Safeguarding & whistle blower policy


1 Safeguarding Policy

Chiefs Rugby Club acknowledges its responsibility to safeguard the welfare of every child, young person and vulnerable adult who has been entrusted to its care and is committed to working to provide a safe environment for all of its members.  A child or young person is anyone under the age of 18 involved in any club football activity. A vulnerable adult is anyone who may be unable to take care of himself or herself or be unable to protect himself or herself against significant harm or exploitation.  In the absence of a USA Rugby safeguarding policy, the Chiefs Rugby Club subscribe to the RFU Safeguarding Policy and endorse and accept the Policy Statement contained in that document.

2 The key principles of the RFU Safeguarding Policy are that:

  • The child’s welfare is, and must always be, the paramount consideration
  • All children, young people and vulnerable adults have a right to be protected from abuse regardless of their age, ethnic origin, gender, special needs, disability, class or social background, religion, sexual orientation, marital status, colour or political persuasion.
  • All suspicions and allegations of abuse or poor practice will be taken seriously and responded to swiftly and appropriately

3 We acknowledge that every child or young person or vulnerable adult who plays or participates in rugby should be able to take part in an enjoyable and safe environment and be protected from poor practice and abuse.  This is the responsibility of every adult involved in our club.

4 The Chiefs Rugby Club has a role to play in safeguarding the welfare of all children, young people and vulnerable adults by protecting them from physical, sexual or emotional harm and from neglect or bullying.  It is noted and accepted that the RFU Safeguarding Policy and related regulations applies to everybody in rugby whether in a paid or voluntary capacity.  This means whether you are a volunteer, match official, helper, coach, club official or medical staff.

5        We endorse and adopt the RFU’s Safeguarding Policy on recruiting volunteers and staff and will follow the recruitment procedures as set out in that policy and summarised below:

  • Develop a job description or role profile
  • As a minimum meet and chat with applicants and where possible conduct interviews before appointing
  • Ensure that all volunteers are registered with USA Rugby and have passed the mandated background check        

        It is accepted that USA Rugby aims to prevent people with a history relevant and significant offending from having contact with children, young people or vulnerable adults and prevent them having the opportunity to influence policies or practice with children or young people. This is to prevent direct sexual or physical harm to children or young people or vulnerable adults and to minimise the risk of grooming within rugby.

6        The Chiefs Rugby Club supports the Chiefs Rugby Club Whistle Blowing Policy (see below).  Any adult or young person with concerns about anyone connected with rugby can whistle blow by contacting the club President

7        The Chiefs Rugby Club has appointed a Club Welfare Officer (CWO).  The CWO is the first point of contact for all club members and parents/carers regarding concerns for the welfare of any child or young person or vulnerable adult.  The CWO will be familiar with the procedures for referring any concerns and will play a proactive role in increasing an awareness of poor practice and abuse amongst club members.

8        We acknowledge and endorse the Chiefs Rugby Club Anti Bullying Policy.  Bullying of any kind is not acceptable at our club. If bullying does occur, all players or parents/carers should be able to tell and to know that bullying will be dealt with promptly.  Incidents need to be reported to the CWO and in the case of serious bullying or adult on child bullying to Rugby Illinois Executive Committee.

9        The RESPECT Code of Conduct for coaches, players, officials, parents/carers, officials and coaches has been implemented by The Chiefs Rugby Club.  The Club has a fair disciplinary system (please see Discipline Policy)  and clear sanctions to deal with any misconduct within the club by coaches, players parents and vounteers.

10        Further advice on Safeguarding matters can be obtained from:

Club Welfare Officer – Janet Kean        

Safe Sport



Signed on behalf of the Club by President                                                                                               

Name Janet Kean           




Chiefs Rugby Club is determined to ensure that the culture of the sport is one in which it is safe, acceptable and gives confidence to those involved in rugby league to raise concerns about unacceptable practice and misconduct.

What stops people from whistle blowing?

− Concerns about getting it wrong or having misunderstood

− Fear of repercussions such as harassment or victimisation

− Fear of not being believed

− Concerns about starting a chain of events which may spiral out of control

− A belief that it would be disloyal to other volunteers

− Thinking that it doesn’t matter or that nobody will get hurt

− Thinking it’s not their responsibility

Why should you whistle blow?

− Everybody involved in rugby league has a responsibility for raising concerns about any unacceptable practice or behaviour

− Whilst it may be difficult the welfare of children may depend on you and the children and young people in the game have a right to expect that you will do something about your concerns

− It is often the most vulnerable children who are targeted and these children need somebody to safeguard their welfare

− Historically, early effective intervention has been shown to prevent the problem getting more serious or affecting more children

− It can protect or reduce the risk to others

− It can prevent you from being implicated yourself or in the professional game facing a charge for failing to report misconduct

What should you do and who should you tell?

− You should not attempt to deal with any allegation or suspicion yourself (in an emergency contact the relevant emergency service)

− You should inform your coach or the club President

− In particular you should not:

♣ Inform the person about whom you have a concern

♣ Inform other club officials

♣ Start your own investigation or delay in reporting the suspicion

What happens next?

− Information will be treated in confidence.

− During the investigation the identity of those raising the concerns will be kept as confidential as possible however it may be necessary for some people to be informed.

− Where possible the Chiefs Rugby Club will keep those who have provided information informed about the progress and conclusion of the investigation.

− No action will be taken if a concern proves to be unfounded but was raised in good faith

− The Chiefs Rugby Club rules make it a club offence to harass or victimise a whistle blower

− Malicious allegations may be considered a disciplinary offence