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1.1 The PRA is committed to ensuring the welfare of Children within pony racing. The PRA expects all Persons to share this commitment and maintain appropriate standards and behaviour in their dealings with Children.
1.2 These PRA Safeguarding Regulations, incorporating the NSP Rules, establish a framework through which the PRA may investigate matters concerning the harm, or possibility of harm, to Children, and the PRA’s disciplinary processes relating to such matters.
1.3 The core aim of these PRA Safeguarding Regulations is to ensure the safety and welfare of Children within pony racing. The procedures detailed in these PRA Safeguarding Regulations are intended to be fair, straightforward and tailored to the needs of pony racing.
These PRA Safeguarding Regulations apply to all Persons.
3.1 ‘Child’ means any person engaged in pony racing activities under the jurisdiction of the PRA and who is under the age of 18 years (and ‘Children’ shall be construed accordingly);
3.2 ‘NSP’ means the National Safeguarding Panel operated by Sport Resolutions (UK) (a trading name of The Sports Dispute Resolution Panel Ltd – Company No. 3351039);
3.3 ‘NSP Rules’ means the Procedural Rules of the NSP;
3.4 ‘NSP Tribunal’ means an Arbitral Tribunal and/or an Appeal Tribunal (as the context so requires) appointed pursuant to the NSP Rules;
3.5 ‘Person’ means any person to whom the Regulations of the PRA apply, save that it shall also include any other individual who has agreed to be bound by these PRA Safeguarding Regulations and any person who from time to time participates or is otherwise involved in any activity sanctioned either directly or indirectly by the PRA;
3.6 ‘Provisional Suspension’ means a temporary bar from participating in activity sanctioned either directly or indirectly by the PRA pending determination of a charge, as set out more specifically in paragraph 7; and
No Person may (i) engage, or attempt or threaten to engage, in conduct that directly or indirectly harms any Child or Children, and/or (ii) pose a risk of harm to any Child or Children.
(a) ‘Harm’ is not a narrow concept, and can mean different things in different contexts. Reference should be made to the PRA Safeguarding Policy.
(b) It is not necessary for conduct (or attempted or threatened conduct) to take place in the context of pony racing activities. For example (and without limitation), in the event that a Person is convicted or cautioned for, or charged with, any offence that concerns harm to a child (whether or not any affected children are involved in pony racing), that may form the basis of action under these PRA Safeguarding Regulations as a result of that Person posing a risk of harm (regardless of whether or not the relevant offence, or alleged offence, took place in the context of pony racing activities).
5.1 Upon the receipt of information that gives the PRA reasonable ground(s) to suspect that a Person has engaged, or attempted or threatens/threatened to engage, in conduct of the kind detailed at paragraph 4, the PRA will be entitled to investigate the matter.
5.2 In relation to any investigation commenced under these PRA Safeguarding Regulations, the PRA may:
5.2.1 investigate the matter itself; and/or
5.2.2 appoint others, including an independent safeguarding expert (or experts), to assist the PRA in relation to its investigation or investigate the matter on the PRA’s behalf.
5.3 In relation to any investigation commenced under these PRA Safeguarding Regulations, the PRA (or its appointee) may require any Person (and request any other persons) to:
5.3.1 attend to answer and provide information and/or answer questions by way of interview;
5.3.2 produce documents, information or other material in whatever form held;
5.3.3 undertake a risk assessment by a suitably qualified person appointed by the PRA in such form as the PRA, at its discretion, considers appropriate; and/or
5.3.4 co-operate in any other manner that might be necessary or desirable for the purpose of the investigation.
6.1 All Persons subject to investigation under these PRA Safeguarding Regulations, or who may otherwise be asked to assist with any such investigation, must co-operate with the PRA’s (or its appointee’s/appointees’) investigation.
6.2 No Person may subject any other Person or other party to any detriment on the ground or belief that that Person or other party has reported a safeguarding concern to the PRA (or any other appropriate body) and/or assisted the PRA in any manner in relation to investigations or proceedings brought under these PRA Safeguarding Regulations.
6.3 No Person may make a malicious safeguarding report to the PRA, or otherwise act in bad faith in relation to matters covered by these PRA Safeguarding Regulations.
6.4 If any Person breaches any of the above provisions of this paragraph 6, such conduct will be deemed to be conduct of the kind detailed at paragraph 4.
The PRA wants to be presented with any information, from any source, where there is reason to consider that any Person has presented or presents a risk of harm to one or more Children, so that appropriate action may be taken. In order for the PRA’s work under these PRA Safeguarding Regulations to be effective, the co-operation of all Persons is necessary when requested by the PRA (or those acting on its behalf). The PRA may therefore view a failure to co-operate, or conduct designed at preventing or dissuading others from reporting concerns or co-operating, as a serious disciplinary matter. The PRA will also view malicious reporting or acts of bad faith in relation to safeguarding matters seriously (e.g. where a false report is made to pursue a personal vendetta or false information is deliberately provided to an investigation).
7.1 At any point in time where the PRA has reasonable ground(s) to suspect that a Person has engaged in conduct (or, as the case may be, attempted or threatened/threatens to engage in conduct) of the kind detailed at paragraph 4, the PRA may (in its absolute discretion) either:
7.1.1 impose an immediate Provisional Suspension directly on that Person; or
7.1.2 apply to the NSP (in accordance with the procedure prescribed by the NSP Rules or as otherwise directed by the NSP) for the imposition of a Provisional Suspension on that Person.
7.2 The PRA will impose or seek the imposition of a Provisional Suspension only in cases where, in the opinion of the PRA’s Chief Executive and/or Chief Steward, a Provisional Suspension is reasonable and proportionate, with reference to the aims of these PRA Safeguarding Regulations.
7.3 A Provisional Suspension may bar a Person from all or any specific pony racing activities under the auspices of the PRA and on such terms and conditions as the PRA or (as the case may be) the NSP considers are reasonable and proportionate.
7.4 In cases where the PRA imposes a Provisional Suspension in accordance with paragraph 7.1.1, the Person upon whom a Provisional Suspension is imposed will be promptly notified by the PRA. The notification should, unless impracticable for any reason (such as prejudice to an investigation or because of the risk of harm to any person):
7.4.1 set out the reasons why the Provisional Suspension has been imposed;
7.4.2 detail the scope of the Provisional Suspension, i.e. which pony racing activities the Person is prohibited from undertaking;
7.4.3 set out such other terms and conditions as the PRA considers are reasonable and proportionate; and
7.4.4 advise that the Person may apply to have the Provisional Suspension lifted or varied by the NSP (in accordance with paragraph 7.6 below).
7.5 The PRA may at any time vary the terms and conditions of a Provisional Suspension that it has imposed under paragraph 7.1.1 where it considers it appropriate to do so.
7.6 The PRA or any Person subject to a Provisional Suspension may apply to the NSP to have it lifted or varied. A Provisional Suspension will otherwise remain in force until the matter has been finally determined (by the NSP or howsoever otherwise).
7.7 The PRA may publish and/or share information relating to Provisional Suspensions on a ‘need to know’ basis, in such form and manner, and to such extent, as it deems necessary for the purposes of enforcement and/or compliance.
When considering whether or not a Provisional Suspension is reasonable and proportionate in any case, the PRA will give consideration to the following:
• The aims of these PRA Safeguarding Regulations.
• The prospect of any charge(s) being upheld (i.e. the stronger the merits of the charge(s), the stronger the justification for a Provisional Suspension).
• The seriousness of the individual case (i.e. the more serious a case is, the stronger the justification for a Provisional Suspension).
• Whether a Provisional Suspension is necessary or desirable to allow the conduct of any investigation by the PRA or the police or other public authority (or analogous body) to proceed unimpeded.
• Any other circumstances that might be relevant to the individual case.
The determination of applications relating to Provisional Suspensions will, strictly, be a matter for the NSP. However, the PRA considers that the NSP Tribunal or President (as the case may be) should give consideration to the above when considering applications relating to Provisional Suspensions.
8.1 If, at the conclusion of an investigation commenced under these PRA Safeguarding Regulations, the PRA concludes that the Person under investigation has a case to answer, the PRA will send written notice of charge to that Person:
8.1.1 confirming that a charge is being issued against them under these PRA Safeguarding Regulations;
8.1.2 detailing the facts and evidence on which the charge is based; and
8.1.3 requiring his or her written response to the charge within fourteen days.
8.2 In the event that a written notice of charge is sent to a Person who was under the age of 18 years when the relevant conduct is alleged to have occurred, the PRA may, if it considers it appropriate, address or copy the notice to the Person’s parent(s) or carer(s).
9.1 Following receipt of the Person’s response to a written notice of charge, or in the event no such response is received within fourteen days, the PRA may refer the matter for a hearing before the NSP to determine appropriate disciplinary orders and/or risk management measures (if any).
9.2 If the PRA refers a Person to the NSP under these PRA Safeguarding Regulations it shall prepare and send a written notice of referral in the name of the PRA to the Person, which shall contain the following information:
9.2.1 the facts alleged in support of the referral;
9.2.2 an outline of the process to be followed in relation to the referral; and
9.2.3 contact details for the NSP.
9.3 The following matters arising under these PRA Safeguarding Regulations may be determined by the NSP in accordance with the NSP Rules, as amended from time to time, which are deemed to be incorporated by reference to this paragraph:
9.3.1 any referral to the NSP by the PRA on the basis that a Person has engaged in conduct (or, as the case may be, attempted or threatened to engage in conduct) of the kind detailed at paragraph 4;
9.3.2 an application that a Provisional Suspension should be imposed, lifted or varied pursuant to paragraph 7; and
9.3.3 any other matter that the PRA may reasonably refer to the NSP for determination in accordance with the NSP Rules.
10.1 NSP Tribunals may impose such disciplinary orders and/or risk management measures as they see fit. However, the PRA envisages that the following range of disciplinary orders and risk management measures are appropriate where, on the balance of probabilities, an NSP Tribunal concludes that a Person has engaged in conduct (or, as the case may be, attempted or threatened to engage in conduct) of the kind detailed at paragraph 4:
10.1.1 a reprimand/warning;
10.1.2 a fine or compensation order (in appropriate cases arising from breaches of the provisions of paragraph 6);
10.1.3 an order to undertake specified training;
10.1.4 an order requiring an individual to be monitored in specific matters;
10.1.5 suspension for a specific period of time from involvement in pony racing activities under the auspices of the PRA on such terms and conditions as the NSP Tribunal considers appropriate; and
10.1.6 permanent exclusion from involvement in pony racing activities under the auspices of the PRA on such terms and conditions as it considers appropriate.
10.2 The PRA may publish and/or share details of disciplinary orders and risk management measures on a ‘need to know’ basis, in such form and manner, and to such extent, as it deems necessary for the purposes of enforcement and/or compliance. The PRA may also take such administrative steps as it deems necessary or appropriate in order to give effect to disciplinary orders and/or risk management measures imposed by NSP Tribunals (i.e. such disciplinary orders and/or risk management measures will not require any further act of ratification by any other body).
If, at any stage prior to a referral under paragraph 9, the PRA concludes that (i) there is insufficient evidence to charge/proceed with disciplinary action, and/or (ii) a referral would not further the aims of these PRA Safeguarding Regulations, and/or (iii) there is any other bona fide reason for the PRA not to refer the matter, then the PRA may take such other action as it considers appropriate in all the circumstances of the case. For example, but without limitation, the PRA may inform a Person that he/she has no case to answer, provide a Person with guidance as to his/her future conduct, issue a Person with a warning/reprimand, or refer the matter to another body (where the PRA is satisfied that other body will deal with the matter effectively).
12.1 These PRA Safeguarding Regulations are to be interpreted and applied by reference to their core aim of ensuring the safety and welfare of Children. Such interpretation and application shall take precedence over any strict legal or technical interpretations that may otherwise be proposed. The PRA’s Safeguarding Policy and any related documents that may be published by the PRA from time to time may be referred to as interpretative aids.
12.2 In the event that any incident or other matter occurs that is not provided for in these PRA Safeguarding Regulations (whether it relates to conduct, jurisdiction, investigation, procedure, sanction or otherwise), then the PRA, or (following a referral to the NSP) the NSP President or any appointed NSP Tribunal may take such action as considered appropriate in the circumstances, taking into account the specific circumstances of the individual case and the principles of natural justice and fairness.
12.3 Minor practical or technical points will not serve to invalidate the procedure or any decisions or findings made under these PRA Safeguarding Regulations, so long as the principles of natural justice and fairness are not infringed.
12.4 These PRA Safeguarding Regulations are intended to operate on a stand-alone basis without reference to other PRA Regulations or disciplinary procedures. However, in the event that any matter or conduct falling under these PRA Safeguarding Regulations also falls under any other PRA rules, regulations or procedures (as may from time to time be in force), or is subject to investigation by the police or other public authority (or analogous body, such as another sports governing body), or is subject to any other legal/regulatory/disciplinary process, then the PRA or (following a referral to the NSP) the NSP President or any appointed NSP Tribunal, may at any point temporarily suspend the procedure under these PRA Safeguarding Regulations. For the avoidance of doubt, in the event that any matter or conduct falling under these PRA Safeguarding Regulations also falls under any other PRA rules, regulations or procedures (as may from time to time be in force), the PRA expressly reserves its right to bring proceedings under those other rules or regulations (regardless of whether proceedings are also brought under these PRA Safeguarding Regulations).
12.5 Save to the extent that disclosure and/or publication is provided for in these PRA Safeguarding Regulations, or is otherwise in accordance with the law, all matters considered under these PRA Safeguarding Regulations, will, so far as practicable, be regarded as confidential and used only for the purposes of these PRA Safeguarding Regulations.
12.6 These PRA Safeguarding Regulations are governed by English law.
12.7 In the case of any conflict between the PRA Safeguarding Regulations and the NSP Rules, the latter shall take precedence in relation to matters that have been referred to the NSP.
12.8 If any part of these PRA Safeguarding Regulations (including the NSP Rules) is ruled to be invalid, unenforceable or illegal for any reason, that part will be deemed deleted, and the rest of these PRA Safeguarding Regulations will remain in full force and effect.
12.9 Neither the PRA, nor any person employed by or appointed to assist the PRA, will be liable to any party for any act or omission unless it is actuated by malice or bad faith.
12.10 These PRA Safeguarding Regulations will come into effect on 1st December 2019. The PRA may amend these PRA Safeguarding Regulations from time to time. Such amendments will come into effect on the date specified by the PRA.