Your child’s safety is your primary concern when they join an organisation and take part in activities, it is also the concern of every staff member in the Royal Air Force Air Cadets. We view safety as three key areas and more detail on each can be found below:
Health and Safety
The welfare, health and safety of all members of the Royal Air Force Air Cadets, as well as any members of the public who visit our units, should be considered as the highest priority, however it is all too easy for H&S to be pushed to the back of people’s minds.
It is therefore important that the H&S team provide training and support to all Royal Air Force Air Cadet units, to allow them to understand the risks involved in the wide variety of activities we undertake on such a regular basis.
From the day to day, activities at every unit, through Squadron run Adventure Training Exercises, to major events such as the Wing Activities Day there will always be some activity which could, and sadly, sometimes does go wrong.
By considering the nature of all of these activities, along with the way in which it is intended they be carried out, Staff and Senior cadets can assess the likelihood of an incident, in relation to its potential severity, and decide whether there is any need to make particular arrangements for the task, to either reduce the risk to an acceptable level, or to revise the way in which it is to be carried out.
This “Risk Assessment” is generally common sense, but to ensure we being competent and professional, we simply need to provide trained competent staff, record our actions and constantly review as the activity progresses to ensure that our assessments remain relevant. To do this we provide training to all staff and staff cadets in the identification of risk, and the necessary steps to reduce this to as low as is reasonably possible.
The Squadron is regularly assessed to ensure that it is achieving a safe environment and activities, and this is conducted by both internal and external bodies.
The aim should be to allow all activities to be undertaken in a safe manner, but still allow cadets to “Venture Adventure”.
Functional Safety is the term applied to our combined Management System. This includes our commitments to:
– Health and Safety;
– Child Protection;
– Quality Management (ISO 9001);
– Environmental Management (ISO 14001);
– Information Security Management (ISO 27001).
In a complex environment, this aids our efficiencies and though not certified, the Squadron has (where possible) aligned itself to the relevant International Standards (as bracketed) to ensure we meet our legal obligations.
Further information can be found by contacting the Officer Commanding.
Child and Vulnerable Adult Protection.
Child Protection (and that of vulnerable adults) is crucial to the ongoing safety of young people and the reputation of the organisation and Squadron. In addition to safety in activities (covered in Health and Safety), there is a zero tolerance on all forms of bullying, including cyber bullying.
Although not necessary, many of our staff have cadet or service experience. Regardless of background all staff have to be vetted before they are allowed to have unsupervised access with cadets. Vetting includes checks with the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) as well as internal security checks. Staff also have training including child safety. In addition to the security checks staff running activities are suitably qualified and trained in the activity they are involved in. Only through suitable cleared and qualified staff do we run activities.
Should you require further details on the Air Cadet Organisation’s child protection policy please view the guides via the below links.
If you have any queries or concerns on child safety you wish to discuss you may wish to contact the Squadron Commander or alternatively the Wing Child Protection Advisor, Squadron Leader M Travena RAFVR(T), can be reached via Wing Headquarters.
Advice for Parents, Staff and Cadets
We always endeavour to look at the very best and most up to date practice with regard to Child protection. Where we see good practice we will let you know about it.
Here is an excellent piece from Staffordshire Safeguarding Board giving advice on the current phenomenon of “Sexting” or taking and posting of inappropriate photos. http://www.staffsscb.org.uk/Training/Learning-resources/Sexting.aspx