The club is affiliated to the British Model Flying Association (BMFA) which is the governing body for the hobby and provides members with insurance for the flying of model aircraft. The club has adopted the BMFA policy for the protection of children and vulnerable adults, and that policy is available on the BMFA web site at www.bmfa.org. Alternatively the club secretary or treasurer can supply a printed copy of the policy on request. The policy applies to all activities of the club including club meetings.
In accordance with the policy the club has appointed its chairman, Martin Dance as club Welfare Officer within the meaning of the BMFA policy.
The club wishes to promote the sport of model flying within the local community and to encourage persons of all ages and abilities to participate in the sport. It recognises the need for sensible measures to ensure the safety of children and vulnerable adults whilst taking part in the sport. To that end, this policy sets out the means of implementing the BMFA policy for the Reading and District Model Aircraft Club.
- All members, parents, guardians and carers are to comply with BMFA and club policies and guidelines for the promotion of the welfare and care of children and vulnerable adults.
- A junior member is defined as being under 18 years of age.
- A vulnerable adult is defined as a person of 18 years of age or over but through mental or physical attributes requires a higher level of supervision than would be normally necessary for an adult member.
- A responsible adult is defined as a senior member or parent/guardian who has the clearance, experience, knowledge and training commensurate with the type and degree of supervision required.
- Junior members must be supervised at all times by a responsible adult. The level of supervision is to be commensurate with the junior member’s age, maturity, capabilities and levels of experience.
- Junior members under the age of 14 years shall not start an engine or carry a model with the engine running unless they are supervised by a responsible adult.
- No child or vulnerable adult shall undertake any activity which might place him or her at risk. In any event prior consultation with their parent, guardian or carer must take place if there is any doubt on the member’s abilities to undertake a specific activity.
- No senior member of the club is to be expected to assume responsibility for a child or a vulnerable adult. It is the parent or guardian’s responsibility to supervise any child or vulnerable adult at all times, or to appoint a responsible adult to do so on their behalf. The club will not accept responsibility for appointing a responsible adult, nor will it make any recommendations about an individual’s suitability for that appointment. It is the parent or guardian’s sole responsibility to satisfy themselves of the suitability of the person they appoint and to notify the club of the appointment. Full details of how the parent or guardian may be contacted in an emergency must be provided if they are not present as the responsible adult.
- Notwithstanding the requirements of the previous paragraph, should a member discover a child or vulnerable adult that is unsupervised then he/she must assume responsibility for that person’s safety in the first instance. They should never assume this role as an individual and should immediately involve at least one other senior member of the club while the matter is being resolved. The situation should then be rectified as soon as possible by seeking out the parent, guardian, carer or nominated supervisor. Any instance of such an occurrence is to be reported to the club committee as soon as possible and a record made of the occurrence. The club will then contact the parent or guardian and inform them that should a similar situation arise again, the committee will consider terminating club membership for the child or vulnerable adult.
- Whilst associating with children or vulnerable adults at the flying field, members should avoid placing themselves in a position that could be open to misinterpretation or question in accordance with BMFA policy. Remember, the policy is there to protect you as well as children and vulnerable adults.
- The club has appointed instructors for teaching persons to fly radio controlled model aircraft. These persons are registered with the BMFA as instructors and have all been cleared in accordance with the BMFA policy as suitable to work with children and vulnerable adults. Only the cub’s BMFA registered instructors are permitted to instruct children or vulnerable adults. (Note: if the parent or guardian is a sufficiently competent pilot and wishes to instruct their own child or vulnerable adult, then they may do so without further clearance.)
- Should any member, parent, guardian, carer or the person themselves have concerns about the welfare of children or vulnerable adults then he or she is to contact the club Welfare Officer or one of the help lines listed in the BMFA policy and at the end of this policy.
- All members are required to respect the rights and dignity of children and vulnerable adults and to promote their welfare. Caring is largely a matter of common sense provided everyone is clear on what is expected of them and a few simple principles are adhered to. It is not a responsibility to be feared but is, nevertheless, essential if we are to ensure that we are to be a club that offers opportunities for all.
The following statement shall be included with the club’s membership application form to ensure that the parent or guardian of a child or vulnerable adult agrees to abide by club policy:
“Note to parents, guardians and carers:
Whilst this Club has a moral and statutory duty to take all reasonable steps to ensure the general welfare and protection of children and vulnerable adult members, in particular during the actual act of model aircraft flying and associated pre-flight and post-flight procedures, the Club will not undertake the all encompassing responsibilities of those acting in the role of guardians or carers.
It is your responsibility to ensure the well being of your charge and should you wish to leave a child or a vulnerable adult at the flying site or any other club activity, it is your responsibility to appoint a responsible adult to supervise your charge at all times when they are at the flying site or engaged in any other activity organised by the club such as club meetings. This includes having knowledge of any particular medical requirements and providing or arranging transport to and from the flying site. The club makes no recommendations of suitable persons to be appointed as a responsible adult.
Should physical contact be required during model flying for instructional or any other purposes
these will be explained to you and you will be required to record your agreement in writing defining the type and limits of contact.
Should the Club wish to use a photographic image of your child, the Club will follow the guidelines laid down by the NSPCC Child Protection in Sport Unit detailed in the BMFA policy. No photograph will be used without the written consent of the parent or guardian.
In addition the BMFA and this Club have specific rules and policies relating to children and vulnerable adults which are available from the respective websites or from the club secretary or treasurer and membership secretary. A copy of an extract from the BMFA Policy is attached: “Guide For The Parents, Guardians And Carers Of Children and Vulnerable Adults”.
You should note that the club does not provide toilet facilities at its flying site and it is your responsibility to make suitable arrangements.
This membership form must be countersigned by the parent or guardian if the applicant is under 18 years of age or by the authorised carer of a vulnerable adult, thereby signifying acceptance of the conditions of membership.
Should you wish to discuss any issue, have any concerns or have suggestions on how we may improve our policies, then please contact: Martin Dance on 0118 962 4167 or contact one of the help lines listed below as you deem appropriate.
BMFA Chief Executive 0116 244 0028
BMFA General Manager 0116 244 0028
BMFA Development Officer 0116 244 0028
NSPCC 0800 500 500
Childline 0800 1111
Social Services/Police Details from local telephone directory.