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Safeguarding for SCA Affiliated Clubs

The Scottish Canoe Association (SCA) provides the the following information in relation to the recent BBC Scotland item on PVG checks in sport.  

The SCA is committed to keeping children safe in canoeing and takes safeguarding extremely seriously. We have invested much time and resource to develop and implement procedures which comply with legislation and best practice and to provide training and support to canoe clubs that affiliate to the SCA. 

The SCA requires all those working or volunteering with children to have completed safeguarding training, and it is a requirement of affiliation to the SCA that all clubs containing junior members have an approved safeguarding policy in place.

Clubs are independent, standalone entities and the SCA does not have operational responsibility over clubs. The legal responsibilities regarding PVG rest with the club not the SCA. The SCA does, however provide a wide range of support and training to affiliated clubs, including courses for club safeguarding officers. We recognise there is a natural turnover of volunteers in clubs, hence we continue to raise awareness, remind clubs of their responsibilities and provide training on an ongoing basis. 

Under the PVG legislation, the SCA is not permitted to make the decision on whether an individual can be in a coaching role with children, but we do provide help and advice to those in the club making this decision. We also promote a wide range of safe recruitment and selection practices, including self declarations, interviews, references and probationary periods. 

The SCA recognises that PVG checks alone do not safeguard children and there is a need to continually refine and improve procedures in order to help keep children safe. We are in the process of introducing additional recording measures so we can further understand the deployment activity of coaches, including information about who they coach. 

The SCA complies with PVG legislation and the Facts & Figures below explain why the number of PVG-checked coaches in clubs which contain children is not always the same as the total number of coaches in those clubs.

Any further enquiries should be directed to the SCA Lead Safeguarding officer Andy Murray andy.murray@canoescotland.org

Facts & Figures

  • The SCA meets all 8 of the Safeguarding in Sport/sportscotland Minimum Operating Requirements
  • The SCA has 88 affiliated clubs, 22 clubs of which contain no junior members. Based on the data held by SCA in January 2017 there are 782 active coaches in clubs, 573 of whom are in clubs with children and 469 in regulated work with a PVG check. The remaining 104 are not in regulated work and not eligible for a PVG check.
  • The SCA processes PVG checks for some affiliated clubs whilst other clubs process them via separate organisations (for example school, college or university based clubs or multi-sport clubs who access PVG checks via another sports governing body)
  • Some clubs have junior sections whose coaches will be PVG checked whilst other coaches in the same club, who do not coach children and therefore do not meet the requirements of regulated work, and are not eligible for PVG check
  • The SCA operates a PVG administration service for affiliated clubs who take up this service from us; we ask those clubs to notify us of which coaches in the club are in regulated work and we then administer the PVG check