[Insert name of club and club logo]

Sports Safe - Member Protection Policy*

*This template will refer to the policy as a Member Protection Policy. Decide upon title for your policy and if different, this will need to be reflected throughout the template.

Version

[insert version number] [insert date created or updated]

IMPORTANT NOTE:  
For this and other policies to be binding, they must:

  • Be formally incorporated into your Memorandum and Articles of Association or into your By-Laws as prescribed in your Constitution
  • Be referred to in membership forms (e.g. the member agrees to be bound by the Constitution, Rules, Regulations and Policies of the NSO, SSO or Club, including its Member Protection Policy).

Members need to be advised of the policy’s existence and to sign a membership form agreeing to be bound by the policy.                   


Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Purpose of Our Policy
  3. Who Our Policy Applies To
  4. Extent of Our Policy
  5. Club Responsibilities
  6. Individual Responsibilities
  7. Protection of Children
    7.1 Supervision
    7.2 Transportation
    7.3 Taking Images of Children
  8. Anti-Harassment, Discrimination and Bullying
  9. Inclusive Practices
    9.1 People with a Disability
    9.2 People from Diverse Cultures
    9.3 Sexual & Gender Identity
    9.4 Pregnancy
    9.5 Girls playing in boys teams
  10. Responding to Complaints
    10.1 Complaints
    10.2 Complaint Handling Process
    10.4 Disciplinary Measures
    10.5 Appeals

Attachment 1: Working With Children Check Requirements
[Only include information for the state in which club is located. Modify content page to reflect changes]
1.1. Screening Requirements [include this if based in ACT/TAS]
1.2. Member Protection Declaration [exclude this if based in NSW}
1.3. Working with Children Check Requirements [only include relevant state/territory information and delete all other]  

Attachment 2:  Codes of Behaviour
[Attach your club’s codes of behaviour]  

Attachment 3: Duty Statements
[You may want to include duty statements for positions such as coaches, team managers, officials, president, etc]  

Attachment 4: Reporting Forms
[Include any reporting documents/forms you require to be completed. An example is provided]                                                                        

Member Protection Policy

1. Introduction      

[Insert your club’s core values/ethical principles/mission statement.]  

2. Purpose of our policy

The main objective of our Member Protection Policy (policy) is to maintain responsible behaviour and the making of informed decisions by participants in this club. It outlines our commitment to a person’s right to be treated with respect and dignity, and to be safe and protected from abuse. Our policy informs everyone involved in our club of his or her legal and ethical rights and responsibilities and the standards of behaviour that are required. It also covers the care and protection of children participating in our club’s activities.

3. Who our policy applies to

Our policy applies to everyone involved in the club including committee members, administrators, coaches, officials (umpires/referees/judges), players, parents and spectators.  

4. Extent of our policy

Our policy covers unfair decisions (e.g. team selection) and actions, breaches of our code of behaviour and behaviour that occurs at practice, in the club rooms, at social events organised or sanctioned by the club (or our sport), and on away and overnight trips. It also covers private behaviour where that behaviour brings our club or sport into disrepute or there is suspicion of harm towards a child or young person.  

5. Club responsibilities

We will:

  • implement and comply with our policy;
  • promote our policy to everyone involved in our club;
  • promote and model appropriate standards of behaviour at all times;
  • respond to breaches or complaints made under our policy promptly, fairly, and confidentially;
  • review this policy every 12-18 months; and
  • seek advice from and refer serious issues to our [district/region/state or national body].  

Serious issues include unlawful behaviour that involves or could lead to significant harm and includes criminal behaviour (e.g. physical assault, sexual assault, child abuse) and any other issues that our state or national body request to be referred to them.

6. Individual responsibilities

Everyone associated with our club must:

  • comply with the standards of behaviour outlined in our policy;
  • treat others with respect;
  • always place the safety and welfare of children above other considerations;
  • be responsible and accountable for their behaviour; and
  • follow the guidelines outlined in this policy if they wish to make a complaint or report a concern about possible child abuse, discrimination, harassment or other inappropriate behaviour.

7. Protection of Children

7.1 Child Protection

The [Club] is committed to the safety and wellbeing of all children and young people accessing our service.  We support the rights of the child and will act without hesitation to ensure a child safe environment is maintained at all times.  We also support the rights and wellbeing of our staff and volunteers and encourage their active participation in building and maintaining a secure environment for all participants.

[Club] acknowledges that our staff, members and volunteers provide a valuable contribution to the positive experiences of children involved in our sport. [Club] aims to continue this and to take measures to protect the safety and welfare of children participating in our sport by:  

7.1.1 Identify and Analyse Risk of Harm

The [Club] will develop and implement a risk management strategy, which includes a review of existing child protection practices, to determine how child-safe and child-friendly the organisation is and to determine what additional strategies are required to minimise and prevent risk of harm to children because of the action of an employee, volunteer or another person.

7.1.2 Develop Codes of Conduct for Adults and Children

The [Club] will ensure that the organisation has codes of conduct that specify standards of conduct and care when dealing and interacting with children, particularly those in the organisation’s care.  The organisation will also implement a code of conduct to address appropriate behaviour between children.  

The code(s) of conduct will set out professional boundaries, ethical behaviour and unacceptable behaviour. (See Part B)  

7.1.3 Choose Suitable Employees and Volunteers

The [Club] will ensure that the organisation takes all reasonable steps to ensure that it engages the most suitable and appropriate people to work with children (in prescribed positions).  

This may be achieved using a range of screening measures.  Such measures will aim to minimise the likelihood of engaging (or retaining) people who are unsuitable to work with children.  

The [Club] will ensure that working with children checks/criminal history assessments are conducted for employees and volunteers working with children, where an assessment is required by law.   If a criminal history report is obtained as part of their screening process, the [Club] will ensure that the criminal history information is dealt with in accordance with relevant state requirements. (See Part C)  

7.1.4 Support, Train, Supervise and Enhance Performance

The [Club] will ensure that volunteers and employees who work with children or their records have ongoing supervision, support and training such that their performance is developed and enhanced to promote the establishment and maintenance of a child-safe environment.  

7.1.5 Empower and Promote the Participation of Children In Decision-Making And Service Development

The [Club] will promote the involvement and participation of children and young people in developing and maintaining child-safe environments.  

7.1.6 Report and Respond Appropriately To Suspected Abuse and Neglect

The [Club] will ensure that volunteers and employees are able to identify and respond to children at risk of harm.

The [Club] will make all volunteers and employees aware of their responsibilities under respective state laws if they have suspicion on reasonable grounds that a child has been or is being abused or neglected. (See Part E)  

In addition to any legal obligation, if any person feels another person or organisation bound by this policy is acting inappropriately towards a child or is breaching the code’(s) of practice set out they may make an internal complaint.  Please refer to our complaints procedure outlined in attachment [C1] of this policy.  This will explain what to do about the behaviour and how the [Club] will deal with the problem.

7.2  Supervision

Members under the age of [  ] must be supervised at all times by a responsible adult. Our club will provide a level of supervision adequate and relative to the members’ age, maturity, capabilities, level of experience, nature of activity and nature of venue. If a member finds a member under the age of [  ] is unsupervised, they should assume responsibility for the member’s safety until the parent/guardian or supervisor can be found.

Parents must turn up on time to collect their child for reasons of courtesy and safety. If it appears a member will be left alone at the end of a training session with just one child, they will ask another member to stay until the child is collected.]  

7.3 Transportation  

Parents/guardians are responsible for transporting their children to and from club activities (e.g. practice and games). Where our club makes arrangements for the transportation of children (e.g. for away or over night trips), we will conduct a risk assessment that includes ensuring vehicles are adequately insured, the driver has a current and appropriate licence for the vehicle being used and appropriate safety measures are available (e.g. fitted working seatbelts)]

7.4 Taking Images of Children

Images of children can be used inappropriately or illegally. The club requires that members, wherever possible, obtain permission from a child’s parent/guardian before taking an image of a child that is not their own and ensure that the parent knows the way the image will be used. We also require the privacy of others to be respected and disallow the use of camera phones, videos and cameras inside changing areas, showers and toilets.  

If the club uses an image of a child it will avoid naming or identifying the child or it will, wherever possible, avoid using both the first name and surname. We will not display personal information such as residential address, email address or telephone numbers without gaining consent from the parent/guardian. We will not display information about hobbies, likes/dislikes, school, etc as this information can be used as grooming tools by pedophiles or other persons. We will only use appropriate images of a child, relevant to our sport and ensure that the child is suitably clothed in a manner that promotes the sport, displays its successes, etc.  

8. Anti-harassment, Discrimination and Bullying

Our club opposes all forms of harassment, discrimination and bullying. This includes treating or proposing to treat someone less favourably because of a particular characteristic; imposing or intending to impose an unreasonable requirement, condition or practice which has an unequal or disproportionate effect on people with a particular characteristic; or any behaviour that is offensive, abusive, belittling, intimidating or threatening – whether this is face-to-face, indirectly or via communication technologies such as mobile phone and computers.

Some forms of harassment, discrimination and bullying are against the law and are based on particular characteristics such as age, disability, gender, sexual orientation, pregnancy, political or religious beliefs, race, and marital status.            

Our club takes all claims of harassment, discrimination, bullying and cyber bullying seriously. We encourage anyone who believes they have been harassed, discriminated against or bullied to raise the issue with the club (see Responding to Complaints).

9. Inclusive practices

[Select all or only those relevant and/or add others]  

Our club is welcoming and we will seek to include members from all areas of our community.

9.1 People with a disability

Where possible we will include people with a disability in our teams and club. We will make reasonable adaptations (e.g. modifications to equipment and rules) to enable participation.  

9. 2 People from diverse cultures

We will support and respect people from diverse cultures and religions to participate in our club and where possible will accommodate requests for flexibility (e.g. modifications to uniforms).

9.3 Sexual & Gender Identity

All people, regardless of their sexuality, are welcome at our club. We strive to provide a safe environment for participation and will take action over any homophobic behaviour.  

9.4 Pregnancy

Pregnant women should be aware that their own health and wellbeing, and that of their unborn children, should be of utmost importance in their decision making about the way they participate in our sport. We recommend pregnant women to consult with their medical advisers, make themselves aware of the facts about pregnancy in sport, and ensure that they make informed decisions about participation. 

9.5 Girls playing in boys teams

If there is not a separate sex competition, our club will support girls playing in boys teams up until the age of 12 years (when federal sex discrimination law says if differences in strength, stamina and physique are relevant, then single sex competition is required). After this age our club will consider each request on an individual basis including looking at the nature of our sport and other opportunities to compete.]  

10. Responding to Complaints

10.1 Complaints

Our club takes all complaints about on and off-field behaviour seriously. Our club will handle complaints based on the principles of procedural fairness (natural justice), that is:

  • All complaints will be taken seriously;both the person making the complaint (complainant) and the person the complaint is against (respondent) will be given full details of what is being said against them and have the opportunity to respond (give their side of the story);
  • Irrelevant matters will not be taken into account;decisions will be unbiased and fair; and
  • Any penalties imposed will be fair and reasonable. 

More serious complaints may be escalated to our [district/region/state or national body].

If the complaint relates to suspected child abuse, sexual assault or other criminal activity, then our club will need to report the behaviour to the police and/or relevant government authority.

10.2 Complaint Handling Process

When a complaint is received by our club, the person receiving the complaint (e.g. President, Member Protection Information Officer) will:

  • Listen carefully and ask questions to understand the nature and extent of the problem;ask what the complainant would like to happen;
  • Explain the different options available to help resolve the problem;
  • Take notes; and
  • Maintain confidentiality but not necessarily anonymity.  

Once the complainant decides on their preferred option for resolution, the club will assist, where appropriate and necessary, with the resolution process. This may involve:

  • Supporting the person complaining to talk to the person being complained about
  • Bringing all the people involved in the complaint together to talk objectively through the problem (this could include external mediation);
  • Gathering more information (e.g. from other people that may have seen the behaviour);
  • Seeking advice from our district, regional, state and/or national body or from an external agency (e.g. State Department of Sport or anti-discrimination agency);
  • Referring the complaint to our [district, regional, state or national] association; and/or
  • Referring the complainant to an external agency such as a community mediation centre, police or anti-discrimination agency.  

In situations where a complaint is referred to our [district, regional, state or national] association and an investigation is conducted, the club will:

  • Co-operate fully;ensure the complainant and respondent are not victimised;
  • Where applicable, ensure the complainant is not placed in an unsupervised situation with the respondent(s); and
  • Act on our [district, regional, state or national] association’s recommendations.  

At any stage of the process, a person can seek advice from or lodge a complaint with an anti-discrimination commission or other external agency.  

10.3 Disciplinary Measures

Our club will take disciplinary action against anyone found to have breached our policy or made false and malicious allegations. Any disciplinary measure imposed under our policy must:

  • Be applied consistent with any contractual and employment rules and requirements;
  • Be fair and reasonable;
  • Be based on the evidence and information presented and the seriousness of the breach;
  • Be determined by our Constitution, By Laws and the rules of the game.

Possible measures that may be taken include:

  • Verbal and/or written apology;
  • Counselling to address behaviour;
  • Withdrawal of any awards, placings, records, achievements bestowed in any tournaments, activities or events held or sanctioned by our club;
  • Suspension or termination of membership, participation or engagement in a role or activity;de-registration of accreditation for a period of time or permanently;
  • A fine; or
  • Any other form of discipline that our club considers reasonable and appropriate.  

10.4 Appeals

The complainant or respondent can lodge one appeal against decisions of or disciplinary measures imposed by our club to our [district, regional, state or national] association. Appeals must be based on either a denial of natural justice, because of unjust or unreasonable disciplinary measure(s) being imposed, or on the grounds that the decision was not supported by the information/evidence presented and available to the decision maker/club.

Attachment 1.1 
Screen requirements

[For states/territories without Working With Children Checks such as ACT and Tasmania]   

This attachment sets out the screening process for people in our club who work, coach, supervise or have regular unsupervised contact with people under the age of 18 years.  

Our Club will:

  1. Identify positions that involve working, coaching, supervising or regular unsupervised contact with people under the age of 18 years.
  2. Obtain a completed Member Protection Declaration (MPD) (Attachment 1.2) from all people who are identified in the above step and keep it in a secure place.  
  3. Provide an opportunity for a person to give an explanation if a MPD isn’t provided or it reveals that the person doesn’t satisfactorily meet any of the clauses in the MPD. We will then make an assessment as to whether the person may be unsuitable to work with people under the age of 18 years. If unsatisfied we will not appoint them to the role/position.  
  4. Where possible, check a person’s referees (verbal or written) about his/her suitability for the role. 
  5. Ask the people identified in step 1 to sign a consent form for a national police check.    
  6. Possibly request (or ask the person to request) a national ‘Part Exclusion’ police check from our relevant police jurisdiction. This check excludes irrelevant records. If the police check indicates a relevant offence, we will provide an opportunity for the person to give an explanation, and then we will make an assessment as to whether the person may pose a risk to or be unsuitable to work with people under the age of 18 years. If unsatisfied we will not appoint them to the role/position.  
  7. Make an assessment as to whether the person may be unsuitable to work with people under the age of 18 years if the person does not agree to a national police check after explaining why it is a requirement under our policy. If unsatisfied, we will not appoint them. 
  8. Decide whether to offer the person the position taking into account the result of the police check and any other information the club has available to it. Where it is not practical to complete the police check prior to the person commencing in the position, we will complete the check as soon as possible, and if necessary, act immediately on the outcome.
  9. Protect the privacy of any person who is checked and maintain confidentiality of any information obtained through the checking process.
  10. Return information collected during screening (such as a completed MPD form, police records and referee reports) to the relevant person if that person is not appointed to the position, or otherwise be destroyed within 28 days of the date of the decision or the expiry of any appeal period, unless within that time the person requests that the documents be returned to them.  For appointed persons, information will be kept on file in a secure location. 

Attachment 1.2 
Member protection declaration

Our club has a duty of care to all those associated with our club. As a requirement of our Member Protection Policy, we must enquire into the background of those who undertake any work, coaching or regular unsupervised contact with people under the age of 18 years. 

I ……………………………………………………….. (name)

of …………………………….……………………………………………………………….(address)

born ……/……/……

Sincerely declare:

  1. I do not have any criminal charge pending before the courts.
  2. I do not have any criminal convictions or findings of guilt for sexual offences, offences related to children or acts of violence [you may choose to add other crimes you consider relevant e.g. narcotics].
  3. I have not had any disciplinary proceedings brought against me by an employer, sporting organisation or similar body involving child abuse, sexual misconduct or harassment, other forms of harassment or acts of violence.[you may choose to add other crimes you consider relevant e.g. narcotics].
  4. To my knowledge there is no other matter that the club may consider to constitute a risk to its members, employees, volunteers, athletes or reputation by engaging me.
  5. I will notify the President of the club immediately upon becoming aware that any of the matters set out in clauses 1 to 4 above has changed.

Declared in the State/Territory of

……………………………………….………………………….on .…….../….…./……….(date)  

Signature ………………………………………………………….....................


Parent/Guardian Consent (in respect of a person under the age of 18 years)

I have read and understood the declaration provided by my child.  I confirm and warrant that the contents of the declaration provided by my child are true and correct in every particular. 

Name:……………………………………………….……...................................

Signature:…………………………………………………..................................

Date: ……………………………………….…………….....................................

Attachment 1.3
Working with Children Check requirements

The following information was updated in April 2011. It is subject to change at any time.  

Queensland

A person will need a Working with Children Check, also known as the blue card, if they propose to work in a paid or voluntary capacity or to carry on a business in a child-related area regulated by the Commission for Children and Young People and Child Guardian Act 2000. Once a person is checked and approved they are issued with a “blue card.”

Volunteers and paid employees employed in sporting organisations generally fall under the ‘churches, clubs and associations’ category of regulated employment. Volunteers and paid employees employed in private businesses may fall under the ‘sport and active recreation’ category of regulated employment. The check is a detailed national criminal history check including charges and investigations relating to children.   

  • People such as those with previous convictions involving children are disqualified from applying for or renewing a blue card (refer to website below for details).  
  • A blue card remains current for two years. Existing card holders will be notified by the Queensland Commission for Children and Young People and Child Guardian before their card expires.  
  • In addition to obligations regarding the blue card, employers must develop and implement a written child protection risk management strategy and review it each year.  

For more information on the blue card, including current forms visit the Commissioner for Children and Young People or telephone 1800 113 611  

New South Wales

All organisations within NSW that employ people in child-related employment (in a paid or volunteer capacity) must meet the requirements of the Working with Children Check (WWCC). Child related employment is work which primarily involves direct unsupervised contact with children. The WWCC involves the following:  

  1. Ensuring all paid employees in a child-related position sign an Applicant Declaration and Consent Form which declares they are not prohibited from working with children.
  2. Submitting all applicants for paid employment to NSW Commission For Children and Young People for a Working With Children Background Check.
  3. All volunteers and students on placement whose work is categorised as 'child-related employment' must sign a Volunteer/Student Declaration; except those volunteers who mentor disadvantaged children in family-like relationships, or provide intimate personal care (e.g. bathing or toileting) for disabled children. These volunteers require a Working With Children Background Check (see 1 and 2 above).
  4. Reporting relevant employment proceedings for any paid and unpaid employees to the Commission for Children and Young People. A relevant employment proceeding involves any reportable conduct committed outside of work as well as in the workplace with or in the presence of a children.  

Sporting organisations are responsible for managing the WWCC process.  Individuals cannot apply for a WWCC directly. Sporting organisations should register with the NSW Commission for Children and Young People providing a contact who will receive the information on the background checks.  

A WWCC is valid for employment in that position within the organisation. Short-term employees (where that person is being employed for periods of less than six months and returning for short periods throughout a 12 month period) only need to be checked once every 12 months.   

For more information, including the required forms visit the NSW Commission for Children and Young People website or telephone 02 9286 7219 during business hours.    

Western Australia

The Working with Children Check (WWC Check) is a compulsory and rigorous criminal record check for certain people who carry out ‘child-related work’ in WA. A person is in ’child-related work’ if the usual duties of their work involves, or is likely to involve contact with  a child in connection with specified categories of work (see the website below for further details)  It includes child-related work carried out by paid employees, volunteers, unpaid people and the self-employed.

Parents volunteering in connection with their child’s activity are exempt (although this does not apply to overnight camps); however they should still be required to complete the non-WWC Check screening process.  There are other exemptions, for example volunteers under 18 years old.  Further details about exemptions can be found on the website below. 

Only those in child-related work under the Act may apply. 

Applicants will be issued with either: 

  • An Assessment Notice in the form of a WWC Card enabling them to be in all types of child-related work for three years unless there are new offences of concern.
  • An Interim Negative Notice, which prohibits them from child-related work until a final decision is made on their application.
  • A Negative Notice, which prohibits them from child-related work. 

There are set obligations and strong penalties for non–compliance including for employers and volunteer co-coordinators. 

For more information visit the Working with Children Website or telephone 1800 883 979 (toll free).

Victoria

The Working with Children (WWC) Check creates a mandatory minimum checking standard across Victoria. The Working with Children Act 2005 requires that some people who work or volunteer in child-related work require a WWC Check. The check involves a national police records check and a review of relevant findings from prescribed professional disciplinary bodes (currently only the Victorian Institute of Teaching). There is an exemption for volunteers whose own children are involved in the particular activity; however they should still be required to complete the screening process.  

A person who has no criminal or professional disciplinary history will be granted an assessment notice. This notice will entitle the person to undertake child-related work in Victoria and is valid for five years (unless revoked). A person deemed unsuitable to work or volunteer with children will be given a negative notice and cannot work in child-related work in Victoria.

For more information visit the Department of Justice Victoria website or telephone 1300 652 879         

South Australia

There are provisions under the Children’s Protection (Miscellaneous) Amendment Act 2005 that apply to non-government and volunteer organisations that are entrusted with the care of children or who regularly come into contact with children. 

Part of the Government regulations are ‘Seven Principles of Good Practice’ which clubs and organisations are expected to adopt as proactive and preventative strategies. These principles are to help prevent and minimise opportunities for abuse and to appropriately respond when abuse occurs or is suspected. 

Staff and volunteers who work with children are mandated notifiers and have a legal obligation to report any suspected child abuse and/or neglect.     

For more information visit the South Australian Government website.

Northern Territory

From January 2010, all persons employed in child related work, either paid or as a volunteer, must hold a valid clearance notice issued by the SAFE NT Screening Authority. There are penalties for failure to comply. Sports coaches, trainers, team administrators, officials and volunteers of Sporting Organisations that deal with children are included under the legislative requirements.  

Clearance notices are valid for two years from date of issue unless revoked, and are transferable within employment fields.  As a part of the assessment process, SAFE NT will consider the applicant’s criminal history record and other relevant information.  

For more information telephone 1800 SAFE NT (1800 723 368).

Attachment 2
Codes of behaviour

[Insert – to ensure consistency within your sport, check with your state association and national body for their codes of behaviour]

Note: Codes of Behaviour are generally not binding on non-Members such as parent/guardians and spectators.  It may therefore be difficult to discipline a parent/guardian or spectator under this policy. This will vary for every organisation and depends on what measures have been taken to bind ‘non-members’ to the policy (e.g. through purchasing tickets to venues, through a child’s membership form).


Attachment 3
Duty statements

[Insert – to ensure consistency within your sport, check with your state association and national body for example duty statements].

Attachment 4
Reporting forms

Record of complaint

Name of person receiving complaint

 

Date:          /       /

Complainant’s Name


Complainant’s contact details

Complainant’s role/status in Club

Administrator (volunteer) ÿ

Parent

Athlete/player 

Spectator

Coach/Assistant Coach

Support Personnel

Employee (paid)

Other

Official ………………………………….

Name of person complained about

Over 18

Under 18

Person complained about role/status in Club

Administrator (volunteer)

Parent

Athlete/player

Spectator

Coach/Assistant Coach

Support Personnel

Employee (paid)

Other

Official ………………………………….

Location/event of alleged issue


Description of alleged issue


Nature of complaint (category/basis/grounds)

 

Can tick more than one box

Harassment or Discrimination

Sexual/sexist 

Selection dispute

Coaching methods

Sexuality

Personality clash 

Verbal abuse

Race

Bullying

Physical abuse

Religion

Disability

Victimisation

Pregnancy

Child Abuse

Unfair decision

Other …………………………………………………………………

What they want to happen to fix issue

 

Information provided to them

 

Resolution and/or action taken

 

Follow-up action