Welfare Officer Winter Checklist

Ensure that your club is up to date with the latest safeguarding procedures with the RYA Welfare Officer Winter Checklist.

A man and a boy prepare a boat for sailing

As footsteps on the club pontoon begin to lessen, now is an opportune time for club Welfare Officers to review and refresh their paperwork ahead of next season. If you are the Welfare Officer at your club, here’s the RYA checklist for ensuring that your club is up to date on its safeguarding paperwork and procedures:

1) Disclosure checks

Are your disclosure checks up to date? Referred to as the Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) in England and Wales, Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) in Scotland and Access NI in Northern Ireland, you should be applying for these checks for anyone undertaking regulated activity with children or adults at risk. This includes teaching, training, coaching, or supervising. You can action these checks by emailing disclosure@rya.org.uk.

2) Who to contact when?

Do you have safeguarding posters displayed at your club? A poster on a noticeboard showing who to contact in a safeguarding emergency can be a useful communication tool for a child or adult at risk who may not have access to the internet. 

Does your club have a website? If so, how easy is it for someone in distress to find the Welfare Officer’s contact details on the site? It is also worth double-checking that these contact details are correct and up to date. 

3) Get registered

Have you registered yourself as the Welfare Officer of your club? It is important that the RYA has your most current contact details.  If not, you could be missing out on regular updates and support from the RYA Safeguarding team. All Welfare Officers receive a Welcome Pack upon registration with useful tips and information. You can get registered by emailing safeguarding@rya.org.uk. 

4) Refresh your skills

All Welfare Officers are strongly encouraged to take part in the Welfare Officer training course. This is an online course which has been tailored to the role of a Welfare Officer volunteering at a sailing club. The course lasts approximately 1 hour and costs £15 +vat. To enrol, please email the RYA Safeguarding Team: safeguarding@rya.org.uk. 

5) Review, review, review

The Winter months are a great time to review your club’s current safeguarding policies and procedures. The RYA website has a range of templates which can be downloaded for free and modified to suit your club’s needs. 

6) ‘Let’s Talk’ - Every Wednesday from 12:30 - 13:30

Each week the RYA Safeguarding team hold a Let’s Talk session for RYA members, affiliated clubs and recognised training centres to drop in and share any ideas or questions that they may have regarding safeguarding. It’s a great opportunity to share any queries you may have surrounding the safeguarding procedures at your club.  

7) Join in

The RYA Safeguarding team run two private Facebook Groups, the ‘RYA Welfare Officers Support Group’ and ‘Disclosure Coordinators Support Group’. The groups have been created for the RYA and the Welfare Officers to be able to share information on best practice and are a great way to give general support between clubs. 


If you have a question regarding safeguarding at your club, then the RYA Safeguarding team are here to help. Please visit the RYA Safeguarding hub for further resources and contact information.