Veras Academy Karate Association leads the way with new Safeguarding Code

Safeguarding in sport is a set of actions that help to ensure all children and vulnerable adults participating in sport have a positive experience.

Safeguarding is focused on keeping all children and vulnerable adults safe from harm, abuse, violence, exploitation and neglect.

A key part of safeguarding is spreading the message about keeping children and vulnerable adults safe, to challenge community norms and build a community culture in karate of always acting in the best interest of all children at all times.

Safeguarding in Karate

Veras Academy Karate Association with clubs in London, Essex and Oxford, is leading the change in sports safeguarding, having successfully attained the Safeguarding Code”mark” in Martial Arts.

Achieving the Safeguarding Code, demonstrates VERAS ACADEMY KARATE ASSOCIATION’s commitment to upholding its duty-of-care to the community and young people and recognises all affiliated clubs as a martial arts provider that has reached and effectively maintained good safeguarding standards.

The Safeguarding Code in Martial Arts has been created so that parents and carers can clearly identify a martial arts provider that have demonstrated that they have reached and maintained good safeguarding standards and can make informed decisions when selecting a club for their child.

Sue Harrison, Stakeholder Marketing at the Safeguarding Code in Martial Arts said:

“We are delighted to see that so many clubs, including VERAS ACADEMY KARATE ASSOCIATION, have successfully attained the Safeguarding Code in Martial Arts.

“When making choices about martial arts schools, parents and carers can easily determine, and be reassured that clubs in their local area are committed to safeguarding and upholding safe practices for their children if they display the Safeguarding Code ‘mark’.”


Raphael Veras, Founder and Head Coach at Veras Academy Karate Association said:

“I am extremely happy to have successfully attained the Safeguarding Code in Martial Arts for all of our associated clubs in Islington, Hackney, Tower Hamlets(Poplar-Bow-Stepney),Haringey,Leyton,Barnet,Dagenham,Bulphan and Oxford. Never forgetting to mention the hard work of my secretary and Association Child Welfare Officer Patricia Silveira, in putting this together. Thank you also to Sue Harrison for your support in guiding us on how to complete the tasks.”

Developed in consultation with Sport England, representatives from martial arts governing bodies, and leading safeguarding experts, the Code is funded by the National Lottery and was launched by the Sports Minister in 2018. To date, over 150 clubs have now attained the Code.

Martial Arts clubs can upload their registration via an online portal:

For more information about the Safeguarding Code, contact

Notes to editor:

Safeguarding Code:

The Safeguarding Code in Martial Arts recognises clubs and providers in England who have have demonstrated that they have reached and maintained good safeguarding standards.  Governing bodies, associations, organisations, franchisers and activity deliverers can work towards attaining recognition along with clubs and individual instructors, coaches and teachers outside of a club structure.

The scheme empowers parents/carers and educational establishments to make informed decisions when selecting a club or provider for their child/children, young people or adults in their care.

The Safeguarding Code has been developed through close consultation between Sport England, representatives from martial arts governing bodies and those with years of expertise in safeguarding. Support was also provided by the Child Protection in Sport Unit, the Ann Craft Trust and NWG Network.

It is funded by the National Lottery and was launched by the Sports Minister in early 2018.

Below are required documents for every club member’s information:

Club Welfare Officer

All Veras Academy Karate clubs should strive to have a Club Welfare Officer (CWO) to ensure children’s welfare is prioritised at their club.

The CWO needs to be well supported by the club and have a formal role on the club’s management committee. It is the whole club’s responsibility to ensure children’s welfare and everyone has a role to play.

The CWO plays a key role in advising the committee on its approach and ensuring that this is monitored and reviewed on an ongoing basis.

What does the Club Welfare Officer do?

  • Assist the club to fulfil its responsibilities to safeguard children and young people.
  • Assist the club to implement its child protection plan.
  • Be the first point of contact regarding concerns about children’s welfare, poor practice or child abuse.
  • The CWO is responsible for following the Veras Academy Karate Association’s policy and procedures especially in relation to safeguarding and in particular the reporting procedures.
  • Maintaining appropriate records and assessing information promptly and carefully, clarifying or obtaining more information about the matter as appropriate.
  • Consult initially with a statutory child protection agency such as the local social services department or health board, or the NSPCC, to test out any doubts or uncertainty about the concerns as soon as possible.
  • Make a formal referral to a statutory child protection agency e.g. social services department or the police without delay. It is NOT the role of the club to decide whether a child has been abused or not. This is the task of the social services department and the police or NSPCC.
  • Report the concerns to the Veras Academy Karate Association Lead Child Protection Officer
  • Be the first point of contact with the Lead Child Protection Officer.
  • Maintain contact details for local Social Services, Police, and how to obtain the Area Child Protection Committee’s policy/procedures. Contact details for local/nation help lines should also be maintained and publicised within the club.
  • Promote the clubs best practice guidance/code of conduct within the club in line with the club’s plans. This may involve working with children/young people and parents on developing the club’s approach to the best behavior of everyone at the club.
  • Promote and ensure adherence to the club’s child protection training plan.
  • The CWO will need to ensure that everyone is aware of what training is available and work with the club management committee to ensure that training requirements are met.
  • Ensure confidentiality is maintained alongside the club’s management committee.
  • Promote anti-discriminatory practice. The club must ensure that it has made clear its commitment to anti-discriminatory practice in its policy, procedures and plans for safeguarding children and young people’s welfare. The club should also have an Equity policy.

Who is best suited to be a Club Welfare Officer?

Club Welfare Officer roles are suited to those people who want to volunteer on a regular basis.

They are ideal for existing club members, parents who want to get more involved with a few spare hours each week as well as people who already work in social services or the police.

What skills are required to be a Club Welfare Officer?

A CWO requires a certain level of observation, self-awareness and critical thinking. They also need to be patient with good communication skills and able to adapt to a range of varied age groups.

Why should you get involved?

Ensuring the safety of children and vulnerable members of a karate club is very rewarding. People interested in becoming CWO should also get involved if you want to:

  • Make a positive difference in the community
  • Ensure safeguarding policies and guidelines are followed

How can I get involved?

In order to become a CWO you will need to complete the following:

Please be advised the CPS and DBS are valid for three years. It is the CWO’s duty to keep the requirements up to date failing to do so will invalidate their CWO status.

For all CWO or Safeguarding enquiries please contact

Patricia Silveira – Veras Academy Administrator/CWO

Do you have a concern?

If you’re concerned about possible child abuse or bad practice within a Veras Academy Karate Association, competition or any other karate event environment then you should immediately contact:

Your Club Welfare Officer – The contact details of your club’s welfare officer should be clearly advertised at your club and on the club’s website.


English Karate Federation Safeguard Team


NSPCC Child Protection Helpline 08001111

Further Help