Over the years, we have spent tens of thousands of pounds campaigning for better Safeguarding in martial arts. This includes huge investments in the BMABA’s own Safeguarding provisions. Whilst internally, as an association, we have made great progress we recognise that as an industry, collectively, a lot of work still remains.
The Safeguarding Code For Martial Arts is a non-partisan Scheme designed to help benchmark a club’s safeguarding competencies and educate the public on safeguarding in martial arts. In return for a club ensuring they have the correct standards in place, they will be displayed on the Safeguarding Code’s Club Finder for parents and the public to see, as well as receive certification.
Whilst other schemes have been tried in the industry before, we recognise the credibility of Educare – the service provider behind the Scheme – as well as Sport England’s direct provision. Anything that helps support safeguarding of children and adults at risk effectively is a good thing, clearly. Whilst still in its relative infancy, the BMABA is wholly supportive of the Safeguarding Code and accordingly, we will be incorporating enrolment as part of our core competencies and vetting checks for BMABA clubs and instructors. This means from April 1st 2020, our clubs will be able to provide copies of their Safeguarding Code certification for verification, alongside other key checks such as DBS checks, insurance, first aid and so on. This will in-turn be displayed on our national instructor register.
We would recommend any club not already aware of the Safeguarding Code take a look at the official website here. As an association, we will be providing a specialist online ‘Club Colours’ course and certification to help guide instructors through the Safeguarding Code’s requirements, to help ensure our clubs have the knowledge and documentation required to meet the standard when you come to apply.
We think it’s incredibly important that the independent martial arts market takes steps to improve it’s track record in terms of accountability and safeguarding standards; and the Safeguarding Code is an excellent way to start moving in the right direction.