Any organisation can and should set up systems and guidance on how to check and vet volunteers.
The same standards of good practice should apply as for paid staff. This means organisations need to check who volunteers are, where they live, what qualifications and experience they have and whether they have any convictions for violent or sexual offences and for offences against children.
Organisations should keep up-to-date records on people who act on their behalf and support local clubs to implement the guidance and recruitment effectively.
The Home Office has recognised the need to safeguard the welfare of children and has established the Criminal Records Bureau to help organisations make safer recruitment decisions. See www.crb.gov.uk
By providing wider access to criminal record information, the CRB will help employers in the public, private and voluntary sectors identify candidates who may be unsuitable for certain work, especially that involving contact with children or other vulnerable members of the community.
The CRB will provide relevant information about an individual’s background. For volunteers this service is free of charge although organisations often charge an administration fee for this.
The Child Protection in Sport Unit was established in 2001 as a partnership between the NSPCC and the home country sports councils to ensure young people and vulnerable adults have their welfare safeguarded in sport. For more information and guidance on this area please visit their website at www.thecpsu.org.uk
The website includes useful documents including draft child protection policies, further guidance around safe recruitment and has links to National Governing Bodies of sport.