It is essential that as a parent/carer you have a general awareness of good practice when selecting a sports activity for your child to attend. These pages will provide you with guidance as to what you should be looking for when selecting an activity


map markerQuestions for Parents / Carers

Are the coaches qualified?

All coaches/leaders must hold an up to date nationally recognised Governing Body coaching qualification/s which is appropriate to the level and sport being coached.

In general an assistant coach must hold a level 1 qualification and should coach under the supervision of a more experience and qualified coach.

A level 2 qualification is required for a coach to be coaching on their own.

Do they have appropriate training?

It is recommended that coaches have attended nationally recognised child protection training. Training should be recognised by the appropriate National Governing Body, Sports Coach UK or Local Safeguarding Children’s Board.

If coaches are working in schools it is recommended that they have attended education awareness training.

Are coaches & club personnel suitable to work with 
children and young people?

All coaches and club personnel who have direct contact with children and young people should have been appropriately screened. This should include:


  • The successful completion of an enhanced Criminal Records
    Bureau (CRB) check
  • Appropriate references taken


Are the coaches insured?

Coaches should have up-to-date, appropriate insurance cover

What is the player/coach ratio?

The ratio of coaches to participants varies from sport to sport and
should be based on:


  • The age and ability of the children involved
  • The risk involved in the activity
  • Needs of disabled young people in the group


Contact the sports National Governing Body for sport specific guidance.

Who do I tell if my child takes medication?

Sports organisations/coaches need to be aware of any medication that your child is taking, or if they have any other particular needs. You should be asked when you first attend an activity, but if not inform the coach.

What happens if my child is involved in away fixtures?

The club will take responsibility to ensure the safety of your child whist in their care.

The sports club/organisation should inform you about the event arrangements

You should know how your child is getting to and from the event

Prior to the fixture you should be provided with a parental consent form. You will need to complete this form and return it clearly stating emergency contact numbers and medical information.

map markerPolicies and Procedures to Look for

National Governing Body Accreditation
The sports club/organisation should have, or be working towards National Governing Body Accreditation, or equivalent, that outlines minimum operating systems of the sport.  National Governing Body Accreditation ensures that the club is committed to providing a safe, effective & child friendly environment. The sports club/organisation should be working to minimum operating standards outlined by their National Governing Body.

Child Protection Policy
Clubs/organisations should have a child protection policy which outlines procedures for dealing with possible abuse, disclosures or poor practice. The club/organisation have a responsibility to act on any instances of abuse, disclosure or poor practice.

Parents/carers should be aware of the policy and be able to view the policy on request.

Code of Conduct
Clubs/organisations should have a written code of conduct for parents/carers, coaches, club staff/volunteers and participants.

The club/organisation should have public liability insurance.

Health & safety
The premises/venue should satisfy fire regulations.
The club/organisation should issue a consent form for all new members requesting details of emergency contacts, medical history and consent for your child to be photographed or videoed.

The club/organisation should have:


  • Somebody on site who holds a first aid qualification, access to a first aid box and telephone
  • Guidelines for dealing with injuries
  • Mechanisms in place to ensure the safety of the venue and equipment 
map markerYour Role as a Parent Carer

 Always ensure that the young people you are responsible for have:


  • The correct kit/equipment
  • A suitable drink when required
  • Sun cream if needed
  • Medication if required.


If in doubt contact the club/organisation for specific requirements.

Always ensure that you:


  • Ask the appropriate questions to ensure that activities are safe and child friendly
  • Are aware of and act in accordance with the club/organisations code of conduct for parents/carers.
  • Inform the coach of medical conditions/medication taken. (remember to keep the coach up to date).
  • Inform the coach of any disabilities or special requirements that your child has.
  • Ensure that the club/organisation has emergency contact details.
  • Drop off, and pick up your child at the correct times, as advised by the club/organisation.
  • Chat to your child about the activity to ensure that they are enjoying it.
  • Are aware of how and when to report a concern, allegation or disclosure about poor practice or possible abuse.


Always ensure that the young people you are responsible for know and understand:


  • The club/organisations fair play charter and/or code of conduct for participants.
  • Who they can talk to if they have any concerns.


Please take the time to go through the club/organisations participants code of conduct or fair play charter with the young people you are responsible for.

map markerWho to contact if you have any concerns

Sports clubs/organisations should have a designated child protection/welfare officer. They are the first point of contact if you have any concerns.

You can also contact the National Governing Body Directly.

If you want to talk over any concerns with someone outside your club/organisation you can contact the Child Protection in Sport Unit, NSPCC helpline or ChildLine.

Specific contact information

If you have any concerns around children, young people, vulnerable adults or staff in Northampton Leisure Trust's programmes or facilities please refer to the following policies and procedures.

Safeguarding - Children and Young People

Safeguarding - Vulnerable Adults