Child Welfare / Safeguarding

Message from Philip Browne, IRFU CEO

Young people are the lifeblood of any sport and Irish Rugby is no different to other sports in this regard. We want to welcome young people into our clubs and schools so that they can enjoy our great game.

It goes without saying that parents are entitled to know that their children are involved and playing rugby in an environment that respects young peoples' safety, health, welfare and dignity.

It is our responsibility both at Union, Branch, Club and Schools levels to ensure that this is the case and I commend this document, which outlines the IRFU Child Welfare Policy and I thank those who have worked hard to provide such clear guidelines for us all to follow -

Declaration of Intent

All age grade volunteers (coaches / managers / referees and / or any team assistants) to receive a copy of the Child Welfare document and after reading the document sign the Declaration of Intent page and hand it to the Club Child Welfare Officer for record keeping in the club.

All Age-Grade volunteers should read and agree to abide by the Code of Conduct contained with this document.


All age-grade volunteers in ROI working 'regularly and continuously' with young people should complete the Garda Vetting form, see

Please note that an ID check is to be carried out by the club before submitting the vetting form to IRFU. Please follow notes attached when completing the vetting form to ensure the form can be processed as quickly as possible. DO NOT SEND original ID documents to the IRFU.

All age grade volunteers working in 'regulated activity' in Northern Ireland should complete an enhanced vetting check, see

This form can be completed online but can only be processed on receipt of an ID check to Ulster Rugby.

Clubs in NI or clubs affiliated to the IRFU Ulster Branch must also adhere to any safeguarding requirements as specified by the IRFU Ulster Branch and Sport NI.

It is important to note that clubs are responsible for the recruitment and management of volunteers, therefore clubs should ensure they have suitable supervision, training and Codes of Conduct in place.

Some additional FAQs can be found here

Important Information for Schools

All Primary and Secondary Schools have adopted Department of Education /Science Child protection Guidelines. Each School has a designated Liaison Person (DLP) to deal with issues of Child Protection.

Each School has a deputy designated Liaison person to deal with issues of Child Protection. Vetting procedures are in place for all adults with access to children.

The Child Protection Guidelines apply to all personnel (staff/non staff) involved in all school activities involving access to children. The IRFU Child Welfare Policy may be used by Schools to compliment existing School Practice.


IRFU Child Welfare Policy

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IRFU Garda Vetting Form & ID Check

Download PDF

Declaration of Intent

Download PDF

Code of Conduct

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