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Safeguarding for clubs and Welfare Officers


What is a Welfare Officer?

A Welfare Officer is responsible for acting as a voice for safeguarding within their club, working with the committee to ensure best practice is followed and to coordinate actions within the club, should a safeguarding concern or referral arise.

First steps

To ensure that Welfare Officers receive regular information, advice, and training, it is important that the RYA are able to hold an up-to-date contact list. New welfare officers should take a look at the RYA Welfare Information Pack and submit the completed registration Form to the RYA Safeguarding team

RYA Welfare Officer Information Pack


An exclusive opportunity for RYA members, affiliated clubs and recognised training centres to be able to reach out and connect with our expert Safeguarding and Equality Team.


Safeguarding training


Safe and fun

The RYA recommend that anyone volunteering or working with children and young people should complete the RYA Safe and Fun course. The online course provides a basic level of knowledge and awareness of safeguarding and is accessed via RYA recognised training centres. This course acts as your intro to safeguarding. 

If you haven’t done any safeguarding training before, we recommend completing the RYA online Safe and Fun course, but you should also aim to attend some face-to-face training or a virtual tutor-led classroom session if possible. Online training provides you with the relevant knowledge but does not give you the opportunity to work through scenarios with other people and discuss common issues. 

RYA Welfare officer course

If you’re unable to attend a UK Coaching workshop, the RYA offers an online Welfare Officer course. The course is aimed at those within a Welfare Officer role but is also recommended for anyone who has a safeguarding responsibility at their club, training centre or class association. It is a practical and interactive course with scenarios based on real situations and frequently asked questions. It will help participants with the following:

  • understanding your role in safeguarding,
  • communicating the need for safeguarding within your organisation,
  • being aware of the relevant legislation,
  • to recognise the elements of a safe recruitment process,
  • how to respond to concerns.

The Welfare Officer course is accredited by the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Standards Office and equates to three hours of CPD, which can be used as evidence in your records for professional institutions, regulators, or employers.

Enrolling for the Welfare Officer course will give you access to the content of Safe and Fun, you will need to do the full Safe and Fun course through an RYA Training Centre to complete the knowledge check and receive the certificate. Please note, if you are intending to qualify as an RYA Dinghy or Windsurfing Instructor, Senior Instructor or Level 2 Racing Coach, you will need to do the full Safe and Fun course to complete the knowledge check and receive the certificate.

To enrol, please contact the RYA Safeguarding Team

You will be asked to confirm that you have already completed a safeguarding awareness course; this could be work-based training, the UK Coaching Safeguarding and Protecting Children workshop, or an equivalent course for another sport.

Course cost: £18 (£15 plus VAT). 


Further training


NSPCC - Time to listen

Some local authority Active Partnerships offer a multi-sport workshop for Welfare Officers called Time to Listen.

Children 1st - Child wellbeing and protection in spot

In Scotland, the Safeguarding in Sport Unit of Children 1st, has developed a three-hour workshop for Welfare Officers called Child Wellbeing & Protection in Sport.

UK Coaching - Safeguarding Adults

For those working or volunteering with adults at risk, we recommend that you undertake the online Safeguarding Adults course available from UK Coaching.

The Ann Craft Trust

The Ann Craft Trust also deliver workshops at various levels and have successfully piloted a sailing-specific workshop with RYA Sailability. 

Criminal Record Disclosure Coordinators

The RYA is an umbrella body for criminal record enhanced disclosure checks for DBS (Disclosure and Barring) in England and Wales, and AccessNI in Northen Ireland.  The RYA can help affiliates to access criminal record checks for volunteers or staff who will be working with young people or adults at risk.

Organisations wishing to process PVG (Protecting Vulnerable Adults) criminal record checks in Scotland, should email Volunteer Scotland Disclosure Services.

Cost of Disclosure Processing Checks for a paid role*

Disclosure checks are currently free for those in a volunteer role.

The RYA processes criminal record disclosure checks across England and Wales and Northern Ireland through the below service providers.

England & Wales  - Disclosure and Barring Service

£43.00 (£40.00 to DBS + £3 admin fee to Cantium).

Scotland - Protecting Vulnerable Groups PVG Scheme

Existing PVG members - £18.00

New Scheme Record - £59.00

Northern Ireland AccessNI


If you require enhanced disclosure checks, please email the RYA Safeguarding team.

*The RYA do not make a profit from processing criminal disclosure checks.

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