Safeguarding Children

1. Newton Abbot Rugby Football Club (NARFC) acknowledges its responsibility to safeguard the welfare of all children involved in NARFC from harm.

2. NARFC confirms that it adheres to the Rugby Football Union’s Safeguarding Policy and the procedures, practices and guidelines and endorse and adopt the Policy Statement contained in that document and any successor policy and uses the guidance set out in the Safeguarding toolkit – England RFU Safeguarding Toolkit

3. A child is anyone under the age of 18 engaged in any rugby union activity. However, where a 17-year-old male player is playing in the adult game it is essential that every reasonable precaution is taken to ensure his safety and wellbeing are protected.

4. The Key Principles of the RFU Safeguarding Policy are that:

• The welfare of the child is, and must always be, paramount to any other considerations.

• All participants regardless of age, gender, ability or disability, race, faith, culture, size, shape, language or sexual identity have the right to protection from abuse or harm.

• All allegations or suspicions of abuse, neglect, harm and poor practice will be taken seriously and responded to swiftly, fairly and appropriately.

• Working in partnership with other organisations, statutory agencies, parents, carers, children and young people is essential for the welfare of children.

• Children have a right to expect support, and personal and social development delivered by an appropriately recruited, vetted and

• managed in relation to their participation in rugby union, whether they are playing, volunteering or officiating in the community or professional areas of the sport.

5. NARFC recognises that all children have the right to participate in sport in a safe, positive and enjoyable environment whilst at the same time being protected from abuse, neglect, harm and poor practice. NARFC recognises that this is the responsibility of everyone involved, in whatever capacity, at the club.

6. NARFC will implement and comply with the RFU Code of Conduct and the Codes of Conduct for Coaches, Spectators and Officials as appropriate.

7. The Club Safeguarding Officer is Michael EDKINS

Contact email:

If you witness or are aware of an incident where the welfare of a child has been put at risk you must, in the first instance, inform the Club Safeguarding Officer. They will then inform the CB Safeguarding Manager and the RFU Safeguarding Team.

If an incident involves the Club Safeguarding Officer, you should inform the Club or Jnr Chairperson and either the CB Safeguarding Manager or the RFU Safeguarding Team.

8. All members of NARFC who work with children in Regulated Activity must undertake an RFU Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check in accordance with RFU Regulation 21. Safeguarding Regulation 21 sets out how allegations of abuse are dealt with and may be found on the RFU website. It also sets out the Disclosure and Barring Service requirements for those working with children.

9. NARFC will ensure that all its members, whether they are coaches, parents, players or officials will comply with the Best Practice Guidance as issued by the RFU (see RFU policy and toolkit links) . In summary, the following are NOT acceptable and will be treated seriously by the club and may result in disciplinary action being taken by the club, the CB or the RFU:

• Working alone with a child.
• Consuming alcohol whilst responsible for children.
• Providing alcohol to children or allowing its supply.
• Smoking in the presence of children.
• Humiliating children.
• Inappropriate or unnecessary physical contact with a child.
• Participating in, or allowing, contact or physical games with children.
• Having an intimate or sexual relationship with any child developed as a result of being in a ‘position of trust.’
• Making sexually explicit comments or sharing sexually explicit material.

10. NARFC manages the changing facilities and arranges for them to be supervised by two DBS checked adults of the appropriate gender for the players using the facilities. NARFC ensures that all its coaches, parents, officials and spectators are aware that adults must not change at the same time, using the same facilities as children.

11. NARFC will ensure that its coaches [and team managers] will receive the support and training considered appropriate to their position and role. The RFU “Managing Challenging Behaviour” Policy has been adopted and circulated amongst the club workforce both, voluntary and paid.

12. Any events held on NARFC premises must comply with this Policy and if appropriate a Safeguarding Plan should be discussed and circulated to those affected. Any tours, overseas or domestic, undertaken by NARFC must comply with the relevant RFU Regulations and Guidance relating to tours.


13. Adults at Risk. NARFC adopt the RFU Safeguarding Adults Policy and procedures.

14. “Safeguarding means protecting an adult’s right to live in safety, free from abuse and neglect. It is about people and organisations working together to prevent and stop both the risks and experience of abuse or neglect, while at the same time making sure that the adult’s wellbeing is promoted” (Care Act 2014)

15. NARFC is committed to creating and maintaining a safe and positive environment for everyone to enjoy rugby union and participate whether it be playing, volunteering or spectating. We accept our responsibility to safeguard the welfare of all adults involved in the game, particularly those deemed at risk.
All adults working, volunteering and participating in sport deserve their experience to be a positive one. Getting this right will ensure a wider participation in rugby union and ensuring safe access for all.
The Care Act 2014 put the safeguarding of adults onto a statutory footing. NARFC members, players and staff have regular contact with many people and so have a crucial role in the support, identification and reporting of adults who may be at risk of harm.

The RFU recognises that abuse of an adult links to circumstances rather than the characteristics of the people experiencing the harm and that labelling groups of people as inherently ‘vulnerable’ is disempowering.

This policy and procedures applies to all individuals involved in rugby union in with NARFC

16. An adult is anyone aged 18 or over.

Adult safeguarding is protecting a person’s rights to live in safety, free from abuse and neglect.

The safeguarding duties apply to an adult who:
• Has needs for care and support (whether or not the local authority is meeting any of those needs)
• Is experiencing, or is at risk of, abuse or neglect
• Is unable to protect themselves from either the risk of, or the experience of, abuse or neglect, as a result of those care and support needs

Adults at risk – those who fulfil the above criteria.

Adult in need of care and support – is determined by a range of factors including personal characteristics, factors associated with their situation or environment and social factors. A person’s disability or frailty does not mean that they will inevitably experience harm or abuse.

In the context of safeguarding adults, the likelihood of an adult in need of care and support experiencing harm or abuse should be determined by considering a range of social, environmental and clinical factors, not merely because they may be defined by one or more of the above descriptors.

In recent years there has been a marked shift away from using the term ‘vulnerable’ to describe adults potentially at risk from harm or abuse.

Abuse – is a violation of an individual’s human and civil rights by another person or persons. See page 9 for further explanations.

Capacity – refers to the ability to make a decision at a particular time, for example when under considerable stress. The starting assumption must always be that a person has the capacity to make a decision unless it can be established that they lack capacity (Mental Capacity Act 2005).

This policy has been adopted in accordance with the club constitution.



Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility. Anyone in rugby can report a concern to either their Club Safeguarding Officer or the RFU, via It is natural to feel a little nervous about sharing concerns, but it is important to remember that it is not your responsibility to decide if abuse or neglect is happening, it is your responsibility to share your concerns. Doing nothing is not an option.


There are several ways people can share their concerns:
• If the child whom you have concerns about is in immediate danger or needs medical attention, call 999 as soon as possible.
• If you’re a parent or volunteer, you should share your concerns with your Club Safeguarding Officer
• If you’re a Club Safeguarding Officer, you should share your concerns with your Constituent Body Safeguarding Manager
• If neither of those options is available, you should contact the RFU Safeguarding team, via as soon as possible.
• If you are ever unsure of who you need to contact, you can call the NSPCC on 0808 800 5000, which operates between 10:00 AM and 16:00 PM Monday to Friday
• Or you can contact the unmanned RFU Safeguarding line on 0208 831 6655 and a member of the Safeguarding team will respond to you within 24 hours
For more information on how to share concerns regarding children, please see our Sharing Concerns flowchart.


The RFU Safeguarding Referral Form should be completed regarding any concerns you have or have been disclosed to you, relating to the behaviour of any child or adult involved in or spectating at your club. These may include general concerns about a child’s welfare, concerns about bullying or poor practise, suspicions or allegations of misconduct, or allegations of abuse. To report concerns to the RFU Safeguarding team, please fill the form out and send it to as soon as possible.
RFU Safeguarding Referral Form


When someone shares a concern with you, whether this is about something that has happened to them or someone else, it is important to:
• Stay calm, but don’t delay
• If a child or adult at risk has disclosed to you directly, re-assure them that they are not to blame
• Do not make any promises of confidentiality or outcome. It is almost certain that you will have to share this information with someone.
• Keep questions to a minimum and try not to interrupt the child or adult.
• Make brief notes, as accurately as you can, at the earliest opportunity.
For further details, see our Sharing Concerns Guidance.


If you have a complaint relating to a safeguarding process undertaken by the RFU, please refer to the RFU’s Safeguarding Complaints Policy.


The RFU is committed to developing a culture where it is safe and acceptable for everyone involved in rugby union to raise concerns about any unacceptable practice, behaviour, wrongdoing or misconduct.
If you have a concern about unacceptable behaviours or misconduct, you can speak up. Speaking up will enable concerns to be investigated and dealt with for the benefit of all involved and for that of the wider game. Anyone speaking up can be confident that the matter will be handled appropriately and with an appropriate level of confidentiality.

You can speak up via emailing the Speak up Hotline via,

For more information, please visit the Speak Up page on the RFU website.

Important Information

NARFC Safeguarding Policy
NARFC Parental Attendance Policy
NARFC Medical Action Plan
NARFC Code Of Conduct