The following is an overview of child protection legislation and links to the most relevant resources to help you ensure all children, young people and vulnerable groups are kept safe from harm when mountain biking.
Every organisation involved with children, young people or vulnerable groups has a responsibility for their protection and well-being - a duty of care.
If your club is only adult based you do not have to comply with child protection legislation.
However you will be unable to accept anyone under the age of 16 to join you on a club run without their parent or carer being present.
For most children and clubs a child protection issue will never occur however it is important clubs, and individuals within clubs, protect themselves, and most importantly, ensure children, young people and vulnerable people are protected from harm.
One of the recruitment tools your club will need to use will be for each volunteer to join the Protection for Vulnerable Groups (PVG) scheme by completing a Disclosure Scotland form. More information on the scheme is available here. If your club is a member Scottish Cycling will be able to assist your club in with processing PVG - Disclosure Scotland forms for you and your volunteers. Please contact your Scottish Cycling Regional Development Officer for more information.
It is important to view the PVG scheme as only one part of the recruitment process. All volunteers should undergo an interview process and it is not unreasonable to ask for references from volunteers.
See 10 Steps to Safeguarding Children in Sport (pages 28-34)
It is good practice for your club to develop a child protection policy and code if conduct, which will help your club establish clear guidelines for how you work with children, young people and vulnerable groups.
Scottish Cycling have information on Child Protection Policies, an example code of conduct and quick guide on how to deal with a suspected claim. These can form the basis of your clubs good practice.
For a comprehensive guide to frequently asked questions regarding child protection policy and resources to help your club stay within the law it is worth downloading the guide from ‘Safeguarding in Sport’ website.
CPSU, Children 1st and sportscotland have developed a series of videos which are based on situations and issues which often arise in sports settings. They will give you examples of what you and your organisation need to do to safeguard the children and young people you work with. Most of the good practice is transferable to mountain biking.
In England and Wales, the Child Protection in Sport Unit is a partnership between Sport England and the NSPCC, although some of the organisations referred to in the website do not exist in Scotland, there are many helpful resources and information available on their website.
There is also a range of training courses in Scotland which will help you understand your role in protecting children.