Safeguarding in Climbing and Mountaineering Activities

Climbing is an awesome sport that can have a very positive influence on people, especially when activities are led by people who place wellbeing first.

The ClimbScotland team and Mountaineering Scotland take peoples wellbeing and safeguarding very seriously, with the aim of ensuring that people stay safe and have fun while taking part in climbing. Read our policy below and find out where to go for further information, guidance or training if you are a volunteer, instructor, coach or official, working within the climbing and Mountaineering Sector.

10 Steps to Safeguarding Children in Sport

Info for Clubs

The 10 Steps are a collection of guidelines, good practice, practical advice, template procedures and policies – all tools which can help keep people safe in sport.
  • They are for any club, sports governing body or organisation providing activities for children under 18 years or vulnerable adults
  • Can be used to look at what you already have in place, confirm the positives and identify gaps
  • Can help a new member of staff or volunteer taking on the role of a Child Wellbeing and Protection Officer to understand the range of responsibilities, procedures and guidelines

The 10 Steps are inclusive of the minimum operating requirements for protecting children in sport. They also take account of updated child protection guidance, practice and legislation.
View the 10 Steps here.

Child Wellbeing and Protection Officers

Here you will find out more information about the roles and responsiblities of Child Wellbeing and Protection Officers in clubs.

Child Protection Policy

Mountaineering Scotland recognises that child protection is every member’s responsibility and that we should safeguard all children involved in youth climbing activities organised by staff or volunteers. All members have a right to protection, and Mountaineering Scotland’s policy is inclusive and takes full account of the needs of able-bodied and disabled children, and others who may be vulnerable.

>> Full details of our policy and the related procedures

Safeguarding and Protecting Children Training

Sportscotland logo Sportscotland provide the first steps in child protection training called '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, a 3 hour face-to-face scenario based learning. The main change from SPC is that each learner booked onto a CWPO course MUST completed Module 1 before attending the face-to-face Module 2. The CWPS eLearning Module 1 can be found via this link.

Further training and advice

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

Child Wellbeing and Protection in Sport Tool

What is the Child Wellbeing and Protection in Sport (CWPS) Tool? It is a self-assessment and action planning tool that has been developed to support sports clubs and organisations in creating a positive and safe culture for children and young people. It is based on the Standards for Child Wellbeing and Protection in Sport , which all sports clubs and organisations should strive to meet.

CWPS Tool info

Membership of the Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) Scheme for club volunteers

PVGAll people undertaking regulated work with a protected group, children or adults, are required to become a member of the PVG scheme. It is the responsibility of each club to ensure all persons (voluntary or paid) who work with vulnerable groups – children or adults at risk are suitable to do so and should use the ClimbScotland's Club resources which can be found here.

Getting started with PVGs:

  • The club must have in place a Child Wellbeing and Protection Officer (CWP), who will act as a PVG ID checker, this role and the person carrying it out should be registered with Mountaineering Scotland via the membership portal.
  • Clubs can identify more than one person to act as the club ID checker, each person must be noted on the membership database.
  • If you are unsure how to register a WPO/ID checker or need support on completing PVG request forms please contact:
  • If you have any queries on the PVG process including: eligibility or what constitutes regulated work, please contact Mountaineering Scotland Child Wellbeing Protection Officer Jamie Smith:

Who Needs a PVG?

Not everyone in your club requires a PVG, only those who have a role that that comes under the definition of 'regulated work'. If you would like to know what that means, or want to know who in your club should apply for a PVG check, please click this link.

Completing a PVG digitally - 2021 Update

The PVG administration and application process has changed, these changes are effective from Friday 2nd April 2021 The Protection of Vulnerable Groups Act was updated by the Scottish Parliament in late 2020 one of the changes in the legislation is the introduction of an online portal for the completion of PVGs.

The new online PVG application process, where applicants (volunteers/coaches) complete their PVG via an online portal is now being implemented across the sport sector; and applies to Mountaineering Scotland. This service allows applications to be submitted more efficiently and accurately and removes the old paper PVG forms. It is a quicker and simpler process for club CWPs/ID checkers who will now send a short template to Mountaineering Scotland to start the application process. Disclosure applicants (volunteers/coaches) will receive an email directly with a link to the online portal and can then enter their information online; where it is validated as they go, reducing the number of errors and applications returned (for example the system will not allow them to proceed without 5 years of address history). Once the transition to the online portal has been completed it is also expected that the new process will result in faster turnaround times for receiving completed PVG certificates.

PVG Resources

  • – this document gives an overview of the entire PVG process, the different steps in that process and the different actions required.

  • – this is the form to fill in to request a PVG check for a volunteer/coach and includes guidance notes on how to complete the form for the safeguarding officer/ID checker.

  • – this is a short one page overview for volunteers/coaches (applicants) who will be completing a PVG.

  • – this is a full guidance pack produced by Disclosure Scotland and includes information about each section of the PVG and also includes screenshots and step by step instructions for the new online PVG portal that volunteers/coaches (applicants) will use to complete their PVG.

  • – is used to list coach/volunteers who have stopped their volunteering with the club and should be completed by Safeguarding Officer/ID checker.

  • – The Secondary Organisation Contract allows Mountaineering Scotland to process PVG applications requests for clubs and send them to Volunteer Scotland. The club must have a Secondary Organisation Contract in place with Mountaineering Scotland, which has been signed by the club CWP /ID checker. Clubs can identify more than one person to act as the club ID checker, each person must be noted and have signed the secondary organisation contract.

  • – The official code of practice both provides assurances for those under going checks and sets out standards for individuals entitled to access disclosure information to ensure it is used properly and fairly.

>> Find out more about the PVG scheme on the Disclosure Scotland website

Advice on bullying

RespectMe v2'Respectme' work with all adults involved in the lives of children and young people to give them the practical skills and confidence to deal with children who are bullied and those who bully others.

>> For more info

Contact the Mountaineering Scotland Wellbeing and Protection Officer

If you have any queries or concerns regarding the safeguarding of children and vulnerable groups in climbing, then please contact Child Wellbeing and Protection Officer Jamie Smith (ClimbScotland - Development Manager) at

Please note that if you have a concern about a child or young person, you can contact the police on 101, or 999 in an emergency, or your local social work services.

A special thank you to Lindsey Booth at Netball Scotland for sharing there PVG advice and guidance with us.

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