Codes of Conduct

As an England Athletics Accredited Club, it is imperative that all athletes, coaches, volunteers and official read and abide by all appropriate codes of conduct. If you feel in any way that others within the club are not following these codes of conduct then contact the club welfare officers as soon as possible.

Code of Conduct for Athletics Clubs

As a responsible Athletics Club we will:

  • Adopt national welfare policies and procedures, adhere to the codes of conduct and respond to any suspected breaches in accordance with the Welfare Procedures
  • Appoint a welfare officer, preferably two, one male and one female, and ensure that they are provided with appropriate training to act as a first point of contact for concerns about welfare issues
  • Ensure that all staff and volunteers operating within the club environment hold the appropriate qualifications and have undertaken the appropriate checks e.g. CRB//Disclosure Scotland, licences, qualifications such as massage, sports nutrition etc
  • Ensure that coaches, technical officials and club officers attend recommended training in welfare and safeguarding and protecting children as appropriate.
  • Liaise appropriately with parents/persons with parental responsibility, officials, coaches, sports scientists, national governing bodies and other relevant people/organisations to ensure that good practice is maintained
  • Ensure that information is available at the club and to all club officers, team managers, coaches and officials regarding contact details for local social services, the police and the NSPCC
  • Ensure that club officers and volunteers always act responsibly and set an example to others including younger members
  • Respect the rights, dignity and worth of every club member and others involved in athletics and treat everyone equally.
  • Consistently promote positive aspects of the sport such as fair play and never condone rule violations or the use of prohibited or age-inappropriate substances
  • Challenge inappropriate behaviour and language by others
  • Place the welfare and safety of the athlete above other considerations including the development of performance
  • Report any suspected misconduct by club officials, coaches, technical officials or other people involved in athletics to the Club, Regional, National or UKA welfare officer as soon as possible

Code of Conduct for Coaches

As a responsible athletics Coach you will:

  • Respect the rights, dignity and worth of every athlete and others involved in athletics and treat everyone equally.
  • Place the welfare and safety of the athlete above the development of performance
  • Be appropriately qualified including obtaining CRB clearance, update your licence and education as and when required by UKA and adhere to the terms of the coaching licence
  • Ensure that activities you direct or guide are appropriate for the age, maturity, experience and ability of the individual athlete
  • Ensure that activities you direct or guide allow the athlete to meet their goals and support them in exploring other groups/events if they wish to develop further in consultation with the coaches of the groups involved
  • 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 you
  • Never try to recruit, either overtly or covertly, athletes who are already receiving coaching. If approached by an athlete receiving coaching refer immediately to the coach currently providing coaching support.
  • Try to observe a recommended maximum ratio of 1 coach to 12 athletes at a training session or work in partnership with another coach/coaching assistant.
  • 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
  • Consistently promote positive aspects of the sport such as fair play and never condone rule violations or the use of prohibited or age-inappropriate substances
  • Encourage and guide athletes to accept responsibility for their own performance and behaviour
  • Develop appropriate working relationships with athletes based on mutual trust and respect, especially with those athletes under 18 years or vulnerable adults
  • Do not exert undue influence to obtain personal benefit or reward
  • A coach MUST strictly maintain a clear boundary between friendship and intimacy with athletes and do not conduct inappropriate relationships with athletes. Relationship with athletes can cause significant problems for other team members, raising concerns of favouritism and/or victimisation should the relationship later end.
  • In particular, you MUST NOT allow an intimate personal relationship to develop between yourself and any athlete aged under 18 years. Any violation of this could result in a coach licence being withdrawn. It may also be a criminal offence to conduct a relationship with an athlete aged under 16 years. It may also be a violation of your coaching licence to form an intimate personal relationship with a vulnerable adult coached by you.
  • It is strongly recommended that you do not allow intimate relationships to develop between yourself and athletes coached by you aged over 18 years.

As a responsible coach, when participating in or attending any athletics activities, including training/coaching sessions and competition events you will:

  • Act with dignity and display courtesy and good manners towards others
  • Avoid swearing and abusive language and irresponsible behaviour including behaviour that is dangerous to yourself or others, acts of violence, bullying, harassment and physical and sexual abuse
  • Challenge inappropriate behaviour and language by others
  • Be aware that your attitude and behaviour directly affects the behaviour of athletes under your supervision
  • Never engage in any inappropriate or illegal behaviour
  • Avoid destructive behaviour and leave athletics venues as you find them
  • Not carry or consume alcohol to excess and/or illegal substances.
  • Avoid carrying any items that could be dangerous to yourself or others excluding athletics equipment used in the course of your athletics activity

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.
  • Avoid taking young athletes alone in your car
  • Never invite a young athlete alone into your home
  • 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

Code of Conduct for Technical Officials

As a responsible technical official you will:

  • Respect the rights, dignity and worth of every athlete and others involved in athletics and treat everyone equally.
  • Place the welfare and safety of the athlete above the development of performance
  • Be appropriately qualified including obtaining CRB clearance, update your licence and education as and when required by UKA and adhere to the terms of the technical officials licence
  • Keep up to date with any changes in the relevant competition rules and seek the advice of others if necessary
  • Ensure that activities you direct or guide are appropriate for the age, maturity, experience and ability of the individual athlete
  • 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 you
  • Cooperate fully with others involved in the sport such as other technical officials, competition providers/organisers, team managers, coaches, and representatives of the governing body in the provision of fair and equitable conditions for the conduct of athletics events under the relevant rules of competition.
  • Act in a decisive, objective but friendly manner in your interaction with other officials, athletes, coaches and spectators and carry out your duties in an efficient and non-abrasive manner.
  • Consistently promote positive aspects of the sport such as fair play and never condone rule violations or the use of prohibited or age-inappropriate substances
  • Never smoke whilst officiating or consume alcoholic beverages to a degree that it affects your ability or competence to undertake your officiating duties.
  • Be fully prepared for the officiating task that is assigned to you
  • Dress appropriately, to the standard and nature of the competition as outlined by the relevant officials committee
  • Arrive in good time for the competition and report to the official in charge
  • Conduct the event in accordance with the rules and with due respect to the welfare of the athlete
  • Work in a spirit of cooperation with other officials and do not interfere with their responsibilities
  • Offer guidance and support to less experienced officials whenever appropriate
  • Encourage and guide athletes to accept responsibility for their own performance and behaviour
  • Develop appropriate working relationships with athletes based on mutual trust and respect, especially with those athletes under 18 years or with vulnerable adults
  • Do not exert undue influence to obtain personal benefit or reward
  • A Technical Official MUST strictly maintain a clear boundary between friendship and intimacy with athletes and do not conduct inappropriate relationships with athletes. Relationship with athletes can cause significant problems for other athletes, coaches and team members, raising concerns of favouritism and/or victimisation should the relationship later end.
  • In particular, you MUST NOT allow an intimate personal relationship to develop between yourself and any athlete aged under 18 years. Any violation of this could result in a technical official’s licence being withdrawn. It may also be a criminal offence to conduct a relationship with an athlete aged under 16 years. It may also be a violation of your technical officials licence to form an intimate personal relationship with a vulnerable adult judged/officiated by you
  • It is also strongly recommended that you do not allow intimate relationships to develop between yourself and athletes judged by you aged over 18 years.

As a responsible Technical Official, when participating in or attending any athletics activities, including training/coaching sessions and competition events you will:

  • Act with dignity and display courtesy and good manners towards others
  • Avoid swearing and abusive language and irresponsible behaviour including behaviour that is dangerous to yourself or others, acts of violence, bullying, harassment and physical and sexual abuse
  • Challenge inappropriate behaviour and language by others
  • Never engage in any inappropriate or illegal behaviour
  • Avoid destructive behaviour and leave athletics venues as you find them
  • Not carry or consume alcohol to excess and/or illegal substances.
  • Avoid carrying any items that could be dangerous to yourself or others excluding athletics equipment used in the course of your athletics activity

In addition, technical officials should follow these guidelines on best practice, in particular with young athletes or 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
  • Avoid taking young athletes alone in your car
  • Never invite a young athlete alone into your home
  • 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/Regional/National or UKA Welfare officer as soon as possible.
  • Report any suspected misconduct by other technical officials, coaches or other people involved in athletics to the Club, Regional, National or UKA welfare officer as soon as possible

Code of Conduct for Athletes
As a responsible athlete you will:

  • Respect the rights, dignity and worth of every athlete, coach, technical official and others involved in athletics and treat everyone equally.
  • Uphold the same values of sportsmanship off the field as you do when engaged in athletics
  • Cooperate fully with others involved in the sport such as coaches, technical officials, team managers, doctors, physiotherapists, sport scientists and representatives of the governing body in the best interests of the yourself and other athletes
  • Consistently promote positive aspects of the sport such as fair play and never condone rule violations or the use of prohibited or age-inappropriate substances
  • Anticipate and be responsible for your own needs including being organised, having the appropriate equipment and being on time
  • Inform your coach of any other coaching that you are seeking or receiving
  • If you want to change groups, you should speak to your current coach as a matter of courtesy. If you would like support with this please contact the welfare officers who can advise you 
  • Always thank the coaches and officials who enable you to participate in athletics

As a responsible Athlete, when participating in or attending any athletics activities, including training/coaching sessions and competition events you will:

  • Act with dignity and display courtesy and good manners towards others
  • Avoid swearing and abusive language and irresponsible behaviour including behaviour that is dangerous to yourself or others, acts of violence, bullying, harassment and physical and sexual abuse
  • Challenge inappropriate behaviour and language by others
  • Never engage in any inappropriate or illegal behaviour
  • Avoid destructive behaviour and leave athletics venues as you find them
  • Not carry or consume alcohol to excess and/or illegal substances.
  • Avoid carrying any items that could be dangerous to yourself or others excluding athletics equipment used in the course of your athletics activity

In addition, athletes, especially young athletes and vulnerable adults, should follow these guidelines on safe participation in athletics.

  • Notify a responsible adult if you have to go somewhere (why, where and when you will return)
  • Do not respond if someone seeks private information unrelated to athletics such as personal information, home life information
  • Strictly maintain boundaries between friendship and intimacy with a coach or technical official
  • Never accept lifts in cars or invitations into homes on your own without the prior knowledge and consent of your parent/carer
  • Use safe transport or travel arrangements
  • Report any accidental injury, distress, misunderstanding or misinterpretation to your parents/carers and club Welfare officer as soon as possible.
  • Report any suspected misconduct by coaches or other people involved in athletics to the club welfare officer as soon as possible

Code of Conduct for parents/people with parental responsibility
As a responsible parent/person with parental responsibility or other supporter you will

  • Respect the rights, dignity and worth of every athlete, coach, technical official and others involved in athletics and treat everyone equally
  • Cooperate fully with others involved in the sport such as coaches, technical officials, team managers, doctors, physiotherapists, sport scientists and representatives of the governing body in the best interests of the athlete
  • Consistently promote positive aspects of the sport such as fair play and never condone rule violations or the use of prohibited or age-inappropriate substances
  • Never place undue pressure on children to perform, participate or compete
  • Check out the qualifications and licences of people who are coaching or managing your child or offering a service connected to athletics such as physiotherapy, massage or nutritional advice.
  • Take an active interest in your child’s participation
  • Attend training or competitions when ever possible
  • Do not enter the track or training area unless with the approval of a coach or official
  • Know exactly where your child will be and who they will be with at all times
  • Never make assumptions about your child’s safety
  • Ensure that your child does not take any unnecessary valuable items to training or competition
  • Inform your child’s coach or team manager of any illness or disability that needs to be taken into consideration for athletic performance
  • Provide any necessary medication that your child needs for the duration of trips
  • Assume responsibility for safe transportation to and from training and competition
  • Return any necessary written consent forms to the club/team manager or appropriate person, including next of kin details, health and medical requirements before your child goes to any away events or trips
  • Report any concerns you have about your child’s or any other child’s welfare to the Club Welfare Officer, Regional, National or UKA Welfare Officers. (This does not affect your right to contact your local social services or the police if you feel it is necessary)

As a responsible parent/person with parental responsibility or other supporters for a young athlete, when participating in or attending any athletics activities, including training/coaching sessions and competition events you will:

  • Act with dignity and display courtesy and good manners towards others
  • Avoid swearing and abusive language and irresponsible behaviour including behaviour that is dangerous to yourself or others, acts of violence, bullying, harassment and physical and sexual abuse
  • Challenge inappropriate behaviour and language by others
  • Be aware that your attitude and behaviour directly affects the behaviour of your child and other young athletes
  • Avoid destructive behaviour and leave athletics venues as you find them
  • Never engage in any inappropriate or illegal behaviour
  • Not carry or consume alcohol to excess and/or illegal substances.
  • Not carry any items that can be dangerous to yourself or to others excluding athletics equipment used in the course of your child’s athletics activity

Code of Conduct for Team Managers
As a responsible Team Manager you will:

  • Respect the rights, dignity and worth of every athlete, coach, technical official and others involved in athletics and treat everyone equally
  • Cooperate fully with others involved in the sport such as coaches, technical officials, team managers, doctors, physiotherapists, sport scientists and representatives of the governing body in the best interests of the athlete
  • Consistently promote positive aspects of the sport such as fair play and never condone rule violations or the use of prohibited or age-inappropriate substances
  • Act with dignity and display courtesy and good manners towards others
  • Avoid swearing and abusive language and irresponsible behaviour including behaviour that is dangerous to yourself or others, acts of violence, bullying, harassment and physical and sexual abuse
  • Challenge inappropriate behaviour and language by others
  • Avoid destructive behaviour and leave athletics venues as you find them
  • Never engage in any inappropriate or illegal behaviour
  • Not carry or consume alcohol to excess and/or illegal substances.
  • Not carry any items that can be dangerous to yourself or to others excluding athletics equipment used in the course of the athletics activity

In addition, Team Managers should follow these guidelines on best practice, in particular with young athletes and vulnerable adults

  • Take reasonable care in all circumstances of any athlete under 18 years who is at an event without a parent or person with parental responsibility
  • Provide the appropriate ratio of staff for the age and ability for athletes travelling away from home. The recommended ratio is one adult to ten children
  • Provide staff of the same sex to undertake chaperoning duties
  • Check that all volunteers have been through the appropriate recruitment and selection checks and have attended the appropriate training e.g. CRB and self declaration, safeguarding awareness training
  • Notify all parents/people with parental responsibility/carers of athletes under 18 years of the times and venues of any competitions and the appropriate contact telephone numbers
  • Ensure that written consent has been obtained form all persons with parental responsibility for athletes under 18 years prior to the competition
  • Liaise with the parents/person with parental responsibility of an athlete under 18 years if the athlete becomes involved in an accident or serious breach of health and safety or discipline whilst under your care
  • Comply with welfare policies and procedures and any local authority or school procedures or any other policies and procedures that might apply to a particular venue, group of athletes, or competition.
  • Report any suspected misconduct by coaches, technical officials or other people involved in athletics to the Club, Regional, National or UKA welfare officer as soon as possible

Code of Conduct for Contractors, Employees, Volunteers or Track Managers
You will:

  • Respect the rights, dignity and worth of every athlete, coach, technical official and others involved in athletics and treat everyone equally
  • Cooperate fully with others involved in the sport such as coaches, technical officials, team managers, doctors, physiotherapists, sport scientists and representatives of the governing body in the best interests of the athlete
  • Consistently promote positive aspects of the sport such as fair play and never condone rule violations or the use of prohibited or age-inappropriate substances
  • Act with dignity and display courtesy and good manners towards others
  • Avoid swearing and abusive language and irresponsible behaviour including behaviour that is dangerous to yourself or others, acts of violence, bullying, harassment and physical and sexual abuse
  • Challenge inappropriate behaviour and language by others
  • Avoid destructive behaviour and leave athletics venues as you find them
  • Never engage in any inappropriate or illegal behaviour
  • Not carry or consume alcohol to excess and/or illegal substances.
  • Not carry any items that can be dangerous to yourself or to others excluding athletics equipment used in the course of your athletic activity
  • Ensure that any risk assessment or health and safety procedures are adhered to and the safety of the athlete or any other participant in athletics is put first.
  • Report any suspected misconduct by coaches, technical officials, or other people involved in athletics to the Club, Regional, National or UKA welfare officer as soon as possible

Code of Conduct for medical officers, physiotherapists, masseurs
You will:

  • Respect the rights, dignity and worth of every athlete, coach, technical official and others involved in athletics and treat everyone equally
  • Cooperate fully with others involved in the sport such as coaches, technical officials, team managers, doctors, physiotherapists, sport scientists and representatives of the governing body in the best interests of the athlete
  • Consistently promote positive aspects of the sport such as fair play and never condone rule violations or the use of prohibited or age-inappropriate substances
  • Hold a relevant and up to date qualification
  • Work within the ethical and professional guidelines of your governing/regulating/qualifying body
  • Act within the best interests of your patient, including referral to other professionals if necessary and do not offer or provide any treatment for which you are not appropriately qualified or trained.
  • Ensure you have parental consent before advising/assisting/treating athletes aged under 18 years
  • Act with dignity and display courtesy and good manners towards others
  • Avoid swearing and abusive language and irresponsible behaviour including behaviour that is dangerous to yourself or others, acts of violence, bullying, harassment and physical and sexual abuse
  • Challenge inappropriate behaviour and language by others
  • Not carry or consume alcohol to excess and/or illegal substances.
  • Never engage in any inappropriate or illegal behaviour
  • Not carry or consume alcohol to excess and/or illegal substances.