The National Workforce Registration and Regulation Consultation


Spencer Moore, Director of Strategy, CIMSPA
Dan Thorp, Director, Sporting People
Rob Young MBE, Director, Sporting People


In this interactive session, Sporting People, the organisation which is currently conducting a consultation around workforce registration and regulation, sought to get the views from delegates about the potential of a national workforce registration scheme.

Biggest impact in a generation

CIMSPA’s Spencer Moore got the session started by saying: “The work you will be doing in this session will have the single biggest impact on our sector for over a generation. It’s the glue that holds together a lot of our vision for a regulated and respected profession.”

He explained how the culmination of a number of factors, including the Duty of Care report, some high profile child abuse scandals in sport and the release of Sport England’s Professional Workforce Strategy and Coaching Plan for England, triggered the consultation.

“There have been many attempts to have something like this before, but it has always failed because there were commercial drivers, product drivers and political agendas. We wanted make sure this work was completely open and transparent and seen to be led by CIMSPA, any feedback we get is treated in confidence.”

The four key questions phase one is looking to answer are:

  • Could a cross-workforce registration scheme be a good way of delivering a safe and consistent experience?

  • Can the sector work together and self-regulate to achieve this?

  • What are the other options?

  • What other benefits can come from this?

Dan and Rob from Sporting People began the feedback session where delegates were able to upload their responses to questions posed in real time via a mobile app.

The questions and some of the responses are highlighted below.

We need to define the scope of who we are talking about. From the list below please tick those groups who you think should be in scope for this project.

Results in order of importance:

  1. Anyone who comes into contact with a participant

  2. Volunteer coaches

  3. Paid coaches

  4. Those coaches who aren’t already part of a licensed coaches scheme

  5. Coaches in sport

  6. Coaches in elite sport

  7. Coaches in grassroots sport

  8. Anybody working in sport and physical activity

  9. Any practitioner who is facilitating physical activity

  10. All of the above

I can see the benefit of this project, however, for me / my organisation we will not engage with this if…

“If it’s cost prohibitive, if benefits are not clearly defined for individuals/operators/end user, if not made mandatory.”

“If there is no value to the club or operator in their region, i.e. lack of members.”

“If it has impact on our delivery and if the whole sector is not behind it.”

“If it impacts data protection.”

“If it paints the whole industry in a negative light.”

The project is focused on regulation and national workforce registration. However, we know that there are many different possible solutions to the challenges identified. What solutions can you identify that you think would help to solve these challenges?

“Sport England and other funders need to invest into regulated workforce roles, facilities and participation programs to bring about culture and behaviour change.”

“The registration scheme must not make us take our eye off the ball as in ‘We have a register now so everything is fine’.”

“A system to report any safeguarding issues and allow a club / NGB to investigate and manage. Full audit trail and transparency. No more ‘brushing under the carpet’.”

“If it’s not sorted soon, the government will likely legislate so it would be better to have the system sorted before that. We should use the models that are already in use for health professionals or teachers.”

What problems are you hitting that you think need addressing?

“Different sports and operators require different safeguarding / H&S criteria and DBS.”

“The popularity of coaches or instructors can override their skillset. How do you encourage these people to change when their methods are proven at least in terms of participation numbers?”

“Lack of respect between vocational and higher education.”

“Trust from the medical world is not where it needs to be to enable strong working pathways.”

Dan and Rob from Sporting People thanked the group for their feedback and stated that once the consultations had been completed the results would be published.