Child Safety Standards - new child safety rules to apply to Victorian sports. Does your sport comply?

Sports Law eBulletin - 27 May 2016


From 1 January 2017, the Victorian Child Safety Standards will apply to sporting organisations that operate and provide sporting services to children within Victoria (including National Sporting Organisations). There are seven different requirements which make up the standards, and with which sports will be required to comply.

The standards relate to child protection within your organisation and include requirements to have practices, procedures and policies in place.


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What are the Child Safety Standards?

 The Victorian Child Safety Standards (Standards) are being introduced by the Victorian Government to improve the level of child safety within organisations which provide services for children, including sporting organisations.

The Standards will become binding on sporting organisations within Victoria (including National Sporting Organisations which operate in Victoria) from 1 January 2017, so it is important for sporting organisations to start preparing by looking at how they currently comply with the Standards.

There are seven separate requirements which make up the Standards, which include:

  • the adoption of a child-safe policy;
  • the adoption of a code of conduct regarding child-safety and interactions with children;
  • the implementation of screening, supervision and other practices to reduce the risk of child abuse;
  • the implementation of processes for responding to and reporting suspected child abuse; and
  • the implementation of strategies to identify and reduce risks of child abuse.

Sporting organisations will be required to comply with the Standards, while also promoting the cultural safety of:

  • Aboriginal children;
  • children from culturally and/or linguistically diverse backgrounds; and
  • children with a disability


How can your organisation comply?

Some of the Standards require a particular document to be in place (eg a Code of Conduct). Other Standards are able to be complied with by implementing strategies or ensuring your sporting organisation carries out certain practices or procedures.


How we can help

Ensuring that your organisation complies fully with the Standards can be a complicated process. We can help sporting organisations ensure they are compliant by:

  • conducting an audit of the organisation against the Standards to ascertain the extent to which it currently complies with the Standards;
  • providing advice and recommendations on how an organisation can improve its level of compliance with the Standards, including recommending the introduction of new (or amending existing) documents to increase an organisation's compliance with the Standards; and
  • assisting with the preparation of relevant documents that are required to ensure your organisation complies with the Standards.

Tom Hickey, Lawyer
Ian Fullagar, Partner

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Further information

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