Safeguarding Children in the health & fitness Industry
The welfare of children is imperative to society. And, any organisation, or business that comes into contact with children must have legal safeguarding policies in place to protect children from any level of abuse, discrimination, and harassment.
While sports organisations have a legal duty of care in which they must ensure the protection of children, sadly some don’t comply leaving young people vulnerable. No matter a child’s background, race, sexual orientation, age, and religion, they have the right to protection from any potential harm.
Until recent years, organisations within the health and fitness industry were not heavily regulated in relation to child safeguarding. This left a blurred area in which some sports recognised the crucial importance of such safeguarding policies and implemented them and others did not. Unfortunately, there are a number of examples demonstrating how such inadequate protection resulted in varying degrees of abuse.
At Fitbook we strongly believe that every child should also have the right to/and be encouraged to partake in physical exercise and sports. Many young children hugely benefit from clubs and private tuition.
Understanding the impact of safeguarding
Safeguarding children in the health and fitness industry enables a positive environment in which every child can access sporting activities. By putting procedures in place to ensure children are safe can have a significant impact on a child’s wellbeing in the long-term. As such, failure to do can lead to irreversible consequences that are detrimental to a child’s wellbeing. All children that participate in sporting activities that are conducted by a Fitbook professional are fully protected.
Prioritising safeguarding children
It is the priority of any company operating in the health and fitness industry to safeguard children and vulnerable people. The wellbeing of such individuals is at the forefront of our priorities here at Fitbook, standing as a part of our ethos. Child safety is one of the most important aspects of our company ethos, many children are at risk of potential harm if the correct safeguarding measures aren’t taken when a child joins a sports club or takes on private tuition. Therefore, we pride ourselves in the procedures we have set up to safeguard all children.
“Safeguarding and Promoting the welfare of children is the responsibility of the local authority (LA) working in partnership with other public organisations, the voluntary sector, children and young people, parents and carers, and the wider community”
Creating and enforcing a safeguarding culture
At Fitbook we share the belief that safeguarding children is a priority and we tackle all related issues proactively to reinforce this. Good practice in safeguarding needs to be a part of any company’s culture that is operating in health and fitness today. Through creating a clear culture at Fitbook we confidently tackle any safeguarding issues with confidence and pride.
Reviewing procedures regularly
No matter what we do, we’re always striving to improve and be the best we can possibly be. We regularly revisit procedures to review them in order to ensure that safeguarding issues can be dealt with by any member of staff.
Ensure appropriate action is taken
In the unlikely event that a safeguarding issue is brought to light, Fitbook is committed to carrying out the appropriate action in relation to incidents/abuse or related concerns. As part of this process, we also ensure that all records of safeguarding incidents are kept up to date, confidential and, detailed for future reference where needed.
How Fitbook’s Vetting Process Works
We carry out vigorous vetting including a DBS check before accepting any trainers onto our platform. Everybody has a responsibility to safeguard children taking part in sporting activities, whether in a group or individual. The following checks are carried out against all Fitbook members:
- DBS Check
- Proof of Relevant Qualifications
- Correct Liability Insurance
- Certified Reviews
- Checks on Registered Address
- D Checks
- Checks on websites
- Checks on Social Media Channels
- Checks on previous trading conduct
As well as the above checks, each professional that joins Fitbook has an interview with us and must agree and sign to abide by the Fitbook core values which prioritise the safeguarding of children. Once accepted onto our platform, all work carried out by the trainer is monitored by us.
We also have the following as per the standards for safeguarding and protecting children in sport:
- Clear safeguarding policy
- Code of conduct
- A preventative arrangement
- A reporting abuse procedure and system
- A monitoring system
Safeguarding Children Benefits Everyone
Working with children and ensuring they have a safe environment in which to enjoy recreational sports activities is rewarding in itself. However, there is abundance of other benefits that come with the safeguarding of children. Here are the top ways in which doing so can benefit everyone involved:
Being more aware of safeguarding issues and concerns allows for easier identification of those who may be most vulnerable. As stated, it is the responsibility of all adults to ensure the children of our society are protected and free to enjoy activities such as sport in a positive, safe place.
Recognising signs of abuse
By recognising the signs of abuse, children are much more likely to receive the help they need in order to be protected in the long-term. Safeguarding children involves understanding of when a child is showing related signs and dealing with the issue accordingly.
Communication is key in any organisation and especially one that involves working with children. Through a mutual understanding of what is needed to ensure the needs and protection of children are being met, this can greatly improve communication.
Increased company trust
At Fitbook our clients don’t simply take our word for our safeguarding procedures, they see how diligent we are. From our vetting procedure to reviews, as we take safeguarding extremely seriously, we build more trust with our customers.
If you’re a professional health and fitness individual, why not join Fitbook today? We will connect you with work opportunities and the opportunity to increase your reputation.
By Evie Graham