Coaching Policy




A coach has the privileged position of authority and trust. Therefore, it is their responsibility for the safeguarding and welfare of the athletes they are training. This document lays out the direction for coaches to ensure theirs and their athletes’ safety and wellbeing is upheld. This document is to be used in conjunction with the Hillingdon Triathletes (HT) Safeguarding Policy and the overarching British Triathlon Federation’s (BTF) Safeguarding and Welfare Strategy (here This document includes the rules about photography and filming of club athletes, as filming is part of the coaching process. Specifically swim stroke analysis, running form and cycling technique. This has been included to ensures a safe-for-all, well understood way of interaction between coach and the athlete. 

These general principles apply to all coached sessions where Foundation (Level 1), Group (Level 2) HPCP (Level 3) or Personal Coach are employed. Individuals who volunteer or assist are also captured within this criterion, and it is the coach’s responsibility to ensure standards are maintained. The policy is for the mutual protection and interest of all participants.


Any mention of ‘HT’ or ‘club’ is to include all of its members. The use of ‘pool side’ is to be interchangeable with environments where coaching may be delivered in any discipline other than swimming. 


Where contact with an athlete cannot be avoided, for example, in the event of an emergency or an accident where assistance is required, this policy does not apply. The circumstances of the situation will dictate what contact will be appropriate. 


Photography and filming of any athlete can only be performed during a closed club coached session. For the purpose of this policy, a closed session is defined as a member only session. Furthermore, the appropriate permissions need to be obtained from the venue management and participating athletes. 

Imagery taken during these closed sessions shall not be stored in any format for longer than one calendar month, unless there is a specific reason for doing so. If a longer period is required, the coach must obtain a form of written approval from the athlete for extending the period of storage, including the period and reason for the extension.  In this circumstance the imagery will be deleted upon the expiry of the extended storage period. This includes any footage that has been captured using social media (TikTok, WhatsApp, etc), downloaded from a hosting environment (GoPro account for example) and stored on any personal electronic device for means of giving feedback or other use. 

Imagery shall not be distributed through any club media. The coach is not to give soft or hard copies of footage to the athlete or anyone else.  

Generally, phones with photographic or video capabilities (smart phones or specific film or photographic apparatus) are not allowed on poolside, whether for the purposes of showing athletes images or footage related to training or general telephony contact. This is because their use may be open to interpretation by third parties. However, this does not prohibit the storage of phones in bags or clothing whilst on poolside.


Process for Filming and Photography

Lead up. A discussion and decision will be made between the Head / Assistant Head Coach, coaches and the Liaison Officer (LO) to which lane / athlete(s) will be filmed for analysis, and on which day. Upon agreement, the LO will contact the relevant venue manager to confirm filming is authorised. The LO will inform the coaches who in turn will notify the lane / athlete(s). No less than 7 days before filming commences, a message will be sent out across all HT media platforms (e.g., Spond, FB, etc) to inform members that there will be filming on a given day. It is then the athlete's decision if they want to attend the session. 

Film day. There will be signs up at registration and at the venue, informing athletes that filming will be in progress during the session. This will give those who did not see the prior notices, a chance to decide if they want to participate or not. 

Those who are being filmed for analysis will sign the Video Consent Form, adult or young adult, before filming starts. If they have any questions regarding the access, storage and use of the content, the coach taking the signatures will be there to answer their questions. This gives the athlete a third decision point if they want to carry on or not.

The signed signature sheet will be handed to HT Welfare Officer at the earliest opportunity for archiving. This will be archived in line with the length of time with the overarching consent form, adult or young adult.

Post filming. The footage will be available to the coach for 1 calendar month, unless [that coach] explicitly requests more time. If this is the case, the coach needs to inform the club member who manages the material and must have written consent (email, text, etc) from the athlete. After this period the footage will be deleted. This includes any footage that has been captured using social media (TikTok, WhatsApp, etc), downloaded from a hosting environment (GoPro account for example) and stored on any personal electronic device for means of giving feedback or other use. 

The video or imagery sole use is for analysis. It is not to be used to promote the club, used on social media or any other public forum.

Access. To limit people's access to the HT GoPro account, only those who upload the footage and the coaches who give feedback, are authorised to access the account. They must be DBS vetted and hold a Safeguarding certificate. 

All coaches who have access will be able to see the videos. There is not a way of restricting access or partitioning within the GoPro account. Those who are given access after being checked (DBS, etc) is on trust, their integrity and their professionalism. 

Feedback to young athletes (under 18). When giving feedback to athletes who are under the age of 18 years, their parent or guardian must be present. If they are not available, a second coach is to be in attendance. This is to ensure appropriate and proportionate safeguards are in place to protect the young athlete and coach. 


During any swim session held by HT, there should be no physical contact between a coach and an athlete.  Coaches are to instruct from the poolside and not in the water. 
Physical contact is defined as any deliberate contact that can be avoided and might result in the placing of hands or body onto an athlete’s body or in close proximity to it.  We do not include widely understood public actions like ‘high 5s’ or the shaking of hands as a contravention of this policy. 


Whilst we seek not to stifle natural social behaviours and acknowledge that many coaches and athletes are friends and partners, we would ask that during a coached session, athletes are aware of the responsibility placed upon our coaches by this policy. They are to understand the severity of overt displays of affection ‘during’ a coached session (as defined above) towards a coach, especially one that is recognised as one by their behaviour or uniform, might place them in a difficult position in relation to this policy.  We welcome appropriate social behaviour between all club and non-members at all other times outside the coaching environment e.g., club organised social events.

Athlete to Athlete Physical Contact

There will be occasions when directed coached activities may involve a degree of athlete-to-athlete contact e.g., group swimming, mass start practices, relay tags, etc, where athletes are paired for skills or activities. Due to the nature of the activity, contact may be unavoidable. It is the responsibility of the coach to conduct a dynamic risk assessment and inform the participants of the risk. However, responsibility is also with the athlete who knowingly and willingly participates in the activity e.g., swimming session.  


Coaching Outside the Club

HT recognises that some individual coaches with the appropriate qualifications and insurance may wish to deliver one to one coaching. In this circumstance they may wish to do so at a recognised club venue, however, this must be outside and separate to the club organised sessions. Coaches participating in such a session should must not be wearing clothing that identifies them as a coach of Hillingdon Triathletes.

Enforcement and questions

Should there be any questions relating to this policy please approach the Head Coach. We hope that you regard this policy as a safeguard to ensure that all your sessions are conducted with care and equality, and to ensure a happy safe environment for all. As mentioned at the start, please refer to the HT Safeguarding Policy and BTF Safeguarding and Welfare Strategy. if you have any safeguarding and welfare questions, do contact the HT Welfare Officer.


Document Name

 Coaching Policy

Document I.D.

 CP CW 24



Date Last Review

 March 2024

Date Next Review

 January 2025

Approved By

 Caroline Whittaker

Date Approved

 March 2024