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Role of a Safeguarding and Wellbeing Officer

Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility, however, to support the clubs and gymnasts there is a mandatory requirement for all registered clubs to have an appointed Club Safeguarding and Wellbeing Officer. The Safeguarding and Wellbeing Officer’s details must be promoted and easily accessible to all the club members. Whilst minimum requirement is to have one, depending on the size and frequency of the club it may be good practice to have more than one.  

Why Do Clubs Need a Safeguarding and Wellbeing Officer

The role of the Safeguarding and Wellbeing Officer is immensely important. The Safeguarding and Wellbeing Officer make a significant contribution to creating positive change within the club. The role of the Safeguarding and Wellbeing Officer is key to ensuring that safeguarding is embedded throughout all your club practices.  

The Safeguarding and Wellbeing Officer must be free from any conflict of interests within the club and specifically must not be the head coach or related to or living with them. It is the club’s responsibility to make sure the person appointed for the role undertakes the required training and receive ongoing support. If the Safeguarding and Wellbeing Officer resigns or leaves the club, it is the clubs responsibility to make sure that you update your club Safeguarding and Wellbeing Officer details on gymnet.

 The Safeguarding and Wellbeing Officer does not need to be an expert in safeguarding. Training will be undertaken to ensure they are equipped to deal with any issues or concerns that may arise and know who to contact for further advice and support. They are not expected to work alone. There are a network of people to reach out to for help and support including our Safeguarding team. 

How can clubs recruit a SWO

When recruiting a SWO the club should follow the safe recruitment policy.

It is important that individuals are fully aware of the expectations of the role and have as much information as possible to help them decide if they are able to carry out the role.   

What is the SWO role  

The key role of the Safeguarding and Wellbeing Officer is to ensure safeguarding is very much on the ‘agenda’ at your club. This will include supporting everyone at your club to feel more aware about safeguarding, know who can help or ask questions as well as being the point of contact to pass any concerns for further investigation. 

The SWO role is to:

  1. Help support the club in implementing and managing both the club and National Governing body policies and procedures that impact safeguarding, Child protecting and codes of conduct. 
  2. Responding to child protection and poor practice concerns 
  3. Providing support and advice in the implementation of procedures that safeguard and promote the welfare of children 
  4. Assisting the club to be more child-focused in its activities e.g. Involving children in decision making processes 
  5. Support the club personnel to recognise that safeguarding is everyone’s’ responsibility and to actively play their part thus ensuring it is embedded throughout club practices 

More information about courses can be found here. 

The role of the club Safeguarding and Wellbeing Officer will be reconfirmed each year by the club as part of the membership renewal process.  

What training do they require?  

To be recognised as a valid Safeguarding and Wellbeing Officer the individual must have the following in place:  

  1. Hold Welsh Gymnastics current membership in the appropriate category 
  2. Hold a valid DBS (dated within the last 3 years) 
  3. Complete British Gymnastics recognised Safeguarding training (within the last 3 years) 
  4. Complete a Time to Listen course 
  5. Have time to commit to effectively carry out the role 

Changing your Safeguarding and Wellbeing Officer

When your Safeguarding and Wellbeing Officer decides to move on from the role, think about how their knowledge and experience can be shared with the person taking over. 

Some of the ways a smooth handover can take place include: 

  1. Encourage your Safeguarding and Wellbeing Officer to give as much notice as possible to allow time to recruit and train a replacement 
  2. Prepare an information pack for the new Safeguarding and Wellbeing Officer, including a list of ongoing work/issues, a contact list and ‘top tips’ that may help 
  3. Prepare a hand over of any files or important correspondence. Consider how to pass on any electronic information

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