Governance and Leadership Framework for Wales snapshot - Laura Whapham, NSPCC Child Protection in Sport Unit

"I currently work with the 25 largest sports in Wales on safeguarding, advice and guidance. We have got a set of safeguarding standards that are in place to support the national governing bodies and my role is to work with each sports to meet those standards, and then continuously maintain and embed those throughout their organisations.

"The Governance and Leadership Framework for Wales has been extremely beneficial from my point of view. Safeguarding and safeguarding standards have been in place since 2011 in Wales, so we have always had a set of standards that organisations need to be working towards. What the GLFW has done through safeguarding's inclusion in principle one, has meant that it is very clear to sports organisations what the expectation is in terms of safeguarding and that its embedded right through the organisation with its inclusion at a strategic level with boards required to have safeguarding leads.

"We have now got all these 25 sports in Wales operating at the intermediate to top level of the safeguarding standards and the GLFW has definitely had an impact and reinforced the sports to do it. It's always been a priority for the bigger sports, but we have struggled with some of the smaller sports of those 25 because they sometimes have issues to do with resource.

"Safeguarding in sports features in principle one within the Governance and Leadership Framework where there are minimum expectations that organisations are equipped to manage safeguarding of children and adults. The NSPCC have a set of safeguarding standards for safeguarding children and the Ann Craft Trust more recently have a set of safeguarding standards to support adults. We have a range of large and small governing bodies working on safeguarding but having this within the GLFW has really brought the attention to the need to comply and the need to have these things in place. Safeguarding also overlaps in other of the GLFW and features throughout, so for example there is safe recruiting for board members, clear role descriptions for board members as well as effective reviewing and monitoring being key in safeguarding organisations.

"For those sports that have embedded the GLFW well, we have seen a really big impact. Generally, more sports are reporting concerns but that's because training and other aspects of education programs are rolled out throughout the organisation, so people know how to raise their concerns or make a complaint or know when to tell someone when something is going wrong. Having a clear process for embedding standards throughout organisations has really had an impact on the reports being brought into sports.

"The greatest challenges for us with the safeguarding work seems to lie with the smaller sports who we have recently started to engage with more. The lower funded sports are more volunteer led and generally progress can sometimes be a little bit slower. However, from our point of view with children, we believe they should have access to safe and enjoyable sports experiences whether they are taking part in the larger sports in Wales or the smaller ones. Our challenge is to recognise that people are volunteers and we need to break things down. So safeguarding standards and the GLFW might seem like big documents with lots to but it's to break down the actions into smaller chunks so it is key to identify what the key priorities are. It's about what you can influence in the short, medium and long term.

"Another one of our challenges in safeguarding is to change people's attitudes. We have definitely seen a change in more recent years with some of the large cases in the UK, and by cases we mean some of the abuse cases that have happened. We are definitely seeing a change in attitude to safeguarding going from something you have to do to something that we should do because it's the right thing to do for children.

"I guess the GLFW has kind of helped with some of these challenges because having everything included in one place brings everything together so it is simple and easy understand which helps the sports to understand the context."