The cricket season has drawn to a close and club ground staff have been busy for the last few weeks completing important renovation and maintenance work on their cricket pitches. They will also be planning what work they are going to undertake over the winter months to ensure the pitch is in the best possible condition for the start of next season.
Oxfordshire Cricket’s Safeguarding Officer, Lesley Pykett, points out the situation is quite similar for club Safeguarding Officers and administrators. “The new Safe Hands Management System is just like a cricket pitch in many ways,” explains Lesley. “It has to be maintained during the off season – you can’t just ignore it for six months over the winter and then expect everything to be ready to go at the start of next season. We were delighted that 93% of our clubs met the deadline for compliance at the end of July, and those that missed out have been working hard to gain compliance, but the work doesn’t stop there. The Safe Hands Management System is an important tool of club management now in order to ensure club captains, coaches and officials have completed the necessary safeguarding checks and accreditation.”
In order to help cricket clubs manage their Safeguarding systems over the winter and start next season in a strong position, Lesley provides her 5 top tips for successful wintering of the Safe Hands Management System.
- Don’t let your Safe Hands Management System gather dust over the winter. Do your renovations and maintenance. If captains, coaches or officials have retired or left the club at the end of the season, then remove them from the club’s SHMS.
- Diarise checks and updates. Check the system once a month to see whose DBS checks or Safeguarding qualifications are about to expire and then make arrangements to initiate new ones. Start preparing for the new season in plenty of time.
- Check if there are indoor winter training sessions being held by your club. If so, ensure the appropriate safeguarding measures are in place, and that the coaches involved are all DBS checked.
- As new personnel are appointed at the club over the winter, add them to the Safe Hands Management System when they are announced, and ensure the appropriate DBS checks have been completed.
- By keeping yourself familiar with your Safe Hands Management System over the winter, it will be easier to continue using it as an ongoing management tool at the start of the season. You’ll be in a much stronger position to support the rest of the club in next season’s campaign on the cricket pitch!
- To have the system compliant by the start of the season.
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