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Child Protection

Section 1      Child & Vulnerable Adult Protection Policy 

1.1                  Child & Vulnerable Adult Policy 

GPS is fully committed to safeguarding the welfare of all children in its care. It recognises the responsibility to promote safe practice and to protect children and vulnerable adults from harm, abuse and exploitation. Staff and volunteers will work together to embrace difference and diversity and respect the rights of children and vulnerable adults. This policy and procedures outlines GPS’s commitment to protecting children and vulnerable adults.

 GPS will: 

  • Promote the health and welfare of children and vulnerable adults by providing opportunities for them to take part in activities safely.

  • Respect and promote the rights, wishes and feelings of children and vulnerable adults.

  • Promote and implement appropriate procedures to safeguard the well being of children and vulnerable adults and protect them from abuse.

  • Recruit, train, support and supervise staff, members and volunteers to adopt best practices to safeguard and protect children and vulnerable adults from abuse and to reduce risk to themselves.

  • Require staff, members and volunteers to adopt and abide by this Protection Policy and Procedures.

  • Respond to any allegations of misconduct or abuse of children and vulnerable adults in line with this Policy and these Procedures as well as implementing, where appropriate, the relevant disciplinary and appeals procedures.

  • Observe guidelines issued by local Child Protection and Vulnerable Adults Committees for the protection of children.

  • Regularly monitor and evaluate the implementation of this Policy and the Procedures.


1.2          Child & Vulnerable Adult User Policy 

We strongly advised all children to be accompanied by a responsible adult and not be left unattended at any time for the duration of their training with GPS.     

All vulnerable adults are required to have a guardian present for the duration of their training with GPS.

All ‘groups’ of children or vulnerable adults are required to have a teacher or guardian present for the duration of their training with GPS.


1.3    Roles & Responsibilities 

Child and Vulnerable Adult Officer – Darren Morgan ( Chairman)

The Child and Vulnerable Adult Officer has the main responsibility for managing child and vulnerable adult protection issues within GPS. The role and responsibilities of the Child and Vulnerable Adult Officer are detailed below. Specific responsibilities in relation to allegations against employees are detailed in the Procedure for Managing Suspicions and Allegations of Abuse of a Child or Vulnerable Adult against employees.

Role and Responsibilities of the Child and Vulnerable Adult Officer

Within GPSthe Child and Vulnerable Adult Officer will:

  • Implement and promote GPS’s Child and Vulnerable Adult Protection Policy and Procedures.

  • Regularly report to the Committee.

  • Act as the main contact for staff within GPS and for outside persons connected with GPSfor the protection of children and vulnerable adults.

  • Provide information and advice on the protection of children and vulnerable adults.

  • Support and raise awareness of the protection of children and vulnerable adults.

  • Communicate with employees on issues of child and vulnerable adult protection.

  • Keep abreast of developments and understand the latest information on data protection, confidentiality and other legal issues that impact on the protection of children and vulnerable adults.

  • Encourage good practice and support of procedures to protect children and vulnerable adults.          

  • Organise training for employees. 

  • Regularly monitor and review the GPS’s Child and Vulnerable Adult Protection Policy and Procedures.

  • Maintain confidential records of reported cases and action taken and liaise with the statutory agencies and ensure they have access to all necessary information.


This Policy and the Procedures will be regularly reviewed:

  • In accordance with changes in legislation and guidance on the protection of children or following any changes within GPS.

  • Following any issues or concerns raised about the protection of children and vulnerable adults within GPS.  


Section 2      Child & Vulnerable Adult –  Procedures 

2.1                  Introduction 

The key principles that underwrite these procedures are:

  • A child should be regarded as any person under the age of 16 (it is suggested that any person under 18 should also be thought of as a child).

  • A person aged 18 years or over, who is in receipt of or may be in need of community care services by reason of mental or other disability, age or illness and who is or may be unable to take care of him or herself, or unable to protect him or herself against significant harm or exploitation.

  • The child’s or vulnerable adult's welfare is paramount.

  • All children or vulnerable adults whatever their age, culture, gender, language, racial origin, religious belief and/or sexual identity have the right to protection from abuse.

  • All suspicions and allegations of abuse will be taken seriously and responded to swiftly and appropriately.

  • Working in partnership with children and vulnerable adults and their parents/guardians is essential for the protection of the child.

These procedures will be brought to the attention of all employees, and should be available to participants and parents or guardians.


2.1    Recruitment & Employment

All reasonable steps will be taken to ensure unsuitable people are prevented from working with children and vulnerable adults. For all positions within GPS the following recruitment procedures must be completed. 

Application and Disclosure Scotland Form

All applicants will be requested to complete an application and Disclosure Scotland form. The purpose of the application form is to obtain relevant details from the applicant for the position. The purpose of the Disclosure form is to collect information on criminal behaviour that is relevant to the position e.g. criminal records or investigations. An enhanced Disclosure form is required for all members of staff before they commence work with GPS.


References will be sought as required. 


The induction process for the newly appointed employee will include clarification, agreement and ‘ticking off’ of the Child and Vulnerable Adult Protection Policy and Procedures, clarification of the expectations, roles and responsibilities of the position. 


Newly appointed employees will complete the following training over an agreed period:

  • GPS policies and procedures

  • Any other identified training needs. 


Newly appointed employees will complete an agreed period of probation on commencement of their role. 

Monitoring and Performance Appraisal

All employees will be monitored and their performance appraised.  This will provide an opportunity to evaluate progress, set new goals, identify training needs and address any concerns of poor practice. 

2.2      Managing Suspicions & Allegations of abuse of a child and/or Vulnerable Adult against employees

A complaint against an employee or volunteer may result in 3 different types of


  • Criminal in which case the police are immediately involved

  • Child Protection is which social services and or the police are involved

  • Disciplinary or Misconduct in which case the procedure set out in staff handbook will be followed. 

GPS will make an immediate decision about whether any individual accused of abuse should be temporarily suspended pending further police and social services or GPS investigation.     

Irrespective of the findings of the social services or police enquiries GPS will assess all individual cases to decide whether an employee or volunteer can be reinstated and how this can be sensitively handled.                              

Section 3  Code of Conduct for Children & Vulnerable Adults – Promoting Good     Practice 

3.1   Introduction 

This code of conduct details the types of practice required by all employees of GPSwhen in contact with children or vulnerable adults. The types of practice are categorised into good practice; practice to be avoided and practice never to be sanctioned. Suspicions or allegations of non-compliance of the Code by an employee will be dealt with by GPS. 

3.2   Good Practice 

GPS supports and requires the following good practice by employees when in contact with children and vulnerable adults. 

When working with children or vulnerable adults:

  • Make sport fun, enjoyable and promote fair play.

  • Always work in an open environment e.g. avoid private or unobserved situations and encourage an open environment for activities.

  • Treat all children and vulnerable adults equally, with respect and dignity.

  • Put the welfare of each child or vulnerable adult first before winning or achieving performance goals.

  • Be an excellent role model including not smoking or drinking alcohol in the company of children or vulnerable adults.

  • Give enthusiastic and constructive feedback rather than negative criticism.

  • Ensure that if any form of manual or physical support is required for a child or vulnerable adult, it is provided openly, the child or vulnerable adult is informed of what is being done and their consent is obtained.

  • Deliver educational instruction first verbally; secondly role-modelled; and thirdly, and only if necessary, with hands on - which must be accompanied by telling the child or vulnerable adult where you are putting your hands and why it is necessary and obtaining their consent.

  • Involve parents, guardians and carers wherever possible.

  • Build balanced relationships based on mutual trust that empower children and vulnerable adults to share in the decision-making process.

  • Recognise the developmental needs and capacity of children and vulnerable adults and avoid excessive training or competition and either pushing them against their will or putting undue pressure on them.       

3.3      Practice to be Avoided 

In the context of your role within GPS, the following practice should be avoided:

  • Avoid having ‘favourites’ - this could lead to resentment and jealousy by other children or vulnerable adults and could lead to false allegations.

  • Avoid spending excessive amounts of time alone with children or vulnerable adults away from others.

  • Avoid, where possible, doing things of a personal nature for children and vulnerable adults that they can do for themselves.   

3.4    Practice never to be sanctioned 

In the context of your role within GPS, the following practices should never be sanctioned:

  • Never engage in sexually provocative games, including horseplay.

  • Never engage in rough or physical contact except as permitted within the rules of the game or competition.

  • Never form intimate emotional or physical relationships with children or vulnerable adults.

  • Never allow or engage in touching a child or vulnerable adult in a sexually suggestive manner.

  • Never allow children or vulnerable adults to swear or use sexualised language unchallenged.

  • Never make sexually suggestive comments to a child or vulnerable adult, even in fun.

  • Never reduce a child or vulnerable adult to tears as a form of control.

  • Never allow allegations made by a child or vulnerable adult to go unchallenged, unrecorded or not acted upon.

  Important Note:

It may sometimes be necessary for employees or volunteers to do things of a personal nature for children or vulnerable adults, particularly if they are very young or vulnerable. These tasks should only be carried out with the full understanding and consent of the child or vulnerable adult and where possible their parents/guardians. It is important to respect their views. If a person is fully dependent on you, talk with him/her about what you are doing and give choices where possible, particularly so if you are involved in any dressing or undressing of outer clothing, or where there is physical contact, lifting or assisting a child or vulnerable adult to carry out.

3.5    First Aid and Treatment of Injuries 

If, in your capacity as an employee or volunteer of GPS, a child or vulnerable adult requires first aid or any form of medical attention whilst in your care, then the following good practice must be followed:

Please note that the GPS first aid procedure should be followed and the list below are examples of good practice for treating first aid incidents and should only be followed if you are instructed to attend to a first aid incident.

  • Be aware of any pre-existing medical conditions, medicines being taken by participants or existing injuries and treatment required.

  • Keep a written record of any injury that occurs, along with the details of any treatment given.

  • Where possible, ensure access to medical advice and/or assistance is available.

  • Where possible any course of action should be discussed with the child/vulnerable adult, in language that they understand and their permission sought before any action is taken.

  • In more serious cases, assistance must be obtained from a medically qualified professional as soon as possible.

  • The child’s or vulnerable adult’s parents/guardians or carers must be informed of any injury and any action taken as soon as possible, unless it is in the child’s or vulnerable adult’s interests and on professional advice not to do so.

3.6    Transporting Children & Vulnerable Adults 

If it is necessary to provide transport or take children or vulnerable adults away from home the following good practice must be followed:

  • Always tell another employee that you are transporting a child, give details of the route and the anticipated length of the journey.

  • For longer trips prior permission must be authorised by the child protection officer.

Permission from parent or guardian must be given and the consent form with trip details and emergency contact details filled in and signed. This will be checked prior to departure by the trip organiser and anyone without a signed form will not be permitted to travel.      

  • Ensure all vehicles are correctly insured.

  • Vehicle safety checks will be carried out by driver prior to departure, this check list is kept in the vehicle.

  • All reasonable safety measures are taken, e.g. children in the back seat, seatbelts are worn.

  • The designated drivers are prohibited from taking any alcohol during the duration of the trip.

  • The designated drivers and other staff involved with trip are prohibited from smoking in front of children or vulnerable adults at anytime. 

3.7      Photographing, Videoing and Filming Children & Vulnerable Adults 

There is evidence that some people have used sporting venues and activities as an opportunity to take inappropriate photographs or film footage of children and vulnerable adults. The following procedures have been developed to protect children and vulnerable adults. 

The following is required for GPS activities or events where children or vulnerable adults are participating:

  • Where appropriate all materials promoting GPS events or activities shall state that accredited photographers will be present.

  • Where possible consent from the parent/guardian for photographing, videoing and/or filming of a child or vulnerable adult must be obtained prior to the event or activity.

  • Where possible anyone wishing to use photographic/film/video equipment at a venue must obtain the approval of GPS.

  • No unsupervised access or one-to-one sessions are to be permitted unless this has been approved in advance by the child or vulnerable adult, parent/guardian and the organisation, and appropriate vetting has occurred e.g. Disclosure Scotland check of individual wanting to photograph, film or video.

  • Photographic, film and video equipment are not to be used in changing areas or where children or vulnerable adults may be changing.

  • GPS reserves the right at all times to prohibit the use of photography, film or video at any event or activity with which it is associated.

  • The requirements above are publicly promoted to ensure all people present at the event or activity understand the procedure and are aware of whom to contact if concerned. 

Concerns about Photographers, Video or Film Operators

Any concerns with photographers or video or film operators are to be reported to GPS Child and Vulnerable Adult Officer and where relevant, the Police.

3.8    Children & Vulnerable Adults in Publications and on Internet 

Sport websites and publications provide excellent opportunities to broadcast achievements of individuals to the world and to provide a showcase for the activities of young people or vulnerable adults.  In some cases, however, displaying certain information about children and vulnerable adults could place them at risk.  The following procedure must be followed to ensure GPS publications and GPS information on the Internet do not place children and vulnerable adults at risk. 

GPS publications and information on the Internet must adhere to the following: 

  • Publications or information on an Internet site must never include personal information that could identify a child or vulnerable adult e.g. home address, e-mail address, telephone number of a child or vulnerable adult.  Any contact information must be directed to either GPS or another relevant organisation's address, for example another governing body or club.

  • Before publishing any information about a child or vulnerable adult, written consent must be obtained from the child or vulnerable adult’s Parent/guardian.  If the material is changed from the time of consent, the parents/guardians must be informed and consent provided for the changes.

  • The content of photographs or videos must not depict a child or vulnerable adult in a provocative pose or in a state of partial undress other than when depicting a sporting activity.  Where relevant, a tracksuit may be more appropriate attire.  Children and vulnerable adults must never be portrayed in a demeaning or tasteless manner.

  • For photographs or videos of groups or teams of children or vulnerable adults ensure that only the group or team is referred to, not individual members.                 

  • Credit for achievements by a child or vulnerable adult are to be restricted to first names e.g. Tracey was Player of the Year 2002.

  • All published events involving children or vulnerable adults must be reviewed to ensure the information will not put children or vulnerable adults at risk.  Any publications of specific meetings or child/vulnerable adult events e.g. team coaching sessions, must not be distributed to any individuals other than to those directly concerned.

  • Particular care must be taken in publishing photographs, film or videos of children or vulnerable adults who are considered particularly vulnerable e.g. the subject of a child or vulnerable adult protection issue or a custody dispute.

  • Particular care is to be taken in publishing photographs, films or videos of children or vulnerable adults with physical, learning and/or communication or language disabilities, as they could be particularly vulnerable to abuse (Morgan, 1979; Watson, 1984#). 

Important Note: Any concerns or enquiries about publications or Internet information should be reported to GPS’s Child and Vulnerable Adult Officer.                               

Section 4      Responding, Recording & Reporting 

4.1          Introduction

It is not the responsibility of anyone working for GPS in a paid or unpaid capacity to decide whether or not child abuse has taken place. However, there is a responsibility to act on any allegations and suspicions through the proper channels and/or appropriate authorities so that they can then make inquiries and take necessary action to protect the child and/or vulnerable adult. This applies to both allegations/suspicions of abuse occurring within the facility and to allegations/suspicions that abuse is taking place elsewhere. 

This section explains how to respond, record and report allegations/suspicions. 

Details on definitions of child abuse can be obtained from the child and vulnerable adult officer. 

At all times, bear in mind that there may be media interest and all media enquiries relating to incidents involving children should be followed as per the crisis management procedure.

4.2          Responding to Allegations 

If a child or vulnerable adult says or indicates to you that they have been abused: 

  • Stay Calm so as not to frighten them

  • Reassure the child/vulnerable adult that they are not to blame and that it is right to tell.

  • Listen to the child/vulnerable adult, showing that they are being taken seriously

  • Keep questions to a minimum so that there is a clear and accurate understanding of what has been said.

  • Inform the child/vulnerable adult that other people have to be informed about what they have told you and that these people are the experts dealing with child protection – inform the child/vulnerable adult who has been told.

  • Record all information, recording exactly what the child has said using the exact words they use – see section 4.3 Recording Information. 

4.3     Recording Information 

To ensure that information is as helpful as possible, a detailed record should always be made at the time. In recording you should confine yourself to the facts and distinguish what is your personal knowledge and what others have told you – do not include your own opinions. 

Information should include the following: 

  • The child/ vulnerable adult’s name, age and date of birth

  • The child/vulnerable adult’s home address and telephone number

  • Whether or not the person making the report is expressing their concern or someone else’s

  • The nature of the allegation, including dates, times and any other relevant information

  • A description of any visible bruising or injury e.g. location, size etc. Also any indirect signs such as behavioural changes

  • Details of witnesses to the incidents

  • The child/vulnerable adult’s account, if it can be given, of what happened and how any bruising/injuries occurred.

  • Have the parents been contacted? If so what has been said?

  • Has anyone else been consulted? If so record details

  • Has anyone been alleged to be the abuser? Record details                 

4.4   Reporting the Allegation

All suspicions and allegations must be reported appropriately and safety of the child/vulnerable adult is paramount.  Inform the child and vulnerable adult officer immediately. You should also collect all the reports/information regarding the allegation as well as filling out your own detailed report. This should be submitted to the Child and Vulnerable Adult Officer.

N.B. If you are unsure about any allegations you can phone NSPCC Advice Helpline on 0808 800 5000 

4.41    Dealing with incidents/concerns      


Section 4.2 - 4.4 deals with allegations and suspicions of abuse that have been intimated to us, but occasionally we may be faced with  concerns or incidents  and/or we may notice something untoward which does not necessarily constitute a child welfare scenario but is still concerning to us and should be recorded. The following section tells us how to go about it. 

If employees/Volunteers have concerns involving a child or vulnerable adult that seems untoward or unusual they must report their concerns as soon as possible to the Child and Vulnerable Adult Officer. The Child and Vulnerable Adult Officer will then inform the parents as soon as possible unless it is not in the child's or vulnerable adult’s interests to tell them. They may also talk to the child or vulnerable adult first to determine the best course of action. 

In addition to the above: report, record and inform if the following occur:

  • If you accidentally hurt a child or vulnerable adult.

  • If a child or vulnerable adult seems distressed in any manner.

  • If a child or vulnerable adult misunderstands or misinterprets something you’ve said or done.

  • If a child or vulnerable adult appears to be sexually aroused by your actions.

  • If a child or vulnerable adult needs to be restrained. 

The GPS incident reporting form should be used for this purpose.  

Appendix 1   Useful Contacts 

Child and Vulnerable Adult Officer – Darren Morgan

Mob:07799847014, Home:01738 583116                                                                                  

Grampian Police 0845 6005700 

Scottish Children’s Reporter 01224 565150 

Childline   0800 1111 

Parentline 0808 8002222 

NSPCC Helpline & Advice  0808 8005000                                                                        

Child Protection in Sport Service 0141 418 5674

Email: cpinsport@children1st.org.uk