Dealing with concerns and incidents/ Whistleblowing


For a flowchart to help you decide how to deal with concerns and incidents click here (Microsoft Word .doc file, 78kB.)

Vulnerable adults - What should be done if there is cause for concern

Any concerns should be reported as soon as possible, no matter how insignificant they appear to be. A copy of this report should be given to the SO or WO. The agency to which the report is made will vary according to the vulnerable adult’s living arrangements.

If the vulnerable adult lives:

Responding to Complaints

Dealing with complaints where a child or vulnerable adult is involved


Responding to Suspicions and Allegations

It is not the responsibility of anyone working in the sport of bowls, in a paid or unpaid capacity to take the responsibility or to decide whether or not abuse has taken place. However, if there are concerns that abuse is occurring and you need advice you can contact the Police, or Social Services, who have the responsibility under the Children’s Acts to investigate the matter further where children people are involved. Where a vulnerable adult is involved guidance is provided in the flowchart mentioned above.

More specific advice on "Whisleblowing" can be found by clicking here.

Confidential advice can be obtained by telephoning any of the help-lines listed in Simple Guide (The Simple Guide for Clubs and Organisations).

Further specific information is also given in the following National Governing Body documents (or approaching your National Governing Body Head Office):

Specific advice for SO/WOs on certain situations can be accessed can be accessed by clicking here. As more scenarios become available which give further guidance, they will be added.

Disciplinary Procedures and Appeals


Provision must be made to empower a specified senior committee member (eg, SO/WO and/or Secretary or Chief Executive) to take action if notification of an offence against a child or vulnerable adult within the sport has been received. This should permit such action as interim suspension pending full enquiry and formal hearing by a disciplinary committee.

The accused must have the right of appeal to an independent panel, for example via the Sports Disputes Resolution Panel. In addition, reference should also be made to the disciplinary procedures as contained in the constitution of all the relevant NGBs, County Associations and Clubs. These can be found in the relevant Handbooks or Constitutions. See also the flowcharts mentioned above.


Any act, statement or other matter which causes, poses, or indicates a risk of harm to a child or other vulnerable person is deemed to constitute unacceptable improper behaviour and may be referred to the Case Management Group (click here).

Within these regulations the expression "offence" shall include such behaviour, and any other criminal act which may pose a risk or cause harm to a child or vulnerable adult.

Upon receipt by the Senior Officer of the Club/ Association information or notification that an individual:

then the Senior Officer or Disciplinary Committee shall have the power to order that the individual is suspended from the sport for such period and on such terms as [he/she] shall decide according to the guidelines set out in the relevant NGB complaints procedure.

In reaching their decision due consideration shall be given to whether:

written notice of any order made shall be given to the person concerned and his club as soon as reasonably practical.

There shall be a right of appeal against the decision to an independent appeals panel, (reference should be made the relevant NGB disciplinary code).

Any complaint brought by one person against another must be in writing. If the Senior Officer finds that there is a case to answer, the matter is to be placed before the Executive or Disciplinary Committee, and the person involved notified in writing of the complaints made, with an invitation to respond within 21 days.

Following the 21 day period, the Executive or Disciplinary Committee shall decide to accept the response and take no action, or take simple disciplinary action, or schedule a full hearing. The accused may request a full hearing.

The date set for the hearing shall not be later than four weeks from the date of the decision or request, and must be notified to the parties in writing.

There shall be a right of appeal to the decisions reached at the hearing to an independent panel.

Policy re previous misdemeanours

Reference should also be made to the section regarding the rights of ex-offenders under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974. Click here to access.

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