Group Safeguarding Officer Role

Designated Person

Each Group must appoint at least one Group Safeguarding Officer (GSO). This role is also known as Club Safeguarding Officer (CSO) or Club Welfare Officer (CWO).


Role and Responsibility

The GSO role is essential in:

  • Ensuring a positive person-centred culture and environment
  • Being the first point of contact for children and adults within the Group who have safeguarding, welfare or poor practice concerns
  • Managing any concerns in line with the RDA Managing Concerns Policy
  • Raising awareness of and assisting the Group in implementing Safeguarding Policy and Practices
  • Ensuring safer recruitment practices are followed for volunteers, coaches and staff
  • Ensuring codes of conduct are in place and widely shared
  • Maintaining confidentiality and only sharing information on a ‘need to know’ basis


The GSO should ideally be someone who:

  • Is able to act independently and in the best interests of the child
  • To act in accordance with the Safeguarding Adults at Risk Policy, ensuring the adult is involved in the process and their wants and needs are considered
  • Is able to maintain independence when dealing with safeguarding matters, which may extend to holding no other position within the Group
  • Is not an active coach with the Group (appointing a second designated person may be considered for impartiality)
  • Is able to attend Group activities frequently
  • Has the time to fulfil the role
  • Is able to satisfy the role responsibilities


Taking on the Role

We would encourage you to read through the Resources available to download on the right-hand side of this webpage to gain an understanding about the role expectations and to familiarise yourself with the RDA Safeguarding Policies.

All GSOs need to complete a role acceptance form, signed by a Group Trustee or equivalent representative, and returned to RDA UK via email to The Group’s record will be updated accordingly.


Training Requirements

GSOs do not need to be experts, but are required to undertake appropriate training and guidance on safeguarding children and adults at risk. As a minimum, you must have attended the RDA Safeguarding for Equestrians tutor-led course and are expected to update this every three years.



Page Last Updated: May 29, 2024