BCA Safeguarding

BCA National Safeguarding Officer: Chris Boardman
Tel: 07721 387 621

BCA adopted the safeguarding policy and guidelines at the AGM summer 2019. It is a requirement of BCA’s insurers that we have a policy.

Some clubs have participation from children or vulnerable adults and some don’t.

All members are strongly advised to read ‘BCA good practice guidelines’ which are linked to from this page. All clubs are strongly advised to read ‘BCA safeguarding guidelines for clubs’. These are the practical documents, whereas the safeguarding policy itself is more the legal framework around it all.

The BCA’s National Safeguarding Officer is Chris Boardman, safeguarding@british-caving.org.uk 07721 387 621. Chris has attended the NSPCC’s Designated Safeguarding Officer course, similar to schools’ DSL training. Like almost all BCA officials, Chris is a volunteer. He is a teacher and a holder of the Cave Instructor Certificate. He is available for advice and should be contacted promptly if there are any concerns about safeguarding.

Safeguarding is about a lot more than DBS forms. We need to ensure that caves are chosen to meet the maturity and experience of the young participants. This must be verified by a committee member of the club, in other words there must be some governance of young people’s activities that doesn’t normally apply for adult trips. We must also ensure that young people have suitable clothing, and equipment of the right size.

Some brief information about DBS forms is below, but clubs should read the ‘guidelines for clubs’ to get the best advice.

If club members are taking young people aged less than 18 years caving, or supervising them when using club accommodation, it is possible that ‘vetting’ is required. This consists of a DBS form, identity check via passport / household bills, and a couple of very short references. We will only be able to accept DBS forms from other organisations if members have enrolled with the ‘DBS Update Service’ which makes their DBS form portable.

Vetting will not be required if young people have their parents, or a long-term friend of the family, supervising the child when at club accommodation and when caving. Or, if young people are accompanied by people vetted by their organisation such as a school or scout group, then BCA will not need to vet any members.

There is no expectation that lots of club members will need to be vetted by BCA: members using club accommodation but not supervising young people, will not be vetted.

If you are planning activities with young people aged under 18 and think some club members may need a DBS form from BCA, please contact the BCA Safeguarding Officer who can make the arrangements. Be aware that the process takes several weeks. BCA will meet the costs, not clubs or individual members.

Finally, if members or clubs have any suggestions for improvements to BCA’s safeguarding policy and guidelines, please do get in touch.

Policy & Guidance Documents