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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. Alongside this, we are committed to the safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and adults that use our 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 a safeguarding team, and 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 can occur 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 considering 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:

Safer Recruitment

We are proud to recruit safely in line with NSPCC good practice. This includes self-disclosure processes, Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) vetting for appropriate roles (with regular renewal) and a thorough induction process.

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 are required to sign up to as a condition of employment. This sets out the behaviour expected of employees and practitioners in relation to 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. We will work closely with the National Governing Bodies and others where necessary should behaviour fail to meet our high standards.

Safeguarding Training

All UKSI members of staff have undertaken training on safeguarding. All new starters receive a 1:1 induction from our Designated Safeguarding Lead.

Safeguarding Officers

The UKSI has a Designated Safeguarding Lead and a Deputy who have delegated responsibility for Safeguarding within the UKSI. They provide advice and guidance to the CEO, Board and senior management team on all safeguarding issues and deal with any concerns raised in this area.

Ieuan Watkins
Designated Safeguarding Lead
UK Sports Institute
Tel: 07856 901013

Tara Smith
Deputy Safeguarding Lead
Tel: 07860 783008

Reporting concerns

The UKSI has a process for reporting any safeguarding or welfare concerns whether these are within or outside of the UKSI sporting environment. All cases are overseen by the Designated Safeguarding Lead who reports confidentially to the Director of Clinical Governance.

The UKSI Safeguarding Officers have direct contact with their counterparts in the sports that UKSI works with. Collaboration is one of our key values, we will work together with colleagues across National Governing Bodies, statutory services and others to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all.

Dealing with questions/concerns/complaints/issues:

Please contact one of the named contacts above if:

  • you have any concerns about the safety of your child or adult working with the UKSI;
  • you have any concerns regarding the environment, staff, contractors or practices of the UKSI;
  • you have any safeguarding queries in relation to the UKSI.

Any formal complaints or safeguarding concerns/issues will be taken very seriously, acknowledged by UKSI within 48 working hours and action taken to investigate or address issues expeditiously and comprehensively.

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.

In the event of immediate concern, or where someone may be in immediate danger, please contact the Police or your Local Authority Social Services Team.

Who can support you?


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


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

Child protection, safeguarding and government

Anti-bullying Alliance


Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP)

CEOP Resource Library

Disclosure and Barring Service (formally Criminal Records Bureau)

Tel: 03000 200190

Family Lives

Tel: 0808 800 2222

Forced Marriage


Tel: 020 7008 0151 / 020 7008 5000

Internet Watch Foundation

Tel: 0122 323 7700


Kidscape (help with bullying)

Tel: (Parents Advice Line) 07496 682785


National Children’s Bureau (NCB)

Tel: 020 7843 6000


Women’s Aid

Tel: 0808 2000 247


Mankind Initiative (Helping men escape domestic abuse)

Tel: 01823 334 244


Samaritans UK

Tel: 116 123 (24 hours a day, 365 days a year)



Tel: 0300 123 3393


Modern Slavery Helpline

Tel: 08000 121 700


24/7 text support for young people – for help, text SHOUT to 85258

Parents Helpline: 0808 8025544

Tel: 020 7089 5050

Sports organisations

Association for Physical Education (AfPE)

Tel: 01905 673 960


Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity (CIMSPA)

Tel: 03438 360200


Sport England

Tel: 0345 8508 508


Sport Wales

Tel: 0300 300 3111


Sport Ireland

Tel: +353 1860 8800


Sport Scotland

Tel: 0141 534 6500


Sport and Recreation Alliance

Tel: 0207 976 3900


UK Coaching

Tel: 0113 274 4802


Youth Sport Trust (YST)

Tel: 01509 462900