Safeguarding refers to the proactive approach to keeping children, young people and adults at risk safe from harm. All agencies working with children and young people have a legal “Duty of Care” not only to protect those who use their services but also to promote their welfare by taking all reasonable steps to ensure risks of harm are minimised.

Safeguarding includes a range of practices from adopting policies and procedures to creating a safe environment for staff, volunteers and participants.

This section provides you with some guidance and support on the different areas of Safeguarding your Group should consider for everyone’s safety.

Group Policies

Groups should go to the Policies Page to download any safeguarding policies that should be adopted by the Group.

Emergency / Out of Hours Support for RDA Groups

If you have a potential safeguarding issue and need support out of office hours, please call the NSPCC 24 hour emergency helpline: 0808 800 5000 , or call your Local Authority social services safeguarding team.

What Safeguards Every Group Should Have in Place

  • Safeguarding Policy Statement
  • Safe recruitment – standard application form, 2 references and disclosure checks
  • At least 1 Safeguarding Officer in every group
  • All coaches that run sessions have a current (within 3 years) safeguarding certificate
  • All in the group is aware of who to contact if there is a safeguarding concern

Safeguarding Courses 

RDA provides BEF accredited safeguarding courses. These are suitable for RDA coaches, Safeguarding Officers, trustees and volunteers aged 16 & over.

RDA is now able to offer a couple of options for renewals of Safeguarding Training. At this point in time, it is not practical to offer in person Face to Face Workshops, however we do now have the option of using Zoom.

As before, if you attended a Face to Face course last time, you can refresh using the e-learning, and this is valid for 3 years. If you undertook the e-learning last time, you MUST renew via Face To Face. We will restart in person Face to Face workshops once it is safe to do so, on demand.

End of E-Learning extensions to Safeguarding Certificates.

To help with the renewal of safeguarding certificates, we have allowed those needing face to face training to update via the e-learning for a second time although this was only valid for 1 year. This exemption will come to an end on 31st March. From April 1st all those needing Face to Face training will be expected to attend a face to face course either in person when allowed, or via live online courses using platforms such as Zoom. RDA is able to run online face to face courses free of charge for up to 20 participants, or other equestrian organisations such as BHS or Pony Club offer the same training.


We are now able to offer Face-to-Face training via Zoom, which is a video conferencing platform. Although the training will be done online, it will count as Face-to-Face training, and is therefore different from the e-learning refresher. It is the same course content as the in person Face-to-Face presentation, but delivered slightly differently to condense the session to roughly 2 hours. It is also interactive so there is chance for the participants to ask questions and have discussions during the call. Each zoom session will be restricted to a maximum of 20 participants, although an ideal number would be more like 12-15. Due to the capped numbers, this facility needs to be prioritised to Coaches, Trustees and Safeguarding Officers whose safeguarding certificates are due for renewal.

Zoom training can be organised by group, county or region – to set up a course or for any other queries please contact

Safeguarding Officer Role

Each Group must have at least one Safeguarding Officer (previously known as Child Protection Officer/CPO/CVPO) who is responsible for ensuring safeguarding and best practice is followed at the Group. For more information on the role of safeguarding officer please click here.

Group Coaches

All Group Coaches who take sessions, whether riding, driving or vaulting, have to complete a face-to-face safeguarding course and keep their certificate in their logbook. The training needs to be refreshed every 3 years – this can be done on-line or face to face; see below.

Safeguarding E-Learning

RDA UK now has an online course for all volunteers, trustees and coaches. This course has been designed to help refresh those who have already attended a face to face safeguarding course, as well as those volunteers who would like to know a little more about safeguarding within RDA.

This E-learning course can be used as a refresher for those coaches and safeguarding officers who have already attended a face to face course and need a 3 year refresher BUT who do not need a BEF accredited course. However if your previous refresher was via e-learning, you MUST attend a face to face course the next time.

If you would like to sign up to the course please follow the link below for more information and see what other courses are available.

Please click here for more information

Page Last Updated: February 2, 2021