Coaches / Volunteers / Leaders

Coaches volunteers and leaders need training.

A key role for coaches

All young people have the right to be treated fairly and have fun playing sport in a safe environment. As a coach you have a key role in this.

Whether you are paid or a volunteer, it is your responsibility to be aware of and follow your organisation's policies and procedures and to have the appropriate, up-to-date qualifications for your role.

The leaflet below provides information on what you need to do and how you should operate. If you would like a paper copy, please contact

Any concerns?

If you are worried that a child is being abused or put at risk, it is essential that you tell someone. Trust your instincts. Don't wait until you are certain. You don't have to be. It is up to the person you tell to take it further and investigate.

The idea of speaking out about abuse or poor practice, possibly by a fellow coach or volunteer, can be daunting. You may be in the best position to pick up the signs from a child who is having problems at home.

If you have concerns you must take action. Once seen/told, it can't be unseen/untold. By doing so you will be safeguarding the child concerned as well as helping to prevent other children being harmed or put at risk.

You also have a responsibility to take action if you see or hear signs of bullying behaviour amongst the young people in your session.

Take action

If you think a child is in immediate danger of abuse, contact the police on 999 or in Derbyshire call Derbyshire Children's Services Starting Point on 01629 533 190 choosing the option for urgent child protection calls any time or submit an online request at

For Derby, contact Derby City Children's Services First Contact Team on 01332 641 172 9am - 5pm or by secure email on or contact Careline on 01332 786 968 at any time.

If there is no immediate danger, speak to the club child protection or welfare officer or contact the governing body's child protection officer. You can find contact details for NGBs here

If you want to talk over your concerns with someone outside your club/organisation you can contact the NSPCC on 0808 8005000 for immediate advice. This is a 24-hour helpline. You can also email

Record all details as soon as possible. Your club or organisation may have its own incident report form to use or you can find a template here

Part of a coach's role is to protect children under their guidance.

Questions to ask yourself

1) Do you have appropriate, up-to-date qualifications?

  • Your NGB will have defined minimum operating standards to be followed.
  • Your qualifications need to be appropriate to the level and the sport being coached. To coach on your own, you need a Level 2 qualification.
  • A Level 1 qualification allows you to assist, work under the supervision of a more qualified coach.
  • For details of future NGB coaching courses, check out your NGB website or the Coaching Derbyshire course finder.

2) Do you have the appropriate, up-to-date training?

    • You must have attended safeguarding/child protection training, recognised by your NGB, Sports Coach UK or Local Safeguarding Children's Board. Most NGBs recommend you refresh your safeguarding training, at regular intervals (e.g. every three years).
    • If you are coaching in schools, you must have attended education awareness training.
    • For details of future NGB coaching courses, check out your NGB website or the Coaching Derbyshire course finder.

3) Do you have valid insurance cover?

  • All coaches must have appropriate and up-to-date insurance cover.

Coaches should have the right insurance cover.

4) Are you working within identified Minimum Operating Standards (MOS)?

  • All coaches should be aware of and work within any MOS relating to their role. These may vary depending on the activity or setting but should include attending a 'Safeguarding and Protecting Children' workshop and a first aid qualification, updated every three years.
  • If you are supervising young people on a regular basis, you are likely to require a DBS check.

5) Do you know the club/organisation's guidelines for recording and reporting concerns?

  • All coaches should be aware of the club's guidelines/policies and procedures on safeguarding and anti-bullying and should know how to report an incident and how to contact the Club Welfare Officer.
  • As the first time a child reveals something is very important and an accurate factual written record is required, it is good practice for a coach to have a blank copy of an incident reporting form with you at your sessions, just in case.

6) Have you seen and are you following the club/organisation's code of conduct for coaches?

  • You can find a copy of an example code of conduct for coaches attached below.

If you are taking children and young people away on a trip (day or overnight) you will find the best safeguarding practice covered in these CPSU documents.

If you are running virtual events or competitions for children, this podcast is a useful listen

Training and additional information

You can find some really useful information for coaches, written and videos, on the Child Protection in Sport Unit website.

There are currently no formal qualifications specifically for safeguarding children in sport. However a number of organisations have developed courses to help you keep children safe.

You can find more information on the CPSU website. As well as courses and publications, the CPSU also run free webinars.

UK Coaching, Derby Safeguarding Children Board, Derbyshire Safeguarding Children Board and Derbyshire Volunteering Passport are other resources to use.

If you have completed initial Safeguarding training and are looking for an update or refresh (recommended every three years), options include Sport Coach UK's 'Safeguarding the Protection Children 2' which is available as a workshop or as an online e-learning module.

The other alternative is 'Time to Listen' training, which has been developed specifically for club welfare officers (CWO). It is more in depth than the 'Safeguarding the Protection Children 2' course and gives CWOs the opportunity to meet and talk to other CWOs from other sports. Active Derbyshire is currently considering whether to organise some 'Time to Listen' courses in the county. If you would find this useful, please contact to register your interest.

The 'Beating the Bully' infographic produced by Connecting Coaches provides a useful summary.