Why do clubs need a Club Safeguarding Officer?
Club Safeguarding Officers (CSO's) are vital members of the club and key to making an environment safe, welcoming and friendly for children to enjoy the game of cricket.
Whilst everyone is responsible for safeguarding, the Club Safeguarding Officer will make sure safeguarding policies and procedures are in place, and that everyone working with children is recruited safely and appropriately vetted by the ECB.
The CSO is the person that others come to if they have concerns, and having attended specific training, will know what to do in order to assist, or who to ask for further help.
What training do I need?
Club Safeguarding Officers need to attend two sets of initial training:
- The Safeguarding and Protecting Children course run by SportsCoach UK.
- The ‘Safe Hands Workshop’ which is run by Cricket Wales.
- A DBS vetted by the ECB is also required.
Every three years, the three requirements above must be updated.
You can find training courses here.
What skills do I need?, what makes up a good Safeguarding Officer?
We asked a group of young cricketers “what makes a perfect Safeguarding Officer?”, they were asked to write on the picture, this is what they come up with:
Whilst is is not possible to be all of these things, being visible, helpful and approachable in particular are key skills that will assist you in your role.
Where do I start, what should I do first?
There are several things that you can start to do, firstly maybe carry out an audit of you Club, to see where you currently are.
Within Cricket, we get our Safeguarding guidance from an ECB document called Safe Hands. This document informs us of the policies and procedures we need to have in place within cricket. It also guides us one what people require within our Club and who requires a DBS check. Cricket Coaches for example require, as a minimum, a coaching qualification, a ECB vetted Enhanced DBS and a First Aid Certificate. (You can find out about more roles by clicking the Safeguarding Tab above and selecting 'Safeguarding Standards').
How do I fit into my Club structure?
The Club Safeguarding officer is a critical role at the club - what can be more important than the safety and welfare of children within the club environment? The CSO should have a position on the Club Committee as a minimum standard. Safeguarding should be a standard agenda item and we recommend this is high on the agenda as an essential topic at every meeting.
Whilst there is a need for any cases to be kept confidential (you will receive guidance on this), there will be a need to share coach compliance details for example and if there is nothing to report, perhaps pick a policy from Safe Hands and spend a few minutes talking it through with your committee colleagues.
Safeguarding is not your responsibility but a club responsibility - the ultimate ownership sits with the Club Chair.
Where can I get help?
There is lots of help available!
Every senior league has a League Safeguarding Officer. These volunteers sit on the Cricket Wales Safeguarding Counsel and have access to systems and contacts that they would be happy to help with. You can find the team here. The Cricket Wales Staffing Team are based regionally and can be found here. There is also lots of advice and tips within the FAQ section and the other Safeguarding Tabs on the top of this page.
Providing a safe and welcoming environment can make a HUGE difference for children, keep them in the game and encourage others to join us. Thank you for all that you do.
Page author - Dave Loosmore