Member protection is important for any sporting club. It allows members to take part in your sport, free from harassment, discrimination, abuse and other harmful behaviours. For club committees, it’s also an effective risk management tool that protects against the loss and harm of participants and members.
What club committees should do
Develop and/or understand your Member Protection Policy
Check with your governing national or state body first. Most sports in Australia have a Member Protection Policy, as well as child protection policies and codes of conduct, that affiliated clubs and members are bound by.
If your sport doesn’t have a policy, you can download a member protection policy template from Play by the Rules.
Spread the word
Once developed, there are several ways you can make members aware and bring your Member Protection Policy to life:
- Ensure committee members and volunteers commit wholeheartedly to it
- Make it a part of inductions, meetings and training
- Promote the policy and the detail within (eg, Codes of Conduct) regularly to members, via your newsletters, website and other communication
- Make it widely available.
Appoint a Member Protection Information Officer
Depending on the size of your club, appointing a Member Protection Information Officer can help your club deal with complaints in an appropriate and consistent manner. A Member Protection Information Officer listens to complaints and provides information about the person’s rights, responsibilities and options. They don’t investigate complaints and it’s a good idea to choose someone who is approachable, accessible and can maintain confidentiality.
Play by the Rules offers a training course for Member Protection Information Officers.
- Working with Children Check
- Safeguarding Children
- Codes of conduct
- Complaints and grievances
The Clearinghouse for Sport can help connect you to people in sport and a world of ideas, experience and knowledge.