Safeguarding 5 of 12

5. CRFC Social media policy

CRFC adopts England Rugby’s view that parents and spectators should be encouraged to take photographs and videos of participants involved in rugby to celebrate the spirit and ethos of the sport. Sharing images in social media, showing players enjoying participating in rugby and team events promotes the Club and the game of rugby, and helps to connect families and friends, as well as building lasting memories of a player’s involvement in the sport.

CRFC is mindful, however, of its important safeguarding duty towards all players, including those from visiting or hosting clubs, and this policy reflects CRFC’s Safeguarding Policy and best practice guidance issued by England Rugby, the Rugby Football Union and the Essex Rugby Union. All Club members, players (where appropriate) and parents/guardians of players should read this policy and ensure that they uphold the ethos of the Club in all social media interactions.

Photograph and Video

Club photographing and videoing

In this policy “the Club” refers to CRFC or any of its representatives authorised to take and/or publish images for any lawful purpose for CRFC. A “child” refers to any person under the age of 18 years.

Additional guidance, including the use of the clubs' VEO camera systems can be found here

At the start of each season, players or their parents/guardian should be made aware that the Club may take photographs or videos of them or their child and/or their team. These images may be used for Club promotion purposes, including publication to the CRFC website, Facebook page, twitter feed or publication on static images including flyers, posters or newsletters. In no case should a child be named or otherwise identified in any promotional material.

Players or the parents/guardian of a child should sign a consent form confirming that:

  • They understand that this is the Club policy
  • They consent to the taking of photographs or videos by the Club for the purposes stated above
  • They consent to the use of the images by the Club for the purposes stated above
  • They may withdraw their consent at any time by informing the Club, Team Manager, Head Coach or Safeguarding Team, but images already in the public domain may not be capable of removal.
This consent form should be signed annually and retained by the Club.

Where no consent is given

Where the Club is informed that one of its players or their parent/guardian does not consent to photographs or videos being taken of the player, the Club Safeguarding Officer, Head Coach and Team Manager of the relevant team should be informed.

The Head Coach or Team Manager should advise members, parents/guardians and spectators as is appropriate and reasonable, that photographs and videos should not be taken of any child other than their own. They should be advised to be cautious when taking photographs of their child to ensure so far as possible that other children are not photographed or videoed.

The Head Coach or Team Manager will be responsible for advising any visiting or hosting club that the CRFC team cannot be photographed or videoed. The visiting or hosting club should be invited to advise their players, parents or spectators of this and asked to refrain from taking photographs or videos.

The Club has no control over or responsibility for photographs or videos that are taken other than by the Club. Whilst parents, spectators or members of the Club should be asked to refrain from taking photographs or videos if the circumstances require, if photographs or videos are taken, whether or not they are shared via social media, so long as this policy is followed the Club is not liable and cannot be held accountable.

All members should be aware that the Club may take disciplinary action, as outlined below, if it is made aware that the member has deliberately breached this policy. The Club does have control over or responsibility for photographs it takes, and accordingly if this policy is not complied with then the Club may be liable and held accountable.

Visiting or hosting other Clubs

Where the Club intends to take photographs or video of any game or event to which a visiting club or team have been invited, the Club Safeguarding Officer and relevant Head Coach and/or Manager must be informed. The Club must ask whether there is any child who cannot have their image captured in either photograph or video, and if there is, the team or squad of which they are a member. The Club must not ask for any additional details about the child, including their name or other identifying details.

Where the Club is informed that there is a child who cannot be photographed or videoed, the Club must ensure that:

  • The Club Safeguarding Officer, relevant Head Coach and/or Manager are informed
  • The Club does not take any photographs or videos in which the child’s image may appear. This may include photographs taken during a game, during rest periods or general ‘atmosphere’ photographs which are taken in the vicinity of the child
  • In any case, the Club must not use for any purpose, any image in which the child may appear.

This applies whether CRFC is hosting an event or whilst at another Club’s grounds.

Although the Club has no responsibility or control over photographs or videos that may be taken by spectators, parents or other members of the public, so far as possible those that might be interested in taking photographs of the team, CRFC should advise those persons that a player within the team cannot be photographed for legal reasons and therefore spectators are being asked to refrain from doing so. This may be disseminated via the Safeguarding Officer, Head Coach or Team Manager, and should in any case, be done sensitively. Any member found to be deliberately in breach of this policy may be subject to disciplinary action as outlined below.

Social Media

In this policy, “Social Media” refers to all social networking sites such as (but not limited to) Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, WhatsApp, Formspring, YouTube, TikTok, MSN, Stumbleupon, CRFC Website and team sites such as Pitchero. It also includes messages sent via email and mobile devices.

All bulk emails/communication should be ‘BCC’ or sent in such a way that members’ emails are not made public.

Social media can be an effective tool and is commonly used worldwide by all manner of organisations to disseminate information, advertise and promote, express views, comments, ideas and criticism on a whole range of issues. CRFC expects members to use social media in a respectful and responsible manner. When using social media, members are expected to ensure that they:

  • Respect the rights and confidentiality of others
  • Do not impersonate or falsely represent another person
  • Do not bully, intimidate, abuse, harass or threaten others
  • Do not make defamatory comments
  • Do not use offensive or threatening language or resort to personal abuse towards each other or members of the CRFC or the wider Community
  • Do not post content that is hateful, threatening, pornographic or incites violence against others
  • Do not post content that harms the reputation and good standing of ..RFC or those within its community

While CRFC recognises that we may not prohibit our members from posting personal opinions and content on private accounts, we do expect our members to uphold the highest level of respect and adhere to our Club's core values. Furthermore, we ask all Chelmsford Rugby Football Club members to

  • Clearly state that personal opinions and content on members' social media accounts are not approved or supported by our Club.
  • Avoid posting intellectual property and confidential Club information on personal social media accounts.
  • Avoid discussing Club-related information on personal social media accounts.
  • Avoid sharing abusive, offensive, and/or slanderous content

Parents/guardians of children must give consent for their child to be contacted by members directly, whether through social media or by telephone, text message or other messaging device. If consent is given, all contact with the child must be copied to their parent/guardian. If consent is not given, communication should be with the parent/guardian only. Under no circumstances should members contact a child directly and exclusively.

Any Member wishing to set up any social media interaction which contains any CRFC branding, whether explicit or implied, must seek approval of the Management Committee and agree to moderate the content in accordance with this policy.

Any age group that wants to set up or already has and is using a social media site which includes “Chelmsford Rugby Football Club”, “CRFC” (or any of its derivatives) in its name, must inform the Safeguarding Committee of its existence or the intention to set up such a site.

Running a Team social media platform

In this policy, “platform” means a web-hosted site, page, chat forum, messaging service or any other form of online data-sharing media. To start or continue to run such a platform, the members of the group must adhere to the following:

  • Obtain written consent whether or not parents/guardians of team players wish to belong to the platform, all parents/guardians must be made aware that the platform exists.
  • Parents/guardians must give written consent to the use of images of their child being potentially shared on the platform.
  • Each platform must have two moderators. At least one should be the Head Coach or Manager
  • The moderator(s) that run the platform on behalf of the group must have a valid RFU DBS from CRFC
  • The moderators must ensure the platform is private or closed, with all members verified by at least one of the moderators. No part of the platform should be open
  • Moderators must agree to moderate the platform regularly so that the potential for disclosing of personal information about a child or young person is minimised
  • Moderators should immediately remove abusive, derogatory or inappropriate content (photos, videos or text), on the platform or any linked platform, including adverts or other sponsored links
  • Moderators should remove any member whose membership with CRFC has lapsed, or whose child is no longer playing in the team. Regular monitoring should take place to ensure this.

The platform should contain a statement to the effect that:

  • The platform is not an official CRFC platform and is not monitored or under the control of CRFC
  • Members should not post any offensive, derogatory, abusive or inappropriate content on the platform, and that a breach of this rule will result in immediate removal from access to the platform
  • No child, other than the member’s own child, should be ‘tagged’ so as to identify them in any way
  • Members of the group should be aware that content (including images of their own child) can potentially be copied and re-sent via other platforms which are open
  • Members may withdraw their consent to having their child’s image taken and used on the platform at any time, and they should contact one of the moderators to do so
  • Members may not advertise services or companies which would result in financial profit to the individual or associate thereof.
  • Agreement with these rules is a condition of access to the platform.

If a moderator receives a complaint about any content on the platform, it must be removed immediately. They must keep a copy of the offending content and make a report to the Safeguarding Committee for any future investigation. If the offending content relates to or concerns a child or young person, a copy of the content in question must be sent to the Club Safeguarding Officer.

No child under the age of 13 may be a member of the group.

Breaches of this policy

A breach of this policy may also involve a breach of other CRFC policies, and should be read in conjunction with the RFU and CRFC Safeguarding Policies and Codes of Conduct. These policies apply to all members of CRFC, regardless of category or role.
A breach of this policy will be considered by the Safeguarding Committee, or their delegate(s), and disciplinary action may be taken in accordance with the CRFC’s Disciplinary Policy.
All reports of cyberbullying and misuse of technology will be investigated fully and may result in notification to the Police where CRFC considers it is obliged to do so.
Sanctions for breaches of this policy may include, but are not limited to, suspension, or banning from membership of CRFC. Members must be aware that in certain circumstances where a crime has been committed, they may be subject to a criminal investigation by the police, which CRFC will have no control over, but with whom they will cooperate fully.


CRFC Social Media Policy v1.6 (2023/24)