Vacancy: Head of Safeguarding

Sunderland AFC is looking to recruit a Head of Safeguarding to work within the club helping to deliver its safeguarding and inclusion strategy and priorities.

This position will report to the Head of HR/Academy Manager and provide club-wide management of safeguarding, with a clear sense of direction and purpose that assists the club to deliver its strategy, policies and league commitments. The aim is to promote and protect the welfare of all vulnerable groups and actively champion safeguarding and inclusion at all levels across the Club.

The successful applicant will have first class communication and customer service skills, be able to demonstrate that they can multi-task, are computer literate and are at all times professional and discreet. Responsibilities for the role include:

  • Ensure club compliance with statutory obligations under relevant legislation and league rules by providing robust and evaluative evidence with regarding to safeguarding, equality and accessibility (inclusion)
  • Work closely with and report on a regular basis to the club's senior Safeguarding Lead/ Academy Manager, additionally producing a quarterly report for the Board
  • Work closely with the Head of HR and heads of domain to develop and implement safer recruitment and induction practices across the organisation
  • Work with the Player Development and football departments to ensure compliance with EPPP rules in relation to safeguarding
  • Continuously work to maintain, embed and improve the Club's safeguarding provision ensuring the highest standards for safeguarding vulnerable groups
  • Manage the development, implementation, promotion and review of the Club's safeguarding vulnerable groups policies, practices and good practice guidelines
  • Named lead member of staff to manage safeguarding incidents, concerns and allegations
  • Named lead member of staff to work in partnership with statutory and football authorities, sharing information where appropriate to safeguard vulnerable groups
  • Maintain accurate, confidential and up to date records on all safeguarding incidents, concerns and allegations
  • Provide direction and guidance to staff in respect of safeguarding incidents, concerns and allegations
  • Support staff to respond appropriately to any concerns about the welfare or safety of vulnerable groups
  • Manage the progression and implementation of the club's strategy, action and implementation plan for safeguarding
  • Lead and provide direction to Safeguarding Officers
  • Ensure that Safeguarding Officers are trained, supported and supervised
  • Act as the club's lead source of safeguarding support, advice and expertise
  • Develop and implement safeguarding education, specific to individual roles and responsibilities, to ensure staff develop and maintain the necessary skills and knowledge to safeguard vulnerable groups.
  • Identify training needs across the club with regards to safeguarding and equality, and ensure appropriate delivery of training and developmental activities for new starters and existing staff
  • Ensure staff understand their individual and club responsibilities to safeguard and promote the welfare of vulnerable groups
  • Develop and maintain relationships with statutory and football authorities
  • Pro-actively promote and raise safeguarding and inclusion awareness
  • Promote a safe working environment for all
  • Recognise complaints and incidents within safeguarding, inclusion and accessibility and escalate and/or seek support as required
  • Attend regular meetings, conferences, training, seminars and forums as required and as necessary, whether held by the league or other professional body, and maintain an up to date knowledge base of relevant legislation, regulations and best practice
  • Will be responsible for the line management of designated safeguarding officers
  • Will be responsible for home matches and major events safeguarding provision
  • Responsible for the Academy and Women's team provision with support from the safeguarding officer


The position is full-time (40 hours per week), with working hours being flexible around business demands and will include evening and weekend work as required, including all home matches and major events. You will be expected to undertake any specific training or Continued Professional Development to maintain u-to-date knowledge and qualifications, and/or as organised by the club.

To apply please complete the application form and email along with your CV and covering letter, stating your current salary and salary expectations to The closing date for all applications is close of business Friday 9 June 2023.

If your application is successful, you will be contacted for an interview which will take place at the Stadium of Light on a date to be confirmed. Please note the position for which you are recruited is subject to an Enhanced Disclosure and Barring (DBS) Check. All applicants must be able to verify that they are eligible for work in the UK.


Sunderland AFC is an equal opportunity employer. We are committed to a policy of treating all employees and job applicants equally. Our aim is that all colleagues should be able to work in an environment free from discrimination, harassment and bullying.


Sunderland AFC is fully committed to the safeguarding and welfare of children, young people, adults at risk and all vulnerable groups within the organisation. Sunderland AFC owes a duty of care to safeguard all children, young people, adults at risk and all vulnerable groups involved in activities as organised by the football club. Sunderland AFC makes provisions for children, young people, adults at risk and all vulnerable groups through adherence to the Safeguarding Policies and Procedures adopted by the Club.

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