Sports Council NI Home Page >>  Child Protection Good Practice >> Code of Conduct

    Codes Of Conduct 


Coaches/volunteers are expected to:

  • Ensure the safety of all children by careful supervision, proper pre-planning of coaching sessions, using safe methods at all times.

  • Actively encourage all children and not to discriminate on the grounds of religious beliefs, race, gender, social classes or lack of ability.

  • Not allow any rough or dangerous play, bullying, or the use of bad language or inappropriate behaviour.

  • Always be positive and to promote the objectives of the club at all times.

  • Not let any allegations of abuse of any kind to go unchallenged or unrecorded if appropriate. Incidents and accidents to be recorded in the club incident/accident book.  Parents will be informed.

  • Report accidents or incidents of alleged abuse to the designated person.

  • Administer minor first aid in the presence of others and where required refer more serious incidents to the club "first aider"

  • Have access to telephone for immediate contact to emergency services if required.

  • Foster team work to ensure the safety of youth members in their care

  • Ensure the rights and responsibilities of youth members are enforced

  • Report suspected abuse to the appropriate designated officer

  • Not abuse members physically, emotionally or sexually

  • Maintain confidentiality about sensitive information

  • Be a role model (disciplined/committed/time keeping), remember children learn by example

  • Refrain from smoking and consumption of alcohol during club activities or coaching sessions

  • Protect themselves from false accusation by

    • Not spending excessive amounts of time alone with children away from others

    • Avoid taking children alone in a car on journeys, however short

    • Never taking children to their home.

    • Not administering First Aid involving the removing of children’s clothing unless in the presence of others.

Coaches/Volunteers have a right to:

  • Access ongoing training and information on all aspects of leading/managing activities for youths, particularly on child protection

  • Support in the reporting of suspected abuse

  • Access to professional support services

  • Fair and equitable treatment by the Governing Body

  • Be protected from abuse by children/youths, other adult members and parents

  • Not to be left vulnerable when working with children

Any misdemeanours and general misbehaviour will be dealt with immediately and reported verbally to the designated person.  Persistent breach of the code will result in dismissal from the club.

Dismissals can be appealed by the coach/volunteer with final decisions taken by the club committee.

Children/Young People

Children are expected to:

  • Keep within the defined boundary of the playing/coaching area.

  • Behave and listen to all instructions from the coach.

  • Take care of equipment owned by the club.

  • Refrain from the use of bad language or racial/sectarian references.

  • Refrain from bullying or persistent use of rough and dangerous play.

  • Show respect to other youth members and leaders

  • Keep themselves safe

  • Report inappropriate behaviour or risky situations for youth members

  • Play fairly

  • Respect officials and accept decisions

  • Show appropriate loyalty and be gracious in defeat

  • Respect opponents

  • Not cheat

  • Not use violence

Children/Young people have the right to:

  • Be safe

  • Be listened to

  • Be respected

  • Privacy

  • Enjoy your sport in a protective environment

  • Be referred to professional help if needed

  • Be protected from abuse by other member or outside sources.

  • Participate on an equal basis, appropriate to their ability

  • Experience competition and the desire to win

  • Be believed

  • To ask for help

Any misdemeanours and general misbehaviour will be addressed by the immediate coach and reported verbally to the designated person.  Persistent misbehaviour will result in dismissal from the club. Parents will be informed. 

Dismissals can be appealed by the child/parent with final decisions taken by the club committee.


Parents are expected to:

  • Complete and return the Health and Consent Form pertaining to their child's participation with “Name of Club”. There is a legal requirement for parental consent.  

  • Deliver and collect the child punctually to and from coaching sessions/matches

  • Ensure their child is properly and adequately attired for the weather conditions of the time, including shorts, shirt, socks, tracksuit, sweat-tops, hat, gloves etc…

  • Ensure that proper football boots and shin-guards are worn at ALL times in accordance with Health and Safety Regulations.  Any child not in possession of these 2 fundamental requirements will not be permitted to participate

  • Detail any health concerns pertaining to the child on the consent form, in particular breathing or chest conditions. Any changes in the state of the child's health should be reported to the coach prior to coaching sessions

  • To inform the coach prior to departure from the field of play if child is to be collected early from a coaching session

  • Encourage their child to play by the rules and teach them that they can only do their best

  • Behave responsibly on the sidelines

  • Show appreciation and supporting the coach

  • Ensure their child is punctual

  • Collect their child on time

  • Be realistic

  • Provide their child with proper clothing and equipment

  • Ensure their child’s hygiene and nutritional needs are met

  • Accept the official’s judgement

  • Acknowledge the importance and role of the club coaches who provide their time free to ensure children’s participation in club football

  • Promote their child’s participation in playing football for fun

Parents/Guardians have the right to:

  • Know their child is safe

  • Be informed of problems or concerns relating to their children

  • Be informed if their child is injured

  • Have their consent sought for issues such as trips

  • Contribute to decisions within the club

  • Complain if they have concerns about the standard of coaching

Any misdemeanours and breach of this code of conduct will be dealt with immediately by a “Name of Club” official.  Persistent concerns or breaches will result in the parent/guardian being asked not to attend football games if their attendance is detrimental to the child’s welfare.

The ultimate action should a parent/guardian continue to breach the code of behaviour may mean the “Name of Club” officials regrettably asking the child to leave the club.



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Last modified: Thursday March 23, 2020.