“Active Club Award” producing quality clubs in Sefton

The Club Accreditation Scheme for Sefton Clubs

Sports clubs and community groups that make provision for children, young people, and the elderly and vulnerable make an enormous contribution to the sporting and social life of our nation. They do not just provide an opportunity for people to learn sport, they give them the opportunity to socialise, to improve their self-confidence and self esteem and ensure they enjoy the sheer pleasure of sport and participation. When such clubs and groups motivate and coach people well, they give them a love for their sport and healthy activity that will remain with them for the rest of their lives. It is also vital that these clubs and groups provide an environment that is safe and, in the case of youngsters, meets their duty of care and child protection responsibilities. So the challenge to all clubs and groups who work or want to work in sport is to provide a quality experience that is both safe and attractive to the participants and to those who may care for them. The Accreditation Scheme is designed to ensure that clubs and groups meet standards that will lead to better quality provision. Clubs and groups will be required to go through an auditing process that will need them to provide evidence that the club has systems in place covering key areas of provision such as:

> Coaching and competition
> The protection and safety of children, young people, the elderly and vulnerable
> Sports equity and ethics
> Club Management
> Volunteer Management

An Evidence File will be produced by the club or group that will be overseen by the Sports Council and independent assessors. On completion of the audit they will receive accreditation from Sefton Sports Council that will recognise their effort in becoming a quality club or group that provides a safe, effective and friendly experience. The Accreditation Scheme will produce clubs and groups that are more organised and resourced. They will be able to build upon this initial development, strengthening the club and moving into specific areas, such as disability training, to further develop the club or group. They will be able to increase membership ensuring the future of the club, be networked into local and regional organisations and be promoted in the local community. Accreditation will provide carers and parents with the knowledge that the clubs and groups are committed to providing a safe experience for youngsters. It will also provide schools and colleges with the confidence to promote clubs and groups to their pupils and students. Finally the scheme will put in place an internal auditing system within the club or group to ensure that standards are maintained in the future. The Sefton Sports Council Evidence File In order to achieve Sefton Sports Council Accreditation, evidence is required to show that a club is safe, effective, and child-friendly. The evidence is gathered from club resources and the Sefton Sports Council Support Pack and collated in the plastic document wallets in the relevant section in the Evidence File. There are five sections to complete in the Evidence File:

> Duty of Care and Child Protection (section 1)
> The Playing Programme (section 2)
> Sports Equity and Ethics (section 3)
> Club Management (section 4)
> Volunteer and Volunteer Management (section 5)

Each section has:

> A list of criteria a club must work to eg. The club has a Child Protection Policy and is working towards all the procedures laid down.
> What evidence is required to fulfil the criteria eg. Child Protection Policy – club demonstrates how it is implemented.
> Where it might be resourced eg. website, notice boards.
> How it is to be referenced/filed eg. document wallet.

Where the resources refer to the Support Pack Template, this is the Sefton Sports Council Accreditation Disc that contains examples of documents, should you not yet have them. These may be used to produce your own documents, but a club will have to show how these have been used prior to inclusion in the Evidence File. Details of the Scheme The Sefton Sports Council Accreditation Programme is based upon a three-year award system in which a club will be assessed on its ability to provide a safe, effective, and child-friendly environment. Specific criteria have been identified under the headings of Duty of Care and Child Protection, The Playing Programme, Sports Equity and Ethics, Club Management and Volunteer and Volunteer Management that will provide evidence that promotes such a club environment. The award will be indicative of the quality provision a club offers, and its commitment to the continued development of its players. A club will receive certification to confirm accreditation from Sefton Sports Council, which will be endorsed by Merseyside Sports Partnership and Sefton Leisure Services.

Assessment and support

An initial meeting will be held with a mentor to establish the standing of the club prior to the accreditation process. At this time an Assessment File Checklist will be completed. At this meeting the club will receive its Evidence File and will propose the club’s Accreditation Contact. This person will be the contact for all accreditation working. The Evidence File Checklist raises questions as to where a club stands against the required criteria. The mentor will discuss the standing of the club with the Accreditation Contact and feedback will be given as to the action the club needs to take. At this point a time scale will be placed on the accreditation and the club will indicate which sections it intends to pursue eg. some clubs may not have a junior section and as such will not need to fully complete Section 1. The club will then put systems in place and evidence into the Evidence File. The next Assessment Date will be agreed by the mentor and the Accreditation Contact at which point a further assessment will be carried out. This process will continue until the club has met the criteria required by the Accreditation Scheme. A final meeting will be held prior to the submission of the Evidence File to the Accreditation Panel. Once the Evidence File has been accepted the Accreditation Panel will arrange a site meeting to watch a coaching or training session. The purpose of this is to ensure the club have implemented their policies and procedures and that club members, coaches and officials are aware of them. Accreditation status will then be confirmed if all the above items have been met successfully. Post Accreditation, once accreditation has been gained it will be the club’s responsibility to maintain the systems and update the Evidence File. The Accreditation Contact will for this purpose become the Accreditation Officer. This will be evidenced by an annual Health Check that will be carried out by the club in accordance with the requirements of the accreditation scheme. Prior to the end of the three-year accreditation period the Accreditation Officer and the mentor will arrange a meeting to review the Evidence File and discuss re-accreditation. Sefton Sports Council “Active Club” includes Blundellsands Archers, Firwood Bootle Cricket Club, Formby Holy Trinity Tennis Club, Formby RBL Bowling Club, Greenbank Judo Club, Northern Club – Crown Green Bowls Section, Northern Club – Hockey Section, Sefton Lifesaving & Swimming Club, Southport & Formby Special Athletes, Southport YMCA, South Sefton Gymnastics Club, West Lancashire Karate Academy. In addition to the above clubs a number of a clubs have attained the National Governing Body Accreditation.

National Governing Body Accreditation

Athletics: Southport Waterloo AC. Basketball: Sefton Stars Basketball Club. Cricket: Ainsdale Club – Cricket Section, Firwood Bootle Cricket Club, Fleetwood Hesketh Cricket Club, Formby Cricket Club, Hightown Cricket Club, Maghull Cricket Club, New Victoria Cricket Club, Northern Club – Cricket Section, Southport & Birkdale Sports Club – Cricket Section. Cycling: Liverpool Mercury Cycling Club. Golf: Hesketh Golf Club Southport, Old Links Golf Club. Gymnastics: Southport Aerobics Gymnastics Club, Southport YMCA Comp Gymnastics Club, Tessaro Gymnastics Club. Hockey: Formby Hockey Club, Northern Club – Hockey Section, Southport & Birkdale Sports Club – Hockey Section. Judo: Greenbank Judo Club. Netball: Chesterfield Netball Club. Squash: Northern Club – Squash Section, Southport & Birkdale Sports Club – Squash Section. Swimming: Bootle & North Swimming Club, Southport Swimming Club. Tennis: Birkdale Tennis Club, North Meols Lawn Tennis Club, Southport Argyle Tennis Club. FA Charter Mark Football: Birkdale United FC, Forefield Rangers FC, Formby Junior Sports Club, Hesketh Colts, Redgate Rovers FC, Southport FC Juniors.