Child Protection Officer
The Club Child Protection Officer (CP Officer) is generally appointed by, and responsible to, the Club Chair. The role description used should be agreed between the CP Officer and the Club Chair.
BGA Good Practice Guidance For Child Protection Officers and Deputy Officers
CP Officers need to be DBS checked (Enhanced level), so this is really the first thing you need to get in place. There are a number of umbrella organisations who provide the DBS checking Service which you need to use as the BGA is not set up as an umbrella service. These can be found on the BGA website at Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Certificate Application – Pilot & Club Info (gliding.co.uk) or you may know of this service locally based to you, recommendations are always helpful. Please make sure once your DBS is in progress that you apply for the DBS Online Updating Service this is the link https://www.gov.uk/dbs-update-service, it is free for volunteers, but the application process is time limited (once you receive your DBS certificate you only have 3 weeks from the date of issue to apply, so do it sooner rather than later). This service is subject to annual update, your will get an e-mail reminder from DBS.
It may be that you are already DBS checked from another role (gliding instructor for example), but you may also be DBS checked through your employment. Check that this is an Enhanced DBS. Check with your club committee if they will accept that DBS for you. You will need to show them your DBS certificate as evidence.
You will need to familiarise yourself with the DBS application process and the Online Updating process as part of your role is to complete the DBS checks for Instructors and any others designated to require checks by your club. If you use the Online Updating Service too you will only need to do that once as that is renewable on an annual basis.
You will need to appoint yourself a Deputy CP Officer to cover when you are not available/gliding/lying on a beach somewhere wishing you were gliding. They will also need to have an Enhanced DBS check too, and the DBS Online Updating.
Each gliding club should set up an e-mail address for the Child Protection Officer instead of each officer using their own e-mail address which has for some clubs been the usual practice. The e-mail address should be accessed by the current Child Protection officer only, and clubs will need to ensure that when there is a change of CP officer, the previous officer can no longer access that e- mail.
It is good practice that a picture of the CP officer and Deputy officer are displayed on the club notice board in an easily accessed area along with their contact details.
Child Protection Training
You may or may not have had access to Child Protection Training, regardless, it is always a good thing to refresh your knowledge and understanding. Child Protection in Sport has become a headliner grabber and not for positive reasons. My recommendation for training is to use the NSPCC Child Protection in Sport Unit (CPSU) training course the link is Child protection in sport and physical activity training | NSPCC Learning the cost is £25.00 and I would suggest that the downloadable information could be used to provide basic awareness CP training within your club. It is also useful to link on to the CPSU for their updates and related information.
BGA Child Protection Policies and Procedures
You will need to ensure that club members know you have taken on the CP Officer role and in practical terms to check that there is an up to date copy of the BGA Child Protection Policies and Procedures which can be accessed by all club members. The most recent copy was reviewed in 2023.
Club Child Protection Policy
You also need to have an approval from your Committee that you are now the CP Officer for the club and have the relevant document completed (titled Club Child Protection Policy England and Wales/Scotland/Northern Ireland). This document needs to be kept alongside the Policies and Procedures document.
Blue Cards, these are wallet sized cards which provide information on reporting Child Protection issues and also contain a Code of Conduct. These cards are provided free from the BGA office. The link to the cards is on the website at Young People in Gliding – Child Protection ‘Blue Card’ Guide – Pilot & Club Info. The document can be downloaded from the website. I have written Blue Card/Child Protection Awareness training which I can deliver to clubs on request (at no cost).
A copy of the Codes of Conduct and Blue Card should be displayed on the club notice board.
There are a number of other documents relating to Junior Gliding which can be found on the Junior Gliding area, the link is Junior Gliding – Pilot & Club Info. It may be that you are also the Junior Gliding officer for your club too. There is of course a cross over in this area and there is a Child Protection link to Junior gliding and vice versa.
You will need to familiarise yourself with any existing additional club specific policies. As each club has their own unique culture, this would not be unusual. Most clubs who have additional policies have already discussed these issues with me at various times and have had them ratified by their own club committees.
It is recommended that the CP Officer will meet the parents and the Junior face to face at the club when the membership form is completed if at all possible or as soon afterwards. This provides the parents and junior a contact person should they have any queries.
Explain clearly that it is the parent’s responsibility to accompany their child at the club at all times or they can delegate another agreed person it is recognised that this may be the parent of another jun- ior member. Parents’ contact details and/or the details of the agreed alternative person should be provided to the CP Officer. This information to be shared with the Deputy CP Officer.
Ensure that you have the parental contact details for all the Juniors yourself on hand in the event that a day has been arranged for specific Junior training where you have volunteered to be the adult supervising the Juniors on site so parents do not need to stay and can be contacted easily. This infor- mation should be shared with your deputy CP Officer.
The Junior Code of Conduct should be signed and the Parental Code of Conduct, club and BGA Child Protection Policies should also be provided to the parents.
It may be agreed within the club for another member to be the responsible adult while the parent leaves the premises but this should already be agreed with the CP Officer and known that it may oc- cur. No parent should expect their offspring to be watched by other members without such arrange- ments. Although instructors will have been DBS checked it is not good practice for them to be the only responsible adult on site because they will be concentrating on training unless they have specif- ically advised the CP Officer that they are prepared to do this on a one off day.
It is recommended that club members can only take a Junior home to the Juniors house if this has been formally arranged by the parents and with the CP Officer’s knowledge that this can occur.