British Gymnastics Commitment to Safeguarding
We are committed to safeguarding the welfare of all children, young persons and adults at risk in our sport and our aim is to ensure all who participate in gymnastics have a safe, fun, positive experience and are able to fulfil their potential.
In order to help ensure a safe environment, we provide information and training opportunities to enable those working with children in gymnastics to respond appropriately if they are worried a child may be at risk or suffering abuse.
Parents in Sport Week 2020
Taking place from 5th – 11th October 2020, Parents in Sport Week is an annual campaign to raise awareness of the importance that parents’ involvement has on youth sport.
Set up by the Child Protection in Sport Unit (CPSU), a team that sits within the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC), the theme of this year’s campaign is ‘Let’s talk about keeping children safe in sport’. The aim is to inform more parents of what safeguarding policies and procedures are in place, how to access them and how they help to protect children.
The CPSU are also calling on parents to make the Sports Parents Promise, a pledge to help their child have safe and enjoyable experiences in sport.
For more information about Parents in Sports Week visit the Child Protection in Sport Unit website.
What to do if you have a concern
If an incident or concern is immediate and you think a child is in immediate danger of abuse or at risk of significant harm or are in need of protection, then call the Police on 999 and/or your local Social Services.
If the matter is not immediate, please speak to the person on site responsible for welfare or contact a member of our Safeguarding and Compliance Team by calling 0345 129 7129 (Calls to an 0345 number are charged at a standard rate (calls from mobile phones may vary). Calls may be recorded for training and monitoring purposes).
In either circumstance, please also complete the Safeguarding Incident form. This form should be used to record the details of any concern they wish to report. A copy should be sent to the British Gymnastics Safeguarding and Compliance team at [email protected].
We will then be able to provide an appropriate response and effect liaison with all relevant agencies and persons concerned. All efforts will be made to keep the information confidential. The information will only be shared with those that need to know in the best interests of the child, young person or vulnerable adult. The form should be completed for all types of concern, even where no immediate action may be necessary.
The British Gymnastics Pathway for Reporting Serious Complaints/Concerns is a flowchart intended to clarify the pathway for complaints relating to serious breaches of the British Gymnastics Standards of Conduct by members. NB: Whilst this pathway may concern matters which occur in British Gymnastics registered clubs; it does not apply to complaints about BG programmes (such as National Performance Squad Activity), events, services or decisions (“acts of British Gymnastics”).
Reporting Safeguarding & Child Protection Concerns flowchart
To aid in a return to activity following the UK Government's announcement for indoor sport to recommence from Saturday 25th July 2020, we have created some guidance for Club Welfare Officers to encourage proactivity when clubs reopen, by asking questions about the welfare of members whilst seeking to address any anxieties as they return to gymnastics after being away for several months.
pdf Direction for Club Welfare Officers (113 KB)
Information for Parents
Parents play a vital role in their children’s sport. Positive support from parents both physically and emotionally can make such a difference to a child’s enjoyment and progress as well as teaching them life lessons in terms of being a positive role model.
We have designed our new leaflet ‘Keeping your child safe’ a guide to parents, which provides useful information to help parents be confident that their child can have fun in a safe environment and how they can help.
The leaflet will be included in all new membership packs. Additional copies will be available during future Safeguarding events and available on request through the Safeguarding & Compliance team or your local Regional Welfare Officer.
Read or print your own copy:
Online Safety and the use of Social Media
The use of the internet and the variety of social media applications and devices, continues to play a significant role in the lives of children and young people. As the digital world is constantly changing, it is important that they continue to be safeguarded and kept safe online.
A number of organisations provide up to date and child friendly advice and guidance to keep children safe, which can be accessed at:
And our document: Good practice on the use of social networking sites
Have Fun, Be Safe
Our leaflet, 'Have Fun, Be Safe' has been developed for parents and their children providing tips and useful information that will help young people to understand how to stay safe and who can help them if they feel they are not.
The leaflet is included in all new membership packs and contains essential information that parents can read with their children if necessary, to make them aware and continue to feel safe whilst in a gymnastics environment. Additional copies will be available during future Safeguarding events and available on request through the Safeguarding & Compliance team or your local Regional Welfare Officer.
Read or print your own copy.
Safe Sport Requirements
Working alongside our clubs, welfare officers and statutory agencies, we ensure that safeguarding is prioritised and our members and registered clubs meet specific requirements to safeguard and protect. A critical element of this is the designation of an individual who is responsible for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children, young persons and adults at risk within clubs. All our registered clubs, regions and gymnastics events are required to have a nominated Welfare Officer to be responsible for:
• Responding to child protection and poor practice concerns.
• Providing support and advice in the implementation of procedures that safeguard and promote the welfare of children, young people and adults at risk.
• Assist the club to be more focused in its activities e.g. involving children, young people and adults at risk in decision making processes.
Any member of our organisation working with children, young persons or adults at risk, who meets the eligibility criteria is required to complete a criminal record check and our recognised Safeguarding training.
Criminal Record Checks
Criminal record checks enable us to assess the on-going suitability of an individual in certain roles or voluntary work, including working with children or protected adults. It is a requirement for the criminal record check to be updated every 3 years. To access our policies and guidance please click Criminal Records Checks
CRIMINAL RECORD CHECKS – UPDATED IDENTITY CHECKING GUIDANCE
(Action required by all Club administrators responsible for Criminal Records Checks)
The Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) have updated their Identity (ID) checking guidelines for basic checks and standard/enhanced checks. The new ID guidelines currently run alongside existing guidance. However from 3rd December 2018, the existing guidelines can no longer be used and will be removed from their website. These new guidelines, which must be used from that date, will allow more people to access DBS services without compromising the robust disclosure process, which ultimately helps protect vulnerable groups, including children.
Some of the key changes are listed as follows:
Checking by video. A live video link can now be used for ‘face-face’ examinations of identity documents. However, it is important to note that the person carrying out the identity check must be in possession of the original documents.
Irish Passport Card. An Irish Passport Card has been added to Group 2b.
New documents available for non-European Economic Area applicants. These include a Permanent Residence Card issued by the Home Office to the family member of a national of a EEA country or Switzerland; a Positive Verification Notice issued by the Home Office Employer Checking Service to the employer or prospective employer.
July 2020 - The Disclosure & Barring Service are currently experiencing delay in processing UK Passport applications. They have therefore agreed to temporarily allow expired UK passports that are within 6 months of the expiry date for the DBS identity checking purposes.
Changes to requirements: A passport is no longer required as an additional item for a current Residence Card; a current Immigration Status Document containing a photograph; a current Immigration Status Document.
Further detailed information is accessible via the DBS website at:
Any member of our organisation working with children, young persons or adults at risk, who meets the eligibility criteria is required to complete a criminal record check and our recognised Safeguarding training. The initial Safeguarding training, which is valid for 3 years, must be a face to face workshop and delivered by a recognised training organisation.
British Gymnastics accepts training from the following providers:
- Local Authority Safeguarding
- FA Safeguarding
- UK Coaching Safeguarding and Protecting Children
- NHS Safeguarding
- Specific professional prior learning (Social Worker, Teacher, Police Officer etc)
- (Or Home Country equivalent approved by Scottish Gymnastics/Welsh Gymnastics/Gymnastics N Ireland)
To enhance national Safeguarding training, we provide a sport-specific online Safeguarding Refresher course which can be used to renew Safeguarding after completing a face to face course, and an online Foundation Safeguarding training course designed for 16-17 year olds who frequently volunteer or work in gymnastics. In addition, we also provide a Time to Listen course for Welfare Officers. To access our courses please click here.
If you are a member of Scottish Gymnastics and require information on available courses, please click here
Positive Coaching Course
We have the strongest commitment to support coaches in their duty of care to ensure safe participation for everyone in gymnastics. To support this, we have developed and introduced an internationally-recognised online learning course called ‘Positive Coaching’. The course explores the challenges faced by a coach, how different beliefs about success and failure impact coaches and participants, and a variety of strategies that can be used to ensure consistent positivity in coaching delivery. The course requires mandatory completion once, for all members who hold a UKCC or equivalent Level 2 or above coaching qualification and must be completed prior to membership renewal. The course can be accessed here.
Safeguarding policies and documentation
For more information or support on Safeguarding please view our Safeguarding and Compliance Policies
If you wish to discusss any concerns you may have regarding safeguarding and protecting children, you can contact your local club welfare officer for advice and support. Alternatively, you can contact a County or Regional Welfare Officer or National Governing Body (British Gymnastics, Welsh Gymnastics, Scottish Gymnastics)