Safeguarding refers to the proactive approach to keeping children, young people and adults at risk safe from harm. All agencies working with children and young people have a legal “Duty of Care” not only to protect those who use their services but also to promote their welfare by taking all reasonable steps to ensure risks of harm are minimised.

Safeguarding includes a range of practices from adopting policies and procedures to creating a safe environment for staff, volunteers and participants.

This section provides you with some guidance and support on the different areas of Safeguarding your Group should consider for everyone’s safety.

Group Policies

Groups should go to the Policies Page to download any safeguarding policies that should be adopted by the Group.

Support for RDA Groups

If you have a potential safeguarding issue, contact National Office in the first instance.  If you need any  additional support there is the NSPCC helpline (9am – 5pm Monday to Friday): 0808 800 5000  or email to or call your Local Authority social services safeguarding team.  If anyone is at risk of harm, call 999.  

If you have reported something to any authorities out of working hours for National Office (9am – 5pm Monday to Thursday, 9am – 4pm Friday), please contact us with details of the incident as soon as you can during office hours.  

What Safeguards Every Group Should Have in Place

  • Safeguarding Policy Statement
  • Safe recruitment – standard application form, 2 references and disclosure checks
  • At least 1 Safeguarding Officer in every group
  • All coaches that run sessions have a current (within 3 years) safeguarding certificate
  • All in the group is aware of who to contact if there is a safeguarding concern

Safeguarding Courses 

RDA provides British Equestrian (BEF) accredited safeguarding courses. These are suitable for RDA coaches at any level, Safeguarding Officers, trustees, and volunteers aged 16 and over. Please note that those in Scotland will need to attend our Scotland specific training as the England/Wales/Northern Ireland sessions do not cover the same legislation.

RDA is able to offer two types of Safeguarding Workshops – In Person (at a physical venue) or via Zoom. Both of these count as face to face training and on completion of the session, you will receive a certificate valid for 3 years.

If you attended a Face to Face course last time, you can refresh using the e-learning, and this is valid for 3 years. If you undertook the e-learning last time, you MUST renew via Face To Face or Zoom. 

Safeguarding Training – England Wales & Northern Ireland

Zoom: We have launched a full program of zoom safeguarding courses running from now until the end of the year. Please use the events page of the website to book onto a course at a time and date that suits you. Zoom training lasts roughly 2 1/2 hours and you need to be available for the whole session. You will need individual access to the internet, and due to the interactive nature of the course, you will need to be able to see, hear and speak to the trainer and vice versa for the training. There is no cost for those involved with RDA to attend.

In Person: To organise in person training in your region, we require a minimum of 20 attendees, and the provision of a projector and screen for the trainer to use. If both these requirements are met, National Office will cover the cost of a trainer. The organiser will need to fund additional costs such as venue hire where applicable. For all enquiries about in person training, please contact Stef Brazier: 

Safeguarding Training – SCOTLAND ONLY

We have recently become aware that RDA needed to bring its safeguarding training in Scotland into line with other BEF and Horse Scotland member bodies. Whilst we run our BEF accredited Safeguarding For Equestrians training thanks to our fantastic team of regional safeguarding trainers across the country, it has become clear that to improve the content of what we deliver and also make this course valid for use within other Scottish sporting organisations (such as BHS Scotland), we are now required to include SportScotland Module 1 as part of the training with attendees completing this first, before joining the tutor led sessions. Module 1 is accessed through a training portal named Brightspace. Please note it will still be our own RDA Regional Safeguarding Trainers running the face to face sessions. More information can be found here : SportScotland Module 1

Module 1 takes roughly 30 minutes to go through and contains e-learning content, some further contact information and a number of quizzes, all of which need to be completed before the participant can progress any further. In line with SportScotland guidance this must be done no later than 3 days before attending the second part of the training. Completion of both parts of the training then enables the course participant to download and print their own certificate at home – whenever and however many times they need to. It makes the safeguarding workshop as a whole more insightful and allows time to digest and reflect on the learning and be better prepared for the tutor led session.

In terms of delivery of our training there should be very little difference to the process. The one minor change is that we need to close booking onto the training 2 weeks before the delivery date as that will give us time to get each attendee set up on Brightspace ready to complete Module 1 before the live session. We believe that this extra module will benefit those attending our safeguarding workshop and also enable them to have greater flexibility and maximise their skills across other organisations.

 For any queries, please contact Stef Brazier:

Safeguarding Officer Role

Each Group must have at least one Safeguarding Officer (previously known as Child Protection Officer/CPO/CVPO) who is responsible for ensuring safeguarding and best practice is followed at the Group. For more information on the role of safeguarding officer please click here.

Group Coaches

All Group Coaches who take sessions, whether riding, driving or vaulting, have to complete a face-to-face safeguarding course and keep their certificate in their logbook. The training needs to be refreshed every 3 years – this can be done on-line or face to face; see below.

Age of Coaches

Coaches who are expected to work on their own initiative, holding a position of trust with sole charge of a session, must be aged 18 years or older at the time of qualification/certification.

An RDA Coach in Training may be 16 years old, however those who go on to train and then become assessed to become a Group Coach or Coach, which enables them to coach without supervision, must be aged 18 years or older.

Safeguarding E-Learning

RDA UK now has an online course for all volunteers, trustees and coaches. This course has been designed to help refresh those who have already attended a face to face safeguarding course, as well as those volunteers who would like to know a little more about safeguarding within RDA.

This E-learning course can be used as a refresher for those coaches and safeguarding officers who have already attended a face to face course and need a 3 year refresher BUT who do not need a BEF accredited course. However if your previous refresher was via e-learning, you MUST attend a face to face course the next time.

If you would like to sign up to the course please follow the link below for more information and see what other courses are available.

Please click here for more information

Page Last Updated: March 7, 2023