The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) announced the publication of a new overarching Safeguarding Policy for the racing industry yesterday (18th December). The new Policy, Regulations and Code of Conduct for the sport, will come into effect from 1 January 2019.
The Safeguarding Policy is applicable to everyone who works in British racing and is designed to complement and underpin the existing safeguarding policies that various racing organisations, including Racing Welfare, already have in place.
The Sport and Recreation Alliance’s definition of safeguarding is “the process of protecting children and adults from harm by providing safe and effective care. It includes all procedures designed to prevent harm.”
The BHA Policy covers areas such as abuse, inappropriate relationships, reporting safeguarding concerns and safer recruitment practices. Adherence to the policy will form part of the licensing requirements for all trainers.
Nick Rust, Chief Executive of the BHA, said:
“For this sport to have the bright future we are all working together to achieve, we must attract the interest and participation of people of all ages. It is vital that those people who we do attract to the sport have a positive and fulfilling experience and are protected from all forms of abuse and harm.
“As the governing body of racing, the BHA has a particular duty to protect young people and adults at risk from harm that may arise from their participation in racing.
“However, this duty is not confined to the BHA. It is shared by everyone in racing. We all have a role to play in promoting a positive culture and experience for everyone involved in our sport. We trust that the new safeguarding obligations will be positively received, demonstrating Racing’s commitment to the protection of its youngest and most vulnerable participants.”
The Policy will form part of the licensing requirements for all trainers – the sport’s main employers – after 1st January. As part of this process all trainers will now need to agree to act in accordance with the Safeguarding Policy, Regulations and Code of Conduct, and agree that they and their staff will complete any training required by the BHA. In addition, during 2019, all trainers will be required to complete an online training and assessment module.
In future there will be a requirement for staff employed by trainers to complete the training, as well as jockeys and other individuals within the sport.
In addition to the Policy, two further documents have been published, the Safeguarding Regulations and a Code of Conduct which is designed to complement the Policy by setting expectations of behaviour for all those within racing when dealing with young people and adults at risk.
Anyone with any concerns about the welfare of young people or adults at risk who are working within the sport can make contact via the BHA’s dedicated firstname.lastname@example.org email address, or for confidential matters to use this online reporting tool which provides the option to withhold personal details.
In developing this Safeguarding Policy, the BHA has worked alongside a number of stakeholders in racing, including the British Racing School (BRS), the Northern Racing College (NRC), Racing Welfare, the National Trainers Federation (NTF), the Racecourse Association (RCA), the National Association of Racing Staff (NARS), the National Stud, the Thoroughbred Breeders Association (TBA), Racing Together, the Pony Racing Authority (PRA), the Professional Jockeys Association (PJA) and the Jockeys Education and Training Scheme (JETS).
Racing Welfare’s own safeguarding policies are accessible here.