Ofure Ugiagbe, Athlete Support Manager and Lead Safeguarding Officer for the British Athletes Commission (BAC) recently completed the ACT Safeguarding in Sport Framework.
Ofure kindly shared a little about her experience.
Need a refresher on the ACT Safeguarding in Sport Framework? Head here for a short guide to getting started.
Who are the British Athletes Commission?
The British Athletes Commission is a member’s association for elite athletes in the UK. It was founded in 2004 with a purpose of representing and empowering British elite athletes. Their aim is to give athletes an independent body to which they can turn for advice and support. All athletes who receive World Class Performance Programme (WCPP) funding automatically become members of the BAC.
Ofure’s Experience of the Framework
How did I feel when I saw Laura from ACT deliver a presentation on the Safeguarding Adults in Sport Framework? “Daunted” is probably the word I would have used. I had successfully completed and achieved the CPSU Advanced Safeguarding Standards a few months before. I was thus unsure what level of commitment would be necessary to complete the ACT Framework. But we had a flexible two-month window to work with.
I had an initial conversation with ACT’s Kimberley Walsh, our main contact. After this, I felt reassured. The BAC has always focused our safeguarding provision holistically to advocate for athletes in general. I realised that completing the Framework would help us to understand if there were gaps in our policy related particularly to adults.
BAC is not a National Governing Body (NGB) or an Active Partnership (AP). So I was concerned that the framework wouldn’t account for our organisational operation and functioning within the high-performance system. Indeed, it was difficult to evidence some of the criteria, because the function simply doesn’t and couldn’t exist in the way we work. Fortunately, Kimberley helped me work through some of the difficulties in evidencing certain criteria. She also helped me to phrase explanations for the assessors.
Understanding and Delivering Best Practice in Safeguarding
The framework gave us an opportunity to assess our provision. It allowed us to identify areas where we could reframe some of what is expected of an NGB or AP.
Positive reflections include:
- Format – The online portfolio is easy to amend and follow. The way it explains the criteria made it much easier for us to complete the Framework. The ability to save and come back was also useful.
- Support – ACT were on hand to answer any questions. If they didn’t have the answers right away, they would come back to me with information once they’d found out.
- Action plan – Not being able to evidence certain criteria gave us an opportunity to identify gaps in our provision.
- Follow up – Now that we’ve identified gaps in our resources, we’re currently working with ACT to discuss ideas and plans to address this.
I would strongly recommend any organisation looking to audit their safeguarding adults’ provision to complete the framework. It was a useful tool in objectively reviewing internal policies, procedures and processes. It also helped us understand what users might need in terms of communication and information.
As we continue to move forward with our athlete support function, we now have a tool to help us continuously consider our actions.