Children are the lifeblood of the game and it is crucial that they are cared for in the correct manner. Any player under the age of 18 is classed as a child and should be respected as such.
The RFU Safeguarding Children Policy (PDF 372kB) sets out the key principles as well as providing best practice guidance. Everyone shares the responsibility for safeguarding and, therefore, this policy and guidance will be both relevant and useful for all those involved in creating safe environments in rugby union whether as a parent, coach, spectator or club official.
In order to provide children with the best possible experiences and opportunities in rugby union, it is imperative that everyone operates within an accepted ethical framework and demonstrates exemplary behaviour. This not only ensures the game makes a positive contribution to the development of children, safeguards them and promotes their welfare but also protects all personnel from allegations of abuse or poor practice.
Allegations of abuse or poor practice must be reported to the RFU. It is important when reporting an incident that the RFU are informed as soon as possible in order to effectively manage any case or concern.
To promote and maintain good safeguarding practices, the RFU created and regularly delivers safeguarding courses. These courses are held throughout the country and are designed for all individuals within a rugby environment.
The RFU utilises the Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) to operate and manage a criminal record checking process for those working with children or vulnerable adults. A conviction or caution does not necessarily impede an individual’s future in the game; each situation is considered in relation to the individual circumstances.
On all occasions the RFU consider the welfare of the child paramount.
Every club that runs mini/midi/youth rugby must have a Club Safeguarding Officer.