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Safeguarding Policy & Procedures

The UK Sports Institute is justifiably proud of its reputation and its ability to add value within the world of high performance sport and is committed to the safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and adults that use its services. Our focus is to ensure UKSI exhibits best practice and consistency where safeguarding is concerned and that all safeguarding issues are treated seriously. To achieve this we have put in place a reporting procedure to ensure that any safeguarding concerns or issues can be safely and swiftly reported and acted upon.

Although the majority of children and adults have a fulfilling experience in sport, some may experience symptoms of abuse and/or poor practice linked to their involvement. While experience of harm occurs at every level of sport, research shows that vulnerability to abuse and poor practice increases as young athletes make progress through the competitive ranks.

It is vital that anyone involved in sports provision for children and adults is alert to:

  • Possible indicators of abuse and neglect;
  • Risks that individual abusers or potential abusers, may pose; and
  • Understanding what actions they should take should concerns arise.

This is particularly important in light of the unique relationship that UKSI has in supporting athletes at the elite level through the provision of sports science and sports medicine.

Children and adults who experience symptoms of abuse are likely to choose someone they trust to raise concerns. It is therefore important that everyone who has involvement with these individuals knows how to respond appropriately. The UKSI recognises the important role that it, in partnership with staff from the National Governing Bodies, plays in providing this support.

The UKSI have put in place a number of safeguards to protect the welfare and wellbeing of young children and adults:

Athlete induction

Each athlete has an induction to UKSI which explains our stance on safeguarding.

Safer recruitment

Each practitioner being recruited to work with a sport which has young athletes under the age of 18 must have a Disclosure and Barring Service with barred list check and complete a self-disclosure providing details of any convictions. This must prove satisfactory to the UKSI or the offer of employment can be removed. This is then re-checked every 3 years or sooner if the sport requires it.

All new starters with the UKSI are required to give two references, one of which must be a previous employer and these must prove satisfactory to the UKSI or the offer of employment can be removed.

Safeguarding Code of Conduct

The UKSI has a Safeguarding Code of Conduct which all employees and contractors who work with UKSI have to sign up to as a condition of employment. This sets out the behaviour expected of employees and practitioners in relation to working with children or being in a position of trust in relation to a young person within their role with UKSI. Any breaches of this code of conduct will be dealt with under the disciplinary procedure.

Behaviour expected from young people working with the UK Sports Institute

In addition to the code of conduct for UKSI staff, there is a standard of behaviour expected from young athletes themselves.  All young athletes are made aware of this at their athlete induction and are expected to abide by the guidelines. Any breaches will be reported back to the National Governing body.

Safeguarding Training

All UKSI members of staff have undertaken training on safeguarding.

Safeguarding Officers

The UKSI has a lead Safeguarding Officer and a Deputy who have delegated responsibility for Safeguarding within the UKSI. They will provide advice and guidance to the senior management team on all safeguarding and child protection issues and deal with any concerns raised in this area. Both are trained and have a clear job description.

Reporting concerns

The UKSI has a process for reporting any child welfare concerns whether these are within or outside of the UKSI sporting environment. The UKSI has a case management group which includes both Safeguarding officers, and this group is responsible for managing any concerns raised.

The UKSI Safeguarding Officers have direct contact with their counterparts in the sports that UKSI works with and any concerns regarding the staff or coaches of a National Governing body can be passed on.

Dealing with questions/concerns/complaints/issues:

Please contact one of the named contacts below if:

  • you have any concerns about the safety of your child or a vulnerable adult working with the UKSI;
  • you would like to obtain copies of any of the documents mentioned;
  • you have any concerns regarding the environment, staff, contractors or practices of the UKSI;
  • you have any safeguarding or child protection queries in relation to the UKSI.

Any formal complaints or child protection concerns/issues will be taken very seriously, acknowledged by UKSI within 48 hours and action taken to investigate or address these.

You will receive an update or outcome to your complaint/concern within seven working days of reporting it to UKSI.

If you are unhappy with the response given by UKSI or the timescale commitments are not met you should raise your complaint/concern with the National Director who will investigate further and provide a response within seven working days. Details of how to contact the National Director will be provided in the initial acknowledgement by UKSI of your complaint/concern. If the concern is serious and a child is in direct danger then you should contact the Police or your local Authority’s child services team.

Peter Elliott
Director of Operations and Lead Officer for Child Protection UK Sports Institute
Tel: 07786855224
Tara Smith
Operations Manager
Tel: 07860 783008

Who can support you?


Worried about a child? Advice and support whenever you need it.
Call 0808 800 5000


A free and confidential helpline for children who have concerns.
Call 0800 1111

The Safe Network

Safeguarding information and advice for the voluntary and community sector – from after school art clubs to weekend reading groups.
Call 0845 608 5404 Or email

Child protection, safeguarding and government

Anti-bullying Alliance

Tel: 0207 843 1901 Email:

Beat Bullying

Tel: 0208 771 3377 Email:

Bullying UK

Tel: 0808 800 2222 Email:

Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP)

Tel: 0870 000 3344

Disclosure and Barring Service (formally Criminal Records Bureau)

Tel: 0870 909 0811

Family Lives

Tel: 0808 800 2222

Internet Watch Foundation

Tel: 0122 323 7700 Email:


Tel: 0845 120 5204 Email:

National Children’s Bureau (NCB)

Tel: 0207 843 6000 Email:

Women’s Aid

Tel: 0808 200 0247 Email:

Samaritans UK

Tel: 08457 90 90 90


Tel: 0300 123 3393 Email:

Sports organisations

Association for Physical Education (AfPE)

Tel: 0190 585 5584 Email:

Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity (IMSPA)

Tel: 0150 922 6474 Email:

Sport England

Tel: 0845 850 8508 Email:

Sport and Recreation Alliance

Tel: 0207 976 3900 Email:

sports coach UK

Tel: 0113 274 4802 Email:

Youth Sport Trust (YST)

Tel: 0150 922 6600 Email: