Safeguarding FAQs

1.  Does my club need a Safeguarding Officer?(Children’s Officer)

A. Yes. In relation to Children’s First Legislation in the Republic of Ireland and promoting best practice in line with the Code of Ethics and Good Practice for Children’s Sport in Northern Ireland, it is necessary that each club with juveniles has a Safeguarding Officer.

2. What if I have no children playing/members in my club?

A. Best practice would advise that you would have a Safeguarding Officer to enforce the code of conduct in your club as well as safeguard any vulnerable adults/adult at risk that would be part of your club.

3. What do we need to have in order to work with children and juveniles within our club?

A. You need the following:

  • Garda Vetted / Access NI through IIHA
  • Safeguarding Level 1 Cert/ Safeguarding Young People & Vulnerable Adults Cert
  • Affiliated to the IIHA

4. Is there anything further training I should have completed if I am a safeguarding officer?

A. You should be looking to complete Safeguarding Level 2/ Designated Safeguarding Children Officer Training if not done so already. This training can be completed through your local sports partnership/Sport NI. You should also be affiliated to the IIHA and be Garda Vetted/Access NI.

5. Can I have a role as a coach and as a Safeguarding officer?

A. Yes, though best practice would advise that the role should be separate and impartial.

6. Did we need to do a Child Risk Assessment?

A. Yes, this should be completed by the Safeguarding Officer and sent in to the National Governance Officer. This will form the basis of your child safeguarding statement, and is a legal requirement as part of Children’s First legislation in the Republic of Ireland. In Northern Ireland, while not a legal requirement, there should be a Safeguarding Action Plan in place as per best practice.

7. What is the role of the Safeguarding Officer?

A. The role of the Safeguarding Officer should cover as follows:

  • Responsible for implementing best practice with regards to child protection in your club.
  • Is a member of the management committee/executive committee in your club.

(Safeguarding should be on the agenda of every club meeting).

  • Ensure those in the club working with children have necessary requirements to do so (Garda Vetting/Access NI/ Safeguarding Training/Coaching Qualifications /Affiliated to IIHA).
  • Ensure the Child Protection safety statement is visible at the venue of play.
  • Conduct/Review Child Protection Risk Assessment at the beginning of each playing season.
  • Signing members up to a code of conduct and enforce on a practical level.
  • Be active in the recruitment of coaches working within a club.
  • Be an advisor for coaches and administrators within a club in terms of implementing best practice.

8. Where do I get a template/copy of Child Risk Assessment?

A. It is available on the IIHA website.

9. Do we need to do a Child Safeguarding Statement?

A. Yes, this is compulsory under the Children First legislation. The Child Protection Risk Assessment is your document which feeds into your Child Safeguarding Statement. This should be made visible at your club’s venue. Outline of how the risks identified will be managed. (This is not Applicable to Northern Ireland as a legislative requirement).

10. If I have adults in my club who play with juveniles in my club but they do not coach, should they be Garda vetted/Access NI?

A. Yes, as they are in a position of authority in a supervisory position, in contact with children, they should be Garda vetted/Access NI checked, affiliated to Badminton Ireland and have completed Safeguarding Level 1 Training. Your club must offer a duty of care to the children in your club by ensuring these requirements are met.

11. Who is a Designated Liaison Person?

A. The Designated Liaison Person is responsible for ensuring that reporting procedures within your organisation are followed, so that child welfare and protection concerns are referred promptly to TUSLA.

12. If I have a new member to the club who is joining from another club, is there anything our club should do?

A. The safeguarding officer should reference check the individual with previous club if previously involved in coaching and is looking to assume a similar capacity with your club. Safe recruitment practice would advise to conduct a vetting check on the individual.

13. What qualifications should people have if they are coaching children?

A. They must have the following:

  • Garda Vetted / Access NI through IIHA.
  • Safeguarding Level 1 Cert/ Safeguarding Young People & Vulnerable Adults Cert.
  • Affiliated to IIHA.
  • Minimum Level 1 Coaching Qualification

14. Do people need to be a member in order to supervise / coach children?

A. Yes, they need to be affiliated to the IIHA for insurance purposes. They should also be vetted and have completed Safeguarding Level 1/Safeguarding Children and Young People training.

15. Who is a mandated person?

A. Mandated persons are people who are in contact with children and /or families, and who because of their qualifications, training and/or employment role, are in a key position to help protect children from harm. (Children’s First, 2017).

16. If I only help out with supervising children in my club on one off occasions when covering at short notice, do I need to be vetted?

A. No, this would be regarded as infrequent, unplanned activity and it is not necessary to be Garda vetted in this circumstance. In Northern Ireland, it is more defined in terms of regulated activity.        

17. If I have players in their teens coming to play at adult sessions, what do I need to have?

A. You should have a club person present who is Garda Vetted. You should also have parental consent for the player to be playing.

18. Who needs to be Vetted?

A. Anyone working with children on a planned, ongoing basis either in a supervisory or coaching position needs to be Vetted.

19. What is the Vetting Process?

A. Get the Applicant to fill out the Garda Vetting Form which is downloadable from the IIHA website. The applicant will be informed of the result of the Garda Vetting process. This can take between 4-6 weeks.

20. How often do I need to be Vetted?

A. Every 3 years would be common practice, though it can be requested at any point by the Safeguarding Officer or IIHA.

21. How often do I need to do the Safeguarding Course?

A. Your Safeguarding Level 1/Safeguarding Children and Young People Cert is valid for 3 years, then you can complete an Online Refresher Course free of charge through the Sport Ireland website. You will be provided with a digital certificate that you must present with your original Safeguarding Level 1 certificate.

22. Can IIHA organise Safeguarding Courses for us?

A. We would advise clubs to utilise their local sports partnerships.

23. Who else in the club needs to do Safeguarding Training?

A. Coaches and the Safeguarding Officer must have completed the Safeguarding Level 1/Safeguarding Children and Young People as a minimum requirement.

24. What if I haven’t completed the mandatory training for a Safeguarding Officer, can I still occupy the role?

A. We will give you 6 months grace to get the minimum requirements needed to fulfil the role.

25. If I have a Safeguarding Cert from my work or through an E-Learning Course through Children’s First, is that sufficient?

A. No, you need to complete the Safeguarding Course through the local Sports Partnership/Sport Ireland/Sport NI as reporting procedures within different organisations are slightly different.

26. I have young people coming to my club looking to help out to build up hours for the President’s Award, do they need to be Garda Vetted?

A. They need to be Vetted (Over 16 with parental consent) and need to complete a Safeguarding/Shuttle Time Course. They cannot lead the session. They must be supervised at all times by a Head Coach.


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