Lesson 16: Child Protection Legislation (NSW)


  • Sporting organisations should put in place strategies to develop child safe environments and minimise opportunities for child abuse, including preventing offenders from gaining access to their organisation. There are no requirements in New South Wales for sport and recreation organisations to undertake extra strategies to provide a safe environment for children (e.g., risk management strategies). However, this is encouraged as it is seen as important in keeping children safe.

Vicarious liability

  • Vicarious liability describes the principle in law which says that, depending on the circumstances, an organisation can be held responsible for the behaviour of its employees (including staff, volunteers and contractors), unless:
    • it can be shown that all reasonable steps were taken to prevent the behaviour from happening in the first place
    • there were appropriate policies and procedures in place for dealing with the behaviour when it occurred.
    • The same principle applies to governing bodies and clubs.

Mandatory reporting

Sporting personnel need to be aware that because of the large number of children participating in sport and the closeness of relationships formed, they may come across children being abused or who disclose their abuse to them. This abuse may be occurring within or outside of sport.

  • New South Wales has many professions that are mandatory reporters, but individuals working within sporting or recreation organisations are not included in this category.
  • Anyone who suspects, on reasonable grounds, that a child or young person is at risk of significant harm should report it to the Child Protection Hotline.

Working With Children Check


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