Policies Library

Information on Best Practice and Children First Act 2015 for Swim Ireland Clubs


The complete commencement of the Children First Act 2015, the latest Irish legislation relating to safeguarding young people in Ireland, came into force on 11th December 2017.  We have adopted the requirements in this legislation and guidance as best practice throughout Swim Ireland.    

As an all-Ireland organisation we operate in line with the above legislation and the following statutory documents: 

Ireland: Children First: National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children

Northern Ireland: Cooperating to Safeguarding Children and Young People in Northern Ireland

Changes for Swim Ireland Clubs and Regions

The legislation contains new terminology and reaffirms much of what we have in place in Swim Ireland already.  Our own Swim Ireland Safeguarding Policy will reflect the changes and include all the statutory documents and frameworks.  References to the Children First Act 2015 are in brackets.   

New terminology:

Mandated Person: has a mandated obligation to report harm or risk of harm to children to the Statutory Agencies (see section 14 and Schedule 2).  This is Kate Hills as the National Children’s Officer. 

Designated Liaison Person (DLP): is responsible to ensure the reporting procedures are followed at club, regional and national level.  In a Club this is the Club Children’s Officer, at Regional level this is the Regional Children’s Officer and at national level this is the National Children’s Officer.     

Relevant Person: is the person appointed by a club to be the first point of contact regarding the child safeguarding statement (see below).  This is a role carried out by the relevant Children’s Officer at each level, as per the DLP. 

Provider: this is a person or unit who provides a relevant service, i.e. a Club.  Swim Ireland is a Provider as a national governing body and so is each Region.  This applies where a Club has members under 18 years of age.

Relevant Service: is work or an activity which consists of educational, research, training, cultural, recreational, leisure, social or physical activities to children (see Part 2 and Schedule 1).  Swim Ireland, Regions and affiliated Clubs provide a Relevant Service. 

The Provider is responsible for anyone who works in the Relevant Service; this is no different to our current structure where Swim Ireland, each Region or Club is responsible for the people who work with young people and children.   

The roles of the DLP and the Relevant Person are currently carried out by the CCO, they are identified with these different titles within the legislation and Children First Guidance.  Swim Ireland will not be changing the name of the Club Children’s Officer. 


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Seven Towers Leisure Centre

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