The term child protection has been expanded to safeguarding as it reflects the wider responsibility for health, safety and prevention as well as just protection from abuse.

The word safeguarding has been used with increasing frequency in a wide range of settings and situations. It may be defined as ‘Doing everything possible to minimise the risk of harm.’

Safeguarding is about being proactive and putting measures in place in advance of any contact with vulnerable persons to ensure that all are going to be kept safe.

This could include:
•  Ensuring safe recruitment of staff/volunteers are properly checked including AccessNI check (contact your NGB for more information)
•  Guidelines for people who come into contact with children as part of their role to ensure they know what they need to do to keep everyone safe
•  Guidelines for planning an event or activity with children and putting measures in place to minimise the risk of safeguarding issues occurring.
• How should Sports Governing Body’s implement safeguarding best practice initiatives?
Sport has a power to be a positive influence on children and young people, providing the supporting structures and sporting environment that listens to the voice of child and places welfare first.

Sport NI have worked with iCoachKids to create an e-learning course to support coaches and coach developers working with children and young people.  These e-learning courses will be free of charge to all learners, and will provide in-depth learning opportunities across the following three themes:

1 – Developing Effective Environments for Children in Sport

2 – Child and youth-centred coaching

3 – Coaching Children: Planning, Doing and Reviewing

The three online courses can now be accessed via:

Sport Northern Ireland is working in partnership with the Child Protection In Sport Unit to encourage all Governing Bodies of Sport and clubs to implement safeguarding procedures to ensure sport and physical activity is safe and fun.

Sport Northern Ireland requires all sports organisations receiving funding to be assessed against the following safeguarding standards:

•  Ensuring the Board/Management Committee have responsibility for safeguarding
•  Safe recruitment and selection Procedures
•  Effective management of staff and volunteers
•  Having clear reporting concerns
•  Require agreement with Codes of conduct for parents, children and staff 
• Sharing information with all stakeholders
• General safety and management of activities