Safeguarding and Welfare changes for 2019/20.


Safeguarding and Welfare really matters in basketball.

There are some critical updates on change of requirements and how we are making the game better and safer for 2019/20 that all members need to be aware of.

Some of these adjustments will require your club to do a few things differently and it’s part of the necessary evolution of the practice we all need to adopt in the sport to keep up with changes in society, the law and the need for Basketball England to support and protect its members – whether its young people/vulnerable adults or volunteer and paid practitioners.

Some changes need to be made immediately for this year. Others we will be looking to phase-in going forward, but we will offer more support along the way for all members and clubs throughout this process.


How well are we all doing?

We are pleased to announce that we have recently been awarded a ‘Good’ rating for our Safeguarding Service and the positive steps which have been taken throughout the Basketball community to embed good practice. The assessment and rating system is governed by the Child Protection in Sport Unit and this year they introduced a five point scale for their assurance assessment. Our good rating is a 4 out of 5.

The feedback is very positive. Our policies, processes and advice on the website and through our safeguarding service is very clear and strong. We would like to find more ways of creating the support locally and we have more to do to embed the practice throughout the whole of our sport and continue to work together with everyone in the game. This, alongside more people accessing welfare and child protection training, and giving more young people a voice in how the game is run will help us improve and move towards an excellent rating for basketball. We are sure that this will be an ambition shared throughout the country and as we have the opportunity and the responsibility to make sure Basketball is safe as possible for children and adults at risk.

This year’s rating is a great reflection of the game and the efforts of so many people in basketball to make our game valued, safe and supportive. We thank every individual and club in the game for their contribution to making our great game safe and accessible, and for raising concerns when required.


Important changes to the safeguarding requirements, recruitment and training

With the feedback gained through the CPSU review, we are phasing in a number of improvements which are required in order to ensure consistency throughout the game. However, we are trying to ensure these are affordable at the same time. The new membership portal provides opportunities to put additional safeguards in place to ensure those in regular contact with Children & Adults at Risk are adequately screened, risk assessed where needed and trained.

Basketball England takes its duty of care seriously and we are continually benchmarking with other sports and developing processes alongside the Child Protection in Sport Unit (NSPCC). There are changes coming into effect for the coming season in 2019/20. We will be consulting on further improvements for the Season 2020/21. We believe the changes being introduced will not only protect the reputation of Basketball but also all those involved.

During the recent membership portal roadshow, we received valuable feedback about the proposed changes and how they will impact clubs. The major proposed change for this season is the requirement for ‘Bench Personnel’ to have an enhanced DBS with Barred list check for the Children’s Workforce and evidence of Safeguarding training. Bench Personnel are defined as; Team Managers, Assistant Coaches, Physiotherapists, Interpreters, Doctors, Strength and Conditioning Coaches and Statisticians. Basketball England propose this change in policy as the vast majority of individuals licensing in these roles will be regularly (more than 3 times in a 30-day period) supervising, instructing, driving or providing health care to children. There are also occasions when this activity may be unsupervised by the Head Coach. Many of these individuals may already have the required certificates.


Whilst on the whole the feedback was supportive of this change for bench personnel we acknowledge that some clubs are concerned with the timing and cost and we are mitigating against this in the following ways:


For bench personnel:

  • DBS requirements – A DBS will be a requirement, however, there will be time allowed to apply for the check. Individuals/clubs should submit a request for a DBS to the Safeguarding Team at Basketball England. Individuals will be permitted to license while the DBS is in process. Once the check is completed, the member’s profile will be updated by Basketball England. If clubs/individuals dispute that Bench Personnel are in ‘Regulated activity’, for example staff supporting all-adult teams, they must complete a ‘SG2 Form – Self Declaration for roles not in Regulated Activity’ and upload in place of the Safeguarding certificate. Once approved, we will override the DBS fields, allowing you to license.  The cost for a DBS through Basketball England is £11.40 and is valid for a period of 3 years. Please note – If a DBS is returned during the season with content, a risk assessment will be carried out and we reserve the right to subsequently suspend a license if it is deemed necessary to do so.

  • Safeguarding courses and evidence for your licencing - Basketball England recommends that all individuals with responsibility for Children undertake 3-hour face-to-face Safeguarding and Protecting Children (SPC) course in the first instance. The rationale for this is detailed below in the FAQs. Thereafter, online Safeguarding courses can be completed. This standard helps us comply with the minimum expectation of the CPSU. Please note – We have changed our policy regarding all online SPC courses only being valid for a period of 1 year. The UK Coaching Safeguarding online update course is now valid for a period of 3 years. We will consider longer expiry dates than 1 year on courses from other reputable providers based on length, content and recommended renewal dates. 

    We also currently accept a wide range of evidence, including certificates obtained through other employers. As the season is fast approaching, individuals licensing as Bench Personnel will be permitted to upload evidence that they have booked onto a course in order to license. Once completed, they can submit evidence to the Safeguarding Team to have their certificates verified.

    If the cost of a basic Safeguarding course is a barrier for clubs, this year, we will be accepting a broader range of Safeguarding-related training, some of which can be obtained free of charge. Please contact for more information. In the future, a mandatory Basketball England course may be developed which will be affordable, more relevant to our sport and could be more helpful to you at a practical level.



The need to improve the education programmes, safeguarding knowledge and practice at all levels in basketball is being further scrutinised by the CPSU. Embedding this practice locally is a key matter for the Governing body and everyone in the sport to embrace so we can demonstrate our assurance in this vital part of the game and do our utmost to protect everyone. For the 2020/201 season we are seeking to upgrade and modernise this education programme as societal behaviours and trends in safeguarding have changed. We will be providing notification of this support programme in the Spring of 2020, which will be affordable, relevant to basketball and accessible at a local level.

A table has been produced to illustrate the Safeguarding Requirements for Licensing for the 2019/20 season, and is available using the button below. All these policies will be reviewed annually to ensure we do our best to protect young and vulnerable people and the practitioners in our sport.


Continual Professional Development in Safeguarding

We are encouraging all clubs and relevant organisations to increase the promotion of Safeguarding-related education for staff, volunteers and parents. We are in an ever-changing world and issues faced by young people and adults at risk can vary greatly. Please click the button below for more information, and please share these opportunities for personal development within your networks so we can work together to broaden the knowledge throughout the Basketball community. 


Need more information or have questions for us?

In order to answer the range of queries coming into the service following the roadshows, please see the following FAQs:

Has anything changed for Coaches wanting to license? +

Coaches are still required to provide DBS certificate and evidence of Basic Safeguarding training. We strongly recommend that the initial training has been completed face-to-face. However, we do accept blended learning, online learning and certificates gained from other employers. The UK Coaching online Safeguarding update course is now valid for a period of 3 years. Coaches will also need to upload a Self-Declaration form to the portal. A SG1 Safeguarding Self-Declaration must be uploaded if you have any junior players on your team. An SG2 form can be uploaded if you are coaching an all adult team.

Who are ‘Bench Personnel’? Will there still be ‘Team Followers’ on the new Membership System? +

When licensing, Bench Personnel refers to Team Managers, Assistant Coaches, Physiotherapists, Interpreters, Doctors, Strength and Conditioning Coaches and Statisticians. The new membership system will not have the option of registering ‘Team Followers’. The term ‘Bench Personnel’ has been introduced to provide clarity on licenses about which individuals are permitted to sit on the bench. Any individuals wishing to follow the team, have an option to license simply as a BE member.

I am working with an adult team in an adult league. Do I need a DBS and Safeguarding Certificate? +

No. If you have no junior players within your team, you can complete an SG2 Form - Self-Declaration form for roles not in Regulated Activity. This replaces the old ‘Senior Waiver Form’. You will be asked to upload the form to the membership system in place of the Safeguarding Certificate. The Safeguarding team will verify the document and override the DBS fields. You cannot use your Senior license and move to coach or support a team with Juniors. If you plan to run sessions with anyone under 18 or have under 18s on a Senior Men’s team, you will need to complete a DBS check and Self-Declaration and Disclosure Form for Regulated Activity.

To download an SG2 Form - Self Declaration, click HERE.

I am an Assistant Coach, do I license as a Coach? +

You can only license as a coach if you hold a Level 2 Coaching Qualification or above and are over the age of 18. Level 1 Assistant coaches will license as Bench Personnel and will now be subject to the same safeguarding checks and Safeguarding training requirements as Coaches.

Do Referees & Table Officials need to hold a DBS for Season 2019/20? +

No. In the coming months we will be consulting with clubs and relevant advisory groups on appropriate safe recruitment protocols for other licensed members. Careful consideration will be given to the roles and impact to the game and clubs of any further changes. Clubs and individuals do not need to take any further steps with regards to officials at this time. If you wish to comment, please email


Do Referees & Table Officials need to complete Safeguarding Training for this season 2019/20? +

It has always been a requirement, as stated on the Basketball England Website, for Referees and Table Officials to complete a Safeguarding Course but the method of providing this evidence has been inconsistent. Moving forward, we will be including this in our new membership system and we will be looking to phase in for the 2020/21 season. If you wish to comment, please email There is an optional upload feature on the new Membership system for individuals in these roles, but this is not a mandatory requirement for this season and licenses will be processed without this evidence.

How do I request a DBS check? +

There are two ways to apply for a new DBS check through Basketball England?

1. If your club has a verifier, they will be able to register you on the system as a new applicant. If your club does not have a verifier, they can request to appoint someone to this role by emailing

2. Alternatively, you can email to request a DBS directly. Please include the subject ‘New DBS Applicant’ and send your FULL NAME, EMAIL ADDRESS and ROLE. You will shortly receive an activation email. If you are unsure who your local verifier is, you can contact the Safeguarding team for support.

How much does a DBS cost? +

An Enhanced with Barred List check for the Children’s Workforce is £11.40. This is valid for 3 years.

I am under 18, do I need a DBS check and Safeguarding training if I am licensing as Bench Personnel for the 2019/20 season? +

Yes. DBS checks should be applied for from the age of 16.

We don’t require Under 18’s to undergo the usual Basic ‘Safeguarding and Protecting Children’ training as there are very few courses that accommodate and provide the knowledge for young volunteers in sport.

However, UK Coaching is one organisation that does provide an age appropriate course for 13 – 17-year olds which provides young coaches, officials, volunteers, and sports leaders, with age-appropriate safeguarding information. It’s the ideal environment for you to develop your confidence in how to identify what abuse of a child in sport may look like, how you should act in line with your age and status, and how to keep yourself safe in sport. 

If you do not manage to complete this training before licensing for the 2019/20 season, we recommend that you ask your club to book you onto a course as soon as possible. Evidence of booking should be uploaded in place of your Safeguarding Certificate on the membership system. This is as much for your own protection as those you are working with.

I’ve heard I will need to complete a Self-declaration and Disclosure form on the new membership system. What is that? +

Self-declaration and disclosure forms have always been a requirement for licensing but up until this point, they have not been an integral part of our membership system. Self-declaration and disclosure forms are used by many organisations as part of safe recruitment practices. They are a recommended practice by the CPSU. They can provide additional information which can be assessed alongside an individual’s DBS, in order to consider their suitability for a particular role. The form is also used to confirm a wider range of consents/agreements. There are two new forms which are being used, one of which will apply to you;

SG1 - Self-Declaration form for roles in Regulated Activity with Under 18s; for Coaches, Bench Personnel and Referees working with Juniors.


SG2 - Self-Declaration form for roles not in Regulated Activity; advised for Senior Team staff (where there are no U18 players) and Table Officials.

The Self-Declaration forms can be downloaded from the membership system and completed digitally including an E-signature. The form does not need to be signed by a local verifier as the verification process for members is being done by Basketball England at the point of licensing and also during the DBS process for eligible roles.

If you need a copy of either form, the SG1 form can be downloaded by clicking HERE.

The SG2 form can be downloaded by clicking HERE.

What if my DBS is not clear or I have disclosed something on my Self-Declaration form? Can I still be involved in basketball? +

We recognise the contribution that ex-offenders can make as members and welcome applications from them. A person’s criminal record or past investigations in themselves will not necessarily prevent that person from becoming or continuing as a member. Suitable members will not be refused membership because of offences/alleged offences which are not relevant and do not place them at, or make them, a risk. All cases will be examined on an individual basis, taking the following into consideration:

  • Whether the conviction/past investigation is relevant to the requirements of membership
  • The seriousness of any offence(s)/alleged offences revealed
  • The age at the time of the offence(s) /alleged offences
  • The length of time since the offence(s)/alleged offences occurred
  • Whether there is a pattern of offending behaviour
  • The circumstances surrounding the offence(s)/alleged offences, and the explanation(s) offered by the person concerned
  • Whether the individual’s circumstances have changed

It is important that it is understood that failure to disclose all ‘unspent’ convictions could result in membership being terminated. Further advice and guidance on disclosing a criminal record can be obtained from NACRO 

What Safeguarding Courses are acceptable? +

We are frequently asked which courses are suitable for which roles. In line with CPSU guidance we recommend that all volunteers/staff with responsibility or contact with children initially undertake a 3-hour, face-to-face Safeguarding & Protecting Children course which is relevant to sport. The course we are currently recommending is run by UK Coaching and can be accessed by clicking HERE.

This workshop is a ‘Minimum Standards for Active Coaches’ requirement for many governing bodies of sport. The ‘Minimum Standards for Active Coaches’ are seen as the basic standards every coach needs to meet to carry out their role safely and effectively. It can also be attended by all those responsible for organising children’s sport (eg within governing bodies of sport, local authorities, sports and leisure centres, and sports clubs) and those who lead or deliver children’s sport programmes (eg coaches, leaders, instructors, development officials, administrators, volunteers and parents).

Examples of other reputable course providers are:

  • Local Authority Safeguarding
  • NHS Safeguarding
  • Employers who provide specific professional learning e.g. for Social Workers, Teachers, Police Officers etc.
  • County Sports Partnerships
  • Some regions have a Council for Voluntary Services (CVS) who provide free training to Community and Voluntary organisations including sports clubs.

Thereafter, we ask for evidence of an online Safeguarding refresher. Please note – We have changed our policy regarding online SPC courses only being valid for a period of 1 year. The UK Coaching Safeguarding online update course is now valid for a period of 3 years. We will consider longer expiry dates on courses from other reputable providers based on length, content and recommended renewal dates.

We recommend the initial face-to-face course because there is evidence from the CPSU that this is the most effective kind of training. We believe that this will reduce the number of Safeguarding incidents in the Sport and ensure we are being proactive in providing adequate education to protect the workforce from allegations of poor practice.

However, we understand that many clubs find it difficult to send volunteers on face-to-face courses. For this reason, when registering as a member, we do still accept evidence of online Safeguarding training by a range of providers.

As all these training opportunities, evidence provisions and adjustments settle down Basketball England will be consulting with you in the 2019/20 season about simplifying this further and establishing more relevant and accessible safeguarding training for basketball in addition to any ideas you have to make the sport better and safer.

I am a Welfare Officer / Verifier, do I need to become a Basketball England member? +

No, this is not compulsory. However, there is an option for you to become a member on the system if you wish to. There is a cost of £15.00 for an adult to become a member of Basketball England.

I am a Welfare Officer, what training should I be undertaking? +

We ask all Welfare Officers to attend ‘Time to Listen’ training. The courses can be found at the link below or through your local County Sport Partnership. In the coming year, we will be working with the NSPCC to increase the number of ‘Time-to-Listen’ tutors within the basketball community so that more courses can be run in accessible venues for club welfare officers. For more info, please click HERE.

We recognise that many Welfare Officers are experts within the Safeguarding field or have other relevant professional qualifications. Club Welfare Officers will be contacted annually to provide evidence of training. This audit provides valuable evidence for the CPSU review to demonstrate that those in these trusted positions are providing the best possible advice and support to young people and referring cases appropriately.

If you have any questions regarding the safeguarding and welfare changes being made ahead of the 2019/20 season, please use the button below to email our Safeguarding team.