Safeguarding News

August 2017 Update

Final Countdown to SG 3 launch

We are delighted to bring you a blended learning approach to Safeguarding. You will be presented throughout the online learning phase of SG 3, with videos, text, images and questions.

The face to face phase of SG 3, uses the scenarios provided by you as part of the online section. This allows you to bring the real world everyday issues you deal with to life and discuss solutions.    

SG 3 is unique given its blended learning approach. It is more flexible and provides you with practical knowledge, which will help to ensure a safe environment is provided for children, young people and our clubs.

For those who require to complete SG 3, you will receive an email from our ‘’ address with your link.

Please click on the link and you will be directed to our new Online Learning Platform, absorb, to book on to the course. 

Ethics, Welfare & Conduct

August 2017

June 2017 Update

Save the Date – Safeguarding Officer Symposium

We are delighted to announce the date of the 2017 Safeguarding Officers Symposium. Saturday 23rd September 2017 at the Stirling Court Hotel.

This will be an all day workshop which promises to be real-world and relevant to the everyday situations SO’s and coaches deal with in clubs. Topics include:

Having Difficult Conversations – The purpose of the workshop is to build confidence for managing difficult conversations involving safeguarding, dealing with children, parents and coaches.

Investigations -How to gather facts, who you need to speak to and what questions to ask.

In addition we will be launching the SO toolkit which has been created with input from SG club SO’s many of whom attended last year’s symposium and workshop.  More information to follow in due course.

Safeguarding Course Calendar August – December 2017

We are pleased to confirm the Autumn Safeguarding Course Calender is now available on our website. Courses will be starting back up again after the summer holidays in Mid-August. As always if you are unsure on which course to book yourself or members on to please contact who can advise you accordingly.

SG 3 will be launched as planned in August, and although members are currently not able to book on to a course until the launch, dates for the face to face part of the course have been included in this calendar so that members can save the date in their the diaries. Further information regarding the booking process will be sent directly to those in the priority group i.e. those who have been issued with a waiver, in due course. 


Ethics, Welfare & Conduct

June 2017 

March 2017 Update

Safeguarding 3 Course Update

Our new Safeguarding 3 Course is currently under development by the team with a launch date planned for May 2017.

Following on from our previous communications, all current members who required an extension to their current Safeguarding 2 award have now had a short waiver applied to their GymNET record.  This was completed at the beginning of February and all affected have been notified via email.

We will keep communications up to date as the course development progresses.


A reminder on the most recent errors and mistakes which are currently being made when completed PVG forms are being sent in to Scottish Gymnastics.

  1. Applicants completing the wrong PVG form – please can you 1) ask individuals whether they are already a member of the scheme through another role i.e. Local authority or active schools coach, teacher, doctor or volunteer with another organisation. 2) ask that they bring all previous PVG and or Disclosure certificates along with them when completing the ID verification.  This will help to ensure if they are already a member of the PVG scheme, they are completing the correct form which would be the Existing PVG Scheme Member form. Completing the wrong form can add up to 6 weeks onto the checking process.
  2. Completed ID verification forms and self-declaration forms are not always being returned along with completed PVG forms. These must be included when posting in the completed PVG form. Again, this is adding an unnecessary delay to the checking process.
  3. Not all PVG forms are being double checked prior to being posted in to us which means some basic mistakes are being made. For example, middle names missing, passport and or driving licence country of issue, incomplete numbers or applicant hasn’t signed the form. (I’ll try and add in the hyperlink to the PVG recruitment bit with the sample forms on the website etc).

Please remember when sending in completed PVG forms to book applicants on to the correct safeguarding course if they have not already been on one. If you are unsure which level of safeguarding course they require please click here to see read our course information guide.

For more information and guidance on PVG forms and safeguarding courses please contact Jenny via email on

Ethics, Welfare & Conduct

March 2017 

February 2017 Update

Reminder regarding PVG Legislation, Regulated Role and PVG requests

The Act - Protection of Vulnerable Groups (Scotland) Act 2007 - (PVG)

The purpose - To provide a robust system and prevent unsuitable people from getting regulated work (paid or voluntary) with children and/or protected adults in a Scottish Gymnastics registered club

Who can be checked - Under the terms of the PVG Act, only those working in a regulated role with vulnerable groups can be ‘checked’. Checked means obtaining a background criminal records check as part of the recruitment process

The Role - For Scottish Gymnastics,  regulated role includes coaches at all levels, helpers in the gym working with children, safeguarding officers, chaperones, team managers accompanying children on trips away, relevant officials and medical staff

The offence – it is an offence under the act for an organisation (SG) to request a PVG for an individual not working (paid or voluntary) in regulated role. 

Clubs must be absolutely sure that when you request a PVG application from SG you are doing so for an individual who will be working in a regulated role. If you are at all unsure please contact Jenny Cockburn.  

Update information received from VSDS with regards to the date in which a PVG application form has been signed by the applicant:

All PVG application forms must have been signed by the applicant on the day the form has been completed then sent to SG without delay. No forms should be sitting in the club for long periods of time.  Forms which are currently being returned by Volunteer Scotland Disclosure Services to our office are delaying the process up to 4 weeks.

If an applicant has made an error when writing in the signature date, please make sure they initial it next to the date box.   


Safe Environment in Gymnastics

The 12 questions guide has been updated and is available by clicking here. This is an extremely handy guide for clubs, parents and guardians. It is designed to provide parents with comfort in the knowledge that by taking their child to a Scottish Gymnastics registered club, there are systems in place to ensure children stay safe and have fun. For clubs, it is a reminder of the procedures you should have in place. Please share this guide as widely as possible i.e. on you club notice board and or welcome pack. 

Ethics, Welfare & Conduct 

February 2017

January 2017 Update

Important Safeguarding Information for those whose Safeguarding 2 award will expire between February and April 2017

We are currently working on the next level of safeguarding, SG 3.  The good news is that it will be a blended learning course meaning part on line and part face-to-face scenario-based practical.   The course should be ready to roll out from 1 May 2017. 

However, we are aware that there will be a number of people whose SG 2 will expire before 1 May 2017 therefore the following procedures are being put in place. 

  • Your current SG 2 will be extended for a period up to the end of May 2017.
  • Your individual gymnet record will be updated to include the extension
  • SG events, education and performance teams have been kept up to date so this will not affect your attendance on the competition and or event floor, education courses or pathway camps
  • BG have been kept up to date with this information so this should not affect your attendance at BG competitions and or events
  • You will be given priority attendance on the first available SG 3 course

Please do not book on to an SG 2 course as an interim measure prior to the launch of SG 3

This information will also be sent directly to those affected by this change.

If you require any further guidance please contact Jenny Cockburn on

Lorna Whyte

Ethics Welfare & Conduct Manager

December 2016 Update

Safe Recruitment Reminder

All Scottish Gymnastics (SG) registered clubs must comply with the Association's safe recruitment requirements. Our procedures are well documented on our website (,  in newsletters, and delivered face to face on the PVG workshops.

Scottish Gymnastics can only access a PVG for those working in a regulated role (voluntary or paid), within a SG registered club.

For clarification, we cannot access PVG‘s for Local Authority employed gymnastics coaches who want to register with SG as non-club member but are not actively coaching and/or helping in a SG registered club.

If you are at all unsure about the recruitment process for individuals coming into your club as a consultant i.e. mentor, choreographer etc. please contact Jenny Cockburn on

Physical Education Scotland. SG has been notified that this company has contacted several of our clubs offering discounted PVG applications for staff and coaches, as well as discounts on some training courses.  Clubs are reminded of the SG safe recruitment procedures detailed above, and that SG does not recognise safeguarding courses delivered by other agencies. Safeguarding course information can be found by clicking on the link below

November 2016 Update

Safeguarding courses

The team are currently working on the 2017 Safeguarding Course Calender which will be made available on the website soon. All Safeguarding Officers will receive an email from the team when the calender is available. The aim is that all safeguarding courses in 2017 will be booked online via GymNET. This process will be communicated out to all Safeguarding Officers when made available.

Safeguarding 2 Course

In February 2017, SG 2 will have been running for 3 years. The team are currently undertaking the development of the next level which will be Safeguarding 3 with initial thoughts that it could be an online module. The team are hoping it’ll be launched by 1st April 2017. We are aware of those coaches and helpers whose Safeguarding 2 award will expire between February and April 2017 which we are taking into account. We will keep communications up to date as this course is developed.

Club Audit

As clubs begin to plan for 2017, a number of clubs have begun contacting the team in regards to club audits. We have a Guide Sheet showing Safeguarding Officers how to pull their own audits from the club’s GymNET record. Safeguarding Officers can request this guide sheet by emailing

PVG Recruitment

PVG Application process:

A quick reminder on the most recent errors and mistakes which are currently being made with PVG forms.

Top 5 mistakes / errors on the paperwork:

  1. Existing PVG scheme member application - wrong number quoted
  2. PVG admin fee of £7 to Scottish Gymnastics not being included when form is posted in
  3. Applicants completing the wrong form – please make sure you check first if they are already a member of the PVG Scheme through another role or their job
  4. ID verification forms and Self-Declaration forms are not being included when PVG form is being sent in
  5. Wrong size stamp on the envelope which means there is an under payment of postage delaying the form arriving in the office

In addition people coming to your club from another SG club and who already have a PVG through SG DO NOT require to get another PVG.  What needs to happen is for you to contact Jenny for confirmation of PVG already accessed through SG.

For information and guidance on PVG and to order PVG applications please contact Jenny Cockburn via email on

Ethics Welfare & Conduct

November 2016

September 2016 Update



The aim of Safeguarding is to help ensure children and young people stay safe and have fun while taking part in Gymnastics.  Scottish Gymnastics (SG) is also committed to safeguarding coaches, helpers, chaperones and officials working with children and young people within gymnastics clubs. Gymnastics is a brilliant sport that can have a very positive influence for everyone involved. 

Duty of care: Coaches have a duty of care to the children and young people they work with and must have the competence and experience for the role they undertake.

Coaches must be aware of their responsibilities and must be fully qualified to teach the skills in each discipline, being performed by their gymnasts in training in competitions and in events.

Safeguarding in Sport Standards:

New Safeguarding in Sport Standards are in the process of being developed by Children 1st to incorporate and recognise the current landscape and ensure that children’s wellbeing, rights, and best interests are at the heart of practice and decision-making in sports organisations particularly those with junior members.

Children’s wellbeing is crucial in any sport but none more so than in gymnastics with 89% of our members under the age of 18

The new Safeguarding in Sport Standards of which there are 8, come under 3 headings:

A sports organisation that puts children’s safety and wellbeing first

A sports organisation with well supported volunteers/staff

A sports organisation that is well managed

Scottish Gymnastics are part of the pilot group of SGBs working through the Standards. 

A review of the Safeguarding Policy is underway and SOs will be kept fully up to date. 

Safeguarding courses

SG courses available are: Safe in Your Hands [valid for 2 years], Safeguarding and Protecting, and SG 2 [both valid for 3 years]. PVG Workshop

It is imperative coaches keep up to date with their safeguarding and the club audit should help with this. In addition an ‘issues button’ has been added to the front page of the clubs gymnet record, which will flag up to the administrator, those whose safeguarding will expire within the next month.

The course calendar is, as usual, available on the web and a register of interests is still in operation.

SG 2

Come February 2017, SG 2 will have been running for 3 years. Consequently we will shortly be undertaking the development of the next level i.e. SG 3. Initial thoughts are that SG 3 could be an online module. More information will be sent out in the near future.

Duty of Care – Sign out register

Once a club accepts the duty of care for a child, that duty of care remains until the child is signed out and the club ‘hand back’ duty of care, normally to the parent/guardian.

The important part of this process is the ‘handing back’ of the duty of care, hence the reason SGs advice to clubs is to introduce a ‘sign out’ register.

The club need to decide exactly when they are prepared to accept the duty of care i.e. when the child comes in to gym at the start of their class, or when the child comes into the venue or when they are dropped off in the car park. The club must be quite clear on this point and inform parents accordingly.

The club should set their own policy and procedures with regards to the minimum age for a child to be able to go home on their own. Most clubs seem to be stating aged 12. Once that decision has been made, clubs should then inform parents/guardians of this policy and that they should abide by this rule.

If the club deviate from their policy, they must have good reason for doing so.

For example, if parents want their child to get home ‘under their own steam’ so to speak, therefore accepting responsibility for the transfer of duty of care, the club can allow this providing they complete a risk assessment and obtain written permission from parents for the club to release the child at the end of the session.

If the club feel there is a risk of harm to a child making their way home on their own, i.e. busy road, railway line etc. then they should not agree and enforce their own policy. 

On the other hand if the club feels there is no risk, you can agree providing you gain written permission from the parents, that they accept this is out with the clubs policy and that they accept responsibility for their child’s care from the time the child leaves the gym (not the building) the gym.

PVG Recruitment

PVG Application process:

Providing there are no mistakes on the application form, Jenny can turn around within two days of receipt

PVG certificates are taking approximately 4 weeks to come back to SG from Disclosure Scotland. HOWEVER, more and more applications are being shredded by Disclosure Scotland due to the applicant already being a member of the PVG scheme. Please make sure that you ask whether the person is already a member of the PVG scheme through another body i.e. teacher, doctor etc.

In addition people coming to your club from another SG club and who already have a PVG through SG DO NOT require to get another PVG.  What needs to happen is for you to contact Jenny for confirmation of PVG already accessed through SG.

Top 5 mistakes / errors on the paperwork:

  1. Existing PVG scheme member application - wrong number quoted
  2. Application to join form - middle name missing
  3. Application to join form – Maiden/mothers family name missing
  4. ID verification form - 1 form of current address id missing
  5. Wrong size stamp on the envelope

For information and guidance on PVG and to order PVG applications please contact Jenny Cockburn via email on

Club Audit:

A Guide sheet showing Safeguarding Officers how to pull their own audits from Gymnet is available and will be emailed out to Safeguarding Officers over the next few weeks. 

PVG Additional Legislation has been introduced by Scottish the Government:  Rehabilitation of offenders Act (exclusion and exemptions) Scotland Order 2015. The Self-declaration forms have been updated to reflect this change. It is important to note that all Sel-dec forms now come back to SG along with the PVG application form.

PVG Data Cleanse:

Disclosure Scotland are embarking on a piece of work to update the information they currently hold for members of the PVG scheme i.e. those working in a regulated role with children and or protected adults.

Being a member of the PVG scheme means that individuals are subject to ongoing monitoring in order to keep vetting information up to date. It is crucial for Disclosure Scotland to have the correct personal details for scheme members on record in order to maintain their safeguarding role in Scotland.

What does this mean for Scottish Gymnastics? Basically all those who are no longer working and or helping in a regulated role within an SG registered club, should be removed from our PVG database and disclosure Scotland notified. This process is not without its challenges and requires a degree of forward planning by SG.

It is envisaged this piece of work may take up to 12 months to complete. Further Information will be sent to Safeguarding Officers in the near future.

Ethics Welfare & Conduct

September 2016

Safeguarding Officer Symposium. Sunday 28 August 2016, Stirling Management Centre

What is it?

All of our current Safeguarding Officers are being give the opportunity to meet together, collaborate together and to hear key updates in regards to safeguarding. The format of the symposium along with further details on each topic have been detailed below.

Key Safeguarding Policy Updates

Children’s wellbeing is crucial in any sport but none more so than in gymnastics where 89% of our members are under the age of 18. By promoting children’s rights, raising awareness of children’s wellbeing and recognising what needs to be done to ensure child welfare is at all times the number one priority, we will go a long way to ensure children, and young people are safe, have a positive experience, and above all are given the opportunity to fulfil their potential.

New Safeguarding in Sport Standards have been developed by Children 1st to incorporate and take cognisance of the current landscape and ensure that children’s wellbeing, rights, and best interests are at the heart of practice and decision-making in sports organisations particularly those with junior members. For children involved in sport and organisations who provide sport, this means we need to adapt and develop and make adjustments to reflect these changes.

A full review of our Safeguarding (child protection) policy and procedures is already underway and will align itself to the new Safeguarding in Sport Standards.  We hope to launch our Safeguarding Policy at the symposium.

Collaborate on the development of a toolkit to support safeguarding officers

We already provide a lot of information through the PVG workshops, newsletters, our website, and template forms, and are always available at the end of a telephone or email to provide advice and guidance. However, it is clear from the many requests for help, particularly when SO’s are dealing with complaints/issues which require to be investigated, that we need to pull together a toolkit designed to support and allow SO’s to perform the role successfully. In addition, we need to ensure consistency across all clubs when dealing with issues and complaints.  

Our 2016 symposium is an ideal opportunity for us all to get together, share knowledge, and agree the content of the toolkit.

Open Forum

Share the issues you have faced, how you dealt with them, what went well, what did not go so well, and how we could all learn from each other. These discussions will also help to shape the toolkit content.

Regional Safeguarding Officers

In order to continue developing help and support for club safeguarding officers, we are analysing the introducing of regional safeguarding officers. We will lead discussion surrounding the roles, what they will entail, and how they can support safeguarding officers.

How to Book:

We are running 2 identical sessions, to book your space and tell us your preferred session please click here to download the booking form and once completed email the form to 

Limited spaces available so please send in your booking form by 5pm on Friday 29th July 2016

Safeguarding Update

The Ethics Welfare & Conduct team has a responsibility to help and support clubs and coaches in the area of safeguarding. 

In continuing to support the needs of our clubs in the area of safeguarding, we have planned, taking into account the numbers of UKCC level 1 courses held along with specific requests, a full calendar of courses across Scotland taking us up to December 2016.  To ensure we have covered all areas and levels, it would be helpful for clubs to carry out a safeguarding audit.

The purpose of the audit will be to check all those working with children within your club, to ensure they have attended Safeguarding organised through SG, whether it is coming up for renewal or has in fact lapsed. At the same time checking that all those who require a PVG, have one and that it has been accessed through SG.

Click on to this link to access the current calendar and course booking form.  If you can’t find a suitable course then please get in touch and we will see what can be done. 

If you require any help with regards the audit information please do not hesitate to get in touch with Jenny Cockburn, ethics welfare & conduct administrator via email on 

Lorna Whyte
Ethics Welfare and Conduct Manager
17 May 2016 

Important PVG Legislation Update

New PVG legislation has been introduced by Scottish Government: Rehabilitation of offenders Act (exclusion and exemptions) Scotland Order 2015.

Please click here and read the full newsletter update detailing this change and what it means in terms of completing PVGs for new coaches and volunteers in your club.


Safe Recruitment Procedures

The Ethics Welfare & Conduct team has a responsibility to help develop a network of strong, safe and well governed clubs by providing recruitment and safeguarding workshops tailored to suit your needs.

Did you know that it is an offence under the Protection of Vulnerable Groups (S) Act 2007 (PVG), to employ an individual whether in a paid or a voluntary capacity (in your club) who is barred from working with children and young people?

Did you know that the purpose of the PVG legislation is to provide a robust system to prevent unsuitable people from getting regulated work with children and young people?

For a quick refersher on completing PVGs and Safe Recruitment please click here

Important information regarding the safe recruitment procedures please click here

Safegurding Course Bookings

Scottish Gymnastics CRM is going through a period of transition at the moment which will affect the way in which you currently book Safeguarding courses. These improvements should allow Scottish Gymnastics to provide an improved level of service to all of our members and I thank you in advance for your patience during this transition phase from one system to another.

During this transition period Safeguarding course bookings can be made by following the steps below:

  1. Please follow the link here, where the Safeguarding Course Booking Form is available in an electronic (excel) format.
  2. Please save the booking form on your computer.
  3. Please complete the booking form with all the information requested. One form to be used per each course.
  4. Please attach the document to an email to
  5. Please note that the booking form must be submitted electronically.
  6. Course fee to be sent by cheque payable to Scottish Gymnastics, forwarded to Lorna Whyte at the SG Office. BACS payments to be indicated on the form and advised on completion of the transfer.

Please email with any queries.

Important News Update - Recruitment and PVG

There is currently an extremely high number of PVG applications forms being sent in to the office which have errors on them resulting in unnecessary long delays in the time it takes to process the forms and for the individual receiving the PVG certificate.

To try and alleviate this, the guidance documents and the ID verification form have been updated.

Please click here which will take you to the Recruitment & PGV page of the Safeguarding for Clubs part of the new website.  Here you will find all of the policies, procedures help and guidance required clubs, coaches and CPCs.

Lorna Whyte

Ethics Welfare & Conduct Manager

1 October 2014