Bath Canoe Club Ltd

Welfare and Safeguarding Policy & Rules:

Vulnerable Persons, including anyone under 18:

Definitions, in this document:

·         ‘Vulnerable person’ (VP)  is any person under the age of 18 years or a vulnerable adult.

·         ‘Vulnerable adult’ is someone aged 18 years or over who is unable to protect him or herself against significant harm, abuse, or exploitation.

·         ’Staff’ is a person aged 18 or over and authorised by Bath Canoe Club Ltd (BCC) to provide services as part of BCC. It does not imply they are an employee. They will usually be a BCC member and volunteer: typically a coach, trip-leader or helper. Less commonly they may be a teacher or parent authorised by BCC to be an additional adult where one is required.

·         Services’ means any activity or event run or organised on behalf of BCC, e.g. taster-sessions, coaching, training, trips, social events, attendance at non-BCC events etc.



Responsibilities, authorisation and consent

1.    This document applies where VPs are not accompanied by their parent/guardian/ nominated adult. When their parent/guardian/nominated adult is accompanying them they will be deemed to be in charge of and responsible for the VP’s welfare. ‘Accompanied’ in this case means close enough to be in charge of them and take care of them.

2.    With the consent of the staff in charge of the event a parent/guardian may appoint a nominated adult who if they consent, can take on the role of accompanying the VP for that event. This agreement must be in writing, is between the parent/guardian and nominated adult and must not in any way involve Bath Canoe Club Ltd (BCC). A copy of the agreement, dated and signed by both parties, must be given to the BCC staff in charge. The BCC staff running the event cannot take on the role of ‘nominated adult’ as their priority is to look after the group as a whole.

3.    Persons providing services as part of BCC are not obliged to take VPs and may decline to do so, or insist that VPs are accompanied by their parent/guardian or responsible adult.

4.    Parent/Guardian must give BCC Staff prior written authorisation for the VP in their care to take part in the event. Where an event is run over a series of dates (e.g. a training course run 1 evening a week over several weeks), one permission for the entire course will suffice.

5.    Whilst BCC and Staff have their respective responsibilities, there is a separate primary responsibility on the parent / guardian of the VP to check that the event or activity is actually being run by BCC, that the person organising it is authorised by BCC to do so and that they (the parent / guardian) are themselves satisfied at the level of care and safeguarding being provided, before sending or allowing the VP in their care to attend. If unsure in the first instance they should ask the Staff in charge to respond to any questions in writing. They should contact the Welfare Officer or other Committee member if they have any concerns.

6.    Only persons authorised by BCC committee may provide service as part of  BCC .

7.    Anyone providing services as part of Bath Canoe Club (e,g, coaches, trip-leaders, helpers, event organisers etc) must conduct themselves in accordance with the rules and guidance relevant to VPs and to the activity as provided in this document and by British Canoeing.

8.    All non-VPs who are not involved in running events but are present whilst events involving VPs are taking place, or who are participants in events alongside VPs, must comply with this document, treat VPs with respect and follow any requests from those Staff running the event w.r.t. VPs (e.g. changing at separate times).

9.    It is the responsibility of all members, parents and guardians to ensure they are familiar with this document, any secondary documents referred to, and any other BC & BCC policies, rules and guidance that are relevant to them and the activity they are providing or allowing the VP in their care to take part in.

10. BCC takes no responsibility for peer-trips or other events which are not organised by BCC, even if they are organised by BCC members and/or are advertised to members on BCC related media such as email, Twitter and Face-Book. In these cases parents /guardians must ensure they are satisfied with the arrangements and deal with the organiser direct.


Disclosure and Barring Service check (DBS)

11. Bath Canoe Club will ensure that anyone working with VPs in a role required to have one by British Canoeing, will have a DBS. If British Canoeing do not require a person in that role to have a DBS check then BCC will not be obliged to insist on one, but may do so.

Minimum number of Staff

12. Unless otherwise agreed in writing by the committee, a minimum of two Staff will be involved in looking after VPs and both will be present at all times when VPs are present. (An example of an exception the committee would consider is one BCC Staff and a teacher / DBS–checked-parent when coaching school pupils).

13. The rules on having two Staff present may be waived in an emergency if it is serious and necessary in order to deal with the emergency. The rule in paragraph 14 will still apply and must be reported to the Welfare Officer.

14. Notwithstanding that Staff must do all that is reasonable to avoid being the only Staff present with VPs, if they find themselves in this position they must report this on the form provided and email it to the BCC Welfare Officer within 24 hours. This is regardless of whether there were any issues or not. The Welfare Officer will keep a log of all records and raise any issues with the BCC committee (e.g. frequent occurrences). An example of this might be if a parent is late to pick up their child and one Staff has had to leave.


Changing Rooms

15. Where participants of an event are wholly or primarily VPs, Staff must use the changing rooms at separate times to VPs.

16. Where participants of an event are a mixture of VPs and non-VPs the staff in charge must take a view on the appropriateness of VPs and non-VPs changing at separate times.

17. If it is necessary for Staff/ non-VPs to be in changing rooms when VPs are, they must not be on their own with VPs : there must always be at least two non-VPs of the same gender as the VPs.

18. Mobile phones, camera or other recording devices must not be used in the changing rooms by anyone, whether or not they are in recording mode.

Travel, Vehicles, Overnight-stays

19. Non-VPs, including Staff, must not travel in vehicles on their own with VPs: a minimum of two non-VPs per vehicle is required.

20. Staff must not arrange overnight stays involving VPs without the written permission of BCC committee.

21. Overnight stays involving VPs must have a least two Staff. For mixed gender groups there will preferably be at least 1 female and 1 male Staff. If this is not possible, the committee may give approval for staff of the same gender, but are not obliged to do so.

Contact with VPs (mobile phone /email etc)

22. Non-VPs must not knowingly contact VPs directly on an individual basis (e.g. via mobile phone, text, email, social media etc). Parents/Guardians should preferably arrange a contact point between themselves and Staff, not between the VP and Staff.

23. Messages may be sent by Staff (e,g. by email) using the contact details provided to BCC. It is the responsibility of the parent/guardian to ensure that the contact details provided to BCC are appropriate (e.g. their email rather than the VP’s).

24. If parent/guardian chooses, the VP may use their own contact details but only if the parent/guardian is copied in on all messages both from and to the VP.

25. If it becomes apparent that the contact is coming from/going direct to a VP on an individual basis and the parent/guardian is not being copied in, the Staff must stop the contact immediately and report it to the Welfare Officer, even if there are no apparent issues.

26. Group contacts are allowed where the VP is part of a group where multiple members of the group are copied in on all parts of the conversation.


Reporting and Dealing with Concerns

27. Bath Canoe Club will identify a person whose role it is to deal with any issues concerning VPs (usually the Welfare Officer) and make their contact details available on the website and on at least one notice in the clubhouse.

28. All BCC members must report any welfare or safeguarding concerns they have to the Welfare Officer as soon as is practicable. If an acknowledgement of receipt is not received within 24 hours they must report it to the Chair and Secretary.

29. BCC will report any concerns or incidents of a serious nature to the Police.

30.  BCC committee may at its discretion report any issues or concerns, however minor or serious, to relevant parents/guardians, British Canoeing and/or the authorities (e.g. Police, Social Workers etc).

31. As a result of any welfare or safeguarding concern or issue, BCC may conduct its own investigation and take what action it sees fit. This will be independent of any other investigation (e.g. by the Police) or outcome of such other investigation.

32. In the event of a complaint against Staff, demonstration that they have complied with this document in spirit and by letter will be a defence and will be taken into account by BCC. Failure to comply will count against Staff unless they can demonstrate good reason for non-compliance, but the burden will be on them to demonstrate ‘good reason’ to the committee’s satisfaction.

33. If the Welfare Officer (or person appointed to deal with issues concerning VPs), Training Officer, Trips Officer, or Chair, have good reason to believe any person has not complied with this document or otherwise behaved inappropriately they may, without consultation and with immediate effect, impose a ban on that person that prevents them from being involved with any event involving VPs. This ban will not be open to appeal and will last until such time as the Committee is able to meet and discuss the issue, at which point it will be superseded by whatever action the committee decide upon.


BCC Committee July 2018

Ref: approved by email by Committee (29 July 2018)

Reporting Form is below


Name of Staff





Name of VP(s)








Start Time

End Time






Reason why Staff was alone with VP(s)





Sign & date







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