The Safeguarding Adults in Sport Framework Can Help You Make Sport & Activity Safer and More Accessible

Safeguarding Adults in Sport Framework

In June 2022, The Ann Craft Trust and The CPSU ran a Lead Safeguarding Officer forum for Active Partnerships and National Governing Bodies.

As part of this forum, we discussed the Safeguarding Adults in Sport Framework. We described the Framework’s background, purpose, and functionality. Organisations that have completed the Framework also came along to discuss their experiences.

This is a summary of that session.

A Brief Introduction to The Safeguarding Adults in Sport Framework

Following the Care Act 2014 in England, National Governing Bodies (NGBs) and Active Partnerships expressed a need for some guidance on safeguarding adults in sport. Sport England then funded The Ann Craft Trust to develop a system that would help organisations to establish and promote best practice.

We developed The Safeguarding Adults in Sport Framework using our expertise in safeguarding adults audits, while also drawing from our knowledge of regulatory systems. We worked in conjunction with the sport and activity sector, running consultation workshops with lead safeguarding officers and the Safeguarding Adults in Sport Steering Group.

The Framework is an online tool. After registering, an organisation can assess how they meet certain criteria for safeguarding best practice, uploading documents as supporting evidence.

At the moment only Active Partnerships, National Governing Bodies and Sports Organisations funded by UK Sport or Sport England can create submissions. However, any organisation can still access information about the Framework on our website, using it to analyse their safeguarding adults processes and create their own action plan.

Completing The Framework

The Framework contains six themes. Each theme contains several criteria. Organisations must submit evidence to indicate where and how they’re meeting this criteria.

Following each theme there is a space to write a summary that forms part of the organisation’s action plan. This allows them to indicate any action they’ll take where gaps exist. It’s also a space to talk about future development plans.

The action points for each theme will form the overall action plan.

Organisations have six weeks to complete their submission. After this, an Ann Craft Trust assessor checks their submission and writes comments on the Framework, highlighting good practice or areas for improvement.

We then contact the organisation to tell them whether they’ve met the Framework. If they have, we issue the organisation with a logo they can use to demonstrate that they have made a commitment to safeguarding adults:

If the organisation only meets the Framework on a conditional level, or if they don’t meet it, we ask them to submit additional evidence. Or, we might ask them to submit a new assessment, and we’ll help them work towards meeting safeguarding best practice.

This is an ongoing process. So organisations must aim to complete a new submission every two years.

Do I Have To Complete The Framework?

Sport England and UK Sport both support the Framework.

Completing the Framework is a mandatory requirement and condition of Sport England and UK Sport funding for Active Partnerships, National Governing Bodies and Sports Organisations.

Sport England regards the Framework as a key tool for organisations to embrace a culture of good governance. It also helps them deliver effective welfare policies and actions for safeguarding adults.

So far we’ve had a lot of positive feedback from Active Partnerships and NGBs who have completed the Framework.

Some say it’s allowed them to create plans and identify gaps in safeguarding adults. It’s also helped them spot the links between safeguarding adults and the standards for safeguarding and protecting children in sport.

Want to know more about the Framework? Read our essential guide to what it is, how it works, and how to apply. 

Free Online Framework Discussion Forums

Many told us that they appreciated discussing the Framework with their peers who have already completed their submission, as it allowed them to share tips and ideas on evidence.

So we’re running a series of free online Framework discussion forums.

During these sessions, organisations that have already completed the Framework will explain the process in more depth. They’ll take you through the submission process step by step, and answer any questions you might have.

We’re currently running four sessions:

Get in touch to start your Safeguarding Adults in Sport Framework Submission