Children and Vulnerable Adults Protection and Participation Policy
This policy is to ensure Audax UK events continue to be a safe and welcoming environment for children and vulnerable adults alike. It contains information relevant for officials, organisers, volunteers, riders and parents.
If you have any concerns you can contact the Audax UK Welfare Officer in confidence.
A reporting form can be downloaded here or if you prefer a copy by post please contact the Welfare Officer.
Children and Vulnerable Adults Protection and Participation Policy
Audax UK’s primary objective is to encourage, promote, develop and control the sport and pastime of non-competitive long distance cycling in all its forms amongst all sections of the community in the United Kingdom and throughout the world. Our events are open to all cyclists and therefore there may be times when children and vulnerable adults participate.
This policy seeks to promote good practice in providing appropriate safety and protection provisions for children and vulnerable adults participating in our events. It also provides event organisers and helpers with a framework to make informed decisions and prevent inadvisable behaviour during the event.
Child protection and safeguarding legislation and guidelines have been devolved from Westminster to national governments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, although all four legislative systems still share certain principles, for example, all agree that a child is defined as anyone less than 18 years of age. Although a person reaches the age of consent at 16 in Scotland, they are considered a “child” until the age of 18 in all relevant child protection legislation by the Scottish government and for the purposes of this policy. In line with good practice, Audax UK recognises that all policies and procedures described refer to vulnerable adults as well as children. The term parent is used as a generic term to include parents, carers and guardians.
Participation rules for all activities
All persons under 18 years of age must have a signed parental consent form with the exception of those over 16 living as de facto adults, i.e., no longer in the parental home, who may enter without parental consent. The parental consent form is identical for all events and may be returned by post or brought to the start of the event, parents do not need to attend.
Children under the age of 14 must be accompanied on the event by a parent or an appropriate adult acting in loco parentis; there is no younger age limit for accompanied riders.
The Parental Consent form must make clear the difficulty and nature of the event to enable informed consent to be given. Parents must be made aware that there is a possibility the child is likely to ride alone or with others at any time.
An unaccompanied young person must have a point of contact, such as a person, location or phone number, that they can use in the event that they are lost, distressed or feeling threatened. For most events this would normally be the mobile phone number of the organiser printed on the brevet card. The organiser should be confident that the unaccompanied young person understands how to and has the means to make contact should the need arise or they may not participate in the event.
Events organised under Audax UK regulations are open to all cyclists and are not aimed specifically at children or vulnerable adults. Hence there no specific measures in place for the protection of children and vulnerable adults. However, Audax UK and event organisers will abide by the principles of good practice enshrined in CTC and BC policy.
The parents must be made aware there is no specific provision for young people with the exception of sleeping arrangements. Where accommodation for sleeping is provided, consideration should be given to young people sharing rooms with others of similar ages; to ensuring same-sex sleeping arrangements; and adequate supervision arrangements (e.g. if adults have to share sleeping accommodation with young people, ensure there are at least two adults, and more than one young person)
If a parent wishes to accompany a rider, spectate or meet them at a control, explain to them how they may do so.
Organisers should be fully satisfied that the child's participation is fully supported by his/her parents and that the above guidance can be followed or else the rider should not be allowed to take part.
Disclosure and Barring
The current guidance from the Disclosure and Barring Service states that a DBS check is necessary for “Any employment by a youth club, local authority or other body which is concerned with the promotion of leisure or recreational activities for persons under the age of 18, being employment which is of such a kind as to enable the holder to have access to such persons in the course of his normal duties.”
However, this does not include: “incidental contact – the activity is not being provided for children and the presence of a child or children is unforeseen,” meaning that Audax UK events not specifically aimed at children and young people are not eligible for DBS checks.
As Audax UK does not organise or promote any events aimed specifically at children and young people nor engage in any coaching, teaching or instructing, the Audax UK Board affirms that DBS or Disclosure Scotland checks are unnecessary for any officials, organisers or volunteers engaged in Audax UK activities.
Safeguarding is designed to minimise the potential for risk or harm to young people or vulnerable groups. It is important that everyone involved in cycling knows how to identify and report a safeguarding concern and the guidance below seeks to give everyone some knowledge of how to act.
Examples of safeguarding concerns may include health issues, poor practice by AUK volunteers, pushy parents or suspected abuse in any environment.
Safeguarding concerns should be reported to the Welfare Officer associated with the event. Your club may have a Welfare Officer, especially if it is affiliated to British Cycling or the CTC. If your club does not have a Welfare Officer, contact the Audax UK Welfare Officer who will support you in dealing with any concerns you may have. You must always act on your concerns by speaking to the Welfare Officer, as the welfare of the child is paramount.
The Audax UK Welfare Officer is Ian Hennessey and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone 07714898969. You should not name or identify any individuals if communicating via email as it is potentially insecure.
You can discuss any concerns you have about a child or vulnerable adult; the conduct or behaviour of an organiser, volunteer, rider or AUK official; the safety or conduct of a particular event. The Welfare Officer will require as much accurate information as possible, so it’s always a good idea to write things down as soon as possible after the incident. This will help you and the Welfare Officer address your concerns.
This policy was approved by the Board of Directors of Audax UK on 19 April 2017 and last reviewed on 5 July 2023. It will be subject to annual review by the Board of Directors.
AUDAX UNITED KINGDOM LONG DISTANCE CYCLISTS' ASSOCIATION Ltd
Company No. 05920055 registered in England & Wales
Registered Address: Unit 6, Whitelands, Terling Road, Hatfield Peverel, Essex. CM3 2AG
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