Bicester Millennium Cycling Club – Whistleblowing Policy

Safeguarding children, young people and adults at risk requires everyone to be committed to the highest possible standards of openness, integrity and accountability.

As a club, we are committed to encouraging and maintaining a culture where people feel able to raise a genuine safeguarding concern and are confident that it will be taken seriously.

You may be the first to recognise that something is wrong but feel that you cannot express your concerns as this may be disloyal to your colleagues or you may that you will be the victim of harassment or victimisation as a result.

Children, Young People and Adults at risk need someone like you to safeguard their welfare.

What is whistle blowing

In the context of safeguarding, “whistle blowing” is when someone raises a
concern about the well-being of a child or an adult at risk.

A whistle blower may be:

  • a member;
  • a volunteer;
  • a coach;
  • other member of staff;
  • an official;
  • a parent;
  • a member of the public.
Reasons for whistle blowing

Those involved in sport must acknowledge their individual responsibilities and bring matters of concern to the attention of the relevant people and/or agencies. Although this can be difficult it is particularly important where the welfare of children may be at risk.

Each individual has a responsibility for raising concerns about unacceptable practice or behaviour:

  • To protect or reduce risk to others
  • To prevent a problem from becoming worse or more widespread
  • To prevent becoming implicated yourself
What prevents those individuals from whistle blowing:

  • Starting a chain of events that they have no control of
  • Disrupting work or training
  • Fear of getting it wrong or making a mistake
  • Fear of repercussions
  • Fear of damaging careers
  • Fear of not being believed

If a child or an adult at risk is in immediate danger or risk of harm, the police should be contacted by calling 999.

Where a child or an adult at risk is not in immediate danger the first person you should report your suspicion or allegation to is your Club Welfare Officer. If for any reason you cannot, or do not wish to report the matter to your Club Welfare Officer please contact the British Cycling Lead Safeguarding Officer on 0161 2742000 or email [email protected]

Alternatively you can contact the NSPCC on 0808 800 5000.

Information to include when raising a concern

The whistle blower should provide as much information as possible regarding the incident or circumstance which has given rise to the concern, including:

  • their name and contact details (unless they wish to remain anonymous);
  • names of individuals involved;
  • date, time and location of incident/circumstance; and
  • whether any witnesses were present.

BMCC assures that all involved will be treated fairly and that all concerns will be properly considered. In cases where suspicions prove to be unfounded, no action will be taken against those who report their concerns, provided they acted in good faith and without malicious intent.

What happens next?

  • You should be given information on the nature and progress of any enquiries – this may vary depending on the nature and result of the investigations.
  • All concerns will be treated in confidence. During the process of investigating the matter, every effort will be made to keep the identity of those raising the concern to the minimum number of individuals practicable.
  • Your Club has a responsibility to protect you from harassment or victimisation.
  • No action will be taken against you if the concern proves to be unfounded and was raised in good faith.
  • Malicious allegations may be considered a disciplinary offence.

The Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 protects whistle blowers from victimisation, discipline or dismissal where they raise genuine concerns of misconduct or malpractice.

If the whistle blower does not believe that the concern has been dealt with appropriately and wishes to speak to someone outside the club or British Cycling then the NSPCC Whistleblowing advice line should be contacted on 0800 028 0285 or by emailing [email protected].