UHU Access NI Procedures
UHU believes that we have a duty to ensure the safety of children participating in our sport. We have therefore been working to introduce safeguarding procedures which will meet our moral duty and legal requirements, which will be to the benefit of everyone in hockey – children, parents/guardians, coaches and sports leaders. Part of this implementation is to ensure that we have appropriate volunteers and coaches working with our young people.
We are very conscious that without the commitment of a large number of individuals volunteering their time many young people would not get the opportunity to play hockey. It is vital that they are of good character. Currently the good practice advice on the recruitment and selection process for coaches, managers and other volunteer helpers in regulated positions is that they are vetted before appointment.
The purpose of the check is to make sure that people are not appointed who might be unsuitable to work with children or vulnerable people. The process will be highly confidential, with a maximum of four UHU officers sitting on a Case Management review Panel being privy to results. Applicants can be assured that adverse reports received through the vetting process will be taken into account only when it is considered relevant to the role. Any disclosure will be seen in the context of the role and the nature of the information.
UHU is the registered Body for clubs with AccessNI who are the organisation responsible for vetting from 1 April 2008.
This means that Clubs should have NO direct dealings with AccessNI but must operate through the UHU.
Potential appointees will be required to complete a UHU/Club Recruitment form and complete an enhanced level AccessNI Disclosure eApplication form giving personal details which will enable AccessNI to carry out their checks and assist UHU in appointing appropriate individuals within the sport.
The individual applicant will receive an AccessNI certificate which they should retain. Clearances are currently not portable between organisations and a coach or manager switching clubs may find the vetting process being repeated within a short period. It will be for a club to decide whether a clearance is still valid for a coach or volunteer joining from another club or a new check instigated.
UHU advice is to check anyone who is going to work with children in a regulated position, i.e. working regularly in an unsupervised capacity with children, young people or vulnerable adults regardless of recent vetting at a previous club. You will find that in future all job descriptions and application forms will clearly state that clearance as part of the safe recruitment process is a requirement before appointment.
Clubs must adopt a similar approach. Clubs could be forgiven for believing that all the foregoing is unnecessary bureaucracy. You can be assured that this is not the case. Sport NI have made the introduction of safe recruitment procedures that include an AccessNI check a requirement of all sports involved in the modernisation process. Along with our moral and legal obligation to safeguard children we also have a responsibility to comply with their requirements for auditing purposes that impact on our funding.