Last reviewed: December 2020
For review: December 2023
1. Safeguarding Policy
1.1 Policy statements
1.2 Policy definitions
1.2.1 Who is an adult at risk?
1.2.2 What is abuse?
1.3 Key roles
1.4 Safe employment
1.5 Training and supervision
2. Safeguarding procedures
2.1 Responding to an allegation/concern
2.1.1 Responsibilities of all employees and volunteers
2.1.2 Raising a safeguarding adults concern
A. BWY named safeguarding leads and contact numbers
B. Local safeguarding board contacts
C. Useful contacts
1.1 Safeguarding adults policy statement
The British Wheel of Yoga (BWY) is the Sport England recognised national governing body for yoga. As yoga has grown in popularity, so too has the BWY. At our core remains our guiding philosophy to promote a greater understanding of yoga and its safe practice through experience, education, discussion, study and training.
These procedures have been designed to ensure the welfare and protection of any adult who accesses services provided. The organisation will not tolerate the abuse of adults at risk in any of its forms.
The organisation is committed to:
- Managing its services is a way which minimises the risk of abuse occurring
- Supporting adults at risk who are at risk, experiencing or have experienced abuse
- Working with adults at risk and other agencies to end any abuse that is taking place
In achieving these aims the organisation will:
- Ensure that all teachers, volunteers, staff and committee members have access to and are familiar with this safeguarding adult policy and procedure and their responsibilities within it.
- Ensure concerns or allegations of abuse are always taken seriously.
- Ensure the Mental Capacity Act is used to make decisions on behalf of those adults at risk who are unable to make particular decisions for themselves.
- Ensure all teachers, volunteers, staff and committee members receive training in relation to safeguarding adults at a level commensurate with their role.
- Ensure that service users, their relatives or informal carers have access to information about how to report concerns or allegations of abuse.
- Ensure there is a named lead person to promote safeguarding awareness and practice within the organisation.
1.2 Policy Definitions
1.2.1 Who is an ‘Adult at Risk’?
For the purposes of this policy, an adult at risk is an adult who:
- is aged 18 years or more, and
- has needs for care and support (whether or not these are currently being met),
- is experiencing, or is at risk of, abuse or neglect, and
- as a result of those needs is unable to protect himself or herself against the abuse or neglect or the risk of it.
Such a definition includes adults with physical, sensory and mental impairments and learning disabilities, however those impairments have arisen e.g. whether present from birth or due to advancing age, chronic illness or injury.
Also included are people with a mental illness, dementia or other memory impairments and people who misuse substances or alcohol.
The definition includes unpaid carers (family and friends who provide personal assistance and care to adults on an unpaid basis).
1.2.2 What is abuse?
Abuse can take many forms and the circumstances of the individual should always be considered. Abuse may be carried out deliberately or unknowingly.
Abuse may be a single act or repeated acts.
People who behave abusively come from all backgrounds and walks of life. They may be doctors, nurses, social workers, advocates, staff members, volunteers or others in a position of trust. They may also be relatives, friends, neighbours or people who use the same services as the person experiencing abuse.
Physical abuse – includes hitting, slapping, pushing, kicking, misuse of medication, unlawful or inappropriate restraint, or inappropriate physical sanctions.
Domestic abuse – is “an incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse… by someone who is or has been an intimate partner or family member regardless of gender or sexuality” (Home Office, 2013). Domestic violence and abuse may include psychological, physical, sexual, financial, emotional abuse; as well as so called ‘honour’ based violence, forced marriage and female genital mutilation.
Sexual abuse – includes rape and sexual assault or sexual acts to which the adult at risk has not consented, or could not consent or was pressured into consenting.
Psychological abuse – includes emotional abuse, threats of harm or abandonment, deprivation of contact, humiliation, blaming, controlling, intimidation, coercion, harassment, verbal abuse, cyber bullying, isolation or unreasonable and unjustified withdrawal from services or supportive networks.
Financial and material abuse – includes theft, fraud, exploitation, pressure in connection with wills, property or inheritance or financial transactions, or the misuse or misappropriation of property, possessions or benefits.
Modern slavery – includes human trafficking, forced labour and domestic servitude. Traffickers and slave masters use the means they have at their disposal to coerce, deceive and force individuals into a life of abuse, servitude and inhuman treatment.
Neglect and acts of omission – includes ignoring medical or physical care needs, failure to provide access to appropriate health, social care or educational services, the withholding of the necessities of life, such as medication, adequate nutrition and heating.
Discriminatory abuse – includes abuse based on a person’s race, sex, disability, faith, sexual orientation, or age; other forms of harassment, slurs or similar treatment or hate crime/hate incident.
Organisational abuse – includes neglect and poor practice within an institution or specific care setting such as a hospital or care home, for example, or in relation to care provided in one’s own home. This may range from one-off incidents to on-going ill-treatment. It can be through neglect or poor professional practice as a result of the structure, policies, processes and practices within an organisation.
Self-neglect – covers a wide range of behaviours, such as neglecting to care for one’s personal hygiene, health or surroundings and includes behaviours such as hoarding.
A safeguarding response in relation to self-neglect may be appropriate where:
- a person is declining assistance in relation to their care and support needs, and
- the impact of their decision, has or is likely to have a substantial impact on their overall individual wellbeing.
1.3 Key Roles
The organisational lead for safeguarding is Peter Tyldesley, CEO.
All BWY teachers, volunteers, staff and committee members have a responsibility to act on concerns of possible abuse and must inform safeguarding lead.
The safeguarding lead has the responsibility to decide whether it is appropriate to raise a safeguarding concern with the local authority, on behalf of their organisation, or to respond to the concerns in an alternative manner. However if consulting with the Safeguarding and Diversity Manager will lead to an undue delay and thereby leave a person in a position of risk, you should ‘Raise a Safeguarding Concern’ yourself (See 2.1.2) .
The role also includes:
- ensuring that immediate safety issues are addressed, other parties notified (such as the regulator) and that staff are supported.
- ensuring that they are kept informed when a member of staff (or volunteer) has raised a concern
- establishing the desired outcomes of the adult at risk
In the absence of the safeguarding lead, the BWYT Chair should be contacted. The named people for dealing with safeguarding concerns within the British Wheel of Yoga and their contact numbers are in Appendix A.
1.4 Safe Employment
- The organisation is committed to achieving best practice in respect to the safe recruitment / selection procedure for all teachers and volunteers teaching dedicated classes to adults at risk.
- The organisation is committed to working within best practice as established by the Disclosure and Barring Scheme (DBS)
- The organisation has procedures in place to deal with allegations of abuse made against teachers, volunteers, members of staff and trustees.
The British Wheel of Yoga will ensure that any allegations made against teachers, volunteers, staff and committee members will be dealt with swiftly.
Where a teacher, volunteer, staff or committee member is thought to have committed a criminal offence the police will be informed. If a crime has been witnessed the police should be contacted immediately.
Where the allegation involves alleged abuse of an adult at risk, a concern should be raised following the process in section 2.1.2.
The safety of the adult(s) at risk is paramount and it should be ensured that they are safe and away from the person(s) who is alleged to have caused harm.
The safeguarding lead will ensure that the British Wheel of Yoga Disciplinary Procedures are co-ordinated with any other enquiries taking place as part of the ongoing management of the allegation.
1.5 Training and Supervision
The British Wheel of Yoga is committed to ensuring that all teachers and volunteers teaching classes to adults at risk undertake training to gain a basic awareness of signs and symptoms of abuse.
- This safeguarding policy/procedure is shared with all teachers and volunteers who apply to teach classes to adults at risk.
- All teachers, volunteers, members of staff and committee members will receive training on safeguarding adults at a level commensurate with their roles.
The British Wheel of Yoga has the following policies, procedures and required practices in place which all minimise the risk of abuse occurring. These can be accessed by the public here, or by BWY Members in My Resources.
- BWY Safeguarding Children Policy
- BWY Whistleblowing Policy
- BWY Equality and Diversity Policy
- BWY Code of Ethical Practice for Teachers
Teachers, volunteers, staff and committee members are required to familiarise themselves with the content of these policies.
2. Safeguarding Adult Procedures
2.1 Responding to an allegation/concern:
The British Wheel of Yoga recognises that it has a duty to act on reports, or suspicions of abuse or neglect. Anyone who has contact with adults at risk and hears disclosures or allegations or has concerns about potential abuse or neglect has a duty to pass them on appropriately.
2.1.1 Responsibilities of all teachers, volunteers, members of staff and committee members
If any teacher, volunteer, member of staff or trustee has reason to believe that abuse is or may be taking place you have a responsibility to act on this information. It does not matter what your role is, doing nothing is not an option.
If a person discloses abuse to you directly, use the following principles to respond to them:
- Assure them that you are taking the concerns seriously
- Do not be judgemental or jump to conclusions
- Listen carefully to what they are telling you, stay calm, get as clear a picture as you can. Use open ended questions
- Do not start to investigate or ask detailed or probing questions
- Explain that you have a duty to tell the Lead Safeguarding Officer
- Reassure the person that they will be involved in decisions about them
Your responsibilities are:
1. To take action to keep the person safe if possible.
Is an urgent police presence required to keep someone safe? Call 999.
Does the person need urgent medical assistance, do they need an ambulance? Call 999.
2. If a crime has occurred, be aware of the need to preserve evidence
3. Always inform the safeguarding lead. You cannot keep this information secret, even if the person asks you to.
4. Clearly record what you have witnessed or been told, record your responses and any actions taken.
If consulting with the safeguarding lead will lead to an undue delay and thereby leave a person in a position of risk, you should ‘Raise a Safeguarding Concern’ yourself.
2.1.2 Raising a Safeguarding Concern
Raising a safeguarding concern, means reporting abuse to the local authority under the Safeguarding Adults procedure. Anyone can raise a safeguarding concern, however this is usually undertaken by the safeguarding lead.
- You are informed or become aware of possible abuse or neglect.
- Gather information including what the adult wants to happen now and what changes they want to achieve from the support they could receive.
- Take action to ensure the immediate safety and welfare of the adult at risk (and any other person at risk) Consider:
Is urgent medical attention ambulance required? (dial 999)
Is an urgent police presence required? (dial 999)
- Does a crime need to be reported? (Dial 101 unless there is an immediate risk, in which case dial 999.)
- Decide whether to raise a safeguarding concern, and if so, take action. Do this:
Immediately where the concern is urgent and serious.
Within the same working day for any other concerns.
- Document the incident and any actions or decisions taken.
- Ensure key people are informed, e.g. the safeguarding lead, relatives as appropriate,
- Provide support for the person identifying the safeguarding concern
A. Considering whether to Raise a Safeguarding Concern
When deciding whether a safeguarding concern should be raised, consider the following key questions:
- Is the person an ‘adult at risk’ as defined within this policy/procedure?
- Is the person experiencing, or at risk of, abuse and neglect?
- What is the nature and seriousness of the risks?
The person’s individual circumstances
The nature and extent of the concerns
The length of time it has been occurring
The impact of any incident
The risk of repeated incidents for the person
The risk of repeated incidents for others
- What does the adult at risk want to happen now?
Wherever possible, consider what the adult at risk wants to happen next, what do they want to change about their situation, and what support do they want to achieve that.
On some occasions, it may be necessary to raise a safeguarding concern, even if this is contrary to the wishes of the adult at risk. Any such decision should be proportional to the risk, for example:
– It is in the public interest e.g. there is also a risk to others, a teacher or volunteer is involved, or the abuse has occurred on property owned or managed by an organisation with a responsibility to provide care.
– The person lacks mental capacity to consent and it is in the person’s best interests.
– The person is subject to coercion or undue influence, to the extent that they are unable to give consent.
– It is in the person’s vital interests (to prevent serious harm or distress or life threatening situations)
If you remain unsure whether to raise a safeguarding concern, you can:
- Contact your organisation’s safeguarding lead for advice.
- Seek advice from a Safeguarding Officer by contacting your local authority’s Customer Service Centre and asking to talk to a Safeguarding Officer. Contact details in Appendix B.
B. Considering whether to report a concern to the police
If a crime has been or may have been committed, seek the person’s consent to report the matter immediately to the police. This will be in addition to raising a safeguarding concern with the local authority.
If the person has mental capacity in relation to the decision and does not want a report made, this should be respected unless there are justifiable reasons to act contrary to their wishes, such as:
- the person is subject to coercion or undue influence, to the extent that they are unable to give consent, or
- there is an overriding public interest, such as where there is a risk to other people
- it is in the person’s vital interests (to prevent serious harm or distress or in life-threatening situations).
There should be clear reasons for overriding the wishes of a person with the mental capacity to decide for themselves. A judgement will be needed that takes into account the particular circumstances. If the person does not have mental capacity in relation to this decision, a ‘best interests’ decision will need to be made in line with the Mental Capacity Act.
If a crime has occurred, try to preserve evidence in case there is a criminal investigation.
- Try not to disturb the scene, clothing or victim if at all possible
- Secure the scene, for example, lock the door, if possible, preserve all containers, documents, locations, etc.
- Evidence may be present even if you cannot actually see anything.
- If in doubt, contact the police and ask for advice.
The police should be contacted for advice whenever required.
C. Who else to inform?
In addition to the safeguarding lead, the following people may also need to be informed:
- relatives of the adult at risk according to their wishes, or in their ‘best interests’ where they lack the mental capacity to make this decision for themselves
- child protection services, if children are also at risk from harm.
D. Document the concern and any actions or decisions taken
Ensure all actions and decisions are fully recorded. It is possible that your records may be required as part of an enquiry, be as clear and accurate as you can. Record the reasons for your decisions and any advice given to you in making these decisions.
Ensure that appropriate records are maintained, including details of:
- the nature of the safeguarding concern/allegation
- the wishes and desired outcomes of the adult at risk
- the support and information provided to enable the adult at risk to make an informed decision
- assessments of Mental Capacity where indicated
- the decision of the organisation to raise a concern or not
E. How to raise a safeguarding concern
To raise a safeguarding concern under the Safeguarding Adults procedure:
- Contact your local authority’s Customer Service Centre and tell them you wish to raise a safeguarding concern. (Contact Details in Appendix B)
- The person you speak to will ask you for details about the allegation/concern. If you have reported the incident to the police, tell the person this as well.
- You will be required to complete a form outlining your concerns, the advisor will give you details of how to do this.
- REMEMBER: If you suspect that someone is being abused and they are in immediate danger you should ring the Police on 999.
- The safeguarding concern will be allocated to an appropriate team, who will then contact you to discuss the concerns further.
- Information should be provided to the individual. This could be about other sources of help or information that could enable them to decide what to do about their experience, enable them to recover from their experience and enable them to seek justice.
Appendix B: Local Safeguarding Adults Board Contact Details
Buckinghamshire Adult Safeguarding Board
Lancashire Safeguarding Adults Board
Outer Hebrides Protection of Vulnerable Adults
Western Isles Adult Protection Committee