RFL Statement To All Clubs


17th January 2017

I am writing to you to confirm and remind you of the Mandatory Safeguarding Requirements for a Club (in this email the term Club also applies to Match Officials Societies or any other relevant organisation) to run any Rugby League related activity for children and young people (defined as anyone under the age of eighteen).
The continued importance of safeguarding (particularly in light of the number of allegations that have recently come to light across sport) was discussed at the Council meeting last month and the RFL reminded Council that each Club is responsible for ensuring that it is fully compliant with all the requirements of the Safeguarding Policy and that, where any Club is found to not be complying, zero tolerance would be applied in relation to the Club and any relevant individual. 
Safeguarding Policy
Each Club (and everyone in the game) is bound by the RFL Safeguarding Policy and is required to roll the Policy out in its organisation, a copy of the Policy is attached.  In addition each Club should also have its own Safeguarding Policy which should be displayed on its website and available within the Club.  A template Club policy which you can adopt or use as a starting point is attached.  Other resources can be found on the RFL website http://www.rugby-league.com/the_rfl/child__player_welfare

Club Welfare Officer (CWO)
Each Club must have a CWO in post and the CWO details must be registered with the RFL.  The CWO must have an enhanced DBS through the RFL and must have attended both Safeguarding & Protecting Children (booked through Rugby League Learning https://www.coachwisebooker.com/RFL/DesktopDefault.aspx?e=fjefcbdbhgnidcpo ) and Time to Listen courses (booked through the RFL Safeguarding Manager, Colette Eden colette.eden@rfl.uk.com.  The CWO must be reasonably available to children and parents in case they wish to raise concerns and should be a member of the Club Committee. 
In addition, it is highly recommended that CWOs attend the RFL Annual Safeguarding Conference which this year is being held at Halliwell Jones, Warrington on Sunday 29 January 2017.  A booking form is attached or contact Colette for more details.
Coaching, medical & first aid and other staff/volunteers
Any coach or other person who is engaged in ‘Regulated Activity’ with children and young people must hold a current RFL DBS (this needs to be renewed every three years). For the roles that are deemed ‘regulated activity’ and to apply for a DBS please use this link http://www.rugby-league.com/the_rfl/child__player_welfare/dbs%20.
All coaching, medical and other football staff/volunteers must be registered with the RFL and those working directly with children and young people must attend a Sport Coach Safeguarding and Protecting Children (SPC) course (to be renewed every three years).
Reporting Concerns
Any Safeguarding concern must be reported to the RFL Safeguarding Case Management Group (SCMG) immediately, in the first instance by contacting Colette Eden.  An extract from the Safeguarding Policy explaining the issues that should be reported is attached.
Do Not Deploy (DND) /Temporary Suspension Order (TSO)
The RFL SCMG may impose a Do Not Deploy or Temporary Suspension Order on an individual and every Club is required to adhere to this. It is also each Club’s and each individual’s  duty to inform the SCMG if it is believed that a person is breaching their DND or TSO either at your Club or elsewhere.
Safeguarding Principles
Every Club must work within safeguarding principles applied to coaching, community, and match day activities. This includes a commitment to RESPECT and the Anti-Bullying Policy.
Listen to Children/Open Environment
In order that children feel empowered to raise serious concerns it is important that there is a listening and respectful culture and that bullying is not tolerated.  A child that is subjected to bullying behaviour by a coach (or others) is very unlikely to feel confident to raise concerns about abuse. All Clubs should therefore actively listen to the needs and concerns of all children in their environment and respond to any concerns appropriately.
The above are the minimum mandatory requirements for a Club to run any Rugby League related activity for children and young people and the RFL will take compliance action which may involve suspension of fixtures for any Club that fails in its responsibilities in this area.
The RFL expects all Clubs to go beyond the minimum, mandatory requirements and work towards the best possible practice in this area. If you would like help or guidance on developing your policies and practices, please contact Colette Eden who will be able to assist you, colette.eden@rfl.uk.com or 07595 520610.

RFL Statement To All Clubs www.pennineleague.co.uk