RYA Safeguarding Policies and Guidelines

The RYA has available for download Safeguarding policies and guidelines for protecting children and adults at risk, these can be adapted to suit the requirements of your training centre, club or class association.

Each section of the policy and guidelines is dated so it's easy to see what has changed since you last reviewed your own procedures. 

The Guidelines document is intended to assist you with drawing up your own organisation's Policy and Procedures.  There is a sample club/centre policy which covers the essential points, you can then add the sections and template documents relevant to your organisation.

In the 2020 version the RYA's Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy Statement has been reviewed and an updated version approved by the RYA Board, this is reflected in the sample club/centre policy statement.  We have expanded the guidance on changing rooms and showers; added to the section on photography and images to make it clear than an image is personal data and should be treated in accordance with your organisation's Data Privacy policy; added a paragraph on data retention; and amended the section on handling a concern to recognise that it could come from a member of public or from the statutory authorities, not just from within the organisation.

In the 2020 version, the RYA's Safeguarding Adults Policy Statement has been reviewed and an updated version approved by the RYA Board, this is reflected in the sample club / centre policy statement. In addition to updating a number of links and contact details, we have added some information on Safeguarding Adults training which is available from the Ann Craft Trust and UK Coaching.

Clubs are advised to ensure that they have both a Safeguarding Adults and Safeguarding and Protecting Children policy and that they are adopted by the club as a whole and that all members are aware of it.

We have produced separate guidance on Social Media which signposts sources of expert advice for clubs/centres, parents and young people, this can be downloaded below.

Many clubs have found it useful to adopt a Code of Conduct so that young participants, parents and volunteers are clear about their responsibilities - see the related documents below.

You can find additional information with regards to safeguarding policies from each of the Home Countries here: RYA Scotland, RYA Cymru Wales or RYANI.

Club Resources

The RYA has a wealth of resources and media available to anyone involved in sailing and boating activities.

RYA Safeguarding Implementation Plan

The RYA Board has approved the Safeguarding Implementation Plan for 2021-2022. This is a combined plan which outlines the key priorities for the safeguarding team with regards to children and adults at risk. The Implementation Plan looks to further develop the resources and support that the RYA offers clubs and centres to help them fulfil their responsibility to safeguard the welfare of children and adults at risk taking part in their activities.

The key priorities for the Safeguarding Team over the next 12 months is to:

Increase engagement with children and young people through committee forums

Increase the support provision given to Disclosure Coordinators

Adapt the existing RYA Training courses to include safeguarding adults

Refresh both policies and guidelines to ensure user-friendliness

Develop and roll out an internally led Safeguarding Training Package

You can access the full Safeguarding Implementation Plan below.

The Adventure Activity Licensing

This sections looks at the requirements for clubs and RYA training centres to hold a licence from the Adventure Activities Licensing Authority.

The Activity Centres (Young Persons' Safety) Act 1995 was introduced following the Lyme Bay canoeing tragedy, in which four young people at a commercial adventure activities centre died during a short sea canoeing expedition.

The legislation is aimed at commercial providers of outdoor adventure activities and not at private members' clubs. As a result of RYA pressure during the passage of the Bill through Parliament, bona fide non-profit making clubs providing instruction to their own members were excluded from the application of the legislation.

However, under certain circumstances when providing instruction or leadership training to young non-members, a club may need to obtain a licence from the Adventure Activities Licensing Authority.

Should you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact the Legal Team: 0844 5569519 /  legal@rya.org.uk