Aretians RFC

SAfe guarding Policy

 Aretians RFC - Safeguarding Policy
(Copy Review 28th October 2019)


Contact Details

Aretians RFC Safeguarding team can be contacted on


Aretians RFC Safeguarding Officer is Catherine Miles


Gloucestershire RFU Safeguarding Officer is Tracy Sparrow,


RFU Safeguarding team,

0208 831 6655


*** If you believe a child is in imminent danger dial 999 or 112 and ask for the police *** 



ARETIANS RUGBY FOOTBALL CLUB (ARFC) acknowledges its responsibility to safeguard the welfare of all children, young people and vulnerable adults involved in ARFC from harm.


ARFC confirms that it adheres to the Rugby Football Union's (RFU) Safeguarding Policy. 

This policy should be read in conjunction with the RFU Policy and does not replace or supersede it. 


A child or young person is anyone under the age of 18 engaged in any rugby union activity. 


Where a 17-year-old player is playing in the adult game every reasonable precaution will be taken to ensure their safety and wellbeing are also protected.    


The Key Principles of the RFU Safeguarding Children & Vulnerable Adults Policy are that: 

The welfare of the child, young person or vulnerable adult is, and must always be, paramount to any other consideration. 


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. 


All allegations or suspicions of abuse, neglect, harm and poor practice will be taken seriously and responded to swiftly, fairly and appropriately.


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


ARFC recognises that all children and young people 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 practice. ARFC recognises that this is the responsibility of everyone involved, in whatever capacity, at the Club.


Codes of Conduct   
ARFC follows the RFU Code of Conduct and the Codes of Conduct for Coaches, Spectators and Officials. These Policies are in APPENDIX A:  


Websites, Online and Mobile Communications

ARFC follows the RFU Guidance for Websites, Online and Mobile Communications as set out on the RFU website. A link to RFU Guidelines is listed in APPENDIX B: ARFC Safeguarding Policy relating to Club Websites, Mobile and Online Communication with Children and Vulnerable Adults


Photographic Policy

ARFC Photographic Policy is published on the club website and in Appendix C. ARFC follows the RFU Photographic Policy recommendations and Best Practice guidelines. APPENDIX C: ARFC Photographic Policy.


Incident Reporting

The Club Safeguarding Officer and Assistant Safeguarding Officers are published on Club Noticeboard and in the Contacts and Safeguarding sections of the Club Website. Anyone witnessing or aware of an incident where the welfare of a child, young person or vulnerable adult has been put at risk must in the first instance inform the Club Safeguarding Officer or an Assistant Safeguarding Officer. 


If an incident involves the Club:


ARFC Safeguarding Officer & ARFC Club Chairman should be informed and either the Gloucestershire RFU Safeguarding Manager or the RFU Safeguarding Executive. 


The RFU require an Incident Reporting form to be completed, there are some on the notice board in the clubhouse, plus they can be found at the following link (Correct at time of Copy Review 28th October 2019)  


RFU Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Checks    

All members of ARFC who have regular supervisory contact with children or management responsibility for those working with children must undertake an RFU Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check. It is a criminal offence to work with children unsupervised without such a check. 




ARFC operate a Gold Standard approach to Safeguarding & RFU DBS checks. 

Therefore, Positions that require a DBS check at Aretians Rugby Football Club include (but not excluding) the following: 


Safeguarding and Assistant Safeguarding Officers.

Volunteer coordinator.

Coach coordinator     

Coach (whether volunteer or paid, assisting or leading). 

Club Referees. 

Age Group Managers.    

Open Age Team Captains (mixed touch teams)

Mini & Junior Committee Members

Mini & Junior Kitchen Assistants

Clubhouse Staff (who work during Children’s Parties, Sundays etc.)     

First Aiders / Physiotherapists / Medical Support.     

People with access to children's personal information (GMS etc.)


Wondering whether you need a check? Contact ARFC Safeguarding team


ARFC will enforce the following policy:

First Application, DBS application must have been started within 4 weeks from starting coaching, else you will be asked to stop coaching.

If the individual has an expired DBS check (necessary for their role), they can continue in role ONLY IF supervised by a DBS valid colleague, and ONLY IF; 

Once aware / notified of their expired status the individual is actively seeking renewal, AND they have supplied all relevant documents

If the individual has not started the renewal process WITHIN 2 WEEKS of being told that their DBS has expired, 


Then: the individual is Excluded from all player contact (including coaching etc.) WHETHER supervised or not with immediate effect


Safeguarding Best Practice

ARFC will ensure that all coaches, volunteers, and officials comply with the Safeguarding 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, Gloucestershire RFU or the RFU: 


Working alone with children or young people. 


Consuming alcohol or smoking whilst working with children or young people. 

Failing to comply with the Club’s guidelines on phone, email, messaging, internet and online contact with children or young people given in APPENDIX B. 


Providing alcohol to children or young people or allowing its supply.     

Humiliating children or young people. 


Inappropriate or unnecessary physical contact with a child, young person or vulnerable adult. 

Participating in, or allowing, contact or physical games between adults and children or young people. 

Having an intimate or sexual relationship with any child, young person or vulnerable adult developed because of being in a “position of trust". 


Making sexually explicit comments or sharing sexually explicit material.


Changing Facilities     

ARFC ensures all its coaches, parents, officials and spectators are aware that adults must not use the changing facilities at the same time as children, young people or vulnerable adults.  


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 and when waiting for another adult could result in harm to a child. If children need supervising in changing rooms, or coaches or managers need to carry out a range of tasks in that environment this must involve two DBS checked individuals of the same gender as the children 


No pressure should be placed on young people who feel uncomfortable changing or showering with others if this is the case they should be allowed to shower or change at home.


Safeguarding Training     

ARFC will provide coaches and volunteers with access to the support and safeguarding training required for their position and role. Coaches and 


Volunteers must ensure they attend this training.



Any events held on ARFC premises must comply with this Policy and if appropriate a Safeguarding Plan specific to that event should be discussed and circulated to those affected.  



Any tours, overseas or domestic, undertaken by ARFC must comply with the relevant RFU Regulations and Guidance relating to tours. All Tours must be notified to the RFU in advance and all overseas tours require RFU approval in advance. Tour organisers should contact the Club Safeguarding Officer in the first instance.  


ARFC has adopted the RFU’s Anti–Bullying policy. This can be viewed on the RFU website at (Page 16 Bullying )(Correct at time of Copy Review 28th October 2019)


Policy Implementation     

The welfare of children at ARFC will only be protected properly if this policy is implemented effectively. 


APPENDIX A: RFU Codes of Conduct (Correct at time of Copy Review 28th October 2019 )


APPENDIX B: ARFC Safeguarding Policy relating to Club Websites, Mobile and Online Communication with Children and Vulnerable Adults     

Website and Message Board
The Club Website is a key part of the daily operation of the Club. Social media feeds (Instagram, Facebook, Pitchero etc) display on the website is the primary means of communicating with Parents, Players and Members. They are also a very safe way to communicate with children given their wide accessibility.     


However, in the same way, that ARFC has responsibility for the physical safety of Mini and Youth members when on the Club’s premises, ARFC will also ensure that there is nothing on its website which could harm a child, directly or indirectly. ARFC is responsible for the content of its website. Social media content, which can be posted by all members, will be moderated by social media moderators to ensure inappropriate content is removed. 


Given our Club Website and Social media are open to the public, there are 2 key risks to guard against when posting information: 


1.    Disclosing personal information about a child to people accessing the website. This could be the child’s name, address, or any information about a child’s life, interests or activities which would help a stranger target a child or engage that child in conversation. 


2.    Abusive or inappropriate content (photos, video or text), on the site itself. This includes material which criticises or humiliates a child. It could also be information which places undue pressure on the child to participate in some aspect of a Clubs’ activities







APPENDIX C: ARFC Club Photographic Policy 

Overarching ​Principles 


ARFC Club's photography policy derives from the RFU’s Policy. The basic principles​ ​are: 


Every parent or carer has the option to decline permission for the​ taking​ ​ ​and​ ​publication​ ​of​ ​images/videos​ ​of ​a​​ ​young​ person​ ​in​​ ​their ​​care

Appropriate Circumstances & Attire​:
Photography/video must be undertaken in appropriate circumstances. All young people must be appropriately​ ​attired ​at​ ​all​ ​times​ 


Publication and Identification:
Publication should not be done in such a way that young people are identifiable; images should be published without accompanying​ ​sensitive​ ​personal​ ​details ​such​ as​ ​a ​young​ person’s​ address​     


The focus of the Photography:
The imagery should focus on the activity rather than​ ​any​ ​particular​ ​individual 


Equity Policy:
Wherever possible, imagery should reflect the diversity of the young​ ​people ​making​ ​up​ the​ ​clubs​ membership​ 


Third Party Photography:
Whenever professional photographers or outside media are invited or commissioned, the club will require identification and safeguarding measures to ensure only the proper use and dissemination of imagery 


Circumstances​ ​of​ ​photography/video  

Photographs/videos of junior players are usually taken in the following contexts. This list​ ​is​ ​not​ ​exhaustive. 


Coaching​ ​-​ ​video​ ​may​ ​be​ ​filmed​ and​ ​​used​ ​thereafter​ ​for​ training and coaching ​purposes 


Action​ ​photographs ​ -​ ​ general​ photographs​ of players during​ a ​game​   


Team​ ​photographs​ ​- ​ ​posed​ group​​ ​photos​ ​of​ ​teams, Awards​ ​and​ ​ceremonies 


Press coverage - local, national and specialist rugby media photographs/video 


Tours and festivals - at other clubs and grounds which will be subject to the host​ ​clubs​ ​policy​ ​permission.  


All parents/guardians are asked to indicate on Registration Forms if they do not consent to the taking and use of photographs/videos featuring their children throughout the season. If consent is not withheld, the parent or carer permission continues throughout the season, terminating at its conclusion, unless the parent or carer notifies the squad manager and Club Safeguarding Officer, in writing, of a change​ ​of​ ​mind. 


The result of withholding or withdrawing permission is that the club reserves the right to require the parent or carer to be present throughout an event where photo/video is expected to be taken and to undertake to supervise and monitor the event​ ​for​ the​ ​purpose​ ​of​ ​safeguarding​ ​their​ ​child.  


Focus ​and​ content​ of​ the​ imagery

Images taken by parents, carers, supporters and coaches at the club’s grounds, and at away games, tours and festivals where the host club applies no stricter policy, should​ ​comply​ ​with​ ​the​ ​following​ ​restrictions: 


The club adopts the RFU guidelines on appropriate dress for young players. These recommend that all young people featuring in photographs/videos be appropriately dressed in outer clothing/ garments covering their torso between the bottom of the neck and the thighs i.e. a minimum of a vest/shirt and shorts. For formal photographs,​ ​players​ ​should​ ​be​ ​properly​ ​dressed​ ​in​ ​club​ kit.​ 


Wherever possible the club also undertakes to reflect the RFU Equity Policy. Accordingly, photographs/videos should represent the diversity​ ​of​ ​young​ ​people ​participating​ in​​ ​rugby​ ​at​ ​the​ ​club. 


Photographs/video should focus on the activity rather than any particular young person. Where possible the photography of young people​ ​should​ ​concentrate​ ​on​ ​small​ ​groups​ ​of​ ​players. 


Sensitive ​ Information​     

Photographs/videos should not include nor be accompanied by sensitive information which might enable a stranger to identify the players. Such information might include, but is not limited to, an image of the player's parent or guardian, the player's full name, age, address, email address, telephone number or such personal details of the​ ​parent/guardian​ ​or​ ​the​ ​parents/guardians​ ​personal​ ​details. 


Publication ​by ​the​ Club​ ​of​ Imagery​     

The club must have general parent or carer permission to use an image of a young person (see above). When such permission has been given, the club may publish photographs/videos in its own materials or via third-party media organisations such as the local press. Such publication of photographs/videos will not include any sensitive information described or identified above of the young people or of their parents​ ​or​ ​carers. 


Where the reason for publication is an individual achievement (i.e. a player’s selection for a representative side, triumph over adversity), particular attention will be paid to ensuring specific permission is also secured from the young person to use their​ ​image.  


Publication ​by​ Others of​ Imagery​     

The club must have general parent or carer permission to use an image of a young person​ ​(see​ ​above).  


Photography/Video ​by​ the Media or Third Party​     


The club reserves the right to invite photographers from the local media or rugby specialist​ ​press​ ​to​ ​record​ ​the​ ​club’s​ ​events.​ 


If​ ​it​ ​does​ ​so​ ​it​ ​undertakes​ ​that​ ​it​ ​will:

Require any such photographers to register upon arrival at a club event; to carry with them, at all times, bona​ fide and appropriate identification which must be produced on request and to abide by the overarching principles set out​ ​above 


Inform parents and participants that one or more media photographers will be present​ ​and 


Not approve/allow unsupervised access to the players, one-to-one photography sessions with players, nor photo sessions outside the event or at any​ ​player’s​ ​home. 


Use of photographic/video equipment by parents/guardians and adult ​supporters​     


Parents and carers are advised that if they have concerns about inappropriate or intrusive photography/filming these should be reported to the squad manager, to an event organiser or to an official so that these may be recorded and dealt with in the same​ ​manner​ ​as​ ​any​ ​other​ ​child​ ​protection​ ​concern. If parents or carers or adult supporters wish to take images of a game, session, or event at a club ground, they must ascertain whether any member of the squad has had permission withheld for photography; at any other ground, they must also be prepared ​ to​ comply​ with​ the ​policy​ ​of ​the host​ club. In addition, wherever the club’s young players are playing photographers may be required to identify themselves and state their purpose for photography/videoing an event. They must, if advised that any visiting or host clubs young player withholds permission for photography, cease doing so immediately unless able to come to an arrangement​ ​with​ ​that​ ​player’s​ ​parent​ ​or ​guardian. 


The club reserves the right to contact authorities in the event that any individual refuses to stop taking photographs/video or refuses to identify themselves upon challenge​ ​by​ ​the​ ​club. 


APPENDIX​ ​D: ​ ​Incident​ ​Reporting​ ​Flowchart

Coaches ​Code​ of​ ​Conduct​      


All rugby coaches must respect the rights, dignity and worth of every young person with whom they work and treat them equally within the context of Rugby Union  

All rugby coaches must place the physical and emotional well being of all young players​ ​above​ ​all​ ​other​ ​considerations, ​ ​including​ ​the​ ​development​ ​of​ ​performance  


The relationship that a rugby coach develops with the players with whom they work​ ​must​ ​be​ ​based​ ​on​ ​mutual​ ​trust​ ​and​ ​respect  


All rugby coaches must ensure that all activities undertaken are appropriate to the age, ​ ​maturity,​ ​experience​ ​and​ ​ability​ ​of​ ​the​ ​young​ ​players  


All rugby coaches must encourage young players to accept responsibility for their own​ ​

behaviour​ ​and​ ​performance  


All rugby coaches should clarify with the young players (and their parents/carers) what is expected of them both on and off the rugby field and also what they are entitled​ ​to​ ​expect​ ​from​ ​the​ ​coach  


All rugby coaches should work in partnership with others within the game (officials, doctors, physiotherapists, sports scientists) to ensure the wellbeing, safety and enjoyment​ ​of​ ​all​ ​young​ ​players  


All rugby coaches must promote the positive aspects of the sport e.g. Fair Play etc. Violations of the Laws of the Game, behaviour contrary to the spirit of the Laws of the Game or relevant regulations or the use of prohibited techniques or substances​ ​must​ ​never​ ​be​ ​condoned


Club ​procedures​ to​ ​manage​ cases​ of poor​ practice     

Poor practice is defined as any behaviour which contravenes RFU Codes of Conduct (Fair​ ​Play​ ​Codes)​ ​or​ ​RFU​ ​Guidance​ ​for​ ​Good​ ​Practice  


Once an incident is reported to the Club Safeguarding Officer they will consult with RFU Ethics and Equity Manager in order to ascertain whether the allegation is poor practice,​ ​bullying​ ​or​ ​abuse  


Once the incident has been identified as poor practice and in consultation, with senior club officials (Club Chairman/Youth Chairman) a decision will be made whether or not to suspend, temporarily, the person accused. Each case will be considered​ ​on​ ​its​ ​merits  


A disciplinary hearing may be called. The panel should be made up of three club members​ ​with​ ​regard​ ​to​ ​the​ ​following​ ​criteria:

No person who has been involved in bringing the case to the disciplinary hearing​ ​should​ ​sit​ ​on​ ​the​ ​panel  


Senior​ ​management​ ​of​ ​the​ club​​ ​must​ ​be​ ​represented  


If the case relates to poor coaching practice, experience in this field must be represented 


The accused will be advised of receipt of the report and provided with copies  


The accused will be invited to attend the hearing which must be held at a convenient​ ​time​ ​for​ ​him/her  


​The​ ​accused​ ​must​ ​be​ ​given​ ​sufficient​ ​advance​ ​notice​ ​of​ ​the​ ​hearing  


The accused must be given the opportunity to be accompanied to the hearing by a person of their choice, offer their side of the story and call witnesses. 


Once the disciplinary panel reaches a decision it should be communicated to​ ​the​ ​accused​ ​and​ ​confirmed​ ​in​ ​writing  


A copy of the findings should be sent to the CB Safeguarding Officer and RFU​ ​Ethics​ ​and​ Equity​ ​Manager  


Power​ ​of​ ​the​ ​Club​ ​Disciplinary​ ​Panel  

  • Temporary​ ​suspension  

  • A person​ ​may​ ​only​ ​coach​ ​whilst​ ​supervised  

  • A coach​ ​must​ ​undertake​ ​RFU​ ​Best​ Practice​ ​​and​ ​Child​ ​Protection​ ​Course  

  • A coach must attend the appropriate RFU Coaching Course  


Terms of​ Reference​ for​ ARFC​     

​​Safeguarding ​Officer​     


​To​ ​ensure​ the ​club​ ​has​ ​a​ ​Child​ ​Protection​ ​Policy​ ​and​ ​implementation​ ​plan  


​To​ ​ensure​ ​Codes​ ​of​ ​Conduct​ ​are​ ​well​ ​publicised​ ​and​ ​adhered​ ​to  


In consultation with County Safeguarding Officer to ensure all reported incidents are​ ​managed​ ​at​ ​the​ ​appropriate​ ​level​ ​in​ ​line​ ​with​ ​RFU​ ​procedures  


To​ ​ensure​ ​all​ ​relevant​ ​club​ ​members​ ​are​ ​aware​ ​of​ ​training​ ​opportunities  


To ensure all parents are aware of the club policy on Child Protection and the correct​ ​protocols​ ​for​ ​voicing​ ​concerns  


To be aware of local Social Services and Area Child Protection Committee contacts 


To​ ​sit​ ​on​ ​relevant​ ​club​ ​committees