Under 18s Safeguarding Policy
Cambridge MMA - Club Safeguarding Policy
Last Updated – 12/07/2022 by John Boam.
This document must be reviewed no less than once per year.
The purpose of this document is to set out how Cambridge MMA protects children and young persons /and or/ adults at risk from harm during their training within the club. This includes harm arising from abuse of all kinds, including sexual, physical and emotional abuse, neglect, bullying and any other forms of violence or exploitation.
This policy lays out Cambridge MMA’s responsibilities and the reporting mechanisms, to ensure that instructors, parents, students and members of the public are confident reporting a concern and, for staff, to take appropriate action.
To be clear, Safeguarding is defined as “protecting a persons’ health, wellbeing and human rights, and enabling them to live free from harm, abuse and neglect”. In martial arts, this will typically apply to children and young persons, and adults at risk.
Scope Of This Policy
This policy shall be effective and mandatory for all staff, instructors, volunteers, visiting instructors. This policy shall also be effective for all visitors and parents of Cambridge MMA.
Cambridge MMA believes that everyone we come into contact with, regardless of age, gender identity, disability, sexual orientation or ethnic origin has the right to be protected from all forms of harm, abuse, neglect and exploitation. Cambridge MMA will not tolerate abuse and exploitation by staff or associated personnel. Cambridge MMA remains committed to ensuring the effective prevention, reporting and response to any safeguarding concerns raised or detected.
In order to provide vulnerable groups with the best possible experience and opportunities within Mixed Martial Arts & Submission Grappling, Cambridge MMA operates in line with the BMABA national safeguarding policy. This includes ensuring best practice is met at all times in relation to safeguarding and risk management. A core part of Cambridge MMA's prevention strategy is to ensure that the following is met in terms of minimum best practice guidance at all times;
- Instructors are expected to comply with BMABA association national frameworks and regulatory guidelines in respect of minimum standards, best practice and compulsory safeguarding obligations.
- Instructors must always hold the minimum grade required to competently and technically deliver the class in question, with additional qualifications as necessary for specialist styles or roles.
- Instructors must all hold the necessary Public Liability insurance, a valid first aid qualification and both an enhanced DBS check within 3 years from date of issue, and an in-date safeguarding qualification relevant to the group(s) being taught.
- Treat all young persons aged under 18 years of age, and all vulnerable adults, with respect, dignity and courtesy.
- Treat all children and / or vulnerable adults equally.
- Always put the welfare of children and / or vulnerable adults first.
- Always work in an open environment avoiding any isolation, unobserved situation, encouraging an open and transparent club community.
- Keep physical contact to an absolute minimum.
- Never be alone with a child and / or vulnerable adult.
- Where physical contact is essential as part of the safe and structured learning process of the art, discipline or sport being practiced, the instructor and/or teaching person must only do so with the consent of the child and/or vulnerable adult, remaining appropriate, non intrusive and ensuring that where physical contact is essential (for example, when assisting in an essential physical process for the purposes of safety, such as breakfalls) ensuring there is always two fully vetted and suitable adults present at all times.
- The involvement of parents / guardians is encouraged wherever possible, provided safeguarding of children and / or vulnerable adults remains the top priority and that any adult may not be given the opportunity to cause harm, distress or abuse to any children and / or vulnerable adults present.
- Not take photographs, videos or create any other forms of media featuring any children and / or vulnerable adults without written consent from the carer, guardian or parents in advance.
- Ensure that if the club embarks on any extra-curricular activities, safeguarding of children and / or vulnerable adults shall remain a top priority and furthermore, if classes are mixed in gender, both a vetted male and female member of the club must be present when out of the dojo.
- Remain an excellent role model both in and out of the dojo. This includes not smoking, drinking alcohol or using any foul language in front of any children and / or vulnerable adults.
- Ensure that any contact via social media or other digital formats are recorded and minimised. No instructor and/or club official should have any communication with children and / or vulnerable adults via any forms of social media.
- Recognise the development needs and capacity of the children and / or vulnerable adults in the class and not risk sacrificing welfare or safety for the club or instructor’s personal gain.
- In relation to the above this also means avoiding excessive training and / or competitions and not pushing the student if they are not fully confident.
- Secure written parental consent for the club to act in loco parentis, to give permission for the administration of emergency first aid or other medical treatment if the need arises, ensuring medical conditions and pre-existing injuries and allergies are recorded.
- Keep thorough records of any injuries or near misses that have occurred, along with details of any treatment given and further communication had with parents / guardians and/or children and / or vulnerable adults.
- Follow association guidelines and other association policy relating to good practice or best practice
Cambridge MMA remains committed to ensuring prevention via professional, competent club governance at all times.
Raising Concerns Or Making A Disclosure
Cambridge MMA will always ensure that in any case where a child or vulnerable adult might directly confide to any form of abuse, that the club must take immediate steps to safeguard that person effectively. Where concerns are raised by a third party, or by suspicions held by the instructor or club, the below checklist shall be maintained wherever possible but in all instances, the club will escalate and report in full on all occasions.
If a child or vulnerable adults indicates that they are being abused, the instructor to whom the disclosure is made will;
- stay calm so as not to frighten the child or vulnerable adult.
- reassure the child or vulnerable adult that they are not to blame and that it was right to inform.
- listen to the child or vulnerable adult, showing that they are being taken seriously.
- keep questions to a minimum so that there is a clear and accurate understanding of what has been said. The law is very strict and child / vulnerable adult abuse cases have been dismissed where it is felt that the child or vulnerable adult has been led or words and ideas have been suggested during questioning. Accordingly, the instructor must only ask questions to clarify details – not to question further.
- inform the child or vulnerable adult that the instructor will have to inform other people about what they have disclosed. The instructor must ensure the child or vulnerable adult understands this is in confidence, on a needs-must basis and is to help stop the abuse continuing.
- safety of the child or vulnerable adult is paramount. If the child or vulnerable adult needs urgent medical attention, the instructor will call an ambulance, inform the doctors of the concern and ensure they are made aware that this is a child protection / safeguarding issue.
- record all information
- report the incident to the club/welfare officer and, where appropriate to the association without delay
If the instructor / club is not clear on what action is required and there is a real or immediate threat to the child or vulnerable adult, they should contact the Police on 999. Where there is confusion on what should happen next, the instructor should not delay by contacting the association and should instead contact a relevant statutory authority, such as the local authority designated officer (LADO) or the NSPCC on their 24 hour help line, the number of which will be publicly available.
NSPCC 24 hour helpline number - 0808 800 5000
LADO - Jackie Ward / Lynn Chesteron - 01223 727967 - LADO@cambridgeshire.gov.uk
Key contacts for Cambridge MMA are as follows;
John Boam - john@CambridgeMMA.co.uk
Daniel Boam - dan@CambridgeMMA.co.uk
Designated Safeguarding Lead Officer
John Boam - DSL@CambridgeMMA.co.uk - 0208 895 6370
In the event that you are not confident raising your concerns with us, you can also raise immediate safeguarding concerns or complaints to our association, the British Martial Arts & Boxing Association (BMABA) for a confidential and professional response. The BMABA’s lead safeguarding details are available below;
BMABA National Designated Safeguarding Lead: Kirsty Hawkins
Telephone Number: 01798 306546 (ext. 201)
If there is immediate concerns for the safety of a child or adult at risk, please call the police on 999. Should you not be confident raising your concerns for a non-immediate danger with us or our association, the contact details for the Local Area Designated Officer (LADO) can be found below;
LADO - Jackie Ward / Lynn Chesteron - 01223 727967 - LADO@cambridgeshire.gov.uk