RugbySafe Update

(Adapted Copy of mail circulated 19.08.20)

Dear All

(Club RugbySafe Contacts, Club Safeguarding Officers, Club Secretaries, Club Chairs/Directors of Rugby, Club Chairs of Mini/Youth & Schools Contacts)

Club/School/College/Uni RugbySafe Officers

I am continuing in my volunteer role as RugbySafe Lead for the CB but I need the support of the Club/School/College/Uni RugbySafe Officers more than ever please as the role and scope of RugbySafe Lead has increased considerably over the last few years. Therefore, please ensure the details for this golden role are correct on GMS and also that Claire has the correct information in the office. This is vital to the success of the RugbySafe/Player Welfare initiatives in Northumberland.

Club/School/College/Uni RugbySafe Officers should be the first point of contact for coaches, first aiders, players and volunteers with player welfare enquiries – you are the people on the ground so to speak! There is lots of information on the RFU website

and the Keep Your Boots On website to assist you in your roles.

And of course, you can contact me for help/advice:


Concussion Reporting Protocol

We are extremely lucky in Northumberland to have a Concussion Reporting Protocol.  This is not something provided by all CBs, however Northumberland Rugby sees player welfare as a priority and as such have developed the Concussion Reporting Protocol.  The CB run system takes a lot of the “leg work” from clubs/schools/colleges, parents and players and ensures that our players are kept safe. Whilst the RFU concussion management guidelines (see below) state it is the players and/or parent’s responsibilities to inform other interested parties of concussion, we as a CB, feel the protocol is an enhanced way of looking after the health and welfare of our players.  However, for this to be successful we need all rugby union providers to buy-into the protocol. Looking at the data it seems age-grade buy-in has been much better than adult. We would therefore request that you as Club RugbySafe Officers reinforce the importance of the reporting protocol to all of your coaches, first aiders, physios/sports therapists.


The Age-Grade Concussion Management Guidelines


The Adult Guidelines

(link ).


Important Changes to the NRU Concussion Reporting Protocol

Completed forms should now be emailed to . 

The concussions mailbox is a dedicated mailbox for RugbySafe matters and is only accessed by myself and Claire so any information (concussion forms), queries or issues received via e-mail can remain confidential.

Concussion Reporting Forms can be downloaded/printed from here and have been updated for the new 2020-21 season:





Please can RugbySafe contacts and Chairs of Mini/Youth circulate the relevant updated form(s) to coaches.   (Please note Age Grade covers Colts/U18s Rugby – even if the player is playing adult rugby.)   For ease, we have also attached the new season forms to this mail.

Where there is any missing information, discrepancies or issues with concussion reporting (delayed reports or reports that are not received when the CB has been made aware of an incident), Claire Sharpe has been delegated authority to contact the relevant Club RugbySafe Officers or schools contact, to investigate and sort out the issue. If appropriate she will also include the Club Safeguarding Officer. If the issues are unable to be resolved, the matter will be escalated to myself as the CB RugbySafe Lead, as is currently the protocol for safeguarding issues with Club Safeguarding Officers and Alan Heinzman.  

Missing information, discrepancies and issues with concussion reporting will lead to delays in the sending of the “suspected concussion” letter so please try to ensure that all information is completed and where appropriate, parental permissions confirmed before submitting the form.  Your support with the reporting protocol is crucial.  Since the protocol was introduced three seasons ago, we have helped provide support to a number of players (both adult and youth) and to the parents of youth players when symptoms have not cleared up and some additional advice was required.  We have also been able to provide additional support to players who have had more than one suspected concussion incident.



I have had quite a few covid-19 queries – all information for Clubs relating to covid-19 is available on the county website ( and also on the RFU website

and queries can be emailed to


Covid-19 and First Aiders

The RFU have produced Guidelines for First Aid and these can be accessed here

Things to highlight from these are the requirements for PPE in accordance with government guidelines for first responders

First Aiders must wear a fluid resistant Type IIR surgical mask, this is not the same as a face covering. Please check that what is being purchased for your First Aiders is the correct PPE. There are face masks describing themselves as “medical face masks” in Costco for example, but on further investigation these are NOT fluid resistant Type IIR surgical masks and NOT PPE. A mask can be worn for a session, i.e. training session or match. They must also wear a disposable plastic apron and disposable examination gloves when attending to a casualty – these are single use, i.e. a new set per casualty. Eye protection in the form of a visor or goggles is based on risk assessment, i.e. if there is a risk of bodily fluids or respiratory droplets into the first aiders eyes.


Covid-19 and First Aid Qualifications

The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) have agreed an extension on first aid certificates that expired on or after 16 March 2020. This applies to the following qualifications:

· Emergency First Aid in Rugby Union (EFARU)

· Emergency First Aid at Work (EFAW)

· First Aid at Work (FAW)

The extension will run until 30 September 2020.

Whilst some other first aid course providers have restarted the delivery of courses, due to some of complexities of running courses in clubs, cleaning equipment etc. there is currently no confirmed start date for the restart of the England Rugby Emergency First Aid in Rugby Union course. Where possible, clubs should utilise first aiders with valid/in date qualifications, however in the case of an emergency, a first aider with a recently lapsed qualification could still provide treatment.


Covid-19 and Club Physios/Sports Therapists/Sports Massage Therapists

The above professionals will have their own professional and governing bodies guidelines and regulations to follow. Remember healthcare professionals require to be covered by their own insurance and thus must follow their own guidelines and check with their insurance companies. I would advise all clubs to remind such individuals of this and ensure that they have the appropriate risk assessments, policies, procedures and PPE in place. I know as a Physiotherapist who also works alongside Sports Therapists and Sports Massage Therapists, that there are a lot of things they need to have in place before they can see patients/clients face-to-face at the current time.



Whilst I need the support of the Club RugbySafe Officers, I am also available to support them in their role. I am contactable via email and in urgent scenarios via 07811 258786, but please note that I work in clinical practice and so may not be able to answer or call you back until I have finished work. You can contact Claire Sharpe in the office and she may be able to advise an alternative member of the CB to speak to if it cannot wait until I am free.


Many thanks to you all for the hard work you have already done and in anticipation of your future efforts.

Kind regards



Cathryn Clark                                       Claire Sharpe

CB RugbySafe Lead                            County Administrator and

Northumberland Rugby Union          delegated RugbySafe Admin Support