1. Purpose

Oxford Harlequins Rugby Union Football Club (“the Club”) believes that taking part in rugby should be a positive and enjoyable part of children’s lives.  The Club recognises that all children have the right to participate in sport in a safe, positive and enjoyable environment whilst at the same time being protected from abuse, neglect, harm and poor practice.   Oxford Harlequins Rugby Union Football Club recognises that this is the responsibility of everyone involved, in whatever capacity, at the club.

The Club will do its utmost to ensure that safeguards are offered to the children with whom it works, and to our club officers, coaches and club members.  The Club will endeavour to maintain its high standards of professionalism and good practice.

The Club adheres to and follows the RFU 'Safeguarding Children and Vulnerable Adults in Rugby Union Policy & Guidance' and endorse the Policy Statement contained in the that document and any successor Policy. This policy can be found here:


Within this Policy a child is anyone under the age of 18 engaged in any rugby union activity. However where a 17 year old male player is playing in the adult game it is essential that every reasonable precaution is taken to ensure his safety and wellbeing are protected.


  1. Key Principles

The key principles of this policy are that:

  • The welfare of the child or vulnerable adult (as appropriate) is, and must always be, paramount to any other considerations.
  • All participants, regardless of age, gender, ability or disability, race, faith, culture, size, shape, language or sexual identity, have the right to protection from abuse or harm.
  • All allegations or suspicions of abuse, neglect, harm and poor practice will be taken seriously and responded to swiftly, fairly and appropriately.
  • Working in partnership with other organisations, statutory agencies, parents, carers, children and young people is essential for the welfare of children and young people.
  • Children have a right to expect support and personal and social development delivered by an appropriately recruited, vetted and managed* person.

*in relation to their participation in rugby union, whether they are playing, volunteering or officiating in the community or professional areas of the sport.

  1. Roles and Responsibilities

Oxford Harlequins RFC Executive Committee is responsible for overseeing the implementation of this policy and monitoring compliance. All Executive Committee Members will be subject to a DBS check prior to taking on their role.

The Executive Committee will ensure that this policy is reviewed annually or sooner where legislative changes indicate the need. The Executive Committee will monitor compliance via updates from the Club Safeguarding Officer. Further monitoring will also be undertaken via the review of reports obtained from GMS. The Executive Committee will specifically monitor uptake in Play it Safe Training and compliance with DBS checks.

The Executive Committee will ensure that the Club Safeguarding Officer and Lead Coaches receive regular reports detailing DBS compliance for their respective team(s).

The Club Safeguarding Officer is David Hancock. The Club Deputy Safeguarding Officer is Catherine Bufton-Green.  If you witness or are aware of an incident where the welfare of a child or vulnerable adult has been put at risk you must, in the first instance, inform the Club Safeguarding Officer or their Deputy.  They will then inform the CB Safeguarding Manager and the RFU Safeguarding Executive.  If an incident involves the Club Safeguarding Officer or their Deputy you should inform the Mini and Juniors Chairperson or Club Secretary and either the CB Safeguarding Manager or the RFU Safeguarding Executive. 

Director of Rugby will ensure that all relevant documentation associated with 17 year olds playing adult rugby are completed and forwarded to the Club Secretary who will share with the CB to request approval. The Director of Rugby will ensure that no children of 17 years of age play adult rugby without the CB’s prior approval. The Director of Rugby will maintain an accurate list of all 17 year olds who have been signed off by the CB. The Director of Rugby will also ensure that appropriate DBS checks are also in place for coaching and management staff involved in senior rugby and who hold a role which is considered a position of Trust. Wherever a 17 year old is playing adult rugby the club will ensure that there is at least one person who is DBS checked and who will assume the role of the position of trust for the child or children playing in the game.

Lead Coaches will ensure that all coaches and people undertaking a volunteer role e.g. team administrators are registered on the GMS system and have a current DBS check in place prior to undertaking their role or holding a position of Trust. In certain circumstances some people may be able to hold a temporary role as a coach whilst they await their DBS check to be completed. In these circumstances they must be supervised by a coach who does, until they have DBS clearance and the arrangements must be discussed with the Club Safeguarding Officer or their nominated deputy and agreement given. This will be agreed for a set period of time during which the person must not have unsupervised contact with any children. 

Club Coaches and Team Administrators

All members of the Club who have a regular supervisory contact with children or a management responsibility for those working with children must undertake an RFU Enhanced Criminal Records Bureau disclosure and must also be ISA-registered in accordance with the RFU ISA-registration Policy.

Coaches and Team Administrators are responsible for ensuring that they complete the DBS renewal process every three years. The Team Administrator will support the Lead Coach to ensure that their coaching team undertake the Play it Safe within 12 months of taking on a coaching role.

All Members 

Oxford Harlequins Rugby Football Club will ensure that all its members, whether they are coaches, parents, players or officials will comply with the relevant RFU Codes of Conduct. 

In summary, the following are NOT acceptable and will be treated seriously by the club and may result in disciplinary action being taken by the club, the CB or the RFU:

  • Working alone with a child, children, vulnerable adult, or adults.
  • Consuming alcohol whilst responsible for children or vulnerable adults.
  • Providing alcohol to children or allowing its supply.
  • Smoking in the presence of children.
  • Humiliating children or vulnerable adults.
  • Inappropriate or unnecessary physical contact with a child or vulnerable adult.
  • Participating in, or allowing, contact or physical games with children or vulnerable adults.
  • Having an intimate or sexual relationship with any child or vulnerable adult developed as a result of being in a ‘position of trust.'
  • Making sexually explicit comments or sharing sexually explicit material.


  1. Arrangements


The club manages the changing facilities and arranges for them to be supervised when in use by no less than two DBS checked adults of the appropriate gender for the players using the facilities. The club ensures that all its coaches and other relevant persons are aware that adults must not change at the same time, using the same changing room.

The club has adopted and circulated the RFU “Managing Challenging Behaviour” Policy to its volunteers and other relevant staff. Further advice on the implementation of this policy is available from any of the named club contacts listed in Section 5 of this policy. 

Private functions held within the clubs facilities must comply with this Policy. Where required the Club Head of Facilities will arrange for an appropriate Safeguarding Plan to be put in place for any bookings where it is deemed necessary.

On Tour

This policy applies equally on tour as at the club. When on tour if an adult is solely there supporting their own child they will not need DBS clearance, but they will if they are acting in any official capacity with other children. This would apply to those on bedtime or other supervisory duties.

Prior to any tour taking place, a written request must be made to the Club Executive Team. This can be made via the Club Secretary ( secretary@oxfordharlequins.org ). Once the request has been agreed, the Lead Coach will then provide the necessary tour request form for the CB to approve. All tours must be requested at least 6 weeks prior to departure. Incoming tours must also be approved prior to taking place. These requests should be forwarded to the Head of Facilities ( facilities@oxfordharlequins.org ) who will confirm agreement once CB approval has been provided.


  1. Key Contacts




Contact Telephone

David Hancock

Club Safeguarding Officer

07713  656345

Catherine Bufton-Green

Deputy Safeguarding Officer


Iain Wakefield

Mini & Junior Chairman

07831 122799

Jack Pooler

Club Secretary

0789 9870651

Jamie Green

Mini Rugby Deputy Chairman

07834 430127

Jenny Bosley

Oxfordshire RFU Safeguarding Manager

01235 833688


Other useful numbers:

Organisation Name

Contact Number

 RFU Child Protection Helpline


0208 831 6655



NSPCC Child Protection Helpline


0808 800 5000





0800 1111



Social Services Assessment Team 

for Children and Families


01295 252421




Child Protection in Sport Unit


0116 234 7278




Chairman: Neil Hopper                                              Date: 16/01/2020                              



Secretary: Jack Pooler                                                 Date: 16/01/2020