Key Contacts

Club Safeguarding Officer - Nick Mitchell

Deputy Club Safegaurding Officer - James Warmington

1.Key Policy Objectives

  • Appoint a Welfare/Safeguarding Officerand a Deputy to act as the first points of contact for concerns about the welfare of young people.
  • Publish a Child Protection Policy within the Club – this Policy is displayed on the Welfare notice board within the clubhouse and an electronic copy is available via the Clubs website.
  • Ensure that all officers and committee members are aware of their responsibility in this area and that the Club respond to any indication of poor practice or abuse in line with RFU Policy.
  • Implement a policy of Best Practice for all adults working with young people.
  • Identify a disciplinary panel which, where necessary, is able to manage cases of poor practice as identified by the RFU Safeguarding Office.

2. Prohibited practices

2.1 Coaches, managers or volunteers including all professional staff must never:

a) Take young people to their own home or any other place where they will be alone with them;

b) Spend any amount of time alone with young people away from others;

c) Take young people alone on car journeys, however short;

d) If it should arise that such situations are unavoidable they should only take place with the full knowledge and consent of someone in charge in the Club/governing body and/or a person with parental responsibility for the young person. In exceptional circumstances where a coach, manager or volunteer cannot obtain the consent of the someone in charge in the Club/governing body and/or person with parental responsibility for the young person then if it is in the welfare interest of the young person, paragraphs 2.1(a) and 2.1(c) do not have to be followed. If this occurs the adult must record the occurrence with the Club/governing body welfare officer.

e) Engage in rough, physical games, sexually provocative games or horseplay with children/young people;

f) Take part as a player/coach in any dynamic contact games or training sessions with young people;

g) Share a room with a young person unless the individual is the parent/guardian of that young person;

h) Engage in any form of inappropriate sexual contact and/or behaviour;

i) Allow any form of inappropriate touching.

j) Make sexually suggestive remarks to a young person even in fun;

k) Use inappropriate language or allow young people to use inappropriate language unchallenged;

l) Allow allegations by a young person to go unchallenged, unrecorded or not acted upon;

m) Do things of a personal nature for a young person that they can do for themselves unless you have been requested to do so by the parents/carer (please note that it is recognised that some young people will always need help with things such as lace tying, adjustment of Tag belts, fitting head guards and it is also recognised that this does not preclude anyone attending to an injured/ill young person or rendering first aid);

n) Depart the rugby Club or agreed rendezvous point until the safe dispersal of all young people is complete;

o) Cause an individual to lose self esteem by embarrassing, humiliating or undermining the individual;

p) Treat some young people more favourably than others; or

q) Agree to meet a young person on their own on a one to one basis.


3 Positions of Trust

3.1 All adults who work with young people are in a position of trust which has been invested in them by the parents, the sport and the young person. This relationship can be described as one in which the adult is in a position of power and influence by virtue of their position. Sexual intercourse or touching by an adult with a child under the age of 16 years is unlawful, even where there is apparent consent from the child. A consensual sexual relationship between an adult in a position of trust within the rugby setting and a child over 16 years of age is contrary to the Policy and Procedures for the Welfare of Young People in the Sport of Rugby Union.

3.2 Adults must not encourage a physical or emotionally dependant relationship to develop between the person in a position of trust and the young person in their care.

3.3 All those within the organisation have a duty to raise concerns about the behaviour of coaches, officials, volunteers, administrators and professional staff which may be harmful to the children, young people in their care, without prejudice to their own position.


4 DBS Disclosure

 4.1 All adults who have ‘regular supervisory contact with young people’ must undertake DBS disclosure within eight weeks of their appointment to a position which involves regular supervisory contact with young people.

 These adults will include;

  • Professional Staff
  • All coaches/assistant coaches
  • Heads of Mini/Midi Rugby sections
  • Heads of Youth Rugby Sections
  • Team Managers
  • All Referees who regularly officiate mini/midi and youth games
  • Welfare Officers
  • Physiotherapists
  • Club administrators.

 4.2. DBS disclosures must be conducted through the RFU Child Protection Department who have jurisdiction to deal with any matter arising from any such disclosure – Nick Mitchell will conduct the DBS checks for the club and pass all information onto RFU Child Protection Department.


5 Anti Bullying




  • Bullying of any kind is not acceptable within any Club or Constituent Body (CB) providing playing opportunities for children and young people.
  • The RFU/W are a ‘telling’ culture and anyone who knows that bullying is happening is expected to tell their Club Welfare/Safeguarding Officer or CB Welfare Manager.
  • Bullying will be taken seriously, responded to promptly, and procedures followed to deal with the situation.
  • It is the responsibility of every adult working in rugby union whether professional or volunteer, to ensure that all young people can enjoy the sport in a safe enjoyable environment.



Bullying is the use of aggression with the intention of hurting another person.

Bullying results in pain and/or distress to the victim.

Bullying can be:

  • Emotional – being unfriendly, excluding (emotionally and physically), tormenting (e.g. hiding rugby kit, threatening gestures including sending threatening text messages).
  • Physical – pushing, kicking, hitting, punching or any use of violence.
  • Racist – racial taunts, graffiti, gestures.
  • Sexual – unwanted physical contact or sexually abusive comments.
  • Homophobic – because of, or focusing on the issue of sexuality.
  • Verbal – name-calling, sarcasm, spreading rumours, teasing.



  • All Club members, coaches, volunteers and parents should have an understanding of what bullying is.
  • All Club members, coaches and volunteers should know what the RFU /Club/Constituent Body policy is on bullying, and follow it when bullying is reported.
  • All players and parents should know what the RFU/Club/Constituent Body policy is on bullying, and what they should do if bullying arises.
  • Players and parents should be assured that they will be supported when bullying is reported.
  • Bullying will not be tolerated.



 A child may indicate by signs or behaviour that he or she is being bullied.

 Children and Young People have described bullying as:

  • being called names.
  • being teased.
  • being hit, pushed, pulled, pinched, or kicked.
  • having their bag, mobile or other possessions taken.
  • receiving abusive text messages.
  • being forced to hand over money.
  • being forced to do things they do not want to do.
  • being ignored or left out.
  • being attacked because of religion, gender, sexuality, disability, appearance or ethnic or racial origin.



 A child:

  • doesn't want to attend training or club activities.
  • changes their usual routine.
  • begins being disruptive during sessions .
  • becomes withdrawn anxious or lacking in confidence.
  • has possessions going missing.
  • becomes aggressive, disruptive or unreasonable.
  • starts stammering.
  • has unexplained cuts or bruises
  • is bullying other children.
  • stops eating.
  • is frightened to say what's wrong.


These signs and behaviours may not constitute bullying and be symptoms of other problems. Club/Constituent members, coaches and volunteers need to be aware of these possible signs and report any concerns to the Club Welfare/Safeguarding Officer or CB Welfare Manager.


Procedures and Management of Bullying

  1. Report bullying incidents to the Club Welfare/Safeguarding Officer (or CB Manager), record using the RFU Incident Record Form. If the incident is an adult bullying a young person, the Club Welfare/Safeguarding Officer (or CB Manager) will report the incident to the RFU Safeguarding Officer. If the incident is a young person bullying a young person, the club/county will manage this, and can access advice and support from the Club Welfare/Safeguarding Officer, CB Welfare Manager or RFU Safeguarding Officer at any stage of the process.
  1. Parents may be informed and asked to come in to a meeting to discuss the problem.
  1. If necessary and appropriate, police will be consulted.
  1. If mediation fails and the bullying is seen to continue the Club/CB/RFU can initiate disciplinary action under the relevant constitution.



Phase 1: Raise Awareness

Raise awareness with all members and players within the club:

- Put posters on the notice board

- Ensure all young players know they can talk to someone if they are worried

- Ensure that parents have a copy of the policy

- Adopt the policy within the club constitution

- Ensure that the Code of Conduct clearly states that behaviour which constitutes   bullying will not be accepted

- Ensure all coaches, staff and volunteers have signed up the code of conduct

- Ensure the policy is given to members and players.

  • Set up a working party to support the ongoing development and implementation of the policy.
  • Identify any training needs within the club and contact the RFU to find out about workshops and opportunities for support.




  1. Ensure the club has a Child Protection Policy and self monitoring strategy.
  1. Ensure Codes of Conduct are well publicised and adhered to.
  1. In consultation with Welfare/Safeguarding Officer ensure all reported incidents are managed at the appropriate level in line with RFU procedures.
  1. Ensure all relevant club members are aware of training opportunities.
  1. Ensure all parents, children and young people are aware of the club policy on Child Protection/Welfare and the correct procedures and channels for voicing concerns.
  1. Ensure that all adults who have regular contact with young people undertake DBS disclosure.
  1. Be aware of local Social Services and Local Safeguarding Children's Board.
  1. Sit on relevant club committees.





RFU Best Practice Guidelines

 The Rugby Football Union and the Rugby Football Union for Women recognises that publicity and pictures of young people enjoying rugby are essential to promote the sport and a healthy lifestyle. To facilitate this it is therefore essential that the following principles and rules should be observed. These Best Practice Guidelines have been developed to provide clubs schools and Constituent Bodies with advice and guidance on the use of images of young people. It is recommended that this is adopted by clubs and Constituent Bodies and the Eight Golden Rules outlined in these guidelines below are made available to as many people as possible.

The whole policy is available at

Any change to these guidelines will be notified via the RFU website and in any relevant publications. Please remember that the safety and enjoyment of young people is paramount in all your activities and the Best Practice Guidelines has been designed to help you in this.

The RFU is committed to providing a safe and enjoyable environment for young people. Implicit in this is the commitment to ensure that all publications, resources and media represent participants appropriately and with due respect. By adopting the points outlined in these guidelines you will be putting in place the best possible practice to protect young people wherever photographs or recorded images are taken and stored.

The eight golden rules that will ensure compliance with the policy on photographic images are as follows:


  1. Ensure parents/guardian/young person have granted their consent for the taking and publication of photographic images and have signed and returned the Parent/Guardian and Young Person Permission Form. It is strongly recommended that the relevant form is incorporated into the annual club registration form and will therefore only need to be completed once a year.
  1. All young people must be appropriately dressed for the activity taking place.
  1. Photography or recording should focus on the activity rather than a particular young person and personal details, which might make a young person vulnerable, such as their exact address, must never be revealed.
  1. Where an individual has achieved success in the game (e.g. when selected for representative side or showing triumph over adversity) permission must be gained from parent/guardian and young person to use photographs/recordings and relevant details.
  1. Where possible, to reflect the RFU Equality Policy photographs/recordings should represent the diverse range of young people participating in rugby.
  1. Anyone taking photographs or recording at any rugby event must have a valid reason for doing so and seek the permission of the organisers/persons in charge.
  1. They should make themselves known to the event organisers/persons in charge and be able to identify themselves if requested during the course of the event.
  1. All concerns regarding inappropriate or intrusive photography should be reported in confidence to the RFU Child Protection.