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08 Apr 2022 112

New independent disclosure and complaints service to be launch in May

UK Coaching is delighted to be involved in the launch of Sport Integrity, a new independent disclosure and complaints service pilot from UK Sport. As the leading charity for coaches in the UK, we are proud to have supported in the development of the service and will continue working to ensure sporting environments are safe and welcoming for all

Sport Integrity is being launched in May to support athletes, coaches and all support personnel within the Olympic and Paralympic high-performance community across the UK.

The pilot will assist funded National Governing Bodies (NGBs), operating Olympic and Paralympic high-performance programmes, to uphold the highest standards of conduct in their sports.

Mark Gannon, CEO at UK Coaching, said:

The health, safety and wellbeing of all involved in sport and physical activity should be paramount. We know that high-performance sport can create a pressured environment, so it’s crucial that athletes, coaches and supporting roles at any level should be able to independently raise any concerns in a safe and confidential manner.

“Nothing is more important than the protection of individuals, and Sport Integrity is a step in the right direction in making sure that everyone can feel safe and supported in their respective roles.”

Sport Integrity will provide an independent and confidential reporting line and an independent investigation process to deal with relevant allegations of bullying, harassment, discrimination, or abuse, and to allow sports to take the appropriate disciplinary action as necessary. These services will be made available free of charge to funded NGBs.

Relevant disclosures made straight to UK Coaching will be referred onto the Sport Integrity Line. When a referral from the Sport Integrity Line then comes through to UK Coaching, we will assess how we can best support the coach, and depending on their membership status, UK Coaching offers:

  • A counselling support line
  • Legal, tax and finance helpline
  • Free consultation with solicitors
  • 10% off ongoing legal fee’s
  • Insurance cover that provides, public liability and professional indemnity cover - including legal fee cover and retroactive abuse cover

Sport Integrity will be delivered by Sport Resolutions, an independent sports-specific dispute resolution service, supported by a confidential reporting line hosted by the charity Crimestoppers. Sport Integrity will involve:

  • A ‘safe-space’ for athletes and members of the high-performance community to raise a concern
  • A confidential and independent ‘preliminary assessment’ to establish all the relevant details of the complaint
  • A confidential and independent ‘full investigation’ to establish all the relevant facts relating to a complaint, in order to make recommendations for a disciplinary panel, if appropriate
  • Access to trained mediators as an important first step in the resolution of disputes

Sport Integrity also forms part of the high-performance community’s response to the ‘TRARIIS Review’ into racism and racial inequality in sport, following its recommendation that an independent and impartial investigatory body be established.

Sally Munday, CEO at UK Sport, said: “It is the responsibility of UK Sport to support and promote the highest standards of ethics and integrity from the Olympic and Paralympic high-performance community. It is fundamental to our strategic mission.

“We know that the vast majority of those operating within the Olympic and Paralympic high-performance community already uphold these high standards. However, we also know more needs to be done to call out unacceptable behaviour, and for people to be completely comfortable in doing so.

“We believe that independent resolution can be a highly successful way of resolving disputes efficiently and effectively. Sport Integrity will operate completely independently of UK Sport and we are confident that it will enhance reliability and trust in the Olympic and Paralympic high-performance community.

“We have worked closely with NGBs, the British Athletes Commission and UK Coaching in this area. We have also taken the time to listen to recommendations made as part of our Tackling Racism and Racial Inequality in Sport report. We believe Sport Integrity can be hugely beneficial to funded NGBs and we hope they will value and utilise the service.”

It is essential that all that all physical activity and sport coaches are fully protected with insurance cover. That's why as the UK’s lead agency for coaching, we recommend that all coaches take on specialist insurance through our UK Coaching membership.

This gives coaches a comprehensive insurance package that protects all their needs and gives them peace of mind. Coaches also get support, guidance, and development opportunities to help them follow best practices and have everything they need to ensure all participants are performing in a safe and protected environment.

For more information, visit https://www.ukcoaching.org/coaching-insurance


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