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Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups

RYA Scotland is committed to ensuring that Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups remains high on the agenda at all time and receives priority in all of its varied activities and encourages the same commitment from approved training centres and affiliated clubs.


In light of recent media attention we are aware that clubs from across all sports may have increased anxiety about safeguarding young people / child protection.

As an affiliated club or recognised training centre, you can contact RYA Scotland's Development Manager Liza Linton at 0131 317 7388 or 07770 604234 or alternatively RYA's Safeguarding and Equality Manager Jackie Reid at 023 8060 4104 or Safeguarding in Sport (the sport unit of Children 1st) at 0141 419 1156 for advice guidance and help.

If your club / centre is not affiliated or recognised then you can contact Safeguarding in Sport directly.

Our advice to clubs and centres with junior members/participants (children and young people under 18) does not change and both RYA and RYA Scotland would strongly recommend that you have:

  • A named contact for the co-ordination of safeguarding/child protection with a role description, who has attended recommended training
  • A Safeguarding Policy which reflects national guidelines, adopted by the Board / Executive / Council / Management Committee.
  • A Code of Conduct for those working with children and young people.
  • A variety of child protection training offered at appropriate levels for those working or volunteering with children and young people in boating.
  • A procedure for the recruitment and selection of those who work with children and young people, including access to PVG Scheme Membership checks.
  • A procedure for responding to concerns about the welfare or abuse of a child - within or out with sport.
  • A disciplinary procedure for managing concerns and allegations of poor practice, misconduct and child abuse and includes provision for referrals to the Children's List.
  • A procedure for reviewing the management of concerns about poor practice, misconduct and / or child abuse.

If somebody raises child protection concerns in relation to an instructor / coach / volunteer who is currently practising then you should follow your 'Responding to Concerns' procedure. If it is a historical allegation then you should follow the same procedure and signpost the individual to Police Scotland on '101'. If you have a concern about a child's immediate safety then this should be passed on to Police or Social Work.

Update posted - 12th Dec 2016


At RYA Scotland we want children and young people to stay safe and have fun while taking part in boating. Everyone involved in RYA Scotland has a duty to safeguard the welfare of all children in their care.

RYA Scotland has made a commitment to promote safe practice and to protect children from harm, abuse and exploitation. This duty extends to the prevention of physical, sexual or emotional abuse of any child and shall be applied regardless of a child’s gender, race, religion, sexuality or disability.

You can find out more about our Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Policy by clicking the link on the right hand side of this page.

Our Safeguarding Awareness Co-ordinator Officer at RYA Scotland  Roy Davidson, is currently stepping down and therefore all enquiries should be directed to Liza Linton, Development Manager for RYA Scotland.

For general help and advice you can contact:

Safeguarding in Sport:


Where a child’s immediate safety is at risk contact the local police or social work department for advice.

The Protection of Vulnerable Groups Scheme (PVG) came into force in Scotland on 28th February 2011, which has impacted on the delivery of activities for all clubs and centres. Information is available here to help you stay in line with this legislation, including your moral and legal duties as a club / centre. Details can be found in both the RYA Scotland and RYA Safeguarding Policy and Procedures, Codes of Conduct for staff, instructors and volunteers and safe recruitment process. These documents can be downloaded, adapted and adopted by clubs and centres to suit local circumstances.

In addition, links are available to other information including the PVG Scheme, preparing for 2017, and the Children 1st website all of which provide more details and advice.

RYA Scotland is always prepared to offer advice and give support on this important aspect of our sport and therefore do not hesitate to contact Liza Linton, Development Manager on 0131 317 7388 or 07770 604234 or

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