What you need to know and do

We want to work with the Scottish and National Climbing Wall Network, along with our key national partners to make indoor climbing a safe place for people to enjoy and get involved in the sport. Lots of work goes into ensuring the activity safety measures are in place in our sector and we want to make sure that child wellbeing and protection are a top priority too and that walls understand their duty of care to young climbers under the age of 18 years ensuring they have in place and are implementing a child wellbeing and protection policy where poor practice and concerns can be addressed quickly and appropriately.

On this page, we have aimed to cover the following areas:

1. What is Wellbeing and what are the child protection standards?
2. Who's responsibility is child wellbeing and protection?
3. Does our climbing wall need a Child Wellbeing and Protection Policy?
4. What does the Child Wellbeing Protection Officer (CWPO) role involve?
5. Membership of the Protection of Vulnerable Group scheme for wall staff
6. PVG Processing for staff
7. Every child’s voice is taken into account
8. Recommended staff training
9. Reporting or raising concerns
10. Other useful links
11. Mountaineering Scotland Child Wellbeing and Protection Officer

1. What is Wellbeing and what are the child protection standards?

A child or young person’s wellbeing is influenced by everything around them and the different experiences and needs they have at different times in their lives.

To help make sure everyone – children, young people, parents, and the services that support them – has a common understanding of what wellbeing means, we describe it in terms of eight indicators.

For more information on Understanding Wellbeing, please check out the Scottish Government Resource here.

What are the standards for child wellbeing and protection in Sport?

This is a framework to help all sports organisations, clubs and groups work towards creating a positive, safer environment for children and young people.

Click the image below to expand/download:
There are eight Standards in total, each with accompanying minimum criteria to meet. These set a benchmark for good practice in helping to ensure children and young people’s rights are realised in an enjoyable and safe space.

We have worked with sportscotland, Children 1st and other SGB's to develop the Child Wellbeing and Protection in Sport Tool which can be used to assess your current position and get advice and support about what more your organisation can do to create a safer environment for children and young people in sport.

Click here to find out more about the tool.

2. Who's responsibility is Child Wellbeing and Protection?

Check out this short video that explains who is responsible for keeping children safe in sport.

3. Does our wall need a Child Wellbeing and Protection Policy?

Children and young people are the core reason for having such a policy, and it should underpin all practices and procedures that are put in place. Having a child-centred approach and clear policies and procedures that everyone follows/implements helps to make for a positive and inviting space where issues are dealt with as soon as they arise and children and young people are protected and their wellbeing safeguarded.

This is really about the duty of care of the wall and the individuals within it, which is reflected in the Children (S) Act 1995. Someone over 16 years of age who has care and control of a child has a duty to safeguard their health, development and welfare. By having trained staff implementing these procedures, children and young people will be better safeguarded. Without any of this in place the wall would not be meeting their duty of care.

We have produced a Child Wellbeing Protection Policy template which walls can adopt and tailor to reflect the protocols and procedures they have in place.

4. What does the CWPO role involve?

Child Wellbeing Protection is everyone’s responsibility but having a Child Wellbeing Protection Officer as a lead, helps with coordination in this area and ensures any concerns can be dealt with appropriately and timeously.

As good practice, it is recommended that organisations have a second person to avoid the CPWO working in isolation and to support as and when required.

Below is a template role description for a Child Wellbeing Protection Officer (CWPO), which we encourage walls to adopt and use if they do not have this already in place:

5. Membership of the Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) scheme for wall staff

It is important to have the right people working with children and, by having procedures in place, their suitability can be assessed as part of your recruitment process. You should include PVG Scheme membership if their role is regarded as 'regulated work'.

The Protection of Vulnerable Groups (S) Act 2014 has a set of criteria that, if met, means that an individual is in 'regulated work' (in this case with children under 18 years of age). It is an offence for an organisation to offer regulated work with children to someone who is barred from regulated work with children – or to fail to remove a person from that regulated work if they have been notified that the person is barred. Therefore, it is essential that a PVG check is undertaken before any individual commences regulated work.

Please note: There is new legislation coming into forces that makes membership of the Scheme mandatory for those in regulated roles.

The wall CWPO should be involved in the recruitment of new staff/volunteers undertaking regulated work with children and young people at the wall, ensuring PVG scheme membership is part of the process.

Who would this be in our wall?

Regulated work would apply to the following Coaches/Instructors who are:

  • Involved with caring responsibilities
  • Teaching or supervising children and/or protected adults
  • Providing personal services to children and/or protected adults

Examples could be internal or freelance instructors and coaches working on behalf of your wall.

In these circumstances, the wall should ensure that the coaches/instructors have PVG Scheme membership through the wall, as it is considered that they are doing 'regulated work'. Holding a PVG through another employer/organisation is not a substitute for this.
>> Find out more about the PVG scheme on the Disclosure Scotland website

PVG membership is unique to an individual working or volunteering for a specific organisation, and cannot be transferred to another organisation. An individual holding PVG membership who applies for a position involving ‘regulated work’ with a new or different organisation must apply for an update to their existing PVG membership inorder for membership of the scheme to be valid for the new or different organisation.

6. PVG Processing for staff

PVG processing is now available online at MyGov.scot - The PVG Scheme

7. Every child’s voice is taken into account

This is really about children and young people having the right to express their views and having these taken into account in decisions that affect them. They are the experts in their own lives so by involving them and asking their opinions about how coaching sessions/classes are run, it means that a positive, inclusive environment can be developed for them and the adults delivering the climbing activities.

8. Recommended staff training

For Instructors and coaches: CWPS Training - The first steps in child protection training 'Child Wellbeing and Protection in Sport' (CWPS), which are perfect for volunteers, coaches and instructors working with young people or vulnerable adults. Module 1 is theory-based eLearning and Module 2 is a 3 hour face-to-face/zoom scenario based learning. The main change from SPC is that each learner booked onto a WPO course MUST completed Module 1 before attending the face-to-face/zoom Module 2. The CWPS eLearning Module 1 can be found by clicking the link. Online Free Training

For Child Wellbeing Protection Officers: CWPO Training - The workshop is suitable for individuals responsible for leading on the organisation of the wellbeing and protection of children and young people. Learners will have the opportunity to develop knowledge and skills to manage concerns through the use of interactive case studies and group work.

Find a training course

Children First logo new We work closely with 'Children 1st' who support volunteers and staff in sports organisations across Scotland to keep children safe by providing advice, consultancy and training on the development and implementation of child protection policies, procedures and good practice.

>> Find out more about what they offer

9. Reporting or raising concerns

It can be very difficult to know what to do if faced with a concern about a child, especially if the concern involves someone you know. It is also worth noting that a concern may arise within or out with the sport. A set procedure ensures that everyone is clear on what action to take in the event of inappropriate behaviour or suspected abuse. It gives staff and volunteers clear, important steps to follow; ensuring action is taken quickly and in the best interests of the child.

Below we have provided procedures and guidance which your wall can adopt and a template of an 'Incident Reporting form':

10. Other useful links:

11. Contact the Mountaineering Scotland Child Wellbeing Protection Officer

If you have any queries regarding child wellbeing and protection, then please contact our Child Wellbeing Protection Officer, Jamie Smith (ClimbScotland - Development Manager) at jamie@mountaineering.scot

We all need to watch out for children who may be at risk, or experiencing abuse or neglect. Children can’t protect themselves – they need us to help them. You can play your part by always being alert to the signs that things are not well, and by acting on your concerns.

If you think a child is in immediate danger, you should contact the police by ringing 999 or 101.

This site uses cookies to store information on your computer. See our Cookie Policy for further details on how to block cookies.
I am happy with this


What is a Cookie

A cookie, also known as an HTTP cookie, web cookie, or browser cookie, is a piece of data stored by a website within a browser, and then subsequently sent back to the same website by the browser. Cookies were designed to be a reliable mechanism for websites to remember things that a browser had done there in the past, which can include having clicked particular buttons, logging in, or having read pages on that site months or years ago.

NOTE : It does not know who you are or look at any of your personal files on your computer.

Why we use them

When we provide services, we want to make them easy, useful and reliable. Where services are delivered on the internet, this sometimes involves placing small amounts of information on your device, for example, your computer or mobile phone. These include small files known as cookies. They cannot be used to identify you personally.

These pieces of information are used to improve services for you through, for example:

  • recognising that you may already have given a username and password so you don’t need to do it for every web page requested
  • measuring how many people are using services, so they can be made easier to use and there’s enough capacity to ensure they are fast
  • analysing anonymised data to help us understand how people interact with our website so we can make them better

You can manage these small files and learn more about them from the article, Internet Browser cookies- what they are and how to manage them

Learn how to remove cookies set on your device

There are two types of cookie you may encounter when using our site :

First party cookies

These are our own cookies, controlled by us and used to provide information about usage of our site.

We use cookies in several places – we’ve listed each of them below with more details about why we use them and how long they will last.

Third party cookies

These are cookies found in other companies’ internet tools which we are using to enhance our site, for example Facebook or Twitter have their own cookies, which are controlled by them.

We do not control the dissemination of these cookies. You should check the third party websites for more information about these.

Log files

Log files allow us to record visitors’ use of the site. The CMS puts together log file information from all our visitors, which we use to make improvements to the layout of the site and to the information in it, based on the way that visitors move around it. Log files do not contain any personal information about you. If you receive the HTML-formatted version of a newsletter, your opening of the newsletter email is notified to us and saved. Your clicks on links in the newsletter are also saved. These and the open statistics are used in aggregate form to give us an indication of the popularity of the content and to help us make decisions about future content and formatting.