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.
Sport England have also produced a guide on the variety of safeguarding training that is available across the sector. It is intended to be thorough, though not complete, as new training opportunities are constantly being developed and released.
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.