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UK Coaching Team
Safety and Welfare

The ‘Three Rs’ of Safeguarding Adults

UK Coaching has worked with the Ann Craft Trust to recommend coaches and providers of sport and physical activity follow this essential three-step process to safeguarding adults

As a coach you have a duty of care to your participants and are responsible for their safety and well-being while they are participating in your activity. If you can remember and implement these 'Three Rs' you can be confident you will be appropriately supporting an adult who may have safeguarding needs.

  • Recognise: 

Recognise that there is a concern, or someone has made a disclosure to you.

  • Respond: 

Reassure the individual, ask what they would like to happen and let them know what action you may need to take to ensure they are safe.

  • Report: 

Follow your organisation’s Safeguarding Adult Procedures, which usually means passing your concerns on to your identified Welfare Officer or Safeguarding Lead.

Record what have you seen, heard or been told. Ensure you record your concerns as soon as possible. Use any reporting forms available to you in your organisation.

The Principles of Adult Safeguarding

The Care Act 2014 sets out a clear legal framework for safeguarding adults in England.

The Act places a statutory duty on all those working with adults at risk of experiencing abuse or neglect. It asserts that safeguarding is everybody’s business and that physical activity and sports settings need to play their part in recognising and responding to concerns. 

The Act sets out the following six principles that should underpin the safeguarding of adults.

  • Empowerment – Support and encourage people to make their own decisions and give informed consent regarding their care.
  • Prevention – It is better to take action before harm occurs.
  • Proportionality – The least intrusive response appropriate to the risk presented.
  • Protection – Support and representation for those in greatest need.
  • Partnership – Local solutions through services working with their communities. Communities have a part to play in preventing, detecting and reporting neglect and abuse.
  • Accountability – Accountability and transparency in delivering safeguarding.

Explore the different principles across each Home Nation via our downloadable pdf

Safeguarding Adults eLearning

Learn how you can support and promote the welfare of adults.

Find out more

Duty to Care Hub

Learn about the importance of Duty to Care and earn our free Digital Badge by demonstrating your knowledge of the six pillars of Duty to Care.

Find out more

Related Resources

  • A Guide to Safeguarding

  • Recommended Guidance for Coaches on the Standards for Deployment

  • Safeguarding Adults: Responding to Concerns


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UK Coaching Team