Adults at Risk Policy, Procedures & DBS Guidance

What is an Adult at Risk?

An Adult at Risk is someone over the age of 18 that:

• Has needs for care and support (whether or not the local authority is meeting any of those needs) 

• Is experiencing, or is at risk of, abuse or neglect.

• As a result of those care and support needs is unable to protect themselves from either the risk of, or the experience of, abuse or neglect. (Anne Craft Trust, 2018)

Should a club have a Safeguarding Adults Policy?


England Hockey strongly recommends that clubs have a Safeguarding Adults Policy that is separate to their Safeguarding Children Policy (should they have one). This is recommended for a number of reasons:


• Adults and children can face different sets of issues to each other.

• Definitions and terms used in adult and child safeguarding can differ from each other.

• Reporting procedures and case handling are different.

• There is different legislation and policy for child and adult safeguarding.

• Adults have the right to self-determinate (choose whether they wish to receive help) whereas children do not.


Clubs also have a duty of care to all people who are deemed to be vulnerable, regardless of age. Any club that are not fulfilling their duty of care could be putting an adult at risk.


England Hockey is committed to creating and maintaining a safe and positive environment and accepts our responsibility to safeguard the welfare of all adults involved in hockey in accordance with the Care Act 2014


England Hockey’s safeguarding adult’s policy and procedures apply to all adults, 18 years or older, involved in hockey. The policy and procedures can be found by clicking below:

Safeguarding Adults at Risk Policy and Procedures (July 2017)

Club Matters, in collaboration with The Ann Craft Trust, have produced a short video which goes over the key principles of adult safeguarding and tips for dealing with a safeguarding concern. To view the video, please click here.

The Ann Craft Trust (ACT) – A charity that receives funding from Sport England to develop best practice for safeguarding adults at risk in sport.

DBS Checks for working with adults

The criteria for an adult DBS check are different for that of one for those working with children. Few people working within hockey will meet the criteria to need an Enhanced DBS with adult barred list check. In order to be required to complete one when working with adults at risk, a person would need to be in regulated activity. This would involve performing any one of the activities below:

  • You are providing healthcare to an adult at risk (Only including first aid when it performed on behalf of an organisation.
  • You are providing personal care to an adult at risk (e.g. helping with eating/drinking, washing, dressing, oral/skin care)
  • You are providing social work for an adult at risk.
  • You are assisting with the general household matters of an adult at risk (e.g. managing a person’s money, doing their shopping)
  • You are helping to conduct the affairs of an adult at risk (e.g. you have the power of attorney under the Mental Capacity Act 2005)
  • You are transporting an adult at risk (Only applies to making trips for healthcare, personal care and social work. Drivers for trips that do not meet these criteria do not require a DBS check)


DBS Checks for working with adults but not in Regulated Activity

Those who are performing training, teaching, assistance, advice or guidance roles for adults that are receiving health or social care will usually not meet the requirements for regulated activity and therefor will not be required to get an Enhanced DBS Check with adult barred list check.

However, people in these roles may still qualify for an Enhanced Check without the adult barred list check if they are in an environment where the majority of the participants are receiving health or social care and meets one of the following criteria:

·  The activity they perform occurs more then three days in any period of 30 days

·   It involves staying overnight with an adult at risk

·   The activity they perform occurs at least once a week on an ongoing basis.

Even if a person does not meet the requirement for a DBS check, it is still important that any organisation performs a thorough recruitment process and have thought about whether someone is suitable for the role that they are undertaking.

For more information about DBS Checks for working with adults at risk in sport, please consult the Disclosure and Barring Service’s guidance leaflet.

If you are unsure whether you meet any of the criteria set or have an questions, please contact Stuart Thomas, Ethics and Welfare Administrator at or 01628 897516.

Mental Health Awareness Training and Toolkit

UK Coaching has created an Online Workshop for coaches in order to better understanding around mental health problems, how these can be barriers to participation and increase confidence to speak about mental health. The workshop is 2-3 hours long and costs £18. A link to where you can find out more about this workshop and purchase it can be found by clicking here.

The mental health charity Mind run face-to-face workshops based on what is taught on UK Coaching’s Online Workshop. If your club is interested in running a face-to-face workshop, please click here.

Mind have also produced a toolkit that is designed for clubs who may have people with mental health problems participating. To download the toolkit, please click here.

For further useful information about safeguarding adults at risk, England Hockey recommends the following contacts:

Alison Hogg – Ethics and Welfare Manager – / 01628 897500

Mind – A charity that provides advice and support to anyone who is experiencing a mental health problem. Their website includes:

  • Advice on how to speak to someone experiencing a mental health problem
  • Self-care advice and tips
  • Helplines to support people with questions around mental health