Health & Safety

Scottish Gymnatics regards the health, safety and wellbeing of all members to be of paramount importance and should not be compromised.  There are clearly inherent risks in gymnastics activities, due to the complex nature of the sport. However, these risks can be controlled and minimised if clubs and coaches adopt best practice and adhere to Scottish Gymnastics policies and procedures.

Coaching Qualifications

There has been a growing number of concerns raised surrounding skills being performed by gymnasts which are out with those contained within the coach’s level of award, particularly in routines in displays and at festivals. This is both dangerous and irresponsible. Coaches must have the competence and experience for the role being undertaken and must be fully qualified to teach the skills in each discipline being performed by their gymnasts in training, competitions and events.

Qualified assistant coaches may work under the direct supervision of a qualified coach (level 2 or higher) but must not operate unsupervised. No coach regardless of level should ever work on their own.

A less qualified coach may assist a more highly qualified coach but only in those areas and to the level to which they are qualified.

> Information on coach education

The minimum qualification for a coach wishing to operate independently is a Level 2 qualification in the disciplines being offered.  However, to be able to set up and run a club, coaches and relevant officials must meet the minimum operating requirements of membership which includes attendance on the Scottish Gymnastic’s Safeguarding 2 and PVG Workshop prior to the club setting up.

> Information on Scottish Gymnastics membership

Gymnast to coach/teacher ratios

There are a number of diverse factors to consider when making recommendations with regards to the ratio of participants to coach/teacher in gymnastics and trampolining activities.  

Scottish Gymnastics coach ratios policy

Body Piercing and Adornments Policy (Updated)

This policy applies to all participants and coaches.  

> Body piercing and adornments policy

Clothing Attire At Events for Gymnastics Policy 

Clothing Attire At Events for Gymnastics Policy

Supporting access for special needs groups to participate in gymnastics

It is the responsibility of every club to consider the needs of children and protected adults, making reasonable adjustments to help provide for the inclusion of anyone who wishes to participate. All registered clubs should be willing to help young people and their parents to ensure the necessary support is in place for children with disabilities and other special needs to access gymnastics activity.

Under Section 17 of the Children Act 1989, local authorities are required to provide services for any child who would be defined as a ‘child in need’. This includes disabled children and children with impaired health and development.  Although the local authority is responsible for ensuring appropriate needs are met, services may be provided by a voluntary organisation acting on behalf of the local authority.

Scottish Gymnastics expects registered clubs,  where a child or young person with a disability requires support from a carer to access gymnastics activity and the support is not already provided, to look with parents at the child’s needs and if appropriate approach social services to request such support.  If no support is available, the club should examine whether they can meet the needs of the child or young person without significantly affecting the club’s ability to provide gymnastics activity to others. Please note, this is currently being reviewed and will be available in due course. 

Age and level of participation

It is impossible to account for every conceivable situation in gymnastics since there are many variables to consider, including the chronological age of the gymnast, physical and psychological characteristics, gender, ability, number of hours trained and the aspirations of the gymnast. Please note, this is currently being reviewed and will be available in due course. 

Preventing Infectious Diseases – Blood and other bodily fluids

Any individual who sustains a blood injury must seek treatment immediately. It is the responsibility of the gymnast concerned and/or their coach to ensure that all bleeding injuries and open wounds are dealt with appropriately in accordance with the following guidelines. Please note,this is currently being reviewed and will be available in due course. 

Persons with Down’s Syndrome ‘Atlanto-Axial Screening’

British Gymnastics has prepared guidelines to assist clubs with those wishing to participate who have Down ’s syndrome. 

> Atlanto-Axial Instability Information pack 

Accident Reporting

Scottish Gymnastics clubs should keep a record of all accidents/incidents whether major or minor in your Accident Report book which should be kept within the Club.  However, it is important that all accidents that may give rise to a claim are reported to Scottish Gymnastics as soon as possible after the event. This will enable Insurers to carry out investigations at an early stage whilst information relating to the claim remains fresh in the mind. This will also ensure that you are complying fully with Scottish Gymnastics’ policy terms and conditions.

Current legislation does not specify the format of an Accident Register but the Accident Book obtainable from the Health and Safety Executive is frequently used.

To report an accident, please complete the online form which is on the right hand side of our dedicated insurance website.