Skip to main content

Safeguarding Policy


Safeguarding is at the heart of all our work with children, young people and adults at risk. Plymouth Albion RFC has a duty to ensure that it makes arrangements to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and young people, and to protect adults at risk from abuse or the risk of abuse.

The legislation and guidance relevant to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and adults at risk include the following:

• The Children and Social Work Act (2017)

• The Children Act (1989 and 2004)

• Working together to Safeguard Children (2015)

• No Secrets (2000)

• The Crime and Disorder Act (1998)

• The Health and Social Care Act (2008)

• The Care Act (2004)  


The policy is to be used by any member of staff or volunteer working directly with children and young people, or adults at risk, and to any other support staff or director of the organisation who becomes involved in a child protection concern in the course of their work for Plymouth Albion RFC. Children, young people, adults at risk and parents/carers are informed of the policy as appropriate. The policy applies to anyone with whom we are in contact during the course of our work, who is a child, young person or adult at risk. Where the policy refers to a ‘child’ or ‘young person’, we mean anyone has not yet reached the age of 18 years. An ‘adult at risk’ is someone aged 18 years and over “who is in need of community care services by reason of mental or other disability, age or illness; and who is unable to protect themselves against significant harm or exploitation”. (Department of Health, No Secrets, 2000)  


This policy sets out how Plymouth Albion RFC implements safeguarding for children, young people and Adults at Risk with whom we come into contact during the course of our work. Plymouth Albion RFC is committed to devising and implementing policies so that everyone within the organisation accepts their responsibilities for safeguarding children, young persons and adults at risk from abuse and neglect. This means following procedures to protect them and reporting any concerns about their welfare to the relevant authorities. This policy and procedure help us to achieve this by:

• Supporting us to safeguard children, young people and adults at risk in practice, by defining abuse and informing us what to do.

• Ensuring we all work to the same policy and procedure.

• Making sure we are accountable for what we do.

• Being clear on what roles and responsibilities we all have in safeguarding.

• Saying what staff can expect from the organisation to help them work effectively. This policy is informed by and supports our organisational purpose and is how we comply with local safeguarding children and adults at risk policies and procedures whilst we are at work.  


A child or young person means someone who is under 18 years of age. ADULT AT RISK: This refers to anyone aged 18 years or over who:

• is or may be in need of community care services by reason of mental health or other disability, age or illness, and

• is or may be unable to take care of him or herself, or unable to protect him or herself against significant harm or exploitation. In all instances, our approach to safeguarding adults at risk follows the same principles and safeguarding processes as we do for safeguarding children.  


We will achieve the objectives of this policy by having the following in place:

• A Safe organisational ethos

• A Safe Environment

• Safe Processes for dealing with vulnerable groups

• Safe collection and use of information and ways of communicating.

• Safe Staff and Volunteers.


To achieve a safe ethos, we will:

• Work to support the organisational purpose, which is to provide sporting opportunities to all, including keeping spectators safe.

• Promote the safety of children, young people and adults at risk in all of our work both directly and indirectly.

• Support the spirit and practice of Plymouth Albion RFC’s safeguarding policy and practices in all that we do.

• Have in place quality assurance processes for all activities involving children, young people and adults at risk.

• Treat all children, young people and adults at risk fairly in being to access our services regardless of their needs, gender, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation or beliefs. To achieve a safe environment, we will:

• Ensure the welfare and safety of children, young people and adults at risk are paramount in all of our activities.

• Listen to customers and make improvements based upon their suggestions.

• Take all reasonable steps to ensure our customers are protected from harm, discrimination and poor behaviour of others.

• Regularly assess and review safety risks that arise from premises, activities and equipment, as outlined in our Health and Safety Policy. To achieve safe processes, we will:

• Take all suspicions and allegations of abuse from inside or outside of the organisation seriously and respond to them promptly and appropriately.

• Be clear about everyone’s roles and responsibilities.

• Implement safeguarding procedures that are compliant with the expectations of the safeguarding policies of the local council, the RFU and Devon RFU.

• Have in place clear arrangements for how we would respond to concerns about how we implement safeguarding in practice within the organisation. To achieve safe information, we will:

• Be clear with all customers how any information provided to us will be used.

• Publish our safeguarding policy on our website.

• Communicate promptly and clearly within Plymouth Albion RFC and with external agencies and follow the requirements of information-sharing protocols and legislation at all times.

• Keep accurate and secure records of all of our customer’s data. To achieve safe staff, we will:

• Recruit directors, staff and volunteers with regard to their suitability for work, including the use of Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service checks where appropriate.

• Provide directors, staff and volunteers with guidance and training in their role, including specific safeguarding duties.

• Ensure all directors, staff and volunteers have access to our policies and procedures.

• Be clear with everyone what their individual role and responsibility are within safeguarding.

• Support staff and volunteers to carry out their jobs with appropriate supervision and training.  


Abuse and neglect are forms of maltreatment of a child. Somebody may abuse or neglect a child by inflicting harm, or by failing to act to protect harm. Abuse means a child’s rights and needs are not being met as defined by The Children’s Act 2004 and the United Nations Convention on the rights of children (1989). Children may be abused in a family or in an institutional or community setting; by those known by them or, more rarely, by a stranger. Abuse may occur through the actions of an adult (or adults) or another child (or children). Where a child is disabled, injuries or behavioural symptoms may be mistakenly be attributed to his/her disability rather than abuse. Similarly, where a child is from a minority ethnic group, aggressive behaviour, emotional and behavioural problems may be wrongly attributed to racial stereotypes, rather than abuse. Cultural and religious beliefs should not be used to justify hurting a child. Safeguards for children and young people are the same regardless of disability or ethnicity. Child neglect or abuse can include physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse or exploitation, neglect or bullying.

ABUSE OF DISABLED CHILDREN – Disabled children are at an increased risk of abuse, and those with multiple disabilities are at even more significant risk, both of abuse and neglect. This group of children may be particularly vulnerable to abuse for a number of reasons, including:

• Having fewer social contacts than other children

• Receiving intimate care from adults

• Having an impaired capacity to understand what they are experiencing is abuse or to challenge the abuser.

• Having communication difficulties resulting in difficulties in telling people what is happening.

• Being particularly vulnerable to bullying and intimidation

• Being more vulnerable to abuse by peers than other children. Disability is defined as:

• A major physical impairment, severe illness and/or a moderate to severe learning difficulty

• An ongoing high level of dependency on others for personal care and the meeting of other basic needs.  


Abuse is a violation of a person’s rights or dignity by someone else. It can be done by anyone including relatives and family members, staff, volunteers, neighbours, friends or associates. There are many kinds of abuse including physical, sexual, emotional or psychological, financial, material or neglect.  


This section summarises some aspects of the Plymouth Albion RFC recruitment procedures. The procedures set out below apply to both paid staff and volunteers, including directors and students. Applicants for both paid and voluntary positions that involve significant access to young people or their information will complete an interview process designed to extract information about their past career and volunteering roles, and to disclose any criminal record or other matters that have a bearing on their suitability to work with children. Failure to disclose relevant information will result in disciplinary action or possible dismissal. All directors, staff and volunteers in direct contact with young people, and/or information about them will be subject to an Enhanced DBS check upon recruitment and updated every three years. At least two references will be taken up in relation to directors, staff and volunteers, including at least one concerning working with children. Where volunteers move from a voluntary role to a paid role will be subject to a new Enhanced DBS check prior to employment. Where a prospective employee, volunteer or director does have a criminal record that does not prevent them from working with children/young people, they will be subject to a further interview with the Managing Director, Safeguarding Manager and Line Manager to determine a decision on employment. Ultimately, the decision to employ such a person lies with the Managing Director. After an appointment, all staff and volunteers will be inducted and trained in local safeguarding arrangements and according to their specific role. Any staff or volunteers responsible for, or coaching children are required to complete the RFU Safeguarding Course within 14 days of employment commencing.  


This section describes the general roles and responsibilities held by different positions within the organisation with regard specifically to safeguarding. It does not describe “what to do” in a particular situation, which is found in the procedures section. Nor does it describe all of their roles and responsibilities, which are held in job descriptions.


• Uphold the safeguarding ethos and purpose of the organisation

• Have a director with lead responsibility for Safeguarding.

• Agree Safeguarding policies and procedures and review these annually.

• Satisfy themselves that the policies and procedures are being carried out.

• Include Safeguarding as a standing item at full board meetings

• Actively involve the Safeguarding Manager in any known or reported safeguarding issues at Plymouth Albion RFC. The Designated Lead Safeguarding Director is: KEVIN NORRIS


• Act as the Plymouth Albion RFC Deputy Safeguarding Director.

• Ensure that this policy and procedure is in place, is communicated to staff and volunteers, reviews and practised.

• Puts in place arrangements to recruit, train and manage staff and volunteers.

• Acts upon any concern raised about staff/volunteer practices in terms of Safeguarding.

• Assists in compiling the annual safeguarding risk assessment and the review of the safety of premises, activities and equipment.

• Appoints a designated medical lead and ensures he/she is suitably trained. The Managing Director is: MAX VENABLES


• Act as the Plymouth Albion RFC Safeguarding lead for all safeguarding actions and decisions that come from safeguarding investigations or reports of a safeguarding issue.

• Supervise staff and volunteers regularly.

• Agree to implement training plans for individuals.

• Follow procedures if any safeguarding concern comes to light.

• Report any allegation or concern about safeguarding to the Managing Director.


• Act upon concerns and allegations involving service users and safeguarding.

• Report concerns and allegations according to these procedures to the Plymouth Albion RFC Safeguarding Manager and agree on what Plymouth Albion RFC will do.

• Act in a timely manner, taking account of the perceived level of risk when the designated safeguarding lead or their deputy is not available.

• Record concerns, analysis of concerns, information, decisions and actions, clearly and promptly.

• Support safeguarding investigations by sharing information appropriately.

• Report any concerns about the safeguarding practice of a colleague or volunteer to the safeguarding manager or the managing director as quickly as practicable.


ALAN WARD – Matchday Safeguarding Lead

DAN PULLINGER – Community Lead

TO REPORT SAFEGUARDING CONCERNS: Call the Main Office on 01752 565064.