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RYA Safeguarding Adults Policy and Guidelines

These guidelines can be downloaded and adapted to meet the requirements of your organisation.

The legislation governing the care and safeguarding of adults at risk is a devolved matter.  The guidelines take account of the Care Act 2014 which applies to local authorities in England, however the general principles of good practice apply throughout the UK.  The Care Act 2014 defines 'Adults at Risk' as people aged 18 or over who are in need of care or support, and because of those needs are unable to protect themselves against abuse or neglect. 

These guidelines are intended primarily for organisations providing services to adults with disabilities, but could apply to any club or centre.  Any adult could be regarded as at risk or vulnerable at certain times, for example when undergoing medical treatment or experiencing a period of mental ill-health.  Equally, not all people with a disability would identify themselves as being vulnerable or at risk at all times.

All sections are dated so that it's easy to see what has been changed since you last reviewed your organisation's policy and procedures.  In the 2020 version the RYA's Safeguarding Adults policy statement has been reviewed and updated so there are minor changes to the sample club policy.  We have expanded the section on training and added a new paragraph on data retention.

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

We would welcome your feedback on how useful you have found the guidelines and whether there are areas where you would like more information.  Please send any comments to the RYA's Safeguarding and Equality Manager at  

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