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.

Support for RDA Groups

If you have a potential safeguarding issue, contact National Office in the first instance.  If you need any  additional support there is the NSPCC helpline (9am – 5pm Monday to Friday): 0808 800 5000  or email to or call your Local Authority social services safeguarding team.  If anyone is at risk of harm, call 999.  

If you have reported something to any authorities out of working hours for National Office (9am – 5pm Monday to Thursday, 9am – 4pm Friday), please contact us with details of the incident as soon as you can during office hours.  

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 British Equestrian (BEF) accredited safeguarding courses. These are suitable for RDA coaches, Safeguarding Officers, trustees and volunteers aged 16 and over. Please note that those in Scotland will need to attend our Scotland specific training as the England/Wales/Northern Ireland sessions do not cover the same legislation.

RDA is now able to offer a couple of options for renewals of Safeguarding Training. Depending on COVID restrictions, it may be practical to offer in person Face to Face Workshops, as well as Zoom Workshops.

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 or 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 now 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: March 1, 2022