Working safely with children

Code Clubs should be creative, fun, and safe places for children to learn.

Background checks

As part of our commitment to keeping children in our clubs safe, Code Club requests that all our volunteers have an Enhanced DBS, PVG, or AccessNI background check.

England and Wales

The quickest and easiest way to get a DBS check is to apply through a third-party company called Onfido. Code Club can support you through the process.

  • Complete a simple form online
  • Upload your identification documents
  • The check is processed very quickly

Please note that there is a processing fee of £16. You'll find instructions on how to get started with this when you register as a volunteer.

Scotland

If you live in Scotland, you can apply for your PVG check through the venue at which you are volunteering, or apply via the STEM Ambassador scheme.

Northern Ireland

In Northern Ireland, you can apply for an enhanced AccessNI check through your local Volunteer Centre or through a local umbrella body, or you can go to AccessNI directly for more information. Alternatively, you can apply via the STEM Ambassador scheme.

STEM Ambassadors

If you are interested in STEM volunteering opportunities across the UK, you can become a STEM Ambassador.

STEM Ambassadors is a volunteering programme for STEM professionals and those with a personal interest in STEM subjects. You can volunteer for Code Club as part of your ambassadorship.

  • Apply to be an Ambassador online
  • Complete DBS form
  • Present DBS form and ID at a STEM Ambassador induction session

The frequency of STEM Ambassador induction sessions varies from area to area, so it may take longer to get a background check via this route.

Find out more about STEM Ambassadors.

If you already have a background check statement...

If you already have a DBS, PVG, or AccessNI check, that’s great — go right ahead! You will need to show the statement to the club's host before you start volunteering.

Guidelines on safeguarding

Code Clubs should be creative, fun, and safe places for children to learn. Code Club is committed to following best practice when it comes to safeguarding, and we do all we can to make sure that our volunteers know how to protect themselves and the children they work with.

For volunteers

If you are volunteering at a club, there are two really important things you will need to do before you get started:

  • Obtain an Enhanced DBS, PVG, or AccessNI check
  • Complete Code Club's training

You can participate in our online training or in one of our training sessions around the country. We require you to have this training so that we can be certain you know the facts about keeping children safe.

As a Code Club volunteer, you should:

  • Never be left alone with young people attending the club
  • Take care not to have physical contact with the young people
  • Never take or share photos of your club members without appropriate permission
  • Never make personal contact with the children outside club sessions, via social media or otherwise
  • Ask for a copy of the club venue’s child protection or safeguarding policy, and familiarise yourself with the contents

As an adult working with children, you have a duty to report anything that concerns you about a child in your club. Should you have a concern, or if a child in your club discloses information that concerns you, you should raise the matter immediately with a member of staff at the club venue, who will guide you on appropriate next steps.

For club hosts

We ask all of our volunteers to obtain a background check. All Code Club volunteers receive basic safeguarding guidance before they start.

It is your responsibility to do the following to safeguard the volunteer and the children you are working with:

  • Check the volunteer’s background check document when you first meet them to plan the club
  • Make sure that the volunteer is accompanied by a member of staff at all times whilst on site

Talking to us

We take safeguarding issues extremely seriously.

If you have a concern about a child or about one of our volunteers, you can contact Sarah Sheerman-Chase at safeguarding@codeclub.org.uk or at 07958 592 742.

You can also read our child protection policy and the document describing our safeguarding reporting procedure.