A sporting chance…

Giving background screening a sporting chance…

Rachel Bedgood, CEO of Complete Background Screening (CBS), believes that all individuals have the right to feel safe in their environment whether that is in schools, in the workplace or in a place where you can enjoy hobbies. In this blog, she addresses the sports sector in particular. The public nature of the sports sector means that it needs well-qualified staff that have gone through rigorous screening processes to ensure all those who interact with individuals including fans and participants are as safe as possible. Having a robust safeguarding policy and procedure is critical in this sector given the amount of trust and reliance that is put into sporting staff and is also important in maintaining club reputation. Rachel explains why background screening is vital in this sector and discusses how it can affect clubs and individuals if safeguarding measures are not put in place.

Safeguarding has become an increasingly important part of HR and recruitment processes in the sports sector. Not only is it important for the general safety of all that are employed and those that they work with, but clubs and the individuals that they employ often end up working with more vulnerable people such as young adults, children or those with special needs.

If you look at any club, during training and off-seasons, you will have people involved in coaching, general day-to-day upkeep of stadiums, athletes will be training and also there will be people working on game days as stewards. This is quite a lot of people to keep track of at one time. All of these people are quite likely at some point to interact with vulnerable adults or young children. This is why it is crucial to screen all employees to make sure that you have the safest possible environment for those interacting with your club

As such, DBS checks are very important for the sports industry. Anyone who works with children for a length of time unsupervised needs to have an Enhanced DBS check in place. This type of check details all criminal history; cautions, warnings, reprimands and convictions held on the Police National Computer, with the exception of the DBS filtering rule. Additionally, it checks against the DBS Children and Adult barred list (where appropriate) and information provided by local police forces. For your youth team coaches, this is essential. However, it’s also useful to have a Basic check on all other employees as this provides you with all non-spent convictions under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (ROA). As an employer, it’s your responsibility to collect all the information available on your staff and relying on a CV for this just doesn’t cut it.

Also, it’s crucial to remember that the people working within your club act as a representation of your brand, so it is a good idea to perform a background check on them to get a detailed picture of whom you are letting into your team. Recent news stories have highlighted that having a criminal history can tarnish a club’s reputation. You only have to look at Adam Johnson and Ched Evans as footballers that have been the subject of a raft of negative press around crimes they have committed. Although the clubs that they worked for were fairly quick to distance themselves from these players, the negative press sticks and can cause long-term damage for a club’s reputation.

Background checks for the sports sector work to protect those who trust your institution. To be responsible and to create the safest possible environments, safeguarding measures should be essential to you.

If you would like to speak to a member of the CBS team about safeguarding or any other background screening process, you can contact a member of the team on: 01443 799 900 or email: info@cbscreening.co.uk

Rachel Bedgood