Mon 18 Mar 2019 21:16


Club Safeguarding Policy

Contact Details

  • Bristol Harlequins Rugby Football Club safeguarding officer is Louise Braithwaite and can be contacted here.

  • Dave Binding Somerset, RFU safeguarding manager, can be contacted at

  • RFU safeguarding team can be contacted on 020 8831 7479


1. Bristol Harlequins Rugby Football Club (BH RFC) acknowledges its responsibility to safeguard the welfare of all children involved in BH RFC from harm.

2. BH RFC confirms that it adheres to the Rugby Football Union’s (RFU) Safeguarding Policy and the procedures, practices and guidelines and will endorse and adopt the Policy Statement contained in that document and any successor policy.

3. A child is anyone under the age of 18 that is engaged in any Rugby Union activity. However, where a 17 year old player is playing in the adult game it is essential that every reasonable precaution is taken to ensure their safety and wellbeing are protected.

BH RFC work in accordance with the RFU ‘Regulation 15’ and seeks guidance from the RFU when required.

BH RFC coaches and team managers are required to make a confident decision on the ability and maturity of the player to ensure that they are ready to play senior rugby. Forms are then sent to the parent/head teacher to sign to approve the decision made by the club, the form is then sent to the SRFU who may approve or decline the request.

The players who are deemed eligible to play will be kept on record for future reference.

4. The Key Principles of the RFU Safeguarding Policy are that:

a) The welfare of the child is, and must always be, paramount to any other considerations

b) All participants regardless of age, gender, ability or disability, race, faith, culture, size, shape, language or sexual identity have the right to protection from abuse or harm

c) All allegations or suspicions of abuse (Physical, Sexual, Emotional & Neglect), Bullying and poor practise will be taken seriously and responded to swiftly, fairly and appropriately

d) Working in partnership with other organisations, statutory agencies, parents, carers, children and young people is essential for the welfare of children

e) Children have a right to expect support, and personal and social development delivered by an appropriately recruited, vetted and managed in relation to their participation in rugby union, whether they are playing, volunteering or officiating in the community or professional areas of the sport.

5. BH RFC recognises that all children have the right to participate in sport in a safe, positive and enjoyable environment whilst at the same time being protected from abuse, neglect, harm and poor practise BH RFC recognises that this is the responsibility of everyone involved, in whatever capacity, at the club.

Codes of Conduct

6. BH RFC will implement and comply with the RFU Code of Conduct and the Codes of Conduct for Coaches, Spectators and Officials as appropriate.

Websites, Online and Mobile Communications

7. BH RFC will endeavour to comply with the Guidance for Websites as set out on the RFU website.

8. BH RFC recognises that website and online communication is a key part of the daily operation of the club, however we have a duty of care and responsibility to minimise the risk of harm to any child, as a club we will have a monitoring system on all social media groups.

Any communication to a child from a coach or club official will be made via the parent or carer of said child.

We will not tolerate coaches or club officials to be ‘friends’ with any child on social networking sites (with the exception of family members).

BH RFC will not tolerate material on blogs, social networking sites which criticise or humiliate a child.

Photographic Policy

9. BH RFC will ensure its spectators, parents, members and officials are aware of and have accepted the club photographic policy as set out on our membership forms which allows the parents to sign and acknowledge whether their child/ren have permission to be photographed.

Data Protection Policy

10. BH RFC will not share any personal information held regarding a child, BH RFC will follow the clubs Data Protection Policy in accordance with the ‘Data Protection Act 1998’. However BH RFC will seek advice when sharing of information is required where a child may be at risk of serious harm.

Incident Reporting

11. The Club Safeguarding Officer details are published on Club Noticeboards, in the Club Handbook and in the Contacts and Safeguarding sections of the website. If you witness or are aware of an incident where the welfare of a child or vulnerable adult has been put at risk you must in the first instance inform the Club Safeguarding Officer. If an incident involves the Club Safeguarding Officer you should inform the Club Chairman of BH RFC or the RFU Safeguarding Executive.

Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Checks

12. All members of BH RFC who have regular supervisory contact with children or a management responsibility for those working with children must undertake an RFU Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check this is with accordance with RFU Regulation 21.

Safeguarding Best Practice

13. BH RFC will ensure that all its members, whether they are coaches, parents, players or officials will comply with the Best Practice Guidance as issued by the RFU. In summary, the following are NOT acceptable and will be treated seriously by the club and may result in disciplinary action being taken by the club, Somerset RFU or the RFU:

a) Working alone with a child.

b) Consuming alcohol whilst responsible for a child.

c) Providing alcohol to children or allowing its supply.

d) Smoking in the presence of children.

e) Possession, Supply, Traffic or under the influence of Prohibited drugs.

f) Humiliating Children.

g) Inappropriate or unnecessary physical contact or physical contact with a child.

h) Participating in, or allowing, contact or physical games with children.

i) Having an intimate or sexual relationship with any child developed as a result of being in a ‘position of trust’.

j) Making sexually explicit comments or sharing sexually explicit material.

Changing Facilities

14. BH RFC ensures that all its coaches, parents, officials and spectators are aware that adults must not change at the same time, using the same facilities as children, young people or vulnerable adults.

15. Adults must only enter changing rooms when absolutely necessary due to poor behaviour, injury or illness. Adults must only ever enter the changing rooms by themselves in an emergency.

16. BH RFC arranges for the changing rooms to be supervised by two DBS checked adults of the appropriate gender for the players using the facilities.

17. All Officials that are present at the game must use a separate changing facility which is clearly pointed out on match and training days.

Safeguarding Training

18. BH RFC will ensure that its coaches and team managers will receive the support and training considered appropriate to their position and role. Coaches and appropriate volunteers must attend this training.

The RFU “Managing Challenging Behaviour” Policy has been adopted and circulated amongst the club workforce both, voluntary and paid.


19. Any events held on BH RFC premises must comply with this Policy and if appropriate a Safeguarding Plan should be discussed and circulated to those affected.


20. Any tours, overseas or domestic, undertaken by BH RFC must comply with the relevant RFU Regulations and Guidance relating to tours. Tour organisers should contact the Club Safeguarding Officer in the first instance.

Updated & Adopted by: Louise Braithwaite

Date: September 2018