Tennis Scotland Safeguarding & PVG

child on court. enjoying tennis match

We strive to ensure that all children, young people and adults at risk are safeguarded from abuse and have an enjoyable tennis experience. 

Policies and procedures Policies and procedures addremove

View the  British Tennis Safeguarding Policy

Safeguarding and Protection resources
The LTA has an extensive menu of resources to help Clubs ensure that they are fully up to date with current Safeguarding requirements. They have published an excellent resource called “What’s the Score” Tennis Toolkit – This document enables tennis venues, coaches, officials, volunteers, players and parents to ensure that everyone is able to enjoy tennis in a safe and inclusive environment. Click to view the Safeguarding policy. All resources can be downloaded from the LTA website.

Children 1st also have a great website with lots of useful Safeguarding resources.

Anti Bullying
Please click to view the Anti Bullying Policy.

Diversity and Inclusion
Promoting Equality - Championing diversity - Including everyone. Click to view the British Tennis Diversity and Inclusion Policy.

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PVG Scheme
All clubs have legal duty, under the Protection of Vulnerable Groups (Scotland) 2007 Act, to make sure that the adults who are authorised to work or volunteer with children on behalf of the club are not on the Children’s List. The Children’s List is a list of individuals who have been barred from working with children by Disclosure Scotland.

The person/s in the club who are responsible for making the decisions about appointments and for managing the Tennis Coaches/Volunteers and staff should be clearly identified. The Club Welfare Officer will play an important advisory role in relation to appointments to work with children, but will not usually be responsible for the final decision about appointments.

How do I apply for a PVG Scheme Record or update
There is now an easy online application process - to join the PVG Scheme costs £59 (free if you are a Volunteer) and if you are already a member of the PVG Scheme, an update costs £18 (again, free if you are a Volunteer). You will need to apply for the PVG but this will normally be at the request of your Club or Tennis Venue that you are working at”

If you wish to join the PVG scheme, or do a PVG Scheme Record Update please use this link -
The process will involve an ID verification process currently being conducted over Zoom – applicants will be contacted by Tennis Scotland to arrange a suitable time for this.

PVG applications - Volunteer Scotland Disclosure Services (VSDS)
Tennis Scotland is registered with VSDS to process PVG applications on behalf of its member clubs. Tennis Scotland is referred to by VSDS as an ‘Intermediary Body’ with Clubs being referred to by them as ‘secondary organisations’. VSDS keeps a list of all venues and the roles in tennis qualifying for PVG checks.

VSDS requires that a Secondary Organisation Contract is in place (see resources below) and Clubs have to declare that they are a Qualifying Voluntary Organisation, ie one that,

  • Is not conducted primarily for profit, and any profit generated is used to further the objectives of the organisation and is not distributed to its members
  • Is not a further education institution, a school, a public or local authority, or which is not under the management of a public or local authority.

VSDS also provides regular training (incl on ZOOM) for volunteers involved in the PVG process and club recruitment -

The above Secondary Organisation contract refers to the PVG/Disclosure Scotland Code of Practice, this can be downloaded here -

Where can I get help with the PVG scheme?
Tennis Scotland can provide guidance to clubs on how to manage the PVG process, they can be contacted on 01786 641716 or email

Who needs to join the PVG Scheme?
A role that needs the post holder to be vetted is known as ‘regulated work’ and it is defined in law. You must make sure that people who are doing ‘regulated work’ at your club have not been barred from doing this type of work with Children and Protected Adults. This is done using the PVG scheme.

Only people who do regulated work can be asked to join the PVG scheme. This includes those who have a DBS check from England, or non-Scottish equivalent. It is not legal to ask people to join the PVG scheme if they are not doing regulated work

What is regulated work?
Tennis can provide guidance on whether a specific position at the club is ‘regulated work’. See also: Disclosure Scotland’s website

The questions below give a general guide only – please access the above links for full information
1. Is it work?
It has to be either paid or unpaid work, full time or part time - not simply an arrangement between friends/family.
2. Who are they working with?
It has to be with children under the age of 18 years.
3. What do they do?
The work has to include:
- caring for children
- teaching, instructing, training or supervising children
- being in sole charge of children
- having unsupervised access to children
- being a host parent
- directly managing or supervising someone doing regulated work with children
4. Is it their normal duties?
It has to be part of normal duties i.e. the activity is reasonably anticipated and could appear in the job description.
5. Are there any exceptions?
There are some exceptions, such as where the presence of children in the activity is ‘incidental’ (e.g. the activity is for adults, and is advertised as an adult club/activity, but has some U18s attending).

What does the PVG Scheme do?
When someone applies to join the PVG scheme, Disclosure Scotland carry out a criminal record check to confirm that they are not on the list of people who have been barred from this type of work. It provides the club with information to inform a decision on their suitability for the post.

All PVG scheme members are subject to ongoing monitoring by Disclosure Scotland. The PVG scheme application registers the interest of your club in the person who will be doing regulated work on behalf of the club. The club will then be informed directly by Disclosure Scotland if that person comes under consideration for listing.

PVG Certificates with content
If a PVG certificate is received that has conviction/s shown (referred to as ‘content’) Tennis Scotland will always log this on the LTA report a concern system. The applicant will then be asked to produce a detailed account of the circumstances leading to the conviction as well as contact details for 2 people who can act as a referee. Tennis Scotland/LTA will carefully risk assess the information given together with the 2 references.

Overseas Applicants
Applicants from overseas being appointed to regulated work with children are required to join the PVG Scheme.

Applicants from overseas must prove their ‘right to work’ in the UK. You can then request a police check from the relevant country. For more information on how to go about this see the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure ( and search for ‘overseas criminal record checks’.
You may also request references from either:

  • the sport governing body in the country where they previously worked/volunteered
  • the international federation of the sport

Consideration for Children’s List or Barred Individuals
If Disclosure Scotland informs the club that an individual is barred, that member of the sports volunteers/staff must be removed from regulated work with children immediately. This is a legal requirement

If Disclosure Scotland informs the club that a member is considered for listing, that person should be suspended as a precaution until the outcome of the case is determined. Suspension is not a form of disciplinary action and does not involve pre-judgment.

New vetting information on PVG Scheme Records
It is a common misunderstanding that a club will be contacted by Disclosure Scotland in the event of any new information becoming available about a PVG Scheme Member. This is not the case. A club will only be informed by Disclosure Scotland if any relevant new information becomes available about a member of the sports volunteers/staff. For example a club will be contacted if the individual is being considered for listing because they have received a conviction for harming a child, but they will not be contacted if the PVG Scheme Member receives a dangerous driving conviction.

When a PVG Scheme Member leaves the role
If a PVG Scheme member is no longer in regulated work with children on behalf of the club, Disclosure Scotland should be notified. Should a member of the sports volunteers/staff not be in contact for three months or more, inform Disclosure Scotland that the individual is no longer in regulated work with children.

Club PVG records & Secure Handling
Under LTA Minimum Safeguarding Standards, clubs have to maintain a PVG log (see template in resources below) showing expiry date of PVGs for those people at the club who are in regulated work and their role. To compile this log club officials are entitled to ask to see a copy of a recent PVG. This is deemed to constitute Disclosure information and it is important that clubs adopt a ‘Secure Handling Policy’ (see template below) which detail how this information is securely managed by the club.

PVG referrals
The PVG Scheme requires organisations to make referrals to the Protection Unit at Disclosure Scotland in certain circumstances. If an individual is permanently removed from regulated work a decision needs to be made if the reason(s) that they were removed mean that Disclosure Scotland know what’s happened. This is called “Making a Referral” and includes circumstances where they would have been removed if, for any reason, they have already left the role.

Referrals should only be made when 2 conditions have been met:-
Condition 1 – A person has been permanently removed/removed themselves from regulated work
Condition 2 – At least 1 of the following 5 grounds apply to their permanent removal:

  • Caused harm
  • Placed someone at risk of harm
  • Engaged in inappropriate conduct involving pornography
  • Engaged in inappropriate sexual conduct
  • Given inappropriate medical treatment

When both of these conditions have been met, Disclosure Scotland must be informed by making a referral. The form for making a referral can be found on Disclosure Scotland’s website, along with instructions for completing the form and the Protection Unit can be contacted on 03000 2000 40 if you need any help. Although Disclosure Scotland require that the employing organisation makes the referral Tennis Scotland can help and advise you with this process.

It is important to understand that making a referral is not optional. It is a legal requirement to report circumstances where both conditions are met. This should be done within 3 months of making your decision.

Sample template resources
These are in ‘Word’ format and can be edited and adopted by you club.

Training for Coaches, Clubs, Officials & Volunteers Training for Coaches, Clubs, Officials & Volunteers addremove

LTA Safeguarding training

This course is essential for anyone who has contact with children and/or adults at risk in a tennis environment and is a prerequisite for LTA Accredited coaches and Welfare Officers at LTA "Registered" venues. These are scheduled in Scotland   - dates & venues can be found on the LTA Course Search system. Workshops are reasonably priced for all attendees and Accredited+ coaches can claim 3 CPD credits.

Other acceptable Safeguarding training workshops - the Sportscotland Safeguarding workshops as delivered by Scottish Local Authorities are now acceptable for LTA Coach Accreditiation purposes. Dates and venues for these can be found on the Sportscotland website. Click on the Safeguarding filter option and look for courses specifically titled "Child Wellbeing and Protection in Sport". Please foward a copy of your certificate for this to Tennis Scotland so they can update the LTA system.

Safeguarding - Online learning

The LTA have recently added online Safeguarding training for Coaches, Officials, and Welfare Officers. These are all free and can be accessed through the LTA “Find a Course” facility.

Please note that for Coach Accreditation and Welfare Officer requirements you are only eligible to take the online course if the last safeguarding course you completed was face-to-face training i.e. you must alternate between face-to-face and online training. For more information click here.

Club Welfare Officers - specific training

Sportscotland offer a good 3 hour generic workshop specifically aimed at Sports Club Welfare Officers and supports clubs putting Welfare policies in place. Dates and venues for these workshops called Child Wellbeing and Protection Officer (CWPO), can also be found on the Sportscotland website. Please note that Welfare Officers at LTA Registered Venues are required to do the CWPO Workshop within 3 years of their initial training. All training needs to be renewed every 3 years.

Volunteer Scotland Disclosure Services (VSDS) also offer a wide range of free training for volunteers to develop and increase knowledge of all aspects PVG Scheme – click here for further details.

Information for Clubs Information for Clubs addremove

Safeguarding note to clubs – Coach Accreditation

Tennis Scotland takes this opportunity to remind Clubs of the importance of ensuring that their coaching workforce is LTA Accredited this is important in 3 ways.

  1. Accredited coaches have met current Safeguarding requirements in that they have had Criminal Record Checks and attended a Safeguarding workshop. They will also have a valid First Aid Certificate
  2. They have Public Liability Insurance to protect them should there be a claim in connection with any injuries to participants or damage to property.
  3. To protect the club; if there is a claim and the coach is uninsured, the claim may in some circumstances fall upon the club.

Through the Accreditation scheme coaches can either be Accredited or Accredited+. Tennis Scotland recommends that Coaching Assistants should be Accredited (formerly called Registered) whereas Lead/ Head Coaches should be Accredited+ (formerly called Licensed) which carries higher levels of insurance. Full details can be found on the LTA Website.

Good Practice guidelines

Managing Challenging Behaviours
Coaches, Coaching Assistants and Club Volunteers delivering tennis activities may from time to time require to deal wth a child's challenging behaviour. These guidelines which have been adapted from the Safeguarding in Sport 10 Steps aid to promote good practice.

Sexual Activity
Within sport, as with other activities, sexual relationships do occur. It is important to address sexual activity both between children and young people and between adults and young people. Click here for the guidelines.

Volunteers aged 18 & Under
It is fine for children and young people to help out in clubs - it is important to understand the law and additional vulberabilites they may face. Click here for the guidelines.

What is Cyberbullying?
Cyber bullying is a growing problem on the internet and most young people will experience it or see it at some time. Cyber bullying can happen 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and it can go viral very fast.  Children and young people are often unaware of the boundaries between what is appropriate and what is not. Click here for the guidelines.

Key Contacts Key Contacts addremove

If you think someone is in immediate danger call 999

Here are some other contacts that can help with Safeguarding concerns and advice.

Club Welfare Officer

If you have a concern your first port of call is your Club Welfare Officer. Their contact details should be on the Club Noticeboard and should have been circulated in Club communications

Tennis Scotland

Matthew Hulbert

Mat Hulbert is the Lead Welfare Officer for Tennis Scotland. He works closely with the Safeguarding team that LTA and with Children 1St – Safeguarding in Sport and meets regularly with Lead Officers from other Scottish Governing Bodies of Sport. If you have any concerns or need advice please feel free to contact Mat on 07949 500 458 or alternatively send an to


LTA have a dedicated well-staffed department dealing with Safeguarding and Welfare issues across Great Britain. The LTA website has many downloadable resources to help Clubs make Safeguarding a priority within Clubs. For more information you can download resources from the LTA website.

To report a safeguarding concern to the LTA, please click here.

 If you have a non-safeguarding concern or complaint, please review our customer guidance to understand the best way to get support. If you have a query not related to a safeguarding concern (i.e. courses or criminal record checks) then please use our contact form.

If you wish to speak to someone outside of office hours, you can call the NSPCC on 0808 800 5000 or if someone is in immediate danger, call the police (999).

Scottish Local Authority Child Protection contacts

All Scottish Local Authorities will have specialist departments that handle child protection and safeguarding concerns – full contact details can be found online.

 Citizens Advice Bureau - Advice for Scotland

The CAB website has alot of information with links to organisations for Children & Young People and Parents.

Children 1st – Safeguarding in Sport

Tennis Scotland works very closely with Children 1st they have an excellent website full of advice and resources – they can be contacted on 0141 419 1156


respectme, Scotland’s anti-bullying service, was launched in March 2007.  The service is fully funded by the Scottish Government and is managed by SAMH (Scottish Association for Mental Health) in partnership with LGBT Youth Scotland. Their website contains a lot of valuable information and resources.

Online safety

The internet is a fantastic place for us all to learn, create and have fun, but they may occasionally give rise to a variety of sometimes challenging issues. These might include cyberbullying, pressure to take part in sexting, encouragement to self-harm, viewing pornography, along with various others. But there are positive things you can do to equip yourself and your child, and support them in resolving any issue they may face. There are many resources on the web to help you negotiate you way through this subject – here are a few sites. 

Child Protection - Scottish Context Child Protection - Scottish Context addremove

The Scottish government is responsible for child protection in Scotland. It sets out policy, legislation and statutory guidance on how the child protection system should work.

Child Protection Committees (CPCs) are responsible for child protection policy, procedure, guidance and practice at the local authority level. CPCs make sure that all the different local agencies, such as children's social work, health services and the police, work together to protect children.

The key guidance for anyone working in Scotland is Scottish Government (2014) National Guidance for child protection in Scotland.

Scotland specific Legislation

  • Children (Scotland) Act 1995
  • Adoption and Children (Scotland) Act 2007
  • Protection of Vulnerable Groups (Scotland) Act 2007
  • Sexual offences (Scotland) Act 2009
  • Children's Hearings (Scotland) Act 2011
  • Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014
  • Digital Economy Act 2017
  • Limitation (Childhood Abuse) (Scotland) Act 2017

GIRFEC - Getting it Right for Every Child 

Getting it right for every child (GIRFEC) is the Scottish government's approach to making a positive difference for all children and young people in Scotland. Its principles help shape all policy, practice and legislation that affects children and their families. It provides a consistent way for people to support and work with all children and young people in Scotland. It aims to improve outcomes for children and make sure that agencies work together to take action when a child is at risk or needs support.

GIRFEC says children should be:

  • Safe
  • Healthy
  • Achieving
  • Nurtured
  • Active
  • Respected
  • Responsible
  • Included.

These are remembered by the acronym SHANARRI as per the diagrams below.


View larger image here

 Each child is different, and there is no set level of wellbeing that children should achieve. These 8 wellbeing indicators are seen as the basic requirements needed for all children and young people to grow, develop and reach their full potential. GIRFEC is based on 10 core components that can be applied in any setting and any circumstance. These include: a focus on improving outcomes for children, young people and their families based on a shared understanding of well-being; a co-ordinated and unified approach; consistent high standards of co-operation, joint working and communication.

Complaints Complaints addremove

Information about how Tennis Scotland handles complaints regarding conduct and behaviour. Tennis Scotland strives to deliver an effective and efficient service to a high standard at all times.

We understand that you may not always be happy with Tennis Scotland. For that reason Tennis Scotland has a Complaints Procedure.

Complaining locally

The best way to resolve problems is usually on a personal basis and / or at local level by talking to the people involved. You should normally try this before contacting Tennis Scotland. This might take the form of contacting the club, tournament organiser, referee, or coach.

Complaints such as:

  • The courts at my club have not been maintained for months
  • The rules about access for different members are unfair
  • I have not been refunded for lessons that the tennis centre cancelled
  • My son attended a tournament that was badly organised

These type of complaints can often be dealt with quickly and efficiently in this way and we would encourage you to do that. However you should bear in mind that if the complaint cannot be resolved quickly in this way that Tennis Scotland does have a time limit of four weeks for accepting and managing complaints within this Complaints Procedure - see below.

How to contact Tennis Scotland

If complaining locally does not resolve the issue or if the matter relates to a serious issue such as unsafe, unprofessional, offensive, intimidating or discriminatory conduct you may wish to complain to Tennis Scotland. You can do this by writing to Tennis Scotland at Tennis Scotland, Airthrey Castle , Hermitage Road, Stirling FK9 4LA or by emailing us at It would assist greatly if you would head up any letter or email with the word "Complaint" so that we know that you wish us to deal with this in accordance with this Complaints Procedure.

We will accept telephone complaints if the matter is both urgent and serious. See under "Complaints Format" below.

Values and Principles

There are some important values and principles that Tennis Scotland applies to its complaints process. We also encourage other organisations and persons in Scottish tennis to apply these values and principles.

  • Right to complain: You have a right to complain. Complaints should be taken seriously. You should not be bullied, harassed or disadvantaged for making a complaint.
  • Equality: You should receive a proper response to your complaint, regardless of your age, gender, disability, race, religion, nationality, social status or sexual orientation. Tennis Scotland has an Equality and Diversity Policy to protect your rights in this area.
  • Fairness: Complaints should be dealt with fairly and openly. Unless it would put other people at risk, those affected by a complaint should have a chance to contribute and respond to any investigation.
  • Confidentiality: complaints should be treated as confidentially as possible, and should only be discussed with those involved in the investigation or decision-making process. Sometimes, advice or intervention might be needed from organisations such as the Lawn Tennis Association, social services departments, Police, or Children 1st. Tennis Scotland and other tennis organisations reserve the right to speak to these or other authorities if advice or intervention might be needed.

Safety and welfare are our priorities: concerns that affect the safety or welfare of a person or the public will be given the highest priority.

Possible outcomes

In many cases, we can help to resolve problems informally. This might include:

  • An explanation or apology
  • Clarifications to responsibilities or roles
  • Changes in local arrangements
  • An agreement between those involved to act or communicate differently in future

Sometimes, our involvement might lead to formal action at local level. Examples of this include:

  • Disciplinary action against staff or members by a club or other organisation
  • Disqualification or exclusion from an event

Your complaint could lead to formal action by Tennis Scotland. This might include:

  • Formal disciplinary or child protection proceedings against a Licensed coach, an official or a player
  • Formal disciplinary action against a Tennis Scotland employee
  • Action to enforce contracts or agreements with Tennis Scotland
  • A decision to refer the case to another organisation such as the Lawn Tennis Association, Children 1st, Police or social services

If Tennis Scotland begins formal proceedings, further investigation and correspondence may form part of these.

Tennis Scotland may decide to close your complaint without taking further action. If this happens, you will be given the reasons for our decision. This could happen if, for example, it is decided that your complaint is ill founded or if Tennis Scotland has no jurisdiction to act in the matter.

Complaint formats: Telephone, email or letter

We will accept a telephone complaint if the matter is both urgent and serious. A matter will be regarded as serious if it relates to a matter which endangers the safety or welfare of an individual.

Unless the matter is both urgent and serious we ask that you send to us an email or letter detailing the nature of your complaint. This helps to ensure accuracy and that we understand fully the concerns which you have.

Level of information

Provide as much information as you can. It can be difficult for us to deal with a complaint if we do not have very much information. Remember that we might not be familiar with your local area. Try to include information such as names, contact details and job titles.

The more information you are able to provide with your initial complaint, the easier it will be for us to investigate.

If you are unsure of what to include with a complaint, call us for advice on 01786 641 716 .

Anonymous complaints

We will consider anonymous complaints, but it is often very difficult to investigate these properly. Often we have no choice but to close them without action.

Tennis Scotland is more likely to progress an investigation into an anonymous complaint if it relates to a matter of safety or welfare of an individual.

Tennis Scotland's response to complaints

We try to give an initial response to complaints within five working days. If the matter is urgent, we will respond more quickly.

We will investigate your complaint fairly. This means that we will gather information from the relevant people or organisations. In many cases this may require only a few telephone calls.

Normally our investigation will include talking to you and to the person or organisation who is the subject of the complaint. Sometimes we will ask for permission to show copies of information or reports to other people. This is because we believe in being fair and open.

  • We will not share information if we think that this could endanger someone's safety or welfare.We will not share information if this could affect a possible enquiry by the Police, social services or other authority.
  • We will take reasonable steps to conduct a thorough investigation, but will always give priority to cases where there may be a risk to someone's safety or welfare, and we always reserve the right to end an investigation at any time.
  • We will not divulge your identity without your permission but you should remember that the nature of your complaint may be such that investigation will result in accurate speculation about your identity. We will assume that you understand and accept that this could happen.

Staying informed of progress

The Tennis Scotland employee dealing with your complaint will act as a point of contact. You will be given the name and contact details of the person responsible for your complaint. That person will make sure that you understand the process, and will help to answer any questions or concerns that you may have.

Sometimes we might agree that someone more local will act as your point of contact. You can, of course, still contact Tennis Scotland with any questions about your complaint.

You will be given updates on the progress of your complaint. We hope to resolve complaints quickly but in the event of a complicated and lengthy complaint we will update you on a three monthly basis.

If your complaint leads to formal disciplinary action, you will normally be informed of the outcome of this action. Some cases require a higher level of confidentiality than normal. In these cases, we may not be able to inform you of the detailed outcome. We will still try to give you information about how it will affect you.

Disputes and arguments

Tennis Scotland does not offer an arbitration, dispute-resolution or independent enquiry service. We will not usually become involved in arguments or disputes involving individuals or organisations unless we decide that:-

The dispute is important to the whole of Scottish tennis and all parties involved are content that we should be involved or
The dispute is important to the whole of Scottish tennis and involves misconduct by someone who is subject to the Rules of Tennis Scotland.
Advice from the Police, social services or other authorities

Sometimes Tennis Scotland receives complaints that we need to discuss with other authorities. These might include Children 1st, the Police, social services departments, or other government or local authority departments. Often this is because:

  • A criminal offence may have been committed, or
  • There could be a risk to the public, or
  • There could be a risk to the safety or welfare of an individual

Like any person or organisation, Tennis Scotland does not need evidence of a crime or of a serious hazard before consulting with these statutory authorities. If we believe that their input could be relevant, we will consult at the earliest opportunity.

Sometimes this consultation will lead to the direct involvement of statutory authorities.

Time Limit

It is important to us that all complaints are made within a reasonable timescale so that matters can be investigated while events are fresh in people's minds. It is also for the best that you should decide within a reasonable timescale either to complain or to put the matter behind you.

For that reason Tennis Scotland will regard a complaint as falling within this Complaints Procedure only if it is made within four weeks of the event complained of.

If a complaint is made outwith that period then Tennis Scotland may still investigate and take action; however you will receive a letter acknowledging receipt of the complaint and advising that it will be considered and dealt with as a late complaint. That will mean that you will not be told of the outcome and will receive no further contact from Tennis Scotland in relation to the complaint unless we decide to investigate and request further information from you.

Tennis Scotland is more likely to progress an investigation into a late complaint if it relates to a matter of safety or welfare of an individual.