UK: Protecting Your Future Investments

Last Updated: 20 August 2008
Article by Adam Grant

As pressures grow on sports clubs to produce and capture the best individuals at an increasingly early age, they must ensure that there are adequate procedures in place to protect the welfare of youngsters.

In Autumn 2008, the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act (the Act) 2006 will come into full force. It will extend fully to England and Wales whilst some provisions will also extend to Northern Ireland.

The primary aim of the Act (which introduces a new 'Vetting and Barring Scheme') is to help avoid harm, or risk of harm, to children and vulnerable adults. It aims to do this by preventing those who are deemed unsuitable to work with children and vulnerable adults from gaining access to them through their work. The new scheme will cover employees and volunteers in the education, care and health industries, so affecting some 11.3 million people.

Individuals who come into contact with children or vulnerable adults through a regulated activity will need to be vetted and registered with the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA). A regulated activity is widely defined as any form of teaching, training or instruction of children; any form of care for or supervision of children as well as any form of advice or guidance provided wholly or mainly for children, if the advice or guidance relates to their physical, emotional or educational well-being.

The ISA will assess every employee or volunteer who wants to work, or is already working, with vulnerable people. Individuals will be barred either automatically – if they are convicted or cautioned for certain offences (for example violence and any form of sexual offence) – or following a decision by the ISA which, in reaching its decision, will take into account other offences, cautions, or any relevant information. If individuals are barred, they will be included in the barred list established and maintained by the ISA. If individuals are considered suitable, they will be admitted onto the ISA register which will be monitored and maintained by the ISA and will be accessible by employers.

Employers will also have an additional obligation to refer any information they have about an individual, which would render them unsuitable, to the ISA.


The impact on clubs and leagues, which run sports youth clubs or training groups, will be significant. The law will require all current employees and volunteers, as well as any potential recruits, to go through the vetting process and be registered with the ISA.

The sanctions are also noteworthy. It is illegal to employ an unregistered person and if an individual is recruited or is already employed whom an employer knows is unsuitable to work with vulnerable groups this can result in imprisonment or a fine of up to £5,000 for the employer.

What Employers Should Do...

There will be a need for everyone involved in sports teaching and training from coaches, referees to welfare officers and medics - who have access to children, to be registered with the ISA.

This will mean that individuals will need to undergo a 'Criminal Records Bureau' (CRB) check. CRB checks are a way of checking an individual's history to make sure they do not have any convictions that might mean that they are not safe to work with children. Employers will need to ensure that these checks are carried out on existing employees and volunteers as well as for future recruits. The Act requires a person to apply for his own record from the CRB. The process is rigorous and bureaucratic, and currently costs £64 for each check to be carried out by the CRB. Once the vetting process has been completed, the individual can be registered and lawfully employed to work with children and vulnerable adults.

Existing Employees And Volunteers

From 2010, existing employees and volunteers with no CRB check must apply for ISA registration. Even if current employees have already been through a CRB check, it is best practice to begin by checking staff whose CRB records are the oldest. Without a clear record, none of these individuals can be registered with the ISA and therefore cannot be lawfully employed.

New Employees And Volunteers

From October 2009, new job applicants will need to apply for ISA registration and employers cannot recruit workers who are not ISA registered. It may be prudent for sports clubs to require any new applicants for jobs with the club to make sure that they are registered with the ISA in advance of applying for any role which would potentially bring them into contact with children. This could be required as criteria which will need to be met before an applicant is even considered for a job, through recruitment adverts in newspapers etc.

October 2009

The new Vetting and Barring Scheme is presently being phased in but the government aims to have it fully operational by October 2009. Individuals cannot be registered until the system is in place, however, employers should be aware of the new legislation and put into place steps in preparation for when the Scheme is fully set up.

Sports clubs will need to ensure that they comply with the new legislation in order to avoid committing a criminal offence. The aim of the new legislation is to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and young people – the very people whom sports clubs are looking to recruit, train and retain for the club's future success. The fact that children and young people (under 18s) are now to have greater statutory protection should assist clubs in their quest for the stars of the future as parents will be reassured that, in complying with the new law, clubs will be less likely to expose their children to the risk of inappropriate behaviour from coaching staff and others.

Further information about the scheme, including a "Vetting and Barring Scheme Overview" and a sign-up for updates, is available online at: and

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

In association with
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.


Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.


Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.


A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.


If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.


This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.