Three Words Every BMABA Instructor Must Put At The Centre Of Their Teaching.
No Exceptions. No Excuses.
As a society, we have all been horrified and shocked to see the scale of abuse in sports since news broke in late 2016 regarding allegations in Football.
To think that abuse could occur on such a scale in something that should inherently be fun, safe and life-affirming is heartbreaking. To believe it’s not happening in other sports – including martial arts – would be naive.
We’re disappointed to see the wider martial arts community, including some other organisations that sit as NGO’s and license instructors, say very little about their own safeguarding mechanisms. There appears to be a feeling that if we sit quietly and still, we can ‘weather the storm’ and go unnoticed. This isn’t conducive of an environment that creates safe, happy and enjoyable martial arts training for our young or vulnerable members of society.
We’ve always had key safeguarding policies in place, and our focus on safeguarding members is nothing new – it’s something we’ve tried our best to do since 2012. With effect from January 1st 2017 the British Martial Arts & Boxing Association launched Operation Ironfist.
The first of it’s kind in our industry, we’re going to be centring instructor and club membership on solid safeguarding principles. If there is not compliance, there’s no membership. Simple as.
No longer can sporting organisations stand aside and pass the blame. It’s true to say no governing body can stop abuse from occurring, but every governing body can take exceptional measures to do all possible to stop and detect abuse.
We have no regulatory powers or legal control over our members but we can cut off membership affiliation and report those we don’t feel are up to standard. And we will.
As An Organisation, We MUST
> Ensure to all reasonable measures and in line with our checking procedures, that all applicants who wish to join as an instructor is suitably graded and qualified (where applicable).
> Ensure that satisfactory proof of grade or entitlement to teach is presented on all occasions, without exception, for anybody wishing to join us as a professional member.
> Ensure that a BMABA instructor’s license or Club Licensing certification is not available under any circumstances, where instructors are identified to be teaching anyone under the age of 18 or adults at risk, unless all of the appropriate safeguarding procedures and checks have been demonstrated to us.
> Ensure a robust reporting procedure is in place for reports, complaints or concerns brought to our attention, and to ensure that all of our office based or committee staff who may receive such reports are properly trained, vetted and qualified to respond appropriately.
> Ensure clear, secure and private lines of communication are available to students, parents and members of the public to report concerns about safeguarding issues to our association when a member of ours is suspected to be in the wrong.
> To always process complaints, concerns or reports from every source, without fail, and pass onto relevant authorities when our guidelines suggest.
> Ensure we use a third party, fully trained safeguarding advisory service to help us keep on top of the latest safeguarding and child protection requirements.
Every BMABA Instructor Or Club MUST
> Clearly identify who their club will offer classes to, and whether or not this includes children or adults at risk.
> Ensure the leading instructor, and any other subsequent instructors, has a thorough understanding of the BMABA safeguarding guidelines and regulations.
> Ensure that if working with children (persons under 18 years of age) AND/OR adults at risk, that a robust safeguarding policy is in place with full and proper reporting procedures.
> Ensure that if working with the above mentioned groups, that all instructors are suitably DBS (Disclosure Barring Service) checked and that all instructors hold valid and up to date safeguarding qualifications, with continued training and development in this area.
> Ensure that all necessary documentation relating to DBS checks, safeguarding qualifications and safeguarding procedure is produced to the BMABA before being offered any form of instructor licensing.
> Report, without fail, any concerns or allegations relating to safeguarding through the appropriate channels and keep relevant records at all times.
> Keep the association up to date with their training, development and teaching staff to ensure the best possibility of safeguarding effectively.
> Comply in any BMABA investigations into safeguarding or regulatory without hinderence or delay.
Safeguarding is everybody’s concern.
Student, parent, carer, public, instructor, authorities, NGOs – we all have a role to play. Our student community has a detailed confidential, secure reporting process in place to help you report concerns. You can contact our office directly too. Every report will be treated in the strictest of confidence and with compassion. No exceptions.