SAFEGUARDING CHILDREN AND VULNERABLE ADULTS
Friday, 12 November 2021
- In 2018/2019 Tennis NZ initiated a ‘Roles and Responsibilities Review’, including 20 meetings around NZ with all stakeholders from our sport. You might have been part of one of them? Here are the Stage 1 and Final
- To put the recommendations from the reports into action, a 10-point plan was developed, in conjunction with regions. This was renamed and presented into a more friendly format and now exists as the Plan to Modernise Tennis. You can see the high levels aspects of the plan here, which was also sent as a letter from the CEO to all tennis stakeholders in March 2021.
- Part of the Modernising Tennis Plan is to ‘keep participants safe with new registration systems’. The Tennis Participant Protection Policy provides the overarching guidance to this, with part of the TPPP relating specifically to the safeguarding of children (clause 1.5).
- Tennis NZ are committed to bringing the safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults aspect of the TPPP to life, especially making it easy for clubs and deliverers of tennis to implement quality safeguarding processes.
- Adults interacting with children and vulnerable adults in sport are in a position of trust and influence. Everyone involved in delivering tennis has a role to play in creating the best possible environment for them.
- Tennis NZ wants to emphasise that police vetting is not an attempt to identify or disqualify individuals with minor or irrelevant criminal records, either current or historic. On the contrary, the initiative is based on creating safer and more secure tennis environments for both the children and vulnerable adults who might be involved, and for those charged with upholding a duty of care and responsibility.
- Police vetting results will be treated with confidentiality between Tennis NZ, and the club or tennis entity that the individual works or volunteers at.
- Police vetting through the national service, for all people who have regular contact with children or vulnerable adults will be compulsory in the future. A reasonable communication and adoption timeframe will be provided by Tennis NZ.
- Tennis NZ will provide a national police vetting service for all relevant people that have regular contact with children and vulnerable adults. This includes coaches, volunteers, team captains, those that organise junior events, and others that meet the ‘regular’ definition (defined as either overnight; at least once a week; or at least 4 times per month)
- Tennis NZ’s current police vetting policy will change to reflect this expansion to more of the community.
- There are certain things that tennis entities, in particular clubs, will need to do. Tennis NZ will lay those out very clearly and provide relevant supporting material and guidelines to make things as easy as possible for clubs to follow.
- Police vetting for all those that have regular contact with children or vulnerable adults will be required from each tennis entity. Regular contact is defined as either overnight; at least once a week; or at least 4 times per month and would also include those that organise or work at events for children (such as officials and tournament organisers).
WHAT’S BEEN DONE (in anticipation of launch)
- Safeguarding guidelines drafted and tested with 7 clubs, coaching businesses, and regional staff.
- Safeguarding posters created for clubs to display.
- Tennis NZ police vetting policy updating has begun.
- ‘Safe Tennis List’ has been built in the new Tennis NZ CRM database – final testing is underway.
- Had discussions with NZ Police regarding an increase in uploads to their online vetting portal.
- A dedicated website page on tennis.kiwi being planned for all safeguarding information.
NEXT STEPS and TIMELINE
- Police vet policy and safeguarding guidelines to be signed off by Tennis NZ
- Tennis NZ to test the ‘Safe List’ CRM and police vetting process with a small batch of police vets
- Website to be updated with all safeguarding information
- Prior to Christmas – communication nationwide regarding next step of roll out and expectation of timeline for tennis entities to work towards
- Any documents and supporting material signed off will be shared with the community
- Roll out police vetting process nationwide – expected early 2022