Government launches Duty of Care review

The Government has launched a consultation on the duty of care in sport.

The aim of the review, which will be led by Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, is to develop a “comprehensive plan for how government and the whole sporting system can more effectively look after people who take part in grassroots sport and people who perform at elite level, including those on a talent pathway .”

The consultation is a part of the Government’s sports strategy which aims to encourage everyone to be more active. The review will set out how participants at every level are looked after and protected. It is an opportunity for the sector to react on areas such as ensuring coaches are trained to meet people’s needs and making sure the knowledge is in place to help prevent concussion.

The Alliance is planning on submitting a response to the consultation. If you would like to inform this, please send your thoughts to our Policy Adviser, Hannah Dobbin by Friday 6 May.

Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, chairwoman of the Duty of Care review panel, said: “This is a perfect opportunity for people to have their say on what more we can all do to improve safety and wellbeing in sport. Sport is an amazing force for social good and we want to ensure that everyone at all levels - from the grassroots to elite can participate in a safe environment.”

Ahead of the publication of Sporting Future: A New Strategy for an Active Nation, the Alliance highlighted both Mental Health and Safeguarding for children and people as key focus areas. The Government has also identified topics such as concussion and equality and diversity on the agenda for the consultation.

The comprehensive review will discuss Mental Health support in both preventative and reactive circumstances. The Mental Health Charter for Sport and Recreation has established a sector-wide aim to create a welcoming, inclusive and positive environment for everyone. The Charter will be referenced by the consultation as a tool to build on existing practice and identify recommendations. Mental Health will also be represented by Mind’s CEO Paul Farmer, who will sit on the working group.

Safeguarding for children and adults is also on the agenda for the duty of care consultation. The Alliance coordinates the sharing of best practice on safeguarding through the Sport Safeguarding Partnership and Safeguarding Adults in Sport Steering Group. The inclusion of safeguarding for both grassroots and elite participants at every level will help to reinforce its reputational and moral value for the sector.

The consultation will look to gather information from existing practices in sport, other sectors and other countries to produce recommendations that will support the Government aim of getting more people engaged in sport. The review will also suggest how current systems could be improved to ensure a positive experience for all engaged in sport.

If you would like to inform us of your thoughts on the duty of care consultation please contact Hannah Dobbin, Policy Adviser.