Child Protection Policy
Teamipswich Swimming has adopted the ASA Child Protection Policy below. If any member has any concerns about child protection or child welfare matters it is recommended that they follow these guidelines. The Club Welfare Secretary is Debbie Scifo and she can be contacted on at the above email address or via any member of the committee.
Also attached is: -
The ASA Code of Ethics (Appendix A)
Extract from ASA Law-Child Protection ( Appendix B)
Data Base Information( Appendix C )
Guidelines for Use of Photographic and Filming Equipment at Competitions (Appendix D )
Swim Line Poster (Appendix E )
ASA Child Protection in Swimming
Procedures and Guidelines
Promoting the welfare of children within our sport
These procedures and guidelines were produced by the ASA Child Protection Working Group in conjunction with the NSPCC
The membership of the ASA Child Protection Working Group includes representatives from clubs with experience in child welfare; the ASA Legal Affairs and Customer Services Departments; together with the Swim Line volunteers who are members of swimming clubs who work in child welfare as a profession; and the NSPCC.
The ASA has an ongoing commitment to the safety and protection of children in swimming.
The Child Protection Working Group, the establishment of Swim Line, the publication of this booklet together with other initiatives described in here are practical examples of this commitment.
In the ASA we believe that children’s welfare is everyone’s responsibility, particularly when it comes to protecting children from abuse. Everyone in swimming -administrator, club official, coach, parent, friend, children themselves, everyone – can help.
Abuse can occur anywhere there are children - at home, at school, in the park, at the club. Sadly, there are some people who will seek to be where children are simply in order to abuse them. We believe that everyone in the ASA has a part to play in looking after the children with whom we are working. This is both a moral and arguably, a legal obligation. The Children Act 1989 indicates that anyone who has the care of a child should “do what is reasonable in all the circumstances for the purpose of safeguarding or promoting the child’s welfare.”
These child protection procedures stem from the following principles:
The child’s welfare is the first consideration.
All children, regardless of age, any disability they may have, gender, racial origin, religious belief and sexual identity have a right to be protected from abuse.
We know that if the procedures are to help to protect children, everyone involved in swimming needs to see and discuss them. We are, therefore, asking club secretaries and welfare officers to make sure that they are widely distributed and discussed at club executive and general meetings.
Finally, please remember the ASA will support anyone who, in good faith, reports his or her concerns that a child is at risk of, or may actually be, being abused.
WHAT IS CHILD ABUSE?
The Children Act (1989) and Working together to Protect Children (1999) state that there are four main types of abuse - Physical, Sexual, Emotional and Neglect. Abuse may be the action or inaction by, for example, a coach volunteer or paid helper, family member or another young athlete.
Physical Abuse is just what the term implies - hurting or injuring a child, for example, by hitting, shaking, burning or biting them. In a sporting context it might also occur if a child is forced to train beyond his/her capabilities, or the intensity of training disregards a disabled person’s impairment.
Sexual Abuse occurs when a child knowingly or unknowingly takes part in something which meets the sexual needs of the other person or persons involved - it could range from sexually suggestive comments, masturbation to full intercourse. In a sporting context it could involve inappropriate photography or videoing, for the sexual gratification of the viewer.
Emotional Abuse occurs when a child is not given love, help and encouragement and is constantly derided or ridiculed or, perhaps even worse, ignored. Conversely, it can also occur if a child is over-protected. In a sporting context this is present in the unrealistic expectations of parents and coaches over what a child can achieve, or the undermining of an athlete through ridicule. Bullying is likely to come into this category. Racially and sexually abusive remarks constitute emotional abuse and it can be a feature of bullying.
Neglect usually means failing to meet children’s basic needs such as food, warmth adequate clothing, medical attention etc. It could also mean failing to ensure they are safe or exposing them to harm. In a sporting context it may be when an athlete’s personal or intimate requirements are ignored, particularly if they are disabled.
Recognising child abuse is not always easy - even for the experts. The examples listed below are not a complete list and they are only indicators - not confirmation:
Unexplained or suspicious injuries such as bruising, bites or burns, particularly if situated on a part of the body not normally prone to such injuries.
The child says that she or he is being abused, or another person says they believe (or actually know) that abuse is occurring.
The child has an injury for which the explanation seems inconsistent or which has not been adequately treated.
The child’s behaviour changes, either over time or quite suddenly, and he or she becomes quiet and withdrawn, or alternatively becomes aggressive.
Refusal to remove clothing for normal activities or keeping covered up in warm weather.
The child appears not to trust adults, e.g. a parent or coach with whom she or he would be expected to have, or once had, a close relationship, and does not seem to be able to make friends.
He or she becomes increasingly neglected-looking in appearance, or loses or puts on weight for no apparent reason.
Pain or itching, bruising or bleeding in or near the genital area.
The child shows inappropriate sexual awareness for his/her age and sometimes behaves in a sexually explicit way.
Bear in mind that physically disabled children and young people are particularly vulnerable to abuse and may have added difficulties in communicating what is happening to them. Dependency on others for primary needs such as feeding, clothing and intimate care may make a young person feel powerless to report abusive treatment. A fear of retribution for “telling” can be a powerful “silencer”. Difficulty in identifying abusive situations or behaviour may allow it to continue.
IF YOU HAVE CONCERNS ABOUT THE WELFARE OF A CHILD
Please remember, it’s not your responsibility to decide whether a child is being abused but we are asking you to act on your concerns. Make a detailed note of what you’ve seen or heard but don’t delay passing on the information.
If you are a member, or the parent/carer or friend of a member, of a swimming club you should: -
Tell a club officer such as the club secretary, chairperson, coach or any committee member, or at an event the referee - unless, of course, you suspect them of being involved
Ring Swim Line on 0808 100 4001 –Swim Line is the ASA’s own Helpline where you can talk to someone who understands both swimming and the requirements of child protection. If you need urgent advice you have the option to transfer to the NSPCC Child Protection Helpline.
If you are a club officer or referee you can: -
Talk to the child’s parents/carers about the concerns if you think there may be an obvious explanation such as a bereavement or pressure from studies/exams.
Ring Swim Line on 0808 100 4001 - Swim Line is the ASA’s own Helpline where you can talk to someone who understands both swimming and the requirements of child protection. If you need urgent advice you have the option to transfer to the NSPCC Child Protection Helpline.
Contact your local Social Services Department or, in an emergency, the Police.
If you’re working with swimmers away from home, at a training camp perhaps, or a national or regional competition, tell the team manager or the chief coach.
If you’re working with a school - tell the head teacher.
If you’re working in a swim scheme such as local authority swim lessons, refer to your local Child Protection procedures.
Again, please remember to make a detailed note of what you’ve seen or heard but don’t delay passing on the information.
N.B. You should also write to the ASA Legal Department to advise them of your concern and to whom you have reported it. Address the letter to: -
ASA Legal Affairs Dept.,
Harold Fern House,
If, however, despite the action you’ve taken, you feel that the situation hasn’t changed, or that nothing has been done please contact Swim Line on the 0808 100 4001 number and talk to them about your concerns.
IF A CHILD TELLS YOU THAT HE OR SHE IS BEING ABUSED
React calmly so as not to frighten or deter them.
Reassure them that you are glad that they told you
Don’t promise to keep it to yourself.
Explain that you need to make sure that they will be safe and may have to pass on the information to someone trusted to deal with it appropriately
Listen to what the child says and, please, take it seriously.
Only ask questions if you need to clarify what the child is telling you - don’t ask the child about explicit details.
Don’t ask leading questions - a leading question is one that pre-supposes the answer e.g. “Did Jim hit you?”
Make a detailed note of what the child has told you but, as advised in the previous section, please don’t delay passing on the information.
It is never easy to respond to a young person who tells you that they are being abused and you may feel upset and worried yourself. Make sure that you are offered adequate support and an opportunity for de-briefing, bearing in mind confidentiality.
GOOD PRACTICE WHICH CAN HELP TO PREVENT CHILD ABUSE
Avoid situations where teacher/coach/club official and child are alone. The ASA acknowledges that occasionally there may be no alternative - for example, a child may fall ill and have to be taken home. We would stress, however, that one to one contact. Must never be allowed to occur on a regular basis. Further guidance on this issue is contained in the ASA Code of Ethics.
Ascertain the child’s and the parent’s/carer’s views about manual support for children who need this kind of help, particularly when they are in the water.
If it’s necessary to do things of a personal nature for children who are young or who are disabled, make sure you have another adult accompanying you. Get the child’s consent if at all possible and certainly get consent from the parent/carer. Let the child know what you are going to do and why.
Ask parents/carers and/or nominated club officials to be responsible for children in changing rooms.
Get teachers/coaches/club officials to work in pairs if classes or groups of children have to be supervised in the changing room.
Ensure that mixed teams are always accompanied by male and female teachers/coaches/club officials.
Don’t allow any physically rough or sexually provocative games, or inappropriate talking or touching by anyone, in any group for which you have responsibility.
In competitions and galas, look out for people who don’t appear to be relatives or friends of children who are swimming but, nevertheless, seem to spend a lot of time videoing or photographing them. Report these incidents to the organisers or the pool management immediately.
If you’re organising a swim meet arrange an accreditation system for parents/relatives and friends and bona fide press photographers. - See Appendix D, Guidance on Photography and Video-recording.
Ensure your club adheres to ASA law with particular reference to: -
The Code of Ethics - See Appendix A
This guidance on child protection
The requirement for coaches and helpers to be registered with the ASA – See Appendix C, Database Information
Publicise the ASA Swim line phone no - 0808 100 4001.
If the procedures and guidance contained here are implemented properly, they can offer safeguards to everyone involved in swimming and in doing so help to maintain the credibility of the ASA. Most of all, though, they can help to prevent children being abused.
CODE OF ETHICS
This Code of Ethics was written with specific reference to Teachers and Coaches. However, most aspects of this Code are also applicable to other people involved in the sport. Therefore all Members of the ASA should be aware that this Code also applies to them. Please see the accompanying Note for Guidance which does not form part of this Code but which is intended to assist Members in its interpretation.
The ASA and ISTC acknowledge that a large part of this Code of Ethics has been derived from the code produced by the Industry Lead Body for Sport and Recreation.
The Code published below will remain operational unless and until notice of any changes and amendments is given by the ASA.
The British Swimming Coaches & Teaching Association (BSCTA) endorses this Code of Ethics.
Teaching/Coaching and Instructing.
Even though the NVQ standards focus on and describe work functions, they are based on a number of accepted assumptions and values which underpin good practice in teaching/coaching and instructing. The British Institute of Sports Coaches has articulated these into a Code of Ethics much of which has been incorporated into the following Code of Ethics for Swimming Teachers/Coaches. Throughout the following Code the expression ‘Teacher/Coach’ whether used in the singular or plural shall include all teacher/coaches, assistants and other helpers whose activities are connected with the disciplines regulated by the Amateur Swimming Association (the ASA) and all members of the Institute of Swimming Teachers and Coaches (ISTC). Where the context of the code admits the expressions Teacher/Coach and Sports coach this may also include Officials and others involved in the sport of swimming in any capacity. The purpose of the Code of Ethics (referred to throughout the remainder of the document as the Code) is to establish and maintain standards for teachers and Coaches and to inform and protect members of the public using their services. Ethical standards comprise such values as integrity, responsibility, competence and confidentiality. Individuals who are members of the ASA/ISTC are deemed to have assented to the Code and as such recognise and adhere to the principles and responsibilities embodied in it.
The Code creates a framework within which Teachers/Coaches when engaged in sports coaching - in the fullest sense of the expression - should always work. The code has been written as a series of guidelines rather than a set of instructions. However violations of the Code may result in complaints being made to a District Judicial Tribunal (DJT) and, in which case the relevant Tribunal in determining whether a conduct complained of has brought the sport into disrepute or amounts to a violation of the ASA Laws will consider the Code’s provisions when assessing the guilt of individuals against whom complaints have been made and/or the appropriate sanctions to apply.
Issues of responsibility
Teaching/ Coaching is a deliberately undertaken responsibility, and sports Teacher/Coaches are responsible for the observation of the principles embodied in the Code of Ethics.
Teacher/Coaches must respect the rights, dignity and worth of every human being and their ultimate right to self-determination. Specifically, Teacher/Coaches must treat everyone equally within the context of their activity, regardless of sex, ethnic origin, religion, disability or political persuasion.
The good Teacher/Coach will be concerned primarily with the well being, health and future of the individual performer and only secondary with the optimisation of performance. A key element in a teacher/coach relationship is the development of independence. Performers must be encouraged to accept responsibility for their own behaviour and performance in training, in competition, and in their social life. Teachers/Coaches are responsible for setting and monitoring the boundaries between a working relationship and friendship with their performers. This is particularly important when the coach and performer are of opposite sex and/or when the performer is a young person. The Teacher/Coach must realise that certain situations or friendly actions could be misinterpreted, not only by the performer, but by outsiders motivated by jealousy, dislike or mistrust and could lead to allegations of sexual misconduct or impropriety. The relationship between coach and performer relies heavily on mutual trust and respect. In detail this means that the performer should be aware of the Teachers’/Coaches’ qualifications and experience and must be given the opportunity to consent to or decline proposals for training and performance.
Teachers/Coaches should clarify in advance with performers and/or employer the number of sessions, fees (if any) and method of payment. They should also explore with performers and/or employers the expectation of the outcome of teaching/coaching. Teachers/Coaches have a responsibility to declare to their performers and/or employer any other current teaching/coaching commitments. Teachers/Coaches should also find out if any prospective client is currently receiving guidance from another Teacher/Coach. If so, that teacher/coach should be contacted to discuss the situation. Teachers/Coaches who become aware of a conflict between their obligation to their performers and their obligation to their Governing Body or other organisation employing them must make explicit the nature of conflict, and the loyalties and responsibilities involved, to all parties concerned.
Teachers/Coaches should communicate and co-operate with other sports and allied professions in the best interest of their performers. An Example of such contact would be the seeking of educational and career advice/counselling for young performers whose training impinges upon the performance of their studies. Teachers/Coaches must communicate and co-operate with medical and ancillary practitioners in the diagnosis, treatment and management of their performers’ medical and psychological problems.
Advertising by sports teacher/coaches in respect of qualifications and/or services shall be accurate and professionally restrained. Teachers/Coaches shall not display any affiliation with an organisation in a manner that falsely implies sponsorship or accreditation by that organisation.
Teachers/Coaches should refrain from public criticism of fellow Teachers/Coaches. Differences of opinion should be dealt with on a personal basis and more-serious disputes should be referred to the Governing Body (ASA) or to the ISTC. Teachers/Coaches must not encourage performers to violate the rules of their sport and should actively seek to discourage such action. Furthermore, teachers and coaches should encourage performers to obey the spirit of such rules. Teachers/Coaches must not compromise their performers by advocating measures which could be deemed to constitute seeking to gain an unfair advantage. Above all, teachers/coaches must never advocate the use of proscribed drugs or other banned performance enhancing substances. Teachers/Coaches must treat opponents and officials with due respect both in victory and defeat and should encourage their performer to act in a similar manner. Teachers/Coaches must accept responsibility for the conduct of their performers insofar as they will undertake to discourage inappropriate behaviour.
Teachers/Coaches inevitably gather a great deal of personal information about performers in the course of a working relationship. Teacher/Coach and performers must reach agreement as to what is regarded as confidential information, i.e. not divulging to a third party without the express approval of the performer. Confidentiality does not preclude the disclosure of information, to persons who can be judged to have a ‘right to know’, relating to performers when relevant to the following: -
Evaluation of the performer within the sport for competitive selection purposes and recommendations concerning performers for professional purposes;
Pursuit of disciplinary action involving performers within the sport;
Pursuit of disciplinary action by the ASA and/or ISTC involving fellow coaches in alleged breaches of this Code of Ethics and Conduct.
Abuse of Privilege
The Teacher/Coach is privileged, on occasion to have contact with performers and to travel and reside with performer in the course of teaching/coaching and competitive practice. Consequently, a Teacher/Coach must not attempt to exert undue influence over the performer in order to obtain personal benefit or reward.
The Teacher/Coach must consistently display high personal standards and project a favourable image of their sport and of teaching/coaching - to performers, other teachers/coaches, officials, spectators, the media and the general public. Personal appearance is a matter of individual taste but the sports teacher/coach has an obligation to project an image of health, cleanliness and functional efficiency. The Teacher/Coach should never smoke when teaching/coaching. Teachers and Coaches should not drink alcohol so soon before teaching/coaching that their judgment may be impaired and the smell will still be on their breath when working with performers.
Teachers/Coaches have a responsibility to ensure the safety of the performers with whom they work as far as possible within the limits of their control. All reasonable steps should be taken to establish a safe working environment. The work done and the manner in which it is done should be in keeping with regular and approved practice within that sport. The activity being undertaken should be suitable for the age, experience and ability of the performers. Performers should have been systematically prepared for the activity being undertaken and made aware of their personal responsibilities in terms of safety.
Issues of Competence
Teachers/Coaches shall confine themselves to practice in those fields of sport in which they have been trained/educated, and which are recognised by the ASA and ISTC as being valid. Valid areas of expertise are those directly concerned with sports coaching. Training includes the accumulation of knowledge and skills through both formal Teacher/Coach education courses and by experience at a level of competence acceptable for independent teaching/coaching practice. Teachers/Coaches must be able to recognise and accept when to refer performers to other agencies. It is the responsibility of the Teacher/Coach as far as possible, to verify the competence and integrity of the person to whom they refer a performer. Teachers/Coaches should regularly seek ways of increasing their professional development and self awareness. Teachers/Coaches should welcome evaluation of their work by colleagues and be able to account to performers, employers, Governing Bodies and colleagues for their actions. Teachers/Coaches have a responsibility to themselves and their performers to maintain their own effectiveness, resilience and abilities, and to know when their personal resources are so depleted as to make it necessary for them to seek help and/or withdraw from teaching/coaching whether temporarily or permanently.
Violations of this Code
An alleged breach of this Code shall be grounds for making a complaint under ASA Law. This is a formal expression of dissatisfaction with the actions of behaviour of clubs, bodies, organisations or individuals or with alleged unfair practice in connection with the sport and will be dealt with by a Judicial Tribunal. The procedures for making a complaint are set out in the ASA Judicial Laws which are reproduced in the current edition of Laws of the Sport and the ASA Handbook. Any complaint relating to matter contained in this Code may be referred by the Chairman of the District Judicial Tribunal to an independent investigator to be appointed by the ASA. The terms of reference shall be set by the ASA. Dependent upon the outcome of the investigation the Chairman of the DJT may direct that the matter may not proceed as a complaint under the ASA judicial system. In such a situation the Chief Executive may authorise such other action for instance the offering of guidance of education support or the issue of a warning as to future conduct, as may be appropriate in the circumstances. Thereafter dependant upon the outcome of such other action the Chief Executive may.11 refer the matter back to the Chairman of the DJT for reconsideration as to whether the
matter may proceed as a complaint. The ASA Child Protection Officer shall have the power in exceptional circumstances to commence or take over conduct of any complaint made in respect of any breach of any of the provisions of this Code.
Team Staff Appointments Policy
The policy of the Amateur Swimming Association and Amateur Swimming Federation of Great Britain is as follows:
Where one athlete aged below eighteen years of age is travelling they must be accompanied by one member of staff and parental consent obtained with regard to the identity of the staff member.
Where there are two or more athletes travelling they must be a minimum of two members of staff accompanying the athletes. Where the group of athletes are of mixed sex, there must be staff members of each sex.
NOTE FOR GUIDANCE
Under the ASA/ISTC Code of Ethics Honorary officials are entitled to expect the same respect and dignity of treatment as that to which employees are entitled. It follows from this that if an official is not performing satisfactorily in their role the official is entitled to be told, to be given an opportunity to respond to the criticism and the opportunity to improve. Further, the Club may wish to consider establishing a mentoring system with senior figures(s) in the Club (possibly a Past President) offering guidance and support to officials and also encouraging the development of new talent to ensure successions within the Club’s administration.
Conduct of Meetings
In particular any member wishing to make any direct overt-criticism of an official or other member of the club in a general meeting must advise the Chairman in good time to enable the Chairman to advise such person in advance of the meeting in order that he is able to prepare himself for such criticism. Furthermore, as a separate obligation on the chairman of the meeting when an official or member is the subject of criticism the chairman must specifically afford such person the opportunity to respond to include if requested consideration of an adjournment to enable the person to collect their thoughts. Any failure to follow these principles may give rise to a complaint to a DJT under the ASA/ISTC Code of Ethics. It is not intended that the Code should be used to stifle democratic debate but ethical considerations and indeed common sense decency dictates that advance warning should be given to anyone who is to be the subject of criticism in a general meeting.
The damage caused by bullying is frequently underestimated and can and does cause considerable distress and harm to children. It is important that all settings in which.12 children are provided with services or activities promote a policy which is not tolerant of bullying. No swimmer will be able to reach their full potential if they feel they are the victims of bullying, by an adult or one of their peers. Tackling bullying must be the responsibility of everyone in the club.
Guidelines and strategies to support an anti-bullying policy
The chances of bullying happening in a club can be greatly reduced if there is a general atmosphere where members are valued and cared for. The following strategies which are embodied in the ASA Code of Ethics will support a club's attempt to prevent bullying:
• Encourage an ethos of mutual respect for difference throughout the club
• Give positive encouragement and promote the value of self and others
• Raise awareness of all to the possible cause and effect of bullying
• Make it clear that bullying will not be tolerated and is unacceptable, but that both victims and bullies will be given the necessary support
• Enable swimmers, coaches and teachers to understand that no form of bullying be it physical, verbal or emotional will be tolerated by the club or the Association.
• Enable members to feel confident that their concerns will be listened to and taken seriously
• Publicise Swim line and the NSPCC Child Protection Helpline
Any club where bullying is evident but not addressed will be considered to be breaching the ASA Code of Ethics. Clubs should ensure that any bullying which involves children should be seen in the same light as other child protection concerns and the ASA Child
Protection Procedures should be implemented if a serious concern is raised.
Appendix B Extract from ASA Law
305 Child Protection
305.1 In this Law the expression ‘Offence’ shall mean any one or more of the Offences contained in Schedule 1 to the Children and Young Persons Act 1933 and any other offence which reasonably causes the Chief Executive To believe that the person accused of the offence is or may be a risk or Potential risk to children or young persons.
305.2 Upon receipt by the Chief Executive of:
305.2.1 Notification that an individual has been charged with an Offence; or
305.2.1 Notification that an individual is the subject of an investigation by the police, social services or any other authority relating to an Offence;
305.2.3 other evidence which causes the Chief Executive reasonably to conclude that an individual may have committed an Offence then in any such case the Chief Executive may impose upon the individual an interim suspension from any event or activity promoted or authorised by the ASA or any body directly or indirectly affiliated to the ASA wherever held.
305.3 In reaching his determination as to whether an interim suspension should be imposed the Chief Executive shall give consideration, inter alia, to the following factors:
305.3.1 whether a child or children or young person(s) are or may be at risk
305.3.2 whether the allegations are of a serious nature;
305.3.3 whether a suspension is necessary or desirable to allow the conduct of any investigation (by the ASA or any other authority or body) to proceed unimpeded.
305.4 Where an individual shall have been convicted or have been the subject of a caution in respect of an Offence the Chief Executive shall have power to impose summarily either or both of the following penalties:
305.4.1 The withdrawal with immediate effect of any ASA qualification which the individual may hold;
305.4.2 The suspension sine die of the individual from any event or activity promoted or authorised by the ASA or any other body directly or indirectly affiliated to the ASA wherever held. There shall be a right of appeal to the NJT against the decision of the Chief Executive under this Law 305.4
305.5 It shall be a condition of membership or affiliation to any District of the ASA that:
305.5.1 An affiliated club adopts the ASA Child Protection Procedures; and
305.5.2 The members of the affiliated club comply with the Child Protection Procedures.
305.6 Without prejudice to the generality of Law 63.5 the ASA may from time to time issue guidance or directions with regard to compliance with Law 305.5.
Appendix C Data Base Information
THE ASA CHILD PROTECTION LIST - Notes on completing the forms
This database together with other information that your club receives regarding the welfare of children is part of the ASA Child Protection Procedures as referenced in the ASA Constitutional Laws. ASA Law makes the compliance of clubs with this procedure mandatory as a condition of affiliation. It has been developed in conjunction with the NSPCC. In addition the Sports Council have applauded the ASA on its initiative in dealing with this very difficult subject and recommend it as an example of good practice. The procedures set out below have been developed in full consultation with the Data Protection Registrar.
The purpose of the ASA Child Protection List is firstly to be able to advise clubs of people who should not work with children because they have a criminal conviction which could put children at risk. Secondly it allows the Association to fulfil its obligations in collating and reporting any complaints that are made against an individual which may put children at risk. This information is STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL except for the legal obligation of reporting.
Each club has been circulated with a booklet entitled “Child Protection Procedures in Swimming” revised in 1999 as “Child Protection in Swimming - Procedures and Guidelines” you are strongly advised to read this. Additional copies of the booklet are available price £1 from the ASA Customer Services Dept.
Who must complete a form?
As each club is different, this will apply to different people, but the general rule is that if a person, by right of the job that the club has given them, under that job description, has the access to one-to-one private contact or handling, they should complete a form. The general principle is that every adult in your club who has personal contact in any capacity with under 18 year olds should complete a form. This will obviously include such as club coaches, teachers, poolside helpers, team managers and chaperones, but could also be the social events organiser, the person staffing a club shop, or even someone who on behalf of the club gives swimmers a lift in their car to events or training. With regard to the latter, it is really the parent’s responsibility if THEY organize a lift for their child, but if this person is someone suggested by the club, then they should fill in a form.
Do I have to complete a form?
It is a condition of affiliation to the ASA that clubs accept these procedures that all helpers complete this information If an individual is unwilling to do so, they must not used by the club in any position that gives intimate access to children. It is also desirable that all helpers at this level should be members of the club. If this code is to be effective all helpers should be members. This may require some clubs to look at a more flexible approach to membership, maybe creating a category that pays a minimal fee or is indeed free.
What information will be kept on me?
Obviously there will be your personal identifier information that is on the form, which in the majority of cases will be the only information, until you leave the club when the date of leaving will be added. If you have a criminal conviction for an offence which could put children at risk, the official details of the conviction will be recorded. However, specific allegations of behaviour, or details of other convictions which could put children at risk, and which are made to the ASA will be also be recorded. All concerns or complaints will be reported to the police and the relevant local authority for investigation and the outcome recorded. This information is held separately, is password protected and will record the date, source and originator of any text.
YOU MAY AT ANY TIME REQUEST TO SEE THE INFORMATION WHICH IS HELD ON YOU.
Who will my information be disclosed to?
All individuals on the ASA Child Protection List have the right to request to see all information held on them. This request must be in writing and the Association must reply within 40 days. A fee may be levied in accordance with the Data Protection Act. All information will be available to the official agencies which have a statutory duty to investigate allegations of child abuse. The ASA also reserves the right to disclose information relevant to child protection to clubs and other individuals and organizations sharing the ASA’s concerns regarding child protection. A club which is appointing someone who will come into contact with young people under the age of 18 years may make a request for information to the ASA on the official form provided.
Do I send my form in direct or does it have to come though the club?
All forms must come DIRECT TO THE ASA. The Club Secretary or designated Welfare Officer will sign part A as it is essential that the relevant person at the club has seen some identification documentation which confirms that you are who you say you are. This could be a passport, national insurance number card, or driving licence, but more than a letter or household bill. However, Part B may be completed in confidence by the applicant and the form sent direct to the ASA Legal Affairs Department. In order to confirm to Club Secretaries that their members have sent in their forms, updated lists of will be returned to Club Secretaries on a regular basis (in a similar way to swimmers
registration). Any form with an adverse entry in the self-declaration section will be considered by the ASA Head of Legal Affairs and if it is deemed to be such that the ASA do not consider the person to be suitable to work with children appropriate action will be taken which may include informing the club.
How is the information updated?
In September each year clubs will be sent a computer printout with the name and address etc of those people from your club who are currently listed as working in the club. If your details have changed, a new form should be submitted. This form to be returned to:
The Legal Affairs Dept, Amateur Swimming Association,
FREEPOST Loughborough LE11 0BR
For further information please contact the ASA Legal Affairs Department, tel: 01509 632210.
Guidelines for Use of Photographic and Filming Equipment at Competitions
Professional photographers/ filming / video operators wishing to record the event should seek accreditation with the event organiser by producing their professional identification for the details to be recorded. Ideally they should request this at least 5 working days before the event.
Students or amateur photographers / film / video operators wishing to record the event should seek accreditation with the event organiser by producing their student or club registration card and a letter from their club / educational establishment outlining their motive for attending the event.
All other spectators wishing to use photographic / film / video equipment with a telescopic or zoom lens should register their intent with the promoter of the event.
Accreditation procedure: a system should be established whereby a record should be made of the individual's name and address and club. Professionals should register prior to the event and their identification details also recorded. Ideally identification details should be checked with the issuing authority prior to the event. On registering, promoters of events should consider issuing an identification label on the day which can serve to highlight those who have accreditation. Where regular events occur, the identifying label should be changed to prevent unofficial replication.
Public Information: the specific details concerning photographic / video and filming equipment registration should, where possible, be published prominently in event programmes and announced over the public address system prior to the start of the event.
The recommended wording is:
In line with the recommendation in the ASA Child Protection Policy, the promoters of this event request that any person wishing to engage in any video, zoom or close range photography should register their details with staff at the spectator entry desk before carrying out any such photography.
Guidelines for Use of Photographic / Filming Equipment at Club
There is no intention to prevent club coaches and teachers using videoing as a legitimate coaching aid. However, swimmers and their parents should be aware that this is part of the coaching programme and care should be taken in the storing of such films. If clubs are concerned that someone they do not know is using their sessions for photography or filming purposes, they should ask them to leave and contact the pool management. During Competitions a sign at the entrance control should be displayed which reads:
Swim Line Poster
Who is the ASA Swim line For?
Swim Line is for anyone involved in swimming, including children and young people, who think that a child may be at risk
How it Works
When you ring you hear a message. It asks if you wish to speak to someone urgently now, or if it would be convenient or safe for some to call back - you can press a number to transfer you to the NSPCC Child Protection Helpline.
It is answered by trained and experienced counsellors who will advise you and will act to protect children. If there is no problem with being called back and you prefer to speak to someone who understands swimming, leave your phone number and a convenient time for one of our Child protection Group to ring. They are members of swimming clubs who work in child welfare as a profession and have volunteered to help this ASA programme. If there is an issue which causes concern the ASA will act to protect the child.
Swim Line Facts
Swim Line calls are free and do not appear on itemised bills unless the call is made from a mobile phone. Swim Line does not use the 1471 code or any other call return or call display facilities. If you leave a message we aim to ring back during the next working day. If you phone over the weekend we will aim to contact you on Monday.
YOU CAN CALL THE FREE 24 HOUR NSPCC CHILD PROTECTION HELPLINE DIRECT ON:
0808 800 5000
If you have a text phone you can call the NSPCC text phone on 0808 056 0566