Safeguarding Adults in Sport FAQs

Safeguarding Adults in Sport FAQ

This short guide covers many of the most common questions you might have about Safeguarding Adults in Sport.

It covers topics including:

  • What is safeguarding adults?
  • Where is the best place to start?
  • What sort of policies and procedures do we need to have in place?
  • Why is safeguarding adults different to safeguarding children?

Each question features a link to a resource that will help you explore the issue in more detail.

Safeguarding adults is everybody’s business. Groups and clubs play a crucial role in keeping adults safe. They need to look out for the welfare of all adults and be informed enough to ensure that any safeguarding concerns about adults are properly acted upon.


What is safeguarding adults?

Safeguarding adults means protecting a person’s right to live in safety, free from abuse and neglect.

Watch these short introductory films about safeguarding adults to learn some basics:

What is Safeguarding?
Safeguarding Adults in Sport Introduction

Where is the best place to start?

Do a quick audit of your group or club. This checklist takes approximately 15 minutes to complete and will help you to draw up an action plan and get links to free resources:

Safeguarding Checklist: Free Assessment

What do we need to have in place?

The audit will have helped you to come up with a plan. NCVO have also put together this useful resources which takes you through the steps your group or club should take to create a safer organisation.

NCVO Steps to a Safer Organisation

Isn’t safeguarding adults the same as safeguarding children?

All children and adults have the right to be safe. The way that we deal with concerns about adults is different to how we deal with concerns about children.

Why Have Different Policies for Safeguarding Children and Adults? NVCO Guide to Differences Between Safeguarding Children and Adults

What roles do staff and volunteers undertake with safeguarding adults?

Everyone has a duty to recognise and report concerns. Every club or group should have someone who takes responsibility for coordinating what to do with concerns about adults. They are often called a welfare officer or a Designated Safeguarding Officer (DSO).

What might be a safeguarding adults concern?

Concerns could be about things that happen in the club or group, or you may hear about things that have happened outside the club or group. You may be concerned about someone’s physical or mental wellbeing, you may see signs of abuse or notice that they look distressed or unhappy. There are many indicators that may alert you to raise a concern.

How should we respond to a concern?

Develop a safeguarding adults policy and procedure that all staff and volunteers follow if they have a concern about an adult.

Here’s some tips and templates:

Tips for Writing Your Safeguarding Adults Policy and Procedures Safeguarding Adults Policy & Procedures Templates

What training should we do?

All staff and volunteers should watch an introductory safeguarding adults film so you have a basic understanding of safeguarding adults and know that safeguarding adults is everybody’s business.

What is Safeguarding?
Safeguarding Adults in Sport Introduction

People who run sessions can do training through your local Safeguarding Adults Board.

Find your local Safeguarding Adults Board

Staff, volunteers and people who run sessions can also do online training:

Introduction to Safeguarding Adults in Sport eLearning Course UKCoaching Safeguarding Adults Course (developed with the Ann Craft Trust)

We run Advanced Training for Safeguarding Leads and Welfare Officers. The Welfare Officer/DSO can also access training from the Local Safeguarding Adults Board.

Advanced Safeguarding Adults in Sport Training

Boards or committees should also have training on their responsibilities. We run Board Training for Board Members and Senior Management. The NCVO also runs sessions and has lots of resources about how to run a group well

Board Safeguarding Adults in Sport Training

How do we keep learning about safeguarding adults?

Keep in touch with your Local Safeguarding Adults Board.

Find your local Safeguarding Adults Board

Keep in touch with ACT, the safeguarding charity that is funded to help sport and activity organisations. Sign up to the monthly Sport Update and quarterly ACT bulletin

Sign up to the Monthly Sport Update and Quarterly Bulletin

And follow ACT on Twitter @AnnCraftTrust and join in the #ActSafeguardingHour 12-1pm every Wednesday.

Got a Safeguarding Adults in Sport question that’s not featured in our FAQ?

Get in touch


Back to Resources

Safeguarding Adults in Sport Online Course

We have a range of safeguarding adults eLearning courses to help you learn more about safeguarding adults at risk and learn how to recognise the signs of abuse, including our Safeguarding Adults in Sport course. Perfect for volunteers, safeguarding leads and welfare officers.

Safeguarding Adults in Sport eLearning Courses