Rugby Football Club


Guidance on Safeguarding Matters

At Blandford Rugby Football Club (BRFC) we believe that taking part in our sport should be a positive and enjoyable part of children’s lives.

We want to make sure that children are protected and kept safe from physical, sexual and emotional harm while they are with the Club’s coaches, helpers and other volunteers.

It is the aim of BRFC to ensure that the practices and procedures, which we implement, will comply with the principles contained within UK and international legislation. The following legislation is to be taken into consideration:


Abuse is a powerful and emotive term. It is a term used to describe ways in which children are harassed, usually by individuals and often by those they know and trust. Coaches and others working with young people hold this trust and may be at risk of misusing their power over the young players.

In order to provide young people with the best possible experiences and opportunities in rugby, it is imperative that everyone operates within the accepted framework and demonstrates exemplary behaviour. This not only ensures that members of BRFC makes a positive contribution to the development of young players and safeguards their welfare, but also protects all personnel from false allegations of abuse or poor practice.

The four main types of abuse are:

Emotional Abuse

In general terms, emotional abuse occurs when adults or even other young persons’ persistently fail to show children due care, love or affection, where a child may be constantly shouted at, threatened or taunted, or be subjected to sarcasm and unrealistic pressures. There may also be over-protection, preventing children from socialising, or bullying to perform to high expectations. The child may lose self-confidence and may become withdrawn and nervous.

In a coaching situation, emotional abuse may occur when coaches volunteers or parents:


In general terms neglect as a form of abuse occurs when a child’s essential needs for food, warmth and care fail to be met. Failing to or refusing to provide love and affection could also be deemed as neglect.

In a coaching situation, neglect may occur when:

Physical Abuse

In general terms, this occurs when adults, or even children, deliberately inflict injuries on a child, or knowingly do not prevent injuries. It includes injuries caused by hitting, shaking, squeezing, biting or using excessive force. It also occurs when an adult gives children alcohol, or inappropriate drugs, or fails to supervise their access to these substances.

In a coaching situation, physical abuse may occur when:

Sexual Abuse

Young persons can be abused by adults (both male and female) or other young people. This may include encouraging or forcing a child or young person to take part in sexual activity.

In a rugby situation, sexual abuse may occur when:


Bullying is not always easy to define and will not always be an adult abusing a young person. It is often that the bully is a young person. All coaches and personnel working within BRFC must be familiar with the different types of bullying.

There are three main types of bullying Physical, Verbal and Emotional.

In a rugby situation bullying may occur when:

It is of paramount importance that all BRFC Coaches, Support personnel, players and their parents/guardians are aware of the club Anti Bullying Policy.


All coaches and personnel who undertake any role within the BRFC should be aware that any behaviour that contravenes any of the following codes of behaviour could be deemed to be poor practice.

The Codes of Practice are:

The procedures for dealing with a case of poor practice are set out in the appropriate Appendices within this documentation pack.


As members of BRFC Mini and Youth Section the following guidelines should be followed where there is a concern relating to the welfare of a young person:

Please remember that it is not your responsibility to decide if abuse is occurring but it is your responsibility to act on any concerns that you have.


Any member of the BRFC Mini and Youth Section who becomes aware of anything which causes them to feel uncomfortable must discuss it with the Club Safeguarding Officer.

This means that all coaches and committee members of the BRFC and in particular members of the Mini and Youth Section being aware of the attitudes and the interactions between children and all other coaches and administrative staff and each other.

If the behaviour is contrary to this welfare policy and procedures and young people are at risk then action must be taken.

All members of the BRFC Mini and Youth Section committee must also be alert to any unusual incidents or activities where another adult is putting young people and themselves in a vulnerable position.

In all cases of reported poor practice/abuse the following principles should be adopted:



In all cases contact the BRFC Safeguarding Officer and/or BRFC Chairman. In their absence advice can be sought from the RFU Safeguarding Team who can be contacted on 0208 831 6655 Or NSPCC 24 Hour Helpline on 0808 800 5000.


Concerns about poor practice and possible abuse within the rugby setting.

This relates to anyone working within BRFC Mini and Youth Section as a volunteer or a visiting coach, member of a visiting teams administrative staff or adult.

Allegations will often relate to poor practice where an adults behaviour is inappropriate and is the cause for concern.

Poor practice constitutes any behaviour which:

Poor practice is unacceptable within the sport of rugby and is treated as a serious failing by the RFU. BRFC will instigate in accordance with the RFU/RFUW regulations the appropriate actions.

Action to take if a young person informs you that they are concerned about someone’s behaviour towards them in the rugby setting.

All coaches and members of BRFC Mini and Youth Section will follow the principles set out within this document if they are informed by a young person of their concerns about someone’s behaviour towards them. They must also complete the RFU Incident Record Form

Information which is passed to external agencies must be as helpful as possible. It will be necessary to make a detailed report at the time of the disclosure. The report should contain the following details:

Remember to:

You must not investigate the disclosure yourself. You must:

The BRFC Safeguarding Officer will report the matter to the RFU Safeguarding Officer and any other parties as directed by the RFU Safeguarding Team via the CB Safeguarding Manager.

Poor Practice

If following the guidance of the RFU Safeguarding Officer that the issue is deemed as poor practice the BRFC Safeguarding Officer must:


Following a decision by the RFU that the incident is deemed to be investigated as Child Protection/Abuse the BRFC Safeguarding Officer must:

Non-action is not an option. The welfare of the young person is paramount.


If any member of the BRFC Mini and Youth Section committee becomes aware of any possible abuse outside the rugby setting they must:

The guidelines and procedures within this Policy should then be followed:

Non-action is not an option. The welfare of the young person is paramount to every other consideration. Delay in acting could increase the risk to the child.


It is important when dealing with disclosures or observations which cause concerns the following:


It is vital when recruiting coaches and volunteers to the Mini and Youth Section of BRFC that they are of the highest calibre and meet all the requirements to work safely with young people. It is crucial that they meet the stringent guidelines set out by the RFU/RFUW to ensure that persons who may pose a threat to young people are not allowed to enter the sport of rugby union.

BRFC Mini and Youth Section recruitment for all coaches and volunteer staff will follow the principles detailed below:


When the Mini and Youth Section BRFC advertises to recruit any coaches or administrative staff the advertising will reflect:


All applicants/volunteers who will be working within the Mini and Youth Section will be required to initially complete the Volunteer Application. All adults who have been offered/accepted a position where they are in contact with young people will be required to complete the Disclosure and Barring Scheme Application process administered by the BRFC Safeguarding Officer through the appropriate RFU Welfare organisation. No adult will be allowed to work unsupervised within BRFC Mini and Youth Section until the BRFC Safeguarding Officer has received details of the Disclosure Certificate. All Disclosure Certificates must be renewed on a 3 yearly basis, in line with current legislation. Any adult who already holds a DBS certificate either for work or in association for another sport will be required to complete an RFU DBS Application form. It is RFU/RFUW Policy that all adults who have contact with young people must hold a valid RFU DBS Certificate.

Training BRFC Mini and Youth Section will ensure that all adults have available to them the opportunity to attend any training courses which will develop and enable them to recognise their responsibilities with regard to their own good practice and the reporting of poor practice or concerns of possible abuse. It is vital that all coaches and administrative staff of BRFC Mini and Youth Section are conversant with player centred techniques and how to work with young people safely and effectively.

BRFC Mini and Youth Section follows the training syllabus recommended by the RFU.

Monitoring and appraisal

To enable the Mini and Youth Section coaches and administrative staff access to the appropriate training, the training matrix within the RFU supplied Safeguarding Officer Handbook will be used as a guideline. The Rugby Development Officer will also be contacted at regular intervals to ensure the inclusion of BRFC Mini and Youth Section members on any appropriate training courses or workshops.


It is the aim of BRFC to ensure that all young people enjoy the game in a safe and enjoyable setting. Set out in this section is the good practice procedures that are to be followed by all associated with BRFC:

BRFC will develop and monitor a number of Codes of Conduct to ensure that all children and young people and the individuals who work with them within the rugby setting will enjoy the game in a safe environment. While working with children and young people all BRFC Mini and Youth Section Coaches and Administrative staff will adopt and follow the guidance set out in the Codes of Conduct which form part of this policy.

To assist coaches and administrative staff who encounter challenging behaviour from a young person the RFU guidance on how to promote good practice and to encourage a proactive response to supporting children to manage their own behaviour can be viewed here.


Poor practice is defined as any behaviour which contravenes the RFU/RFUW Codes of Conduct (Fair Play Codes) or RFU/RFUW Guidelines for Good Practice.

Once an incident is reported to the Club Safeguarding Officer they are to consult with the RFU Safeguarding Team in order to ascertain whether the allegation is to be investigated/dealt with as poor practice, bullying or abuse.

Once the incident has been identified by the RFU as poor practice and, in consultation with BRFC club officials (Senior Section Chairman, Head of Mini and Youth Section and Honorary Secretary), a decision will be made whether or not to suspend, temporally, the person accused. Each case will be considered on its merits.

A disciplinary hearing may be called. The panel will be made up of club members with regard to the following criteria:

The accused will be advised of receipt of the report and provided with copies of the report and any witness statements.

The accused will be invited to attend the hearing, which must be convened at a mutually agreed time.

The accused must be given sufficient advanced notification of the hearing.

Once the disciplinary panel has reaches a decision it should be communicated to the accused and confirmed in writing and to the parents/guardians of the young person.

A copy of the findings must be sent to the CB Safeguarding Manager and the RFU Safeguarding Team.

Possible outcomes of a disciplinary hearing

A Disciplinary Hearing convened by BRFC will have the following powers:

Blandford RFC are proud to be sponsored by the following local businesses,
please click on individual logos to visit Sponsor websites:

Thank you to our Principal Sponsors:

J & G Environmental
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TK Joinery Ltd
Bespoke High Quality Joinery
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Estate Agents
Ward Goodman
Accountancy & Financial Services

Thank you to our Team Sponsors:

Chaffers Estate Agents
Costello Lettings
Dexil Ltd
Friendly Dog Collars
Electric Center
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(07860 570258)

Blandford RFC would also like to thank our Club Sponsors: