Recruitment of Sports Leaders:
It is recommended that all adults taking responsibility for young people in sport should undergo a recruitment process. For reasons of continuity and good practice, Deaf Sports Ireland will ask all individuals working with other adults on behalf of Deaf Sports Ireland to undergo the same recruitment process.
The following recruitment steps will help to protect young people, vulnerable adults and others availing of Deaf Sports Ireland’s services, whilst also placing sports leaders in the position to which they are suited and supported.
- List tasks that Sport Leaders need to perform and the skills needed for those tasks;
- Make all vacancies openly available to interested and qualified parties/applicants;
Each applicant should complete an application form. This should include a self-declaration section;
In Northern Ireland, coaches who work with people under the age of eighteen years are deemed to be ‘regulated positions’, regardless of whether they are paid roles or not. The Sports Council of Northern Ireland (SCNI) recommends that coaches should be checked by the Protection of Children Northern Ireland Service, formally known as the Pre-Employment Consultancy Service (PECS), prior to the commencement of their role.
In the Republic of Ireland, the Irish Sports Council recommends that coaches, who work with youths, should be checked by the Garda Vetting service when it is available to sports organisations.
On the basis of the above stated principle, Deaf Sports Ireland will subject all coaches regardless of the age group they work with, to the Garda Vetting process.
Deaf Sports Ireland has the facilities to apply for Garda Vetting for coaches through the Administrator.
It is not the responsibility of any one person to recruit a leader. References should be verified by the organisation’s Executive Committee and should be kept on file as a matter of record.
- Two references should be requested and checked prior to commencement of the coaching role.
- All recommendations for appointment should be ratified by the Deaf Sports Ireland Executive Committee. The decision to appoint a sports leader is the responsibility of Deaf Sports Ireland, and not any individual within the organisation.
Once recruited into Deaf Sports Ireland, all sports leaders and coaches should be adequately managed and supported, with all statutory guidelines being adhered to.
A probationary period is advisable and should be established, ideally through an informal interview, which can be used to assess the person’s commitment to promoting good practice in relation to young people. The decision of whether to enforce a probationary period is the responsibility of the Deaf Sports Ireland Executive Committee.
Qualifications, experience and gaps in employment history should be investigated and verified by the Executive Committee and staff.
The identity of all applicants must be confirmed through the checking of formal identification.
When storing information relating to applicants, said information should be treated as highly sensitive and confidential. It should be kept in a locked cupboard that is accessible only to a nominated officer and deputy nominated officer. These officers are to be nominated by the Executive Committee and may be members of staff or individuals who are part of the Executive Committee.
After making a final decision on any applicant, the original information sent to the vetting authorities must be destroyed immediately by shredding or burning. However, organisations may include a note on any personnel file stating that a check was carried out and that the person’s conditional offer of appointment was confirmed/withdrawn as a result.
Education and Training:
Under the guidelines of the Irish Sports Council, as Deaf Sports Ireland takes responsibility for children in sport, the organisation must ensure that sports leaders and coaches are competent to provide a safe and rewarding experience for those in their care and that sport leaders are provided with the appropriate training for their designated activity(ies).
Training and education opportunities should also be made available to parents and guardians as and where it is appropriate.
Both the Irish Sports Council and Sports Council of Northern Ireland have established supports to assist sports organisations in implementing the code and child protection training. Deaf Sports Ireland should avail of these supports when necessary.
Deaf Sports Ireland must liaise with the project leader appointed by the Irish Sports Council to work with governing bodies and Local Sports Partnerships. This project leader is familiar with implementing the code on a national and local level through workshops and training sessions and should be consulted where relevant.
Some training is delivered in conjunction with the local Health Services Executive (HSE) area boards.
All leaders should be asked to familiarise themselves with the Code by Deaf Sports Ireland and updated on the code by attending the ‘Child Protection in Sport’ Awareness training.
This training includes information on: Codes of conduct; recruitment and selection; and awareness of the appropriate club response to child abuse.
The appointed Deaf Sports Ireland Children’s Officer must attend the sic hour Children’s Officer Training as early in their term as possible.
In Northern Ireland, the Child Protection in Sport Unit (CPSU) should be consulted around the rights and protection of children.
In Northern Ireland, Child Protection training is available for sports leaders through Coaching Northern Ireland.