Safeguarding Policy

Bicester Sub-Aqua Club Policy on Safeguarding of Vulnerable People


Bicester Sub-Aqua Club Policy

Bicester Sub-Aqua Club believes in the safeguarding of all of its members, both adults and children, as its first consideration.   BSAC recognises that all vulnerable people participating in its activities (regardless of age, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, ability or disability) have a right to enjoy their involvement in diving in a safe environment,  and to be protected from harm.   Vulnerable people potentially mean all members.

Bicester SAC fully adopts Buddy Guard,  BSACs Safeguarding and Protecting Children Policy and Procedures, as confirmed by  this Bicester Policy on Safeguarding of Vulnerable People. The Buddy Guard policy is reviewed periodically by BSAC.

The Bicester SAC  Branch Committee, will take all practicable steps to ensure that the document is enacted as far as is possible. The full BSAC Buddy Guard policy document is linked to Bicester SAC web-site.

In accordance with BSAC recommendations the Bicester SAC asks all of its members to observe the requirements of Buddy Guard and strongly recommends that all those directly involved with the training of minors or vulnerable adults make themselves aware of and act on these guidelines.

Bicester SAC Strategy

1. The Bicester SAC Branch Committee has appointed a club Safeguarding Officer with the necessary skills and training as outlined by BSAC, who will take the lead in dealing with all safeguarding matters raised within the club.  It will ensure that the Bicester SAC Safeguarding Officer’s name and contact details are known to all officers, club members and parents of members. The club’s Safeguarding Officer will be available to discuss issues of concern on matters of safeguarding and deal with such concerns appropriately and in line with Buddy Guard.

2. The Branch Committee will try to ensure that all members are aware of the Bicester SAC Policy on Safeguarding of Vulnerable People and the club’s code of conduct.

3. The Safeguarding Officer and Training Officer will try to ensure that all members who work with children and vulnerable adults in BSAC have undertaken the appropriate training and relevant level of Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check and adhere to good practice for safeguarding children as outlined in Buddy Guard, and Bicester SAC codes of practice and guidance.

4. The Safeguarding Officer provides all club members and parents of members with opportunities to raise concerns in a safe and confidential manner if they have a concern about the welfare of a child or vulnerable adult.

5. The Safeguarding Officer will try to ensure that all child safeguarding matters, including those concerned with child welfare or protection, are dealt with appropriately, in accordance with the guidance for reporting and action in Buddy Guard. They will also seek to ensure that confidentiality is maintained appropriately and in line with the best interest of the child, with all papers relating to child safeguarding matters being held in a safe and secure manner.

6. Both BSAC and Bicester SAC Branch committee will support any member who, in good faith, reports his or her concern that a vulnerable person is at risk of, or may actually be, being abused.

Bicester SAC Members Guidance

1. All Members are expected to be familiar with and abide by Bicester SAC codes of conduct, which reflect the BSAC Policy on the Safeguarding of Vulnerable People.

2. Instructors and Branch Officers who work with junior members and vulnerable adults are required to complete Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) check to help us ensure that people with convictions or past history of an inappropriate nature are prevented from significant contact with children or vulnerable adults. Instructors may choose not to workwith such groups. The Safeguarding Officer can provide the relevant forms and instructions on how to get these checks.  DBS checks ask for any information about a criminal record or other matter that might have a bearing on suitability to work with children to be revealed. It only tells us whether an individual is suitable or not and doesn’t disclose any personal information. (e.g. previous investigations by police or social services or disciplinary investigations in relation to contact with children).

3. Instructors and Branch Officers are expected to be familiar with this policy, the Bicester SAC codes of conduct and good practice identified in Buddy Guard. This means in practice, for example:

• Avoid training in a one to one situation. Always have an independent observer to support your position in case of misinterpretations of your actions

• Certain underwater skills require close physical contact, such as Rescue Breaths (RB), Controlled Buoyant Lift, etc. Before going under water give a dry run during the lesson briefing  with  verbal commentary to the whole group explaining what you are going to do.  Advise students to wear Tee shirts or pool suits as this can avert potentially embarrassing situations.

• never engage in rough or unnecessary physical contact

• guard against the effects of cold, especially when training in open water

• abide by BSAC recommended maximum instructor/student ratio for pool and sheltered water of 1:4; and for open water of 1:2.

4. Parents and Guardians –Bicester SAC can teach 12-17 year olds to dive and they can dive with the club provided that either a parent or guardian is present during all training and diving, or a designated person (e.g. another parent) is able to act in loco parentis. Parents of junior members are requested to complete an in loco parentis form on their joining Bicester SAC, which allows a DBS checked and suitably qualified diver to act on their behalf in exceptional circumstances.

5. Parents and Guardians. All activities in open water (i.e. the sea) involving 12-17 year olds will be with the consent of the Bicester SAC Diving Officer. If Bicester SAC members wish to use the pool on a Tuesday night for swimming or snorkelling and bring their children and guests along, they must be present during the entire pool session and take full responsibility for the safety, safeguarding and behaviour of their children. Children and non-Bicester SAC members will be unable to use the pool during Bicester SAC Tuesday night sessions, unless accompanied by a Bicester SAC member.

6. Dive Managers are expected to ensure that parents and juniors are fully briefed prior to any dive, for instance by using the  Dive Information for Parents and Junior Divers template

7. Boat Dives The Safeguarding Officer and Training Officer will ensure that junior members have a completed form with parental contact details, which should be handed to the Dive Manager or Boat Handler for any boat dive.

8. Photographs, video or other images of young people should not be to be taken without the consent of parents/carers, children and approval from the establishment where the event is being held. This needs to be recorded using the Photography Consent Form

9. Dealing with an Incident/Accident: If a child or vulnerable adult requires first aid or any form of medical attention do as follows:

• Keep a written record, of any injury that occurs, along with the details of any treatment given.

• Where possible, ensure access to medical advice and/or assistance is available.

• Ideally, only those with a recognised First Aid qualification should respond to any injuries.

• In more serious cases, seek assistance from a medically qualified professional as soon as possible.

• Where possible, the permission for any course of action should be sought from the child or vulnerable adult after such action has been discussed with them in language they understand.

• The child’s, or vulnerable adult’s parents/guardians or carers must be informed of any injury and any action taken as soon as possible, unless it is in the child or vulnerable adult interests and on professional advice not to do.

A Notification of Accident Form must be completed and signed and passed to the Branch Safeguarding Officer as soon as possible. Copies of the form are available on the club’s website.

Further guidance and examples of good practice can be found in Buddy Guard, BSACs Safeguarding andProtecting Children Policy and Procedures.