For some people, the feeling of being unsafe or excluded from sport is a significant barrier to being involved. Organisations delivering sport and physical activity need to create safer cultures, look out for the welfare of all adults involved and play a crucial role in keeping adults safe. 

In order to do this effectively, organisations need to be aware of the policies and processes they should have in place to ensure that any concerns are acted upon and dealt with appropriately. 

Ann Craft Trust

Ann Craft Trust is a  leading UK authority on safeguarding adults. They support organisations, including those in the sport and physical activity sector, to safeguard adults and minimise the risk of harm through the provision of advice, guidance, resources and training - links to which are provided throughout this page.

What does safeguarding adults mean?

All adults, referring to any person over the age of 18, have the right to be protected from abuse and poor practice. 

The Care Act 2014 defines safeguarding adults as protecting an adult’s right to live in safety, free from abuse and neglect. It is about people and organisations working together to prevent and stop both the risks and experience of abuse or neglect, whilst also making sure that the adult’s wellbeing is prioritised.

How you deal with concerns will depend on the adult and the issue. Some concerns may need an immediate response from the emergency services. Some issues may require you to signpost people to services in their area such as a charity. Others may need a referral to the local Safeguarding Adults team. You can find their details on the page of your Local Safeguarding Adults Board.

You may have heard the term ‘Adults at Risk’, which is the criteria that Local Authority Safeguarding Adults teams use. It refers specifically to an adult who has a care and support need, who is experiencing, or is at risk of, abuse or neglect and may need help with keeping themselves safe. More information about adults at risk can be found here.

Club Matters has worked with the Ann Craft Trust to create an

and podcast to provide you with more information on safeguarding adults. 


The video opens with the Club Matters logo shown in the centre of a white screen, with the Ann Craft Trust logo underneath, which has the strapline ‘acting against abuse’. Beneath that, the National Lottery and Sport England logos are shown.
The video changes to a background that has sections of navy blue, teal blue and orange as a backing track starts. On top of the background, the text ‘Safeguarding adults is everybody’s responsibility’ appears. This text is white, but ‘everybody’s’ is highlighted in orange. Underneath, the text ‘What you and your organisation should know?’ appears in white. All text shown in the video is white unless otherwise specified. 
The background changes to one with sections of orange, dark yellow and navy blue. In one section, an image of two older women taking part in swimming activity is faded into the background and is tinted dark yellow. On top of this background, the text ‘What does safeguarding adults mean?’ appears at the top of the screen. The text is underlined. Underneath, in the middle of the screen, the text ‘Safeguarding adults means protecting and keeping adults free from abuse and neglect. Everyone has a responsibility for this.’ appears. At the same time as this text appears, a male voiceover begins.
Voiceover: Safeguarding adults means protecting a person’s right to live in safety free from abuse and neglect. Safeguarding adults is a responsibility for every sport and physical activity organisation. 
The text in the middle of the screen changes to ‘Getting this right will improve participation levels and keep people involved.’
Voiceover: Getting this right will ensure safe access for everyone.
The background then changes to one with sections of dark pink, dark yellow and orange. In one section, a man can be seen taking part in boxing is faded into the background and is tinted dark pink. On top of this background, the text ‘What does this mean for providers of sport and physical activity?’ appears and moves to the top of the screen. 
Voiceover: It is vital to look out for the welfare of all adults and be informed enough to ensure that any safeguarding concerns about adults are properly acted upon. Safeguarding adults is everybody’s responsibility. They should respond and follow up any safeguarding concerns that they have about an adult to welfare officers or appropriate local bodies. 
Underneath the heading, the text ‘Organisations need to:’ appears. Beneath this, and in sync with the voiceover, the text ‘Look out for the welfare of all adults’, ‘Be able to identify poor practice’, ‘Respond to any concerns I have about the welfare of an adult’ and ‘Know how to report concerns’ appear as bullet points. 
Voiceover: Do I really need a safeguarding adults policy?
The screen’s background changes to one with sections of orange, navy blue and teal blue. On one section, a photo of someone taking part in physical activity is faded into the background and is tinted navy blue. On top of this background, the text ‘Do I need a safeguarding adults policy and procedures?’ appears in a white-lined box at the top of the screen. 
Voiceover: The short answer is yes. The Care Act 2014 put the safeguarding of adults on a statutory footing. 
In sync with the voiceover, the word ‘Yes’ appears in large, bold text in the middle of the screen. This text disappears, and onscreen the text ‘The Care Act 2014’ appears on the right-hand side of the screen. Underneath, the text ‘Put the safeguarding of adults on a statutory footing which relates to rules or laws which have been formally written down.’ appears onscreen until the voiceover moves on. 
Voiceover: If your organisation has regular contact with the public, you have a crucial role to play in the support, identification and reporting of adults who may be at risk of harm. 
On the left-hand side of the screen, the text ‘Community organisations have a part to play in recognising and responding to safeguarding concerns’ appears onscreen until the voiceover moves on. 
Voiceover: Individuals across your organisation need to be informed enough to ensure that complaints and concerns about adults at risk are properly identified and acted upon.
On the right-hand side of the screen, the text ‘Individuals need to be informed enough to ensure that complaints and concerns about adults at risk are properly identified and acted upon.’ appears until the voiceover moves on. 
Voiceover: Organisations that fail to do this risk failing to meet their duty of care, which at worst could leave adults at risk vulnerable to harm. 
On the left-hand side of the screen, the text ‘Organisations that fail to do this risk failing to meet their duty of care, which at worst could leave adults at risk vulnerable to harm.’ appears onscreen until the voiceover moves on. 
Voiceover: So how is safeguarding adults different to safeguarding children? Some of the key differences are…
The screen’s background changes to show a picture of a woman swimming along the top half of the screen, it’s faded into the background and tinted navy blue. On the bottom half of the screen, a picture of a young person taking part in martial arts is faded into the background and tinted orange. On top of this background, the text ‘So how is safeguarding adults different to safeguarding children?’ appears in the middle of the screen, before moving to the top of the screen and being surrounded by a white-lined box. Underneath this, the text ‘Key differences’ appears and is underlined. 
Voiceover: There are different laws for safeguarding adults, the process for dealing with concerns is different, and there are more types of harm for adults. 
The text ‘There are different laws for safeguarding adults’, ‘The process for dealing with concerns is different’ and ‘There are more types of harm for adults’ appear onscreen as bullet points, in sync with the voiceover.
Voiceover: The Mental Capacity Act 2005 applies to everyone involved in the care, treatment and support of people aged 16 and over living in England and Wales who are unable to make all or some decisions for themselves.
The text ‘The Mental Capacity Act 2005 which applies to everyone involved in the care, treatment and support of people aged 16 and over living in England and Wales who are unable to make all or some decisions for themselves.’ appears onscreen, still under the underlined heading of ‘Key Differences’.
Voiceover: There are also different categories of harm for children as there are for adults.
The screen’s background changes to one with sections of dark yellow, orange, and dark pink. In one section, an image of a man in a cricket uniform and helmet is faded into the background and the image is tinted orange. In the centre of the screen, the text ‘There are also different categories of harm for children as there are for adults.’ appears. 
The text onscreen disappears and is replaced with ‘Children and adults’ at the top of the left-hand side of the screen. On the right-hand side of the screen, the text ‘Adults’ appears.
Voiceover: Physical, sexual, emotional or psychological, neglect and acts of omission, financial or material, domestic abuse including coercive control, discriminatory, organisational, modern slavery, self-neglect. 
In sync with the voiceover, the words ‘physical’, ‘sexual’, ‘emotional’, ‘psychological’, ‘neglect’ and ‘acts of omission’ appear on the left-hand side of the screen, under the heading ‘Children and Adults’. In sync with the voiceover, the words ‘financial’, ‘material’, domestic abuse’, ‘coercive control’, ‘discriminatory’, ‘organisational’, ‘modern slavery’ and ‘self-neglect’ appear on the right-hand side of the screen, under the heading ‘Adults’.
Voiceover: So now we have looked at why you need policies, but what about some principles to follow? There are six key principles when it comes to safeguarding adults. 
The screen’s background changes to one with sections of orange, dark pink and teal blue. In one section to the right of the screen, an image of people playing basketball is faded into the background and the image is tinted orange. In another section to the left of the screen, an image of an archer is faded into the background and the image is tinted in dark pink. In the centre of the screen, the text ‘What are the Key Principles of Safeguarding Adults?’ appears in a white-lined box. In sync with the voiceover, the text in the white-lined box is replaced with ‘6 Key Principles’, which then moves to the top of the screen. 
Voiceover: Empowerment. Clubs should talk to the adult if there are concerns, and give people the choice and control over their decisions. 
In sync with the voiceover, the text ‘1. Empowerment:’ appears on the left-hand side of the screen. Underneath this and in the centre of the screen, the text ‘Talk to the adult’, ‘Give people the choice’ and ‘Control over their decisions’ appears on separate lines in sync with the voiceover. 
Voiceover: Prevention. Clubs should create a culture that means participants feel able to discuss issues and know where to go if they have a concern. Make sure information is clear, simple and accessible so everyone has an understanding of the basics. 
In sync with the voiceover, the text ‘2. Prevention:’ appears on the left-hand side of the screen. Underneath this and in the centre of the screen, the text ‘Create a culture’, ‘Participants feel able to discuss issues’, ‘Information is clear’ and ‘Simple and accessible’ appears on separate lines in sync with the voiceover. 
Voiceover: Proportionality. When dealing with adult abuse, clubs should ensure that they always think about the risk. Be sure to respect the person, think about what is best and only get involved as much as needed. 
In sync with the voiceover, the text ‘3. Proportionality:’ appears on the left-hand side of the screen. Underneath this and in the centre of the screen, the text ‘Think about the risk’, ‘Respect the person’, and ‘Only get involved as much as needed’ appears on separate lines in sync with the voiceover. 
Voiceover: Protection. Clubs should know what to do if there are concerns, know how to stop the abuse, offer help, support for people who are at risk and identify who needs more in-depth training. 
In sync with the voiceover, the text ‘4. Protection:’ appears on the left-hand side of the screen. Underneath this and in the centre of the screen, the text ‘Know what to do if there are concerns’, ‘Offer help and support’, and ‘Identify who needs more training’ appears on separate lines in sync with the voiceover. 
Voiceover: Partnership. Clubs should work in partnership with each other and local communities to ensure everyone is playing a part in prevention, detecting and reporting abuse. 
In sync with the voiceover, the text ‘5. Partnership:’ appears on the left-hand side of the screen. Underneath this and in the centre of the screen, the text ‘Work with other organisations’, ‘Work with your local community’, and ‘Preventing, detecting and reporting abuse’ appears on separate lines in sync with the voiceover. 
Voiceover: Accountability. Clubs should understand that everyone is accountable as an individual, or as a club. Ensure that there are clear roles and responsibilities, and they must be clear so that people can see and check how safeguarding is done.
In sync with the voiceover, the text ‘6. Accountability:’ appears on the left-hand side of the screen. Underneath this and in the centre of the screen, the text ‘Everyone is accountable’, and ‘Have clear roles and responsibilities’ appears on separate lines in sync with the voiceover. 
Voiceover: Some of the top tips that you or your organisation should consider when it comes to safeguarding. 
The background changes to one with mostly navy and teal blue sections. One small section is tinted yellow and shows an image of a young girl participating in gymnastics faded into the background. In the middle of the screen, the words ‘Top Tips’ appear in large text. Underneath them, the text ‘For dealing with a safeguarding concern’ is shown.
Voiceover: If someone is injured or at immediate risk, take action, for example by dialling 999 for the police or for an ambulance. 
In sync with the voiceover, the text ‘If there is immediate risk, seek help.’ appears as a bullet point. 
Voiceover: Speak to your welfare officer. 
In sync with the voiceover, the text ‘Speak to your welfare officer.’ appears as a bullet point. 
Voiceover: If you are a sports club and have a National Governing Body, speak to their designated safeguarding lead. 
In sync with the voiceover, the text ‘The Welfare Officer will contact your National Governing Body and follow their policies and procedures.’ appears as a bullet point. 
Voiceover: Collect available, relevant facts and appropriate information. 
In sync with the voiceover, the text ‘The Welfare Officer will collate all the information.’ appears as a bullet point. All text then moves offscreen. 
Voiceover: Make a written record of the concern. 
In sync with the voiceover, the text ‘Make a written record of concern.’ appears as a bullet point. 
Voiceover: If you are considering making a referral to adult social care, you should try to gain consent from the adult. If you do not have consent to make a referral, then call the social care team and discuss the case without giving details. They will give you advice and tell you whether they can take the referral without consent. 
In sync with the voiceover, the text ‘The person passing information on to adult social care should:’ appears as a bullet point. Underneath this, the text ‘1. Gain consent from the adult before contacting adult social care through your local council.’ appears. Underneath this, the text ‘2. If consent isn’t yet granted, call the social care team for advice without providing details.’ appears. All text then moves offscreen.
Voiceover: Now you have a basic awareness of safeguarding adults, it’s time for you to go away and connect with relevant members of your club to ensure that you have an action plan in place. 
The screen’s background changes to one with sections of dark pink, orange and dark yellow. In the section that is tinted yellow, a man can be seen on a football pitch with goals faded into the background. On top of this background, the words ‘Over to you!’ appear in large text in the middle of the screen. This text disappears, and the text ‘Action Plan’ appears in a white-lined box at the top of the screen. 
Voiceover: You develop a policy and implement procedures relating to safeguarding adults. 
In sync with the voiceover, the text ‘Develop a policy and implement procedures relating to Safeguarding Adults.’ appears as a bullet point. The text ‘If you are a sports club with a National Governing Body, contact them for further guidance and ensure that you follow their policy and procedures.’ also appears as a bullet point. 
Voiceover: Appoint a welfare officer who is responsible for safeguarding adults, or ensure your current welfare officer is adequately trained to safeguard both children and adults. Contact your NGB for further information. 
In sync with the voiceover, the text ‘Appoint a Welfare Officer who is responsible for Safeguarding Adults.’ appears as a bullet point. All text then moves offscreen, except for the ‘Action Plan’ heading. 
Voiceover: Ensure committee members, volunteers and coaches within the club undertake this online learning.
In sync with the voiceover, the text ‘Ensure committee members, participants and volunteers within the organisations undertake this online learning.’ appears as a bullet point.
Voiceover: Make members aware of the new policy and procedures. 
In sync with the voiceover, the text ‘Make members aware of the new policy and procedures.’ appears as a bullet point.
Voiceover: Make your members aware of who your welfare officer is should they have any concerns, whether they’re an adult or a child. 
In sync with the voiceover, the text ‘Make your members aware of who your Welfare Officer is.’ appears as a bullet point.
Voiceover: Add safeguarding adults as an agenda item for consideration at your next committee meeting. 
In sync with the voiceover, the text ‘Add Safeguarding Adults as an agenda item for consideration at your next committee meeting.’ appears as a bullet point. All text then moves offscreen. 
Voiceover: You can find out more information about adult safeguarding through some of the resources available in the bio.
The screen’s background changes to one with sections of navy blue and teal blue. The text ‘Find out more information about Adult Safeguarding through our resources in the bio below:’ appears at the top of the screen. The following text and website URLs are displayed on the screen. Please note, the below links have been corrected due to some changes occurring since the video was released. 
Read the full Safeguarding Adults in sport resource pack:
www.anncrafttrust.org/resources/safeguarding-adults-sport-activity-resources-pack
Listen to our Club Natters with Nicola Dean from the Ann Craft Trust:
https://www.sportenglandclubmatters.com/welfare-safeguarding/managing-welfare-and-safeguarding/podcast---ann-craft-trust-talk-through-the-essentials-of-safeguarding-adults-/ 
Visit our dedicated safeguarding section:
https://www.sportenglandclubmatters.com/welfare-safeguarding/managing-welfare-and-safeguarding/ 
Contact the Ann Craft Trust for general advice:
https://www.anncrafttrust.org/safeguarding-adults-sport-activity/
For information or guidance on safeguarding children visit:
www.thecpsu.org.uk 
All text moves offscreen and background changes to one that is mostly orange, with sections of dark pink, dark yellow and teal. The words ‘Remember safeguarding adults is everyone’s responsibility’ appear as large text in the middle of the screen. The screen then changes to a white background with the Club Matters logo in the centre, and the Ann Craft Trust logo beneath it. Beneath this, the National Lottery and Sport England logos are also shown as the video ends. 




As an organisation delivering sport and physical activity to adults you have both a legal and moral responsibility to all participants, members, volunteers, paid staff and visitors to create safer cultures and protect them from harm or abuse. There are various Government initiatives and legislation that underpin and support safeguarding adults at risk, which clubs and groups should consider and be aware of. More information on these can be found here

There are many different types of abuse that could raise concerns for the welfare of adults at your organisation. You may have concerns about things that are happening in your organisation, or things that are happening outside. The Care Act, 2014 recognises 10 categories of abuse that adults may experience. The first four are similar to types of harm for children and you will probably also recognise financial abuse as there has been lots of publicity about this. The others relate to the organisations and situations that people are in.

These are:

  • Physical abuse.
  • Sexual abuse.
  • Emotional/Psychological/Mental abuse.
  • Neglect or acts of omission.
  • Financial or material abuse.
  • Discriminatory abuse.
  • Organisational abuse.
  • Self-neglect.
  • Domestic abuse (including coercive control).
  • Modern day slavery.

The Ann Craft Trust have also highlighted 4 additional types of harm not currently included in the 2014 Act, which are:

  • Cyber Bulling
  • Forced Marriage.
  • Mate Crime.
  • Radicalisation.

You can find out more about the types of harm and abuse on the Ann Craft Trust website.

Safeguarding adults is everyone’s responsibility. Everyone at your organisation should be aware of and adhere to your safeguarding policy and the processes you have in place to support and protect adults. This includes knowing how to report concerns or allegations of abuse or poor practice, and who to. This includes athletes and participants themselves, so provide accessible information about how your organisation is supporting them and where they can go if they have a concern.

Organisations will also need to have a designated Welfare Officer in place who has primary responsibility for putting safeguarding procedures in place. Your Welfare Officer should have received adequate training and information about the role they are undertaking, including a clear role description. Click here for an example Welfare Officer role description.

The Care Act 2014 also sets out 6 key principles that should underpin an organisation’s safeguarding adults processes, including:

·         Empowerment – involve adults in making their own decisions about the outcome of any safeguarding concern. Talk to people about what they want to happen.

·         Prevention – create a safer culture. Provide information about types of abuse and where to go for help so that everyone at your organisation  takes action before harm occurs.

·         Proportionality – when dealing with a safeguarding concern or allegations of abuse try to make your response appropriate to the risk presented and be informed in your response by the person involved.

·         Protection – ensure that key personnel within your organisation know how to respond to a safeguarding concern and support those reporting incidents of abuse through the processes you have in place.

·         Partnership –work with services within your local community. Find out what they do, how you can link with them and how you can signpost people to them.

·         Accountability – be accountable and transparent in safeguarding efforts. Ensure that everyone at your organisation understands the role they can play in helping to create a safer culture and safeguard adults.

Click here for more information on these 6 key principles.


Last modified: Thursday, 29 September 2022, 3:38 PM