Rules, Terms & Conditions and Child Protection Policy
Please check this page from time to time for updates:
- July 2016: Race Referees updated.
- Aug 2015: CaniX Biathlon rules added.
- May 2015: Abridge version of rules added including penalties.
- Sep 2014: New Race Referees to replace Technical Committee. Complaints fee dropped.
CaniX is cross-country running with your dog for all breeds, any size, big or small. This can be done with collar and lead or for greater comfort for you and your dog and hands-free running, with a CaniX waist belt for you, CaniX line and CaniX harness for your dog. CaniX events cater for 1 or 2-dog teams and most races are over +/- 5km distance with a short course (+/- 2km) for the kids and adults who want to have-a-go. CaniX cater for all human ages young and old with races divided into 10 age classes (+ Have-a-go Class).
Rules specific to CaniX Biathlon
The CaniX Relay is 3 laps of a short course (around 1km). You do not need a team to enter or be super fast — as we decide the teams and try to match abilities to even out the field and make for a more interesting race. Each team will be assigned a forth baton person to tag team members, so you stay with your dog at change-over. Enter as an individual on the day.
By completing an entry form to a CaniX UK event you confirm that:
- you agree to CaniX UK Rules, Terms & Conditions and Child Protection Policy.
- you do not have any criminal convictions that would mean you are unsuitable to compete alongside and camp at weekend events with children and young people under 18 years of age.
- you give consent for CaniX UK to request information on you from the Criminal Records Bureau should the need arise.
- if you are a parent or guardian of a child or young person under the age of 18, in your absence, you consent to CaniX UK staff or volunteers treating your child for first aid or taking other actions deemed necessary in the event of an emergency or to protect your child.
You, your dog(s), or your equipment must not impede the progress of another competitor at any time.
- Competitors must not verbally, or physically, abuse any dog, member of the public, fellow competitor or marshal at any point, before, during or after the race.
- When overtaking, the rear runner must call when there is space to over take. Either
or both parties should pull in their dog if it is likely to interfere in any way with the
- All dogs to be kept on a lead at all times in the campsite, unless they are in their own secure fenced off area.
- All must be able to handle their own dog/s without assistance from the point at which they join the queue at the start to finish.
- Cubs must be accompanied by a responsible adult throughout the race, who may be attached to the cub’s dog.
- Juniors may be accompanied by a responsible adult throughout the race - the adult must not be attached to the dog. Pairing of dog and junior in relation to the course, conditions, dog size, dog weight and dog handling by the junior, is the responsibility of the parent. (Accompanying adults must run alongside or behind the child, not in front)
Please refer to the rules regarding equipment.
Use of a 'greyhound' type muzzle is permitted. If you are intending to use a muzzle please notify the race organisers or one of the race refs of your intention. NB No halti's, choke chains, non pull harnesses, flexi leads are permitted.
Penalties are awarded at the discretion of the Race Referees, depending on the circumstances of the incident. At least 2 Race Referees must agree the penalty. Head Race Referee has a deciding vote in cases of disagreement.
The following may take place at Race Referees discretion:
ADVICE (to help and assist in resolving a race incident)
WARNING (when advice has been ignored and a further race incident occurs)
TIME PENALTY (minimum 30 seconds and thereafter 30 second increments)
DISQUALIFIED (no time recorded for race)
DISQUALIFIED (for 2 or more races)
BAN (all Race Referees to be involved regarding the implementation of a ban)
groups and distances (human)
Age groups and distances (dogs)
Bitches in season
What equipment do I need?
Borrowing of dogs
Closing date and Pay-on-the-day
Bad weather, cancellation, refunds and credits
Optional cancellation Cover
Camping (selected venues only)
Child Protection Policy
|CaniX 1-dog classes|
|Class||Distance (*)||Codes||Age range (**)||Championship|
|Veterans||5-7km (3 miles)||VM + VF||50+||YES|
|Masters||5-7km (3 miles)||MM + MF||40 to 49||YES|
|Male/Female||5-7km (3 miles)||M + F||15 to 39||YES|
|Juniors||1-3km (1 mile)||J (M+F combined)||11 to 14||YES (*3)|
|Cubs||1-3km (1 mile)||C (M+F combined)||7 to 10||YES (*3)|
|CaniX 2-dog classes (*6)|
|Male/Female||5-7km (3 miles)||XM + XF||17+||YES|
|CaniX Have-a-go class, 1-dog or 2-dog|
|Have-a-go||1-3km (1 mile)||H (M+F comb)||15+ (*4)||NO (*5)|
|(*) Distance may not be exact due to the nature of forest trails.|
|(**) Age at 31 May at the end of the season.
|(*3) All classes for under 15s will be awarded points towards the Championship and medals at the Championship prizegiving.|
|(*4) To run 2 dogs in Have-a-Go class or 'P Class' you need to be 17+.|
|(*5) Have-a-go class is timed in alphabetical order.|
|(*6) Although we do not advise it, you may run with more than 2 dogs if you do so regularly and are used to running with more than 2 dogs. The following also applies:
- the combined weight of all dogs must be under half the human's weight.
- all dogs must be connected by neck lines, you must ensure you do not impede other competitors on narrow trails and give-way to faster runners.
- it is your responsibility to inspect the trail and guage the conditions to ensure you are capable to run the course with more than 2 dogs.
- results for competitors with more than 2 dogs will be included in the 2-dog class.
As our race season ends in May, the class you compete in for the whole season is determined by your age at 31 May. For example, the classes you can enter, if on 31 May you are:
- Age 7* is: Cubs (M+F combined)
- Age 11* is: Juniors (M+F combined)
- Age 15 are: M / F / H
- Age 17 are: M / F / XM / XF / H
- Age 40 are: MM / MF / XM / XF / H
- Age 50 are: VM / VF / XM / XF / H
The following distance restrictions apply:
- Age 7* to 14*: 1 to 3km (short course)
- Age 15* to 16*: up to 7km
- Age 17 to 19: up to 10km
- Age 20 and over: any distance
The 8 adult classes (VM / VF / MM / MF / M / F / XM / XF) and the two junior classes* (J/C) are officially timed with results and points awarded towards the CaniX UK National Championship. The Have-a-go class (H) for 15s and over is officially timed in alphabetical order but does not count towards the Championship. If you are over 15 and would like to compete in the CaniX Championship, please choose 5km when you enter.
(*) Competitors aged under 17 (C / J / M / F / H class), please note:
- For safety reasons, it is compulsary for an adult (over 18) without a dog to accompany under 11s on the course (in case a child is approached by a member of the public, gets lost, injured, or their dog is involved in an incident with another competitors dog or member of the publics dog). At times your child will be alone in the forest out of sight of a marshal. We also strongly advise that both child and adult are attached to the dog, via two hand held leads, CaniX lines or a double CaniX line in reverse (in case the child trips or slips on downhill sections and gets pulled by the dog especially if a child is running with a large, powerful dog). Pairing of dogand child in relation to the course, conditions, dog size, dog weight and dog handling is the responsibility of the parent.
- Depending on childs DOB and event date:
- entrants as young as 6yrs +1 day old can enter C class;
- entrants as young as 10yrs +1 day can enter J class;
- entrants as young as 14yrs +1 day can enter M or F class.
- We advise that an adult accompany children under 17 on the course (without a dog).
- Under 17s: run with parental/guardian consent. One dog only (no 2 dog class).
- All classes for under 15s will be awarded points towards the CaniX UK Championship and medals at the Championship prizegiving.
- Please refer to our Child Protection Policy.
- Age 1 to 2: up to 10km.
- Age 2 and over: any distance (providing training for the distance in the lead-up to the race has been done).
We advise you build your dogs distance up over several weeks/months. During training runs and hot weather (over 16°c) some breeds (ie those with short muzzles) may have difficulty cooling themselves. If your dog is overweight, unfit, not used to exercise, recovering from illness, of advancing years, or you have any doubt about your dogs ability, please consult your vet.
- Always carry water with you there are camel packs (designed for running) that hold up to 3 litres and folding dog bowls for this purpose.
- Do not train for long distances during hot weather (over 16°c). If your dog is unfit and not used to exercise, it may suffer from heat exhaustion in lower temperatures.
- Familiarise yourself with your dogs normal behaviour while running. If at any time sh/e shows any signs they are struggling (excessive foaming at the mouth, shaking the head or pulling to the side), immediately find a shaded place to stop (preferably with a cool breeze) and give them some water.
- Watch your dogs behaviour for 1/2hr after your run this is the most critical time when sh/e is likely to overheat.
It is the owners responsibility to know their dogs ability to cope running in the heat/humidity and conditions on race day. If in doubt, you may drop your dog without being peanalised. Make sure you have a cool, safe place to leave your dog should this occur.
If entering a race with a distance over 7km, you must convince CaniX UK that your dog is fit enough to run.
CaniX UK reserve the right to refuse a dog on the start line if deemed unfit.
Bitches in season
If you have a bitch in season, please alert us and we will accomodate you with an individual start (if possible). At the event, keep well away from other dogs on-site and the start/finish area.
What equipment do I need?
If you already run with your dog, you are already doing CaniX – collar and lead are acceptable. No special equipment is needed, but for you and your dogs comfort the following items are recommended:
- Waist belt (for human)
- Running harness (for dog)
Built-in shock absorption (bungee line) is advised for waist belt and CaniX line.
- Booties (in case your dog cuts or injures a pad)
- Studded boots
- Choke chains or any collar that constricts your dogs throat
- Electric shock collars
- Muzzles (other than racing greyhound type muzzle)
- Flexi leads
Your line (whether a CaniX line or a lead) must not have a metal snap or loop on the handle – if released this can cause injury to dogs and by-standers. Together with waist belt (if worn) should be no longer than 22.5meters (68 feet).
If your equipment does not meet these rules, you may be turned away from the start line – if in doubt ask at registration.
Events are run on cross-country trails during the winter months. Hazards may include wet slippery surfaces including downhills, grass, mud, snow/ice, twigs/branches from tree fall, loose stones and gullies formed by water erosion – all of which may be hidden under thick blanket of leaves. Please be prepared for all of the above terrain.
The only brakes you have are your feet which can be precarious on loose gravel trails, wet grass or other surfaces where traction is not ideal. Remember that your footing will not be as solid when a dog is pulling you on downward slopes.
Borrowing of dogs
Although the swapping, lending and borrowing of dogs is not prohibited, as the events grow with more competitors, dogs and spectators, safety must be maintained. Anyone running a dog that is not owned by them must disclose this on their entry form. Ultimatly it is the owner’s responsibility to ensure that the person they are lending their dog to is able to read the dog’s signals in order to anticipate any problems before they happen and if a situation should occur they are capable of handling it. They must also be confident the dog is sound when approaching and being approached by other dogs. For the safety of the dog being lent out, the runner should also be made aware of the dogs limitations, signs that the dog may be having difficulties and have undertaken a number of training runs before entering a race. If there is any doubt that the runner is not capable or the dog could act unpredictably, the entry should not be submitted or withdrawn. If a situation occurs the owner of the dog will be held responsible.
CaniX UK may close the entry prior to the advertised closing date if entry capacity is reached. If capacity is not reached, entries will remain open until 23:59 the Monday before the event (unless specified). We do not take entries on the day of the race.
If conditions/temperatures dictate the race may begin early for runners with dogs. In extreme cases CaniX entrants will be given the option to run without their dog without effecting their Championship points.
Bad weather, cancellation, refunds and credit
All competitors should check our Alerts for updates before setting off for the event. This will not only inform you the event is proceding as planned, but give you any new information we have right up until the morning of the race. We use Twitter to spread this information as it can be sent via text message from a mobile phone - forests generally have bad mobile signals and we cannot access the internet to send emails. Twitter will also send you a text the second we issue an update (if you choose this in your Twitter settings). if you do not have a Twitter account, these updates also appear on every page of our website on the left.
From the moment an event goes into planning, costs start to be incured. Your entry fee is invested into the cost of staging the event - everything from barriers to signage, printing to safety pins, race numbers to marketing, land owner permissions/costs, public liability insurance, risk assessments and first aid cover not to mention time and admin 24/7. Organising any event requires a considerable amount of forward planning, risk and expense. The cancellation policy reflects this and is as follows:
|Competitors withdrawing from event
A credit will be issued as follows:
|Notification dated 8 weeks (57 days) or more before the event||50% credit|
|Notification dated 4 weeks to 8 weeks (29 to 56 days) before the event||20% credit|
|Notification dated less than 4 weeks (28 days) before the event||No credit|
|Notify CaniX UK in writing via email withdrawals@caniX.co.uk giving your full name and event you are withdrawing from. Date of withdrawal is the date of email. Telephone messages are not acceptable.
Race entries/camping are NOT transferable to any other person or any other event. The online entry system and race database is fully automated and any manual changes to the data held on the race database requires considerable time and cost in administration.
Credits must be used before the end of the season in which the credit was issued.
|Event cancelled due to reasons beyond organisers control|
|if an event is cancelled due to reasons beyond the organisers control, we regret that no entry fees can be refunded, credited or deferred to future events. This is due to the amount of admin, organisation and cost that goes into each event prior to the actual event itself.
CaniX have run over 250 events in the past 9 years throughout the winter months and have only had to cancel two events due the venue being closed as a result of bad weather.
|Optional Cancellation Cover
If you choose to include cancellation cover with your entry and the event is cancelled by the organisers due to reasons outside of the organisers control you will receive a full refund of your entry fee (less cancellation cover fee). To be valid, cancellation cover must be purchased with the associated entry - it cannot be included at a later date. This cover only applies to cancellations by the organisers, there is no refund for a withrawal/ cancellation by an individual due to personal circumstances (credits will be given for individual cancellations 4 weeks or more prior to an event - see above for more info). Without this cancellation cover no refunds will be issued. This cover is non-refundable.
|Event cancelled by organiser|
|if an event is cancelled by the organiser for reasons within it's control, a full refund will be issued.|
Distance Selling Regulations
Merchandise orders are governed by the Distance Selling Regulations which allow every customer the right to cancel their merchandise order within 7 working days of placing the order. This cancellation right does not extend to race entries or membership.
Prizes and race mementos
Prizes and race mementos given to competitors on the day of the race cannot be made available to anyone who fails to turn up for the prizegiving, race, or who has withdrawn from the event.
It is advised that you/your dog should be checked out by a doctor/veterinarian before running. The organisers are not held responsible for any accident or injury sustained during the race. If in doubt, do not run.
If you have one dog between two runners and both wish to run, you may enter the same dog twice - once in the long course (VM/VF/MM/MF/M/F/XM/XF Classes) and once in the short course (in the Have-a-go Class for over 17s, or J/C Classes for under 17s).
All competitors must familiarise themselves with the course, hazzards and safety info detailed on this page and with specific course/venue info detailed on the information board at the event.
No prizes will be given before prizegiving or mailed after the event. If you are not present at prizegiving, your prize will be recyled.
Qualified First Aiders will be available on the day.
By entering and taking part in the event, you automatically consent (model release) to photographs of you being used in any promotion by CaniX and offered for resale. Any photograph taken by anyone at a CaniX event is the intellectual property of CaniX protected by a registered trademark. Any photographer offering photos of a CaniX event for purchase, OR FOR FREE (in both physical and digital formats) must have permission from CaniX in writing beforehand.
Photographs purchased of a CaniX event are for personal use only, and cannot be resold or offered for use for free (in whole, or part, or any manipulated version) or used for commercial purposes without the prior written permission from CaniX and the photographer for the use in question. Each subsequent use will require a new permission to be granted. The copyright ownership of all photos remains with the photographer. The purchase of a photo does not assign or transfer copyright ownership to the purchaser.
- always pick up after your
dog carry poop bags with you at all times.
- leave the trail in a good condition.
- pick up small items left
behind by others (i.e. other dog owners, sweet wrappers).
- remember not everyone loves
canines like we do, keep yours under control and on a lead at all times.
- if you have an aggressive
type dog, don't provide the opportunity for it to be out of control.
- although facilities will
be available, we recommend that you bring water for your dog.
- no dogs must be left
unattended in cars.
- no physical or verbal abuse of your dog is allowed.
- try and get your dog to
do its business before the start.
- for interval starts line up in number order.
- give yourself, your dogs and other competitors space on the startline.
- Control of your dog is required. All must be able to handle their own dog/s without assistance from the point at which they join the queue at the start to finish.
- move off the trail if your
dog needs to relieve itself. If your dog relieves itself whole heartedly
in the middle of the trail pick it up no one wants to
be running and sliding into your dogs excrement! Carry poop bags
with you at all times.
- maintain a good rapport with walkers, MTBs, horse
riders and other trail users that you may see on the trail a
smile or good morning greeting never goes amiss.
- do whatever it takes to make other trail users feel
comfortable and not intimidated or inconvenienced. Always give right
of way. We do not and never will have sole use of trails. Conflicts
may jeopardise our future use of venues so dont allow a small
isolated situation escalate to the point where we will be unable to
return to a venue.
- when overtaking other runners on narrow trails,
call before overtaking. If being overtaken, keep your dog close. When
passing other runners, each party should ensure this is done safely,
allowing plenty of space for each runner and ensuring dogs do not become
- dogs should be attached to the runner at all times
except in cases of danger to dog or runner.
- runners should not go ahead of their dog at any
stage except in cases of danger to dog or runner.
- the swapping of dogs during a race is not allowed. The dog you start the race with is the dog you must finish the race with. If for any reason your dog refuses to run you must not force your dog to run and you must retire your dog. A RET (retired) result will be recorded in the results. At a two day event, you may change dogs before you start on the second day, but you must notify the organiser of the change before you start. At the organisers descrection you may restart the race with the same dog or another dog - you mayl not be timed, placed or receive points for a restart.
- runners must not pull, drag or force their dog to
go forwards by any means except in cases of danger to dog or runner.
Dogs are allowed to run at heel.
- Racing bibs supplied by CaniX UK must be worn on the front of your garment attached with 4x safety pins in each corner (please supply your own pins). The whole bib must be visible at all times during the race. If your bib is not visible to the start timer you will be asked to leave the start line, rectify the problem and be moved to the end of the queue to restart. The whole bib must be visible to the finish timers, marshals, the public and other runners throughout the race - failure to do so may result in your time not being recorded. Bibs must not be altered or defaced in any way or the sponsors logos/CaniX logo intentionally obscured. Sponsors use the bibs to promote their companies and sponsor logos are to be on display at all times - failure to do so may result in the removal of sponsorship resulting in increased entry fees and jeopardise the future of CaniX events.
- Animal cruelty, unsportsmanlike, aggressive, threatening, abusive or any behaviour deemed to be unacceptable at any stage during the event will not be tolerated. As well as the distress negative behaviour causes, CaniX events are attended by families with young children. The venues are public places where families come to enjoy themselves. This also extends to intimidation or harassment of dogs, runners, marshals, helpers, volunteers or CaniX UK outside of events.
CaniX UK have a permit to operate in the various venues and in the course of running the events have permission to promote, sell or endorse CaniX UK.
CaniX UK respectfully request that you do not bring flyers, brochures or display any posters/notices; display/sell goods or offer any services. Television crews, photographers, live radio, press and freelance journalists are invited by CaniX UK to promote CaniX UK. Any person undertaking any of these activities without an invitation or prior permission from CaniX UK will be in breach of venue byelaws and rules & regulations.
- Runners start at either timed intervals
or mass starts (if space is available). The winner will be the one to complete the course in the fastest
- For interval starts line up in number order.
- Give yourself, your dogs and other competitors space on the startline.
- Control of your dog is required. All must be able to handle their own dog/s without assistance from the point at which they join the queue at the start to finish.
- Markers will be placed at regular intervals
to indicate the direction of the course.
- Water for dogs will be available
along the course.
- Please contact marshals
if you/your dog experience difficulties.
- Any form of abuse of marshals will result in automatic disqualification and possible ban from future events.
Camping is for CaniX Members only (at selected venues)
Camping is at your own risk. You are responsible for the health, welfare and actions of your party and your dog. Picking up after your dog is essential to ensure we are invited back.
Neither land owners or CaniX UK accept responsibility for damages or loss including accident or injury resulting from the use of the camping facilities to either human or canine.
Anybody whose behaviour is considered unacceptable will be asked to leave.
Disregard of any of the above may result in a ban from future events; championship points being revoked and a suspension/ban from the CaniX membership. In extreme cases a ban will be immediate and without warning. Refunds will not be issued if your actions result in any of the above.
CaniX UK reserve the right to amend these rules if circumstances dictate and apply retrospectivly should the need arise. Event entries or membership may be declined at the organisers discretion.
Race Referees are in place to mediate and assist competitors during a CaniX race should an incident occur. They are also assigned to judge and award appropriate actions/penalties as deemed necessary for complaints received regarding actions/behaviour during a CaniX race.
A CaniX race will be deemed to be active from arrival on site until departure.
Complaints are to be submitted to a member of the Race Referee Team within 60 mins of the completion of the race.
The Race Referees are voluntary and therefore any incident brought to them must be genuine that has spoilt your race or made the race dangerous. Before raising a complaint, please think seriously and make sure you have a valid issue, as this will take up the Race Referees time needlessly. Do not act immediately you cross the finish line, go back to your car, cool down and consider your incident; try approaching the other party first (we are all adults!). Only use the Race Referees as a last resort or if you consider the incident is cause for a safety concern at future races.
Only under exceptional circumstances ie dog/human bite, human aggression etc. will the 60 minute rule be waived whereby the Race Referees will discuss further and take the necessary action.
Contact the Race Referees via email@example.com. Race Referees will not repond to direct communication via private email, Facebook post/PM.
CaniX Race Referees (as of July 2016)
- D Bird
- D Crook-Richards
- S Johnson
- B Smith
The Race Referees are made up of independent members of CaniX UK. These members are not directly associated with CaniX UK organisers and have been chosen for their impartial view of any incident.
If, following a penalty imposed against you, you seek reprisal on any individual or CaniX UK, the penalty will be increased. Reprisals include: disrupting CaniX events and/or intimidating individuals at CaniX events including intimidating individuals outside of CaniX events. This includes vengeful, aggressive, threatening or abusive behaviour; any inciteful derogatory comments in any form, ie Facebook or any social networking forums, private messaging, emails, etc. Should there be any ongoing legal disputes a ban will remain in force.
Any legal action will result in membership and entries automatically being suspended without notice, until the matter has been resolved.
All sporting organisations which make provision for children and young people must ensure that:
- the welfare of the child is paramount.
- all children, whatever their age, culture, disability, gender, language, racial origin religious beliefs and/or sexual identity have the right to protection from abuse.
- all suspicions and allegations of abuse and poor practice will be taken seriously and responded to swiftly and appropriately.
- all staff (paid/unpaid) working in sport have a responsibility to report concerns to the appropriate officer.
Staff/volunteers are not trained to deal with situations of abuse or to decide if abuse has occurred.
CaniX UK has a duty of care to safeguard all children involved in CaniX UK from harm. All children have a right to protection, and the needs of disabled children and others who may be particularly vulnerable must be taken into account. CaniX UK will ensure the safety and protection of all children involved in CaniX UK through adherence to the Child Protection guidelines adopted by CaniX UK.
A child is defined as a person under the age of 18 (The Children Act 1989).
The aim of the CaniX UK Child Protection Policy is to promote good practice:
- providing children and young people with appropriate safety and protection whilst in the care of CaniX UK.
- allow all staff /volunteers to make informed and confident responses to specific child protection issues.
Promoting good practice
Child abuse, particularly sexual abuse, can arouse strong emotions in those facing such a situation. It is important to understand these feelings and not allow them to interfere with your judgement about the appropriate action to take.
Abuse can occur within many situations including the home, school and the sporting environment. Some individuals will actively seek employment or voluntary work with young people in order to harm them. A coach, instructor, teacher, official or volunteer will have regular contact with young people and be an important link in identifying cases where they need protection. All suspicious cases of poor practice should be reported following the guidelines in this document.
When a child enters a sporting activity having been subjected to child abuse outside the sporting environment, sport can play a crucial role in improving the child’s self-esteem. In such instances the organisers must work with the appropriate agencies to ensure the child receives the required support.
Good practice guidelines
All personnel should be encouraged to demonstrate exemplary behaviour in order to promote childrens welfare and reduce the likelihood of allegations being made. The following are common sense examples of how to create a positive culture and climate.
Good practice means:
- Always working in an open environment (e.g. avoiding private or unobserved situations and encouraging open communication with no secrets).
- Treating all young people/disabled adults equally, and with respect and dignity.
- Always putting the welfare of each young person first, before winning or achieving goals.
- Maintaining a safe and appropriate distance with runners (e.g. it is not appropriate for staff or volunteers to have an intimate relationship with a child or to share a room with them).
- Building balanced relationships based on mutual trust which empowers children to share in the decision-making process.
- Making sport fun, enjoyable and promoting fair play.
- Ensuring that if any form of manual/physical support is required, it should be provided openly. Care is needed, as it is difficult to maintain hand positions when the child is constantly moving. Young people and their parents should always be consulted and their agreement gained.
- Keeping up to date with technical skills, qualifications and insurance in sport.
- Involving parents/carers wherever possible. For example, encouraging them to take responsibility for their children in the changing rooms. If groups have to be supervised in the changing rooms, always ensure parents, teachers, coaches or officials work in pairs.
- Ensuring that if mixed teams are taken away, they should always be accompanied by a male and female member of staff. However, remember that same gender abuse can also occur.
- Ensuring that at tournaments or residential events, adults should not enter children’s rooms or invite children into their rooms.
- Being an excellent role model - this includes not smoking or drinking alcohol in the company of young people.
- Giving enthusiastic and constructive feedback rather than negative criticism.
- Recognising the developmental needs and capacity of young people and disabled adults - avoiding excessive training or competition and not pushing them against their will.
- Securing parental consent in writing to act in loco parentis, if the need arises to administer emergency first aid and/or other medical treatment.
- Keeping a written record of any injury that occurs, along with the details of any treatment given.
- Requesting written parental consent if CaniX UK officials are required to transport young people in their cars.
Practices to be avoided
The following should be avoided except in emergencies. If cases arise where these situations are unavoidable it should be with the full knowledge and consent of someone in charge or the child’s parents. For example, a child sustains an injury and needs to go to hospital, or a parent fails to arrive to pick a child up at the end of a session:
- avoid spending time alone with children away from others.
- avoid taking or dropping off a child to an event or activity.
Practices never to be sanctioned
The following should never be sanctioned. You should never:
- engage in rough, physical or sexually provocative games, including horseplay.
- share a room with a child.
- allow or engage in any form of inappropriate touching.
- allow children to use inappropriate language unchallenged.
- make sexually suggestive comments to a child, even in fun.
- reduce a child to tears as a form of control.
- fail to act upon and record any allegations made by a child.
- do things of a personal nature for children or disabled adults, that they can do for themselves.
- invite or allow children to stay with you at your home/van/caravan/tent unsupervised.
NB It may sometimes be necessary for staff or volunteers to do things of a personal nature for children, particularly if they are young or are disabled. These tasks should only be carried out with the full understanding and consent of parents and the runners involved. There is a need to be responsive to a person’s reactions. If a person is fully dependent on you, talk with him/her about what you are doing and give choices where possible. This is particularly so if you are involved in any dressing or undressing of outer clothing, or where there is physical contact, lifting or assisting a child to carry out particular activities. Avoid taking on the responsibility for tasks for which you are not appropriately trained.
Incidents that must be reported/recorded
If any of the following occur you should report this immediately to the appropriate officer and record the incident. You should also ensure the parents of the child are informed:
- if you accidentally hurt a runner.
- if he/she seems distressed in any manner.
- if a runner appears to be sexually aroused by your actions.
- if a runner misunderstands or misinterprets something you have done.
Use of photographic/filming equipment at sporting events
There is evidence that some people have used sporting events as an opportunity to take inappropriate photographs or film footage of young and disabled sportspeople in vulnerable positions. Any concerns should to be reported to CaniX UK.
Videoing as a coaching aid: there is no intention to prevent the use of video equipment as a legitimate coaching aid. However, runners and their parents/carers should be made aware that this is part of the programme and their consent obtained, and such films should be stored safely.
Recruitment and training of staff and volunteers
CaniX UK recognises that anyone may have the potential to abuse children in some way and that all reasonable steps are taken to ensure unsuitable people are prevented from working with children. Preselection checks must included the following:
- All volunteers/staff should complete an application form. The application form will elicit information about an applicant's past and a self disclosure about any criminal record.
- Consent should be obtained from an applicant to seek information from the Criminal Records Bureau.
- Evidence of identity (passport or driving licence with photo).
Interview and induction
All employees (and volunteers) will be required to undergo an interview carried out to acceptable protocol and recommendations. All employees and volunteers should receive an induction, during which:
- A check should be made that the application form has been completed in full (including sections on criminal records and self-disclosures).
- Their qualifications should be substantiated.
- The job requirements and responsibilities should be clarified.
- Child protection procedures are explained and training needs are identified.
- They should sign up to the organisation’s Code of Ethics and Conduct and Child Protection policy.
In addition to preselection checks, the safeguarding process includes training after recruitment to help staff and volunteers to:
- Analyse their own practice against established good practice, and to ensure their practice is not likely to result in allegations being made.
- Recognise their responsibilities and report any concerns about suspected poor practice or possible abuse.
- Respond to concerns expressed by a child or young person.
- Work safely effectively with children.
CaniX UK requires:
- Relevant personnel to receive advisory information outlining good practice and informing them about what to do if they have concerns about the behaviour of an adult towards a young person.
- Relevant personnel to gain a national first aid training (where necessary).
- Attend update training when necessary. Information about meeting training needs can be obtained from Sports Coach UK, the NSPCC, and the Sport Council.
Responding to allegations or suspicions
It is not the responsibility of anyone working in CaniX UK, in a paid or unpaid capacity to decide whether or not child abuse has taken place. However there is a responsibility to act on any concerns by reporting these to the appropriate officer or the appropriate authorities.
CaniX UK will assure all staff/volunteers that it will fully support and protect anyone, who in good faith reports his or her concern that a colleague is, or may be, abusing a child.
Where there is a complaint against a member of staff there may be three types of investigation:
- a criminal investigation
- a child protection investigation
- a disciplinary or misconduct investigation.
The results of the police and child protection investigation may well influence and inform the disciplinary investigation, but all available information will be used to reach a decision.
Reporting concerns about poor practice
If, following consideration, the allegation is clearly about poor practice the designated CaniX UK Child Protection Officer will deal with it as a misconduct issue.
If the allegation is about poor practice by the CaniX UK Child Protection Officer, or if the matter has been handled inadequately and concerns remain, it should be reported to the CaniX UK Race Referees who will decide how to deal with the allegation and whether or not to initiate disciplinary proceedings.
Reporting concerns about suspected abuse
Any suspicion that a child has been abused by either a member of staff or a volunteer should be reported to the CaniX UK Child Protection Officer, who will take such steps as considered necessary to ensure the safety of the child in question and any other child who may be at risk.
The CaniX UK Child Protection Officer will refer the allegation to the social services department who may involve the police.
The parents or carers of the child will be contacted as soon as possible following advice from the social services department.
If the CaniX UK Child Protection Officer is the subject of the suspicion/allegation, the report must be made to the CaniX UK Race Referees who will refer the allegation to Social Services.
If you are concerned about a child and unable to contact the designated person, please call the NSPCC 24-hour Helpline on 0808 800 5000.
Every effort should be made to ensure that confidentiality is maintained for all concerned. Information should be handled and disseminated on a need to know basis only. This includes the following people:
- the CaniX UK Child Protection Officer.
- the parents of the person who is alleged to have been abused.
- the person making the allegation.
- social services/police.
- the CaniX UK Race Referees.
Seek social services advice on who should approach the alleged abuser (or parents if the alleged abuser is a child).
Information should be stored in a secure place with limited access to designated people, in line with data protection laws (e.g. that information is accurate, regularly updated, relevant and secure).
Enquiries and further action
Internal enquiries and possible suspension
The CaniX UK Child Protection Officer will make an immediate decision about whether any individual accused of abuse should be temporarily suspended pending further police and social services inquiries.
Irrespective of the findings of the social services or police inquiries the CaniX UK Race Referees will assess all individual cases to decide whether a member of staff or volunteer can be reinstated and how this can be sensitively handled.
This may be a difficult decision; particularly where there is insufficient evidence to uphold any action by the police. In such cases, the CaniX UK Race Referees must reach a decision based upon the available information which could suggest that on a balance of probability, it is more likely than not that the allegation is true. The welfare of the child should remain of paramount importance throughout.
Support to deal with the aftermath of abuse
Consideration should be given to the kind of support that children, parents and members of staff may need. Use of helplines, support groups and open meetings will maintain an open culture and help the healing process.
The British Association for Counselling Directory is available from The British Association for Counselling, 1 Regent Place, Rugby CV21 2PJ, Tel: 01788 550899, Fax: 01788 562189, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, Internet: www.bacp.co.uk .
Consideration should be given to what kind of support may be appropriate for the alleged perpetrator.
Allegations of previous abuse
Allegations of abuse may be made some time after the event (e.g. by an adult who was abused as a child or by a member of staff who is still currently working with children).
Where such an allegation is made, CaniX UK will follow the procedures as detailed above and report the matter to the social services or the police. This is because other children, either within or outside sport, may be at risk from this person. Anyone who has a previous criminal conviction for offences related to abuse is automatically excluded from working with children. This is reinforced by the details of the Protection of Children Act 1999.
If bullying is suspected, the same procedure should be followed as set out in 'Responding to suspicions or allegations' above.
Action to help the victim and prevent bullying in sport:
- Take all signs of bullying very seriously.
- Encourage all children to speak and share their concerns (It is believed that up to 12 children per year commit suicide as a result of bullying, so if anyone talks about or threatens suicide, seek professional help immediately). Help the victim to speak out and tell the person in charge or someone in authority. Create an open environment.
- Investigate all allegations and take action to ensure the victim is safe. Speak with the victim and the bully(ies) separately.
- Reassure the victim that you can be trusted and will help them, although you cannot promise to tell no one else.
- Keep records of what is said (what happened, by whom, when).
- Report any concerns to the CaniX UK Child Protection Officer or the school (wherever the bullying is occurring).
Action towards the bully(ies):
- Talk with the bully(ies), explain the situation, and try to get the bully(ies) to understand the consequences of their behaviour. Seek an apology to the victim(s).
- Inform the bully’s parents.
- Insist on the return of 'borrowed' items and that the bully(ies) compensate the victim.
- Provide support for the victim's coach.
- Impose sanctions as necessary.
- Encourage and support the bully(ies) to change behaviour.
- Hold meetings with the families to report on progress.
- Inform all organisation members of action taken.
- Keep a written record of action taken.
- Most 'low level' incidents will be dealt with at the time by coaches and volunteers. However, if the bullying is severe (e.g. a serious assault), or if it persists despite efforts to deal with it, incidents should be referred to the designated CaniX UK Child Protection Officer as in "responding to suspicions or allegations" above.
Reporting concerns outside the immediate sporting environment (e.g. a parent or carer)
Report your concerns to the CaniX UK Child Protection Officer, who should contact social services or the police as soon as possible.
If the CaniX UK Child Protection Officer is not available, the person being told of or discovering the abuse should contact social services or the police immediately.
Social Services and the CaniX UK Child Protection Officer will decide how to involve the parents/carers.
The CaniX UK Child Protection Officer should also report the incident to the CaniX UK Race Referees. The CaniX UK Race Referees should ascertain whether or not the person/s involved in the incident play a role in CaniX UK and act accordingly.
Maintain confidentiality on a need to know basis only.
Providing information to police or social services
Information about suspected abuse must be accurate and a detailed record should always be made at the time of the disclosure/concern. It should include the following:
- The child's name, age and date of birth of the child.
- The child's home address and telephone number.
- Whether or not the person making the report is expressing their own concerns or those of someone else.
- The nature of the allegation. Include dates, times, any special factors and other relevant information.
- Make a clear distinction between what is fact, opinion or hearsay.
- A description of any visible bruising or other injuries. Also any indirect signs, such as behavioural changes.
- Details of witnesses to the incidents.
- The child’s account, if it can be given, of what has happened and how any bruising or other injuries occurred.
- Have the parents been contacted?
- If so what has been said?
- Has anyone else been consulted? If so record details.
- If the child was not the person who reported the incident, has the child been spoken to? If so what was said?
- Has anyone been alleged to be the abuser? Record details.
- Where possible referral to the police or social services should be confirmed in writing within 24 hours and the name of the contact who took the referral should be recorded.
If you have any concerns about a child call the NSPCC 24-hour Helpline on 0808 800 5000 for immediate advice
Help for children and young people
- ChildLine: 0800 1111
Help for adults concerned about a child
- 0808 800 5000