It is vital to develop a safe and inclusive workforce. You should consider advertising for all roles, even if it is informally via your venue noticeboard. It is important to interview, whether formally or having a chat over a cup of coffee; this helps you to find out about someone’s motivations and attitudes. You can include a question about why creating a safe and inclusive tennis environment is important and how their role can help with this.
References enable you to check whether there were concerns by previous employees or volunteers. You are legally required to ensure that everyone who works unsupervised with children has an enhanced criminal records check. This can be an enhanced DBS and Barred List check through the LTA or a PVG check through Tennis Scotland. People who are supervised when working with children are not legally required to have a DBS or PVG check; however, the LTA recommends that a criminal records check is obtained as part of safe recruitment and best practice.
If you are seeking to use a coach, check they are Accredited or Accredited+ by asking the coach to show you their certificate of accreditation or contact the British Tennis Services Team.
It is important that people working with or responsible for children and/or adults at risk have a basic safeguarding knowledge. The Safeguarding and Protection in Tennis training is provided by the LTA to help anyone involved in tennis volunteers, staff and coaches know how to recognise, respond to, refer and record safeguarding concerns and disclosures.
Alternatively, volunteers (but not coaches) can take a local authority safeguarding course (as long as it includes information about anti-radicalisation). The course must be at least three hours and face-to-face to enable people to ask questions. To help create a safe and inclusive tennis environment for all children and adults, it is important that your Welfare Officer and the relevant members of your workforce attend the training.
If you are a volunteer at your club, you can apply for a LTA Safeguarding and Protection in Tennis course refund by completing the Volunteer Declaration. Please email your relevant regional office with your name, position, volunteering role, affiliated venue, volunteer declaration and course applied for.
The Welfare Officer is responsible for keeping children and adults at risk safe, so it is important that everyone at your venue knows who they are and how to speak to them if they have a concern. This will reassure your members that there is a process in place and that your venue actively promotes safe and inclusive tennis. You can put up a Welfare Officer poster at your venue and publish an agreed venue contact e-mail address on your website.
If an issue arises
The LTA Safe and Inclusive Tennis team are here to help. You can contact us Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm. There is also information in the What’s the Score toolkit. And remember, if someone is in immediate danger, call the police (999) then let the LTA know.
For advice out of hours, call the NSPCC on 0808 800 5000 or ParentLine Scotland on 0800 028 2233.