Safety is at the forefront of everything we do. Mountain Water Expeditions has taken all necessary steps to ensure that our expedition programmes provide an appropriate challenge for participants without compromising on safety.
Mountain Water Expeditions recognises that it has a duty of care towards course participants and its staff. We have a common sense approach to safeguarding.
This includes their welfare and to do all that is reasonable to protect them from neglect or physical, sexual and emotional abuse. It recognises the particular responsibilities it has towards children in its care. All staff will respond in a supportive and understanding manner to any participant or staff member involved in any incident or allegation.
We safeguard our team and clients to protect the health, well-being and human rights of individuals, which allow people—especially children, young people and vulnerable adults—to live free from abuse, harm and neglect.
At Mountain Water Expeditions we achieve this by promoting safeguarding practice that;
• Provides children, young people and vulnerable adults with appropriate safety and protection whilst in the care of Mountain Water Expeditions
• Allow all staff to make informed decisions and give confident responses to specific child protection issues.
Mountain Water Expeditions uses a combination of written policies and sound working practices to ensure that appropriate measures are taken to protect the legal and moral rights of participants, staff and visiting staff.
There is a clearly established and documented procedure for the handling of child protection matters. Whilst recognising the need for confidentiality, senior staff are informed as soon as possible and then take responsibility for subsequent actions, thereby ensuring that the highest possible level of experience can be applied to any safeguarding issue.
For clarity Mountain Water Expeditions uses a safeguarding reporting flow chart (within the Adult and Children’s Safeguarding Policies) as the guidance to our procedure.
All Mountain Water Expeditions staff are familiar with this document, and it should be referred to in all safeguarding matters.
Ensure that you refer to the Mountain Water Expeditions Adult of Child Safeguarding Policies.
React calmly so as not to frighten the young person.
Take what the person says seriously, recognising the difficulties inherent in interpreting what is being said by a person who has for example a speech impairment and/or differences in language.
Avoid asking leading or direct questions other than those seeking to clarify your understanding of what the person has said. They may be subsequently formally interviewed by the Police and/or Social Care Services and they should not have to repeat their account on several occasions. The first person told may become at witness at court if they have asked/gained direct relevant information.
Try to reduce any questions you may choose to ask to an absolute minimum and concentrate on listening to the person. Questions should never be leading and should only consist of Who ..? Where ..? When ..? What ..?
Reassure the young person that they are right to tell and are not to blame.
Explain to them that concerns will have to be shared with someone who is in a position to act. Do not make promises of confidentiality.
Make a full written record of what has been said, heard and/or seen as soon as possible (preferably on the day that the concern/disclosure was first identified/made), at the earliest opportunity.
Discuss the incident report with the Mountain Water Expeditions Safeguarding Officer or Proprietor.
DO NOT –
Dismiss the concern.
Panic or try to resolve the issue yourself.
Allow your shock or distaste to show.
Probe for more information than is freely offered to open questions.
Speculate or make assumptions about what may have happened.
Make any comments about the alleged abuser.
Make promises or agree to keep secrets.
Ask the young person or any witnesses to sign your written information as this may be significantly detrimental to any subsequent police investigation.
Take photographs of any alleged injuries. Any such recording must only be done by an approved medical or other practitioner, following referral.
Discuss the issue with anyone other than the Mountain Water Expeditions Safeguarding Officer or Proprietor.
All staff will be subject to a recruitment process involving satisfactory DBS Regulated Activity checks and references.
All staff are encouraged to sign up for the online update scheme for DBS.
Anyone who works for Mountain Water Expeditions may be asked to renew their DBS application or an Update Scheme check may be made every 2 years.
Proof of identity
All our staff are required to provide 2 forms of proof of identity on application.
All our staff are required to provide two written references as part of the application process.
All our staff are required to submit evidence of their NGB’s and other qualifications on application and as these are renewed. We check that all staff have the required qualification and experience for the role performed.
All staff are required to hold a minimum of 16 hour first aid certificate, which is required to validate most NGB’s.
Helen Joyce is the nominated Safeguarding Officer. If they are not available, or it is not appropriate to discuss a safeguarding matter with them then the Proprietor is the designated person.
All our procedures are subject to regular review, and are inspected regular basis by the Adventure Activity Licensing Authority, Learning Outside the Classroom and Adventure Mark.
If you require more information about our Safeguarding measures please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
All staff should be vigilant to ensure that outdoor activity events are not used as an opportunity to take inappropriate photographs or film footage of young people in vulnerable positions, and any concerns should be reported to the Expedition Manager and the Safeguarding Officer.
Any images of children used for promotional purposes must have the written permission of a parent/guardian. Consent is obtained on the consent form.
All activities undertaken by Mountain water Expeditions carry an accepted inherent risk with a danger of personal injury or death.
However, Mountain Water Expeditions is committed to the safe delivery of any and all activities supported by constant feedback and review in conjunction with supervisory and NGB authorities.
We require that all staff comply with our Risk Assessments and participants comply with safety guidance given by instructors.
Participants in these activities should be aware of and accept these risks and be responsible for their own actions and involvement.
Mountain Water Expeditions will react to any legitimate concerns raised and carry out investigation if appropriate. Risk Assessments will be reviewed and updated regularly or after an incident.
All equipment will be subjected to regular safety checks which will be recorded with a record kept noting degree of use and any pertinent information particularly falls, abrasion, chips, cracks and wear. Staff signing equipment out for use are responsible for ensuring its suitability for the intended purpose, any damage noted during or after use should be noted and if critical the item should be removed from service immediately.
Should Mountain Water Expeditions be using a commercial venue such as, but not restricted to, a climbing wall or via ferrata site we will comply with the risk assessment of that site. Additional risk assessments will be added as required.