UK Athletics Launches New Safeguarding Procedures
14 June 2021
- Full implementation of the safeguarding review core recommendations.
- Complete overhaul of approach includes increase in ways to report.
- New expert safeguarding officers commence work.
- Launch of best practice industry leading platform for safeguarding management.
UK Athletics and the four Home Country Athletics Federations (HCAF) has today launched the new safeguarding policies and procedures set to bring heightened levels of safeguarding expertise and improved processes throughout the sport across the UK.
The launch marks the fulfilment of the six core recommendations of the Christopher Quinlan Safeguarding Review and supports the Home Country Athletics Federations (HCAFs) with their implementation of new procedures at a grassroots level.
The HCAFs are an integral part of a joined-up approach across all UK Nations ensuring a cohesive case management structure supporting clubs and ensuring referral of cases towards UK Athletics. This new approach provides clear structure and guidance for safeguarding in athletics across the UK with all cases now reporting in and to be overseen by the UKA safeguarding team.
Angus Macdonald, formerly lead safeguarding officer at Scottish Athletics now heads up this team and the UK-wide approach, and two new safeguarding officers have been added to the department bringing with them significant levels of experience within safeguarding and as former police officers.
As well as new personnel bringing huge expertise, a range of new processes are also launched including an increase in staff availability and methods of reporting concerns. This is supported by the introduction of My Concern, a system for safeguarding case management which has been rolled out across the athletics governing bodies to manage and coordinate referrals and investigations. There is also a new video being produced that aims to assist and support people to identify how and when to make a referral and outline the processes that would be undertaken.
UK Athletics Director of Development Mark Munro commented:
“The launch of our new safeguarding procedures is a key development as we look to make the sport the safest possible place and ensure we have measures that protect and prevent serious issues arising. I am pleased to welcome our new safeguarding case officers as well as the implementation of the ‘My Concern’ platform which will bring athletics in line with some of the recognised best practice within the sports industry.
“Our new approach to safeguarding is risk based rather than just about rule breaking. This means we won’t be waiting for a specific breach of a rule or license condition to act upon negative behaviours – some of which can be prevalent for a period of time before a formal breach is reported.
“This revised approach will vastly strengthen the sports ability to conduct early interventions and may help prevent more serious issues.”
UK Athletics Chief Executive Officer Joanna Coates said:
“This is a significant step forward in our aim to implement the strongest possible safeguarding measures. The risk-based approach will help ensure we can maintain the zero-tolerance policy for any behaviours that we do not want to see within our sport.
“I want people to trust that we can put those situations right and urge anyone in a situation they feel is not right to use one of the many ways they can now report these behaviours and believe they will be treated fairly and supported through the process.
“I welcome our new safeguarding officers to the team and hope that we will be able to look upon this as a significant step towards making our sport the safest for young people to take part in.”
The sport continues to work towards meeting the remaining recommendations of the Quinlan report and will report on further progress later in the year. For more information on the work of the Safeguarding team visit https://www.uka.org.uk/governance/safeguarding_2021/
To report concerns relating to safeguarding matters visit https://www.uka.org.uk/submit-a-concern/
The updated Policies, Procedures and Codes of Conduct are available on our website: Welfare