Coaches code of conduct

Gloucester Rowing Club expects members to adhere to the minimum standards of behaviour as set out in this Code of Conduct. This has been written in-line with best practice advice prescribed by British Rowing to allow members to be treated as individuals and be able to enjoy safe participation in rowing.
Breaches of this Code will be dealt with in accordance with the Club’s Complaints and Disciplinary Policies.
At all times, members are expected to maintain responsible and sportsmanlike standards of conduct and to act in the best interests of the club, both during training at the club and when away at competitions, as follows:


  • As a member of Gloucester Rowing Club you are expected to portray yourself in a manner that reflects well on the club.
  • Contribute positively to the club by being supportive and friendly to club members and other boathouse users by operating within the framework of the club rules and polices.
  • Take responsibility for ensuring that you are up to date with and adhere to the club policies, rules and safety notices.
  • Promote the Anti-Doping rules of British Rowing and abstain from the use of illegal substances and performance enhancing drugs during training whilst competing at events.
  • Recognise and value the contribution made by club officials, who give their time voluntarily, and comply with reasonable instructions issued by them.
  • Refrain from posting anything on the internet that could cause deliberate offense to another club member or brings the club into disrepute.
  • Respect the rights, dignity and worth of every other member and not discriminate on the grounds of age, gender, race, colour, disability or cultural background.
  • Report to the CWO or a Club Official any behaviour by another club member that you think is inappropriate, or has caused a risk or distress to yourself or another member.
  • Report all child and vulnerable adult safeguarding concerns in accordance with procedures set out by British Rowing.
  • Report all health and safety concerns in accordance with procedures set out by British Rowing.
  • Refrain from using abusive language, acts of violence, harassment, intimidation and physical and sexual abuse towards an individual or group.
  • Be aware that the club has a zero-tolerance of bullying in any form.
  • Refrain from bringing and/or consuming alcohol to excess or illegal substances onto the premises, or whilst representing the club away from the premises.
  • Be polite and considerate in all forms of written communication.

In a position of trust

  • Refrain from using your role to gain influence over a participant for a personal advantage.
  • Undertake any training necessary to fulfil your role as coach, as defined by British Rowing and club policies and in line with UK Anti-Doping codes for the sport.
  • Consider the welfare and safety of participants as a priority over performance.
  • Adhere to British Rowing’s ‘Safeguarding and Protecting Children Policy’ (2013) and ‘Safeguarding Adults at Risk in Rowing Policy’ (2013) and British Rowing’s ‘RowSafe’ (2016 and any updates in 2017).
  • Report all accidents and injuries as required in the club documents and seek professional medical help if needed.
  • Respect the need for confidentiality when dealing with personal data and only share information when it is appropriate and safe to do so.
  • Lead by example of high standards of behaviour and challenge inappropriate and unacceptable behaviour in others.
  • Develop a good working relationship with participants based on trust and mutual respect and especially those who are defined as a child or vulnerable adult. Be transparent about crew selection and set clear and achievable individual goals.
  • Promote positive aspects, such as healthy living, and encourage enjoyment of the sport.
  • Act in the best interests of the participant and their personal development.
  • Treat participants equally and recognise their varying needs, ambitions and abilities within the context of rowing.
  • Plan and prepare for all sessions, assess if the environment is safe for the activity and manage the risks appropriately.
  • Ensure that all activities are appropriate to the age, ability and experience of those taking part.
  • Refrain from intimate personal relationships between yourself and a junior participant aged under 18 years.
  • Refrain from making direct contact via social media with a junior participant aged under 18 years and copy all parents and carers into any correspondence with juniors.
  • Refrain from being alone with a junior participant aged under 18 years and out of sight of other club members. Parent or carer consent must be sought where training requires a one to one coach to junior participant session in isolation of other club members.
  • Respect privacy in the changing area and avoid one on one situations alone with a junior participant.
  • Ensure that any physical contact with a junior participant is necessary and appropriate for the context in which it is carried out in and has the junior participant’s consent.

Training at the club

  • Respect all club and personal equipment. Use only the equipment allocated for your use.
  • Be responsible for ensuring that equipment has been checked at the start and end of your training and report any damages or wear and tear.
  • Be responsible for overseeing that boats have been signed out and in at the start and end of each water session.
  • Be responsible for overseeing that the equipment has been cleaned after use and returned to its proper location and report any defects, damage or accidents.

At competitions away from the club

  • Refrain from entering a participant into a competition without their consent, or applying pressure on a participant to compete in a race or category of race against their wishes.
  • Ensure that all participants that you enter into a competition away from the club are capable of looking after themselves and the club equipment.
  • Fully brief the participants about the competitions in advance and ensure that they have read and understood the Competitor Information provided by the hosting club.
  • Respect the rules of competition and where it is necessary to challenge the verdict of race officials, this must be done by following the proper procedures and in a courteous manner.

In addition for Junior Coaches:

  • Keep a register of all junior participants in your coaching group sessions at the club.
  • Be responsible for knowing how to contact parents and carers in the event of an emergency.
  • Communicate with parents and carers at the earliest opportunity if there are any issues affecting a junior participant’s ability to take part in sessions. Record dates and times of when any issues occur and how they were dealt with.
  • Adhere to British Rowing’s ‘How Much How Often’ guidelines.
  • Encourage good technique before performance.
  • Refrain from using punishments as a form of correcting behaviour or performance. Participants should be given measurable targets for improvement and points for review. For repeated poor behaviour or in cases of a breach of club codes and rules, coaches should follow the club’s disciplinary procedure.
  • Ensure that any volunteers assisting with your session have been trained sufficiently to undertake the assistance or supervisory tasks that you have asked them to perform.
  • Ensure that you have the ability to contact volunteers at all times during the session.
  • Be responsible for junior participants in your coaching group while they are unaccompanied by a parent or carer at the club or competition venue during agreed session or competition times.
  • Obtain a parent or carer’s consent to enter a junior participant into a competition.
  • Remain at the club or competition venue until the last junior participant in your coaching group has been collected by a recognised parent or carer, or seen safely off the premises if this arrangement has been agreed by the parent or carer.
  • Provide clear reasoning behind any decision to withdraw a junior participant from a competition, and in advance of the competition date where possible.
  • Oversee the preparation of equipment before, during and after competitions, or make suitable arrangements to nominate other responsible persons from the club if you are unable to attend.
  • Agree travel arrangements to and from competition venues, obtain contact details and medical information from parents and carers and contact the CWO for advice if unsure about the status of persons offering lifts, or the suitability of the proposed vehicle.
  • Be prepared to act as a junior representative in the absence of the CWO or other nominated club member at events away from the club.