Once potential volunteers come to your attention, it is important that you run through a selection process to ensure they are fit for purpose; they have the right skills for the role allocated and won’t risk your aim to provide a safe, inclusive and fun environment for all.
Criminal records checks
It is important that your venue checks all volunteers in roles that come into direct contact with children, young people and at-risk adults. The LTA wants to ensure these groups are safe from harm and have an enjoyable tennis experience. A DBS check is a record of all warnings, reprimands, cautions and convictions obtained from local and national police records. Find out more in our safeguarding and protection section.
You should consider for each role if a criminal records check is needed. If the person is likely to have direct contact with children/adults at risk and/or access to confidential information, then we recommend they undertake a criminal records check.
There are roles which are vital to have a check:
- Welfare officer
- Competition organiser
- Junior tennis captain/contact
- Junior tennis captain
- Anyone helping drive juniors to competition venues
- Volunteer co-ordinators.
Some roles, such as Treasurer, Secretary and Welfare Officer, are entrusted with a lot of responsibility, especially having access to confidential information, venue accounts and paying bills. These roles should be allocated to those with relevant experience, where possible, and people who you have known or for whom you are able to obtain character references from other members. A good handover period with the incumbent volunteer will help ease the transition.
It is essential to be honest with new volunteers about the time commitment and responsibilities. It is not helpful to your management committee to have someone volunteer and then stand down a few months later. Providing clear guidance and providing a programme of support should ease new people into their role, rather than it becoming overwhelming. A buddying scheme could also assist in building confidence and providing support when taking on a new role.