protecting children. There are currently 2 versions of the course:

  • focus on positive parents in sport
  • focus on digital kids in sport

Each version includes the core refresher module along with the additional specific module.

CPSU training offer

Who are the CPSU commercial sport team?

The CPSU commercial sport team is a group of highly knowledgeable consultants and development officers, that can provide expert safeguarding training and consultancy services to sport and leisure organisations. 

What services do we provide?

We work with organisations across the UK, from small non-profits to large commercial clients, to provide training and consultancy services that are cost-effective and tailored to your specific requirements.

The team can support organisations to:

  • review current safeguarding policies and procedures
  • develop event safeguarding plans
  • deliver bespoke training
Our consultants can tailor support to your nation's child protection system, your specific needs and incorporate the latest best practice and UK safeguarding guidance. 
To give you an idea of the kind of work we do, we’ve recently delivered the following training courses to sports organisations and staff at varying stages in their safeguarding journeys: 
  • designated safeguarding officer training
  • safe events training for staff and volunteers
  • safer recruitment training for recruiting staff
  • management board safeguarding training

Find out more

Watch our video to hear more about this work from members of the team. 


You can also watch this video on the NSPCC's You Tube Channel

How much will it cost? 

We offer a free, no obligation, initial call to help you understand what help we can offer and how much it might cost. Every penny we earn is invested back into our work to help children. So, by using our training and consultancy services, you’ll also be helping protect children from abuse and neglect across the UK.

If you are interested in speaking to our commercial sport team about the services we offer, please contact us