CODE OF CONDUCT - COACHES

Version 1 - 10 Jan 2022

Our Code of Conduct covers some of our most important individual responsibilities and obligations.

We expect all Coaches to:

  • Know the Code and how to access it.

  • Follow the guidance in the Code of Conduct.

  • Ask for help if they are not sure what to do.

  • Speak up if they ever think that the Code has been broken.

Responsibilities – Professional Standards To maximise the benefits and minimise the risks to athletes, coaches must attain an appropriate level of competence through qualifications, and a commitment to ongoing training to ensure safe and correct practice.

Responsibilities – Personal Standards Coaches must demonstrate proper personal behaviour and conduct at all times.

Rights Coaches must respect and champion the rights of every individual to participate in sport and physical activity.

Relationships Coaches must develop a positive relationship with their participants (and others) based on openness, honesty, mutual trust and respect. Avoid carrying any items that could be dangerous to yourself or others excluding athletics equipment used in the course of your athletics activity.

1 - RESPONSIBILITIES – PROFESSIONAL STANDARDS
As a responsible athletics coach, I will:
 

1.1 Abide by the terms of my UKA coaching licence.
 

1.2 Abide by the UKA and the HCAF Child Safeguarding Policy and Child Safeguarding Procedures.
 

1.3 Abide by the UKA and the HCAF Adult Safeguarding Policy and Adult Safeguarding Procedures.

1.4 Keep my professional knowledge and skills up to date, be appropriately qualified for the activities I lead, and renew my coach licence as and when required by UKA.
 

1.5 Ensure I have obtained an acceptable criminal record check (DBS/Disclosure Scotland/Access NI) (a licence will not be issued to anyone who does not have an acceptable criminal records certificate or who refuses to share the certificate with UKA/the HCAF when required).
 

1.6 Ensure that activities I direct, or guide, are appropriate for the age, maturity, experience and
ability of the individual athlete.

1.7 Be aware of the current national and international regulations on anti-doping in sport. I will not assist, support or ignore practices, policies or procedures that contravene national or international anti-doping regulations.
 

1.8 Never try to recruit, either overtly or covertly, athletes who are already receiving coaching. (If approached by an athlete receiving coaching, refer them immediately to the coach currently providing coaching support).

1.9 In circumstances where I need to demonstrate a technique through physical contact, always provide an explanation and seek consent before touching the athlete (never touch an athlete aged under 18 to demonstrate a technique without another adult being present).
 

1.10 Observe the recommended national guidance on coach/athlete ratios.
 

1.11 Cooperate fully with others involved in the sport such as technical officials, team managers, other coaches, doctors, physiotherapists, sport scientists and representatives of the governing body in the best interests of the athlete.
 

2 - RESPONSIBILITIES – PERSONAL STANDARDS

As a responsible athletics coach, I will:
 

2.1 Consistently promote positive aspects of the sport (e.g. fair play) and never condone rule violations or adopt or encourage the use of prohibited or age-inappropriate substances or techniques.

2.2 Never engage in the massage of an athlete under the age of 18 years. I understand that I require an up-to-date and recognised qualification in sports massage or another relevant qualification from a recognised body or authority to engage in the massage of an athlete over 18 years.
 

2.3 Follow the relevant guidance for coaches on social media use and not post on social media any content which is inappropriate or offensive.

2.4 Be aware that my attitude and behaviour directly affects the behaviour of athletes under my supervision.
 

2.5 Avoid swearing, abusive language and irresponsible or illegal behaviour, including behaviour that is dangerous to me or others, acts of violence, bullying, harassment, and physical and sexual abuse.
 

2.6  Avoid destructive behaviour and leave athletics venues as I find them.
 

2.7  Not carry or consume alcohol or illegal substances while coaching or attending events directly linked to coaching.

2.8 Avoid carrying any items that could be dangerous to me or others, excluding athletics equipment used in the course of my athletics activity.
 

2.9 Challenge inappropriate behaviour and language by others and report any suspected misconduct by other coaches or other people involved in athletics to the club, HCAF/UKA Safeguarding Team as soon as possible.

2.10 Act ethically, professionally and with integrity, and take responsibility for your actions.
 

3 - RIGHTS
As a responsible athletics coach, I will:
 

3.1 Provide coaching services without discrimination on grounds of age, gender, sexual, cultural, ethnic, disability or religious preference.

3.2 Respect the rights, dignity and worth of every athlete and treat everyone equally, regardless of background or ability.

3.3  Make the athlete’s health and welfare my primary and overriding concern.

3.4  Respect the athlete’s right to self-determination when deciding who they are coached by.

3.5  Respect the right of all athletes to an independent life outside of athletics.

3.6  Report any accidental injury, distress, misunderstanding or misinterpretation to the parents/carers and Club Welfare Officer as soon as possible.

3.7  Never exert undue influence to obtain personal benefit or reward.

3.8  In no way undermine, put down or belittle other coaches or practitioners, or allow those behaviours to exist within the athletes and groups that I lead/manage – including those behaviours towards other athletes or groups of athletes.
 

4 - RELATIONSHIPS

As a responsible athletics coach, I will:
 

4.1 At the outset, clarify with athletes (and where appropriate, with parents or carers) exactly what it is that is expected of them and what athletes are entitled to expect from me.

4.2 Develop healthy and appropriate working relationships with athletes based on mutual trust and respect, especially with those athletes under 18 years or who are adults at risk.
 

4.3 Never incite or engage in sexual activity, inappropriate touching or communication (in person or social media or any other form of verbal or non-verbal communication) with an athlete under 18 years of age. A violation of this code may result in a coach licence being permanently withdrawn.
 

4.4 Never incite or engage in sexual activity, inappropriate touching or communication (in person or social media or any other form of verbal or non-verbal communication) with an athlete who is an adult at risk coached by me or under my supervision. A violation of this code may result in a coach licence being permanently withdrawn.
 

4.5 Not use my position as a licensed coach to incite or engage in sexual activity, inappropriate touching or communication (in person or social media or any other form of verbal or non-verbal communication) with athletes I coach who are aged over 18 years. In certain circumstances a violation of this code may result in a coach licence being permanently withdrawn.

4.6 Avoid spending time alone with young athletes (under 18) unless clearly in the view of other adults.

4.7 Ensure that parents/carers know and have given consent before taking a young athlete (under 18) away from the usual training venue.

4.8  Never take young athletes (under 18) alone in my vehicle.

4.9  Never invite a young athlete (under 18) alone into my home.

4.10  Never share a bedroom with a young athlete (under 18).

In addition, coaches should follow these guidelines on best coaching practice, in particular with young athletes or with vulnerable adults:

 

  • Avoid critical language or actions, such as sarcasm which could undermine an athlete’s self esteem.
     

  • ​Avoid spending time alone with young athletes unless clearly in the view of others to protect both yourself and the young athlete. In special circumstances, for example when coaching elite young athletes, one to one coaching sessions may form part of the required training schedule. In this circumstance, parental/guardian consent must be sought and obtained prior to sessions taking place. The coach must inform the parent/guardian of the venue for training and an emergency contact number should by provided by both the coach and parent/guardian.

  • ​Never share a bedroom with a child.
     

  • Always explain why and ask for consent before touching an athlete.
     

  • Ensure that parents/carers know and have given consent before taking a young athlete away from the usual training venue.
     

  • Work in same-sex pairs if supervising changing areas.
     

  • Respect the right of young athletes to an independent life outside of athletics.
     

  • Report any accidental injury, distress, misunderstanding or misinterpretation to the

    parents/carers and club Welfare officer as soon as possible.
     

  • Report any suspected misconduct by other coaches or other people involved in athletics to the Club, Regional, National or UKA welfare officer as soon as possible.

 

BREACH OF THE CODE OF CONDUCT

I understand that if I do not follow the code, I may be in breach of the terms and conditions of my UKA licence and could be subject to disciplinary action and sanction by my club, Home Country Athletics Federation and/or UKA and that as a consequence of such disciplinary action the following sanctions may be imposed – I may:

• Receive a verbal warning.
• Receive a written warning.

• Be monitored by another coach
• Be required to attend supplementary training.
• Be suspended by the club/HCAF/UKA
• Be required to leave or be dismissed by the club/HCAF/UKA.

• Have my UKA coaching licence withdrawn.
• Be referred to DBS/Disclosure Scotland/AccessNI.