Safeguarding update

May 2021

The team would firstly like to extend our thanks to the Welfare Officers who have been juggling your Welfare Officer role and often the Covid Officer role, with all of the other pressures of work and home life which the pandemic has brought.

We know that across the board, staff and volunteers have been working hard to keep children and young people’s spirits up, as COVID has changed their lives and their Basketball lives, immeasurably.  

We would like to remind you that the Safeguarding team are available to contact if you have any concerns about a child or someone working with children, and we would encourage you to report through everything, even if you are dealing with the matter locally. This will enable us to keep abreast of the kind of issues being faced so that we can provide up to date advice and support.

As you will be aware, we are continually improving Safeguarding standards across the game, and this update contains some important developments which are relevant for all members and organisations;

  • Safer recruitment requirements for officials – 2021/22 Season
  • Safer recruitment guidance for organisations
  • Update on DBS fees
  • Live streaming guidance

Safer recruitment requirements for officials – 2021/22 season onwards

This season we will be adding extra pre-licensing requirements on the membership system for officials. These changes are being introduced as an additional measure to ensure the right people are working in the game, and that we are creating safe environments for members.

Due to the regular and potentially unsupervised contact an official can have in their role with players and young officials, we are now making it a mandatory requirement for Referees, Table Officials and Statisticians and those supporting those roles to complete a DBS check and Safeguarding Training. This is in addition to completing the Safeguarding Self-Declaration form. The DBS requirement is mandatory for those who are aged 16+, and the Safeguarding training is mandatory for those who are aged 18+.

When consulting on this change, we recognised that there was some concern about the price and logistical challenges of DBS checks and access to training.

We have managed to negotiate a slight reduction in the cost of the DBS fee with our administrator GBG. As the game grows, we will be able to negotiate further price reductions as the pricing thresholds are reflective of the number of checks put through the system. Please note - Basketball England do not take any income from this process.

We would urge all clubs and leagues to ask your Welfare Officers to become DBS verifiers. This should help with the logistical challenge of getting ID verified. Referee/Table Official tutors and assessors can also apply to be DBS verifiers which may again, support with getting new Officials the initial checks they require.

We have added an extra ‘Post Office’ option on the GBG system, so for an additional £5.00+VAT, members can go to any Post Office to have their ID verified, and DBS submitted. This will help those members who do not live close to a basketball verifier. Please indicate if you want to use this option when requesting your DBS.

We are planning to have Basketball England safeguarding training available again in the future, and in the meantime, we accept a range of courses including training completed with other employers.

The DBS check level required for officials is an Enhanced DBS check with Barred List for the Children’s workforce. All those roles who supervise officials are also eligible for the same level of check. This type of DBS check is a rigorous criminal record check for those who want to work with children. Having a criminal record does not automatically prohibit an individual from working with children. All DBS disclosures are handled confidentially, with every case treated on its own merit. On all occasions, the welfare of children is paramount.

FAQs

What are the pre-requirements for licensing? +

From the season commencing 2021/22, the pre-requirements are;

 

  1. Safeguarding self-declaration form. You will be prompted complete a self-declaration form on the membership system. If, during the course of the year, your situation changes and you find yourself subject to an investigation by a statutory agency or another employer, it is your responsibility to inform the Safeguarding Team so that we can speak about what’s happening and whether this impacts on your role.

 

  1. Safeguarding training. You will have to upload proof of recent safeguarding training when licensing. We recommend that anyone working with children undertakes face-to-face or virtual classroom training as their introduction to Safeguarding. We have a list of recommended providers on our website. For officials wishing to license, we will also accept approved E-learning safeguarding courses and certificates from other employers. Safeguarding certificates must be updated every 3 years.

 

 

  1. Criminal records check. Basketball England must be able to check your DBS status every three years. This means that you need to apply for a DBS certificate when you have held your certificate for 2.5 years unless you have already subscribed to the update service. We recommend you apply through Basketball England for the check. You can apply for a new certificate when you apply for a license by emailing the Safeguarding Team or registering your details with a local DBS verifier.
Who needs to take these steps? +

Everyone aged 16 years or over who is licensing as a Referee, Table Official, Statistician or Tutor/Coach/Instructor/Coordinator/Observer/Developer must complete a Safeguarding Self-Declaration Form and DBS check.

There are currently limited Safeguarding courses available for children to attend. Therefore, a course certificate is not a mandatory requirement of licensing for officials who are under 18. However, those individuals or organisations wishing to provide support for young officials in understanding their Safeguarding responsibilities, can speak to UK Coaching regarding their courses for U18s.

How do I apply for a DBS? +

If you are part of a club or organisation, you can be registered by their DBS verifier, who is usually the Club Welfare Officer. They should be able to send you an activation email to start the ball rolling on getting a DBS.
Another alternative is to contact the safeguarding team requesting an activation email and they will be able to assist.
Please indicate when you request a DBS, if you wish to have your documents verified at a post office or with a local verifier.

How much does it cost? +

From 1st April 2021, the prices of checks will be as follows;

Volunteers - £10.80
Non-volunteer £50.80

Basketball England will initially set up applicants as non-volunteers on the system, however you must confirm with the verifier if you are eligible for the volunteer check & price.

The Disclosure and Barring Services’ definition of a volunteer is as follows;

To qualify for a volunteer check, the applicant must not:
• benefit financially from the position for which the application is being submitted
• receive any payment (except for travel and other approved out-of-pocket expenses)”

If you register for a volunteer check, and then your income from Basketball increases to over and above out-of-pocket expenses, you must apply for a new check at the employee rate.

What about if I am registered on the update service? +

We can accept DBS update service, as long as we have;

  • Seen the original disclosure document to which the check relates
  • The check is of the correct level
  • Are provided with the full disclosure number on the certificate
  • Date of birth on the certificate
  • Surname given on the certificate
  • Consent from you in an email to conduct the online check.

Registering on the update service is free for volunteers and £13.00 per year for non-volunteers.

However, you need to be aware that you must register to join the update service within 30 days of your certificate being issued.

There is more information about the update service here: DBS Update Service: applicant guide - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

How long does my DBS certificate last? +

It is Basketball England’s policy to request a new check or update service check every three years. This means that when you have held your certificate for 2.5 years, you should apply for a new certificate to ensure it is always up to date, unless you have already subscribed to the update service.

How do I find a local verifier? +

When you are at the verification stage of your application, you will be able to access a list of verifiers on the GBG system. You will be able to search by Region.

The easiest starting point may be to contact the Welfare Officer from a club which is nearest to you.

I already have a DBS certificate from another employer, can I use this? +

For the time being, certificates from other employers can be accepted. However, in order to make the system robust, from 2023/24 the following will be the requirements. You must either;

- Hold a DBS check which was issued by Basketball England

- Be able to show an original copy of your certificate from another employer to one of our appointed Regional Welfare Officers

- Or, be on the DBS update service. Basketball England must have seen your original DBS certificate in order to accept the update service check.

Your DBS check must be of the correct level, and for the same or a similar role to the one which you are applying.

Isn’t having these extra requirements a bit intrusive and unnecessary? +

Basketball England has a responsibility to provide a safe infrastructure for children and young people in the game and ensuring that no one who is barred from working with children is in a trusted position in our sport is essential.

Carrying out the right checks, and making sure officials, are educated in spotting indicators of abuse and neglect and your responsibilities in reporting concerns, can only serve to ensure that more young people can have positive experience.

These requirements have been introduced in line with Government guidance, Sport Sector guidance and advice from the Child Protection in Sport Unit at the NSPCC.

What if I have content on my DBS certificate? +

If you have something on your DBS certificate, unless you have been barred from working with children, this does not automatically exclude you from working as an official.

Basketball England is very fair, and we assess each person on their merit whilst ensuring the safety of children is paramount. You will be asked to send your original certificate to us by ‘signed for’ recorded delivery or meet with your Regional Welfare Officer to enable us to check the certificate’s authenticity and conduct a risk assessment. We will take into account your age at the time of any incident, the nature of the incident, the time expired since the incident, any disposal given by the courts and other relevant information. You may be asked to submit references and take part in an interview. To speed up this process, you can provide a statement in advance.

If you are worried about the process in any way, please get in touch.

For further information or to start your DBS check, please contact safeguardingbasketball@basketballengland.co.uk   

Safer recruitment guidance for organisations

Safer Recruitment is essential for all staff and volunteers across the game, regardless of the level of competition.

We have published a new guidance document on Safer Recruitment which can be found HERE.

By following the guidance consistently, clubs and leagues will help ensure fair and safer recruitment practices across the Sport.

Update on DBS fees

During 2020, the Disclosure and Barring Service reduced the cost of checks and we have since negotiated a further fee reduction with GBG, our DBS administrators.

From April 2021, the cost of enhanced checks will be as follows;

Volunteers - £10.80

Non-volunteer £50.80

In order to reduce the ongoing cost of DBS checks, we recommend members register for the update service within 30 days of the issue date of the certificate. More information can be found here;  DBS Update Service: applicant guide - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Live streaming guidance

Live streaming is becoming more and more popular, and it’s essential that if you plan to stream games, you consider how you can minimise the risk to children and adults at risk. We have updated our guidance, which now also includes advice on game-day logistics.

You can find the new guidance HERE