What is Safeguarding?

The term child protection has been extended to safeguarding as it reflects the wider responsibility for health safety and prevention as well as just protection from abuse. It may be defined as: “Doing everything possible to minimise the risk of harm to children and young people”.

Safeguarding is about being proactive and putting measures in place in advance of any contact with children to ensure that children are going to be kept safe. This includes:

  • Having robust safeguarding procedures and guidance
  • Appointing a lead person responsible for implementing safeguarding practices within an organisation
  • Having safe recruitment procedures (including AccessNI vetting)
  • Developing and communicating codes of conducts for coaches/officials, parents and young people
  • Having clear information on how to report a concern
  • Requiring attendance at safeguarding training for those working with children

Why is it important?

Sport must recognises its moral duty and legal obligation to safeguard children and young people through the creation and promotion of a safe environment which protects them from harm.

Sport has a power to be a positive influence on children and vulnerable young adults, providing the supporting structures and sporting environment that places welfare first. Therefore sports in Northern Ireland are required to implement the good practice outlined in Code of Ethics and Good Practice for Children’s Sport .

Are there any relevant documents that all governing bodies should be aware of?

All governing bodies should already have safeguarding procedures in place but club samples are available under Sport Northern Ireland resources section

For further information and to book a place on the Sport Northern Ireland Safeguarding Workshops contact Marie-Therese Higgins, via email: or tel: 028 9038 1222.

Where can clubs and organisations find further information on safeguarding?

Child Protection in Sport Unit : tel: 028 90 351135

Sport Northern Ireland have a free online safeguarding refresher workshop:

All-Island organisations can get further information from Sport Ireland here

In Partnership with: