Administration and Implementation

Action Plan/Check List: what to do next

How to begin

A good way to begin is to get an overview of the issues. Then let everyone know that your association or club is committed to the protection of children and vulnerable adults by issuing a simple statement of intent or a more formal policy document.

The form of words used in a Statement of Intent need not be very complex.

The following is a suggestion, which could also be introduced as an additional clause in your organisation's Rules and Constitution.

"The XYZ Bowling Club / Association is committed to promoting a safe environment in which children and vulnerable adults can enjoy taking part in games of bowls.

It will seek to underpin and ensure this commitment by following and promoting the joint Child Protection Policy and Procedures of the National Governing Bodies."

An example of a formal policy document, which incorporates the underlying principles can be found on the Sample Forms page. It is important that the statement of commitment to child and vulnerable adult safety is prominently displayed in the club, and copies made available on request to members and parents.

What next?

The next step is for your Executive Committee to set a timed action plan to guide the scheduling of implementation.

When formulating an action plan checklist full account will need to be taken of any mandatory requirements and target timings imposed by the NGBs and/or County Association. The following is not exhaustive but gives an outline of the principal matters to be addressed.

County Associations will need to incorporate provision for consultation with member clubs, and liaison and shared information between SOs, coaches, etc.

  1. Agreement of Committee/ AGM to adopt Safeguarding Procedures and Protection. Budget established.
  2. Identification / recruitment of a Safeguarding Officer (SO).
  3. Preparation and printing of documentation.
  4. Formal announcement and display of policy to members.
  5. Identification and consultation with support groups, coaches and other volunteer helpers.
  6. Issue and progressing of volunteer disclosure and reference forms.
  7. Review of training needs / awareness and current procedures.
  8. Development and introduction of new procedures, resulting in the preparation and consultation on changes to Rules and Constitution.
  9. Issue and progressing of parental/carer consent forms.
  10. Development and publication of complaints procedures, also discipline and appeals systems.
  11. Development and installation of monitoring systems.
  12. Review and if required modify procedures.

The plan will need to cater for the following:


Decisions will need to be taken on the training needs for your Association/Club SO, volunteers and coaches, including cost implications. A number of agencies offer awareness courses and other training related to child protection. Some have been attended by members of the Association of Bowling Codes Safeguarding Panel who can offer advice on their suitability. (See this link for contact details of Child Protection Panel Members.)

Financial support to help with course fees may be available from local award schemes, and information on these is often obtainable from the local authority or library service.

Guidance on suitable courses can be found on the Training page.

Adoption of Policy and Constitution changes

County Associations are required to make provision in their Rules and Constitution to ensure that those Clubs with members under 18 years of age and other vulnerable persons, adopt appropriate protection procedures or will do so at an early date.

The Club and officials having adopted and placed on display their Safeguarding Protection Policy, should make sure that the appointed SO is known to all members of the club, and fully supported by the committee.

NGBs, County Associations and Clubs should also recognise the importance of making early arrangements to bring the policy and other relevant safeguarding protection matters into their Rules and Constitution.

Anything else?

It is acknowledged that this guide is not exhaustive, and that you may have unanswered questions. Please make your first point of call one of the members of the Association of Bowling Codes Safeguarding Panel listed in the Child Protection Panel Members page.

This helps with our monitoring arrangements, and will ensure that your query receives an answer.

Implementation and Monitoring

To ensure the adoption and effective management of child and vulnerable adult protection policies and procedures, there must be agreement on the methods and strategy to be employed firstly to introduce them, and then to measure how they are performing.

Implementing policy

To enable the agreed policy and procedures to be effective, they will need to be merged with existing philosophies and practices. There may be some resistance to the inevitable changes, diplomacy will be required.

The process will involve some or all of the following:

Throughout it will be necessary to keep abreast of changes to legislation and good practice in child and vulnerable adult protection, and make periodic amendments as required.


In order to make informed assessments of the progress of implementation, it will be necessary to decide from among the many factors involved which are both relevant and measurable. They may include monitoring:

It could also include analysis of feedback reports, and recommendations for changes to policy and practices.

Duty of Care

It is widely accepted that in relation to children and young people sports organisations have a duty of care. A duty of care means that a sports body needs to take such measures as are reasonable in the circumstances to ensure that individuals will be safe to participate in an activity to which they are invited to or which is permitted. A duty of care may be imposed by common law or statute.

When children, young people or vulnerable adults are involved in organised sports activities and are to any extent under the care and/or control or one or more adults, the adult(s) have a duty of care to take to ensure their safety and welfare. This occurs either as

Legal Duty of Care

In many sports activities, given the health and safety considerations, the organisation of individual (eg coach) owes a duty of care to those participating. It is also understood and recognised that accidents can and do happen, and that it is not possible to predict every eventuality Liability for the legal duty of care would only arise if an incident occurs and it can be demonstrated that the risk was foreseeable, but no action had been taken to remedy it.

Where children and young people are involved, more consideration must be given to be prepared for the eventuality that children are less careful than adults in a similar situation. This consideration is greater still if the person has a learning disability of is known to have a medical condition which may make them more vulnerable than the average child to foreseeable risk of harm.

In the sporting environment those responsible for the management or supervision of children and young people in a club setting should consider what steps they may need to take in order to demonstrate reasonable standard of care. These include

Moral Duty of Care

This is a responsibility for safety and welfare for those under their control. In sports activities the staff member, coach etc has a duty of care for all taking part irrespective of age or position. Where children are involved, those in charge have to act in loco parentis and requires the adult to act as "a reasonable parent". Within the sporting environment the duty of care would start by ensuring the activity is authorised by sport and that the coaches etc are qualified for the task and that the activity is managed in a safe manner throughout.

It is expected that any club or association would adhere to the NGB policies and procedures and incorporate reference to them in the club constitution.

The Child Protection in Sport Unit (CPSU) would also expect that the sports activity undertaken should have in place standards for safeguarding and protecting the participants and conform to guidance issued through the NGB and its Child Protection Panel eg on travel arrangements, recruitment and selection procedures, training and qualifications.

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