Safe Recruitment of Volunteers

Safe Recruitment of Volunteers Policy

Aim of this Policy

Gloucester Rowing Club (GRC) is a Regulated Activity Provider relying on volunteers to facilitate their rowing programmes. The club has a duty to understand what a ‘Regulated Activity’ and shall be responsible for having a safe and careful recruitment process for volunteers who have close and unsupervised contact with children.
This Policy uses British Rowing’s definition of Regulated Activity and sets out the recruitment procedure for coaches, helpers, and any club member with significant access to children, or those ‘who hold a position of trust with the children with whom they come into contact’.

Definition of Regulated Activity

For the role to be classed as a Regulated Activity it must comprise:
Teaching, training, instructing, caring for or supervising Children;
Or
Providing guidance/advice on well-being to Children;
Or
Driving a vehicle only for Children.
And
Happens frequently (once a week or more often)
Or
Happens intensively (on 4 or more days in a 30-day period, or overnight, even once)
And
The individual is unsupervised
Or
The activity involves supervising someone who would otherwise be in a Regulated Activity

The Club recognises that the definition is important in determining which volunteers are in Regulated Activity and therefore require an Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check including the barred list. The club shall acknowledge its legal duty not to recruit an individual on the barred list to work with vulnerable groups (including children) in a Regulated Activity. The club shall also acknowledge that it has a legal responsibility to inform DBS of anyone they have removed from Regulated Activity, due to concerns that they pose a risk or harm to the vulnerable groups, including children.
The club also understands that at the time of writing this policy, that in the context of rowing and sport, volunteers are not classed as being in Regulated Activity when supervising Adults at Risk (formerly Vulnerable Adults).

With regards to club volunteers and the need for DBS clearance, the Club shall interpret the definition of Regulated Activity to imply that:

  • All lead session coaches supervising juniors are undertaking Regulated Activity – requires an Enhanced DBS including barring.
  • All assistant or trainee coaches and experienced helpers operating under the instruction of the lead coach, but who are required to act independently at times to supervise small groups of juniors, are undertaking Regulated Activity – requires an Enhanced DBS including barring.
  • All helpers that are assisting only under the supervision of a lead coach, but operate on a regular weekly basis, are not undertaking Regulated Activity – requires an Enhanced DBS without barring.
  • All helpers that are assisting only under the supervision of a lead coach, but operate on an occasional and irregular basis, are not undertaking Regulated Activity – eligible for an Enhanced DBS without barring. Where this is not requested, they will need to fill out BR Volunteer Forms WG 2.4 and 2.5.
  • All helpers that are assisting only under the supervision of a lead coach, but are attending a training camp of four continuous days or less, are not undertaking Regulated Activity – they will need to fill out BR Volunteer Forms WG 2.4 and 2.5.
  • Club Welfare Officer – requires an Enhanced DBS including barring.
  • Junior Coordinator – requires an Enhanced DBS including barring.
  • Trailer drivers who spend time away with children at regattas - requires an Enhanced DBS including barring.
  • Club Officers who have significant access to children – requires an Enhanced DBS without barring.
  • Club member who has significant access to children - requires an Enhanced DBS without barring.

The club recognises that obtaining DBS clearances is only part of the safe recruitment process. There shall also be reference checking, interviewing, attitude and aptitude testing and the club shall satisfy itself of relevant experience and evidence of qualifications.

Recruitment of volunteer coaches

Existing members of the club
GRC shall aim to recruit coaches, and especially junior coaches, from within the club membership. The club shall support the training and qualification of experienced and established members (member for more than 1 years) to achieve their Level 2 Coaching Award from British Rowing, qualify in basic first aid and a capsize drill and complete a Safeguarding and Protecting Children Course by a recognised course provider. Coaches in this category comprise:

  • Members of the senior rowing squad or Committees, especially those in the teaching profession or with previous coaching experience.
  • Local students who are completing their coaching training as part of their higher education.

In these circumstances where the coach is a known member of the club, the recruitment process shall be finalised by asking the coach to apply for an Enhanced DBS clearance including barring, through the club, and to be renewed every 3 years. Coaching members shall be expected to abide by the club’s ‘Coaching Code of Conduct’.

Non-members of the club
The club shall approach non-members either directly or via advertising. Coaches in this category comprise:

  • Parents/carers with children in the junior rowing squad who are keen to actively and positively support their child through their rowing development and have also shown an interest in supporting the club.
  • Coaches with experience from another rowing club.
  • Coaches applied for through the British Rowing Sponsored Henley Stewards Charitable Trust.

If the club receives the support of a Henley Stewards Coach, then that person is deemed to have been appropriately vetted by British Rowing and no further recruitment procedures are undertaken.
If the club actively seeks to encourage selected parents/carers (who have an understanding of the sport and an appropriate manner with the juniors) to undertake a Level 2 qualification in coaching for rowing, then the club shall sponsor and provide training opportunities for them. The parents/carers shall be required to apply for coaching membership of the club and once complete, an application shall be made for an Enhanced DBS including barring, to be renewed every 3 years as appropriate.
If the club approaches or is approached by a coach with experience from another rowing club, they shall be required to fill out BR Volunteer Forms WG 2.4 and 2.5 and supply forms of ID that confirm date of birth, recent photograph and current address. The club shall satisfy itself of coaching qualifications and two references in connection with their coaching experience and/or experience working with vulnerable groups. Once those details have been satisfied, the coach shall be required to apply for membership of the club and following approval at Committee, an application shall be made for an Enhanced DBS clearance including barring, through the club.

Recruitment of non-member volunteer helpers

Non-members are a source of volunteer manpower needed to help club members run club events, maintain equipment and facilities, tow trailers and assist with junior training sessions. The club relies on parents/carers of the junior members, or partners of adult members, to overcome the shortfall of help as and when required. Typically this kind of help is intermittent and without significant or unsupervised access to vulnerable groups including children. The club shall engage these members based on goodwill and without the need for a recruitment procedure.
The Junior Coordinator shall approach selected parents/carers to see if they are willing to commit regularly to assist the lead coach in running junior training sessions on the water. If agreed, they shall be required to become a volunteer member of the club and to apply for volunteer (Silver) membership of British Rowing. Once that is complete, a DBS clearance without barring shall be applied for through the club. Parents/carers shall remain supervised in their assisting role. Volunteer members shall be expected to abide by the club’s ‘Parent/carer and Volunteer Code of Conduct’.