1. Why has the RFL changed the name from Clubmark to RFL Club Accreditation?
We’ve renamed Clubmark in order to make it clear to everyone that the old scheme has changed and a club that had previously achieved Clubmark or Clubmark Gold hasn’t accredited under the new system.
The way in which we have changed club accreditation is so significant that we felt it need to be re-branded to make a clear change from the old to the new.
The new name was chosen as it exactly describes the scheme. It’s not particularly snappy, but it accurately describes the new scheme.
2. If my club achieves RFL Club Accreditation, do we automatically receive Clubmark?
RFL Club Accreditation is just the new name for Clubmark for Rugby League clubs. When a club receives RFL Club Accreditation, Sport England are notified and the club will be given a reference number and added to the list of accredited clubs on the Sport England Clubmark website. You will be recognised as having “Clubmark” by any outside group.
3. What does my club receive for achieving RFL Club Accreditation?
On confirmation of meeting all the criteria for RFL Club Accreditation, the club will receive a certificate and be recognised by Sport England as having met the standards for Clubmark.
There will be further incentive for achieving RFL Club Accreditation. The purpose of achieving it is to demonstrate a club meets minimum standards in management, safety and accessibility for children and young people. We believe this is the primary reason for working towards accreditation.
4. Are there any other benefits, other than to demonstrate we meet minimum standards?
RFL Club Accreditation will help a club become recognised by its local authority and Sport England as meeting Clubmark standards which may bring additional benefits, such as reduced facility hire, access to funding, and a comprehensive audit of volunteers for the club.
5. How long does RFL Club Accreditation last?
There will be no separate re-validation process for RFL Club Accreditation. Every year a club will need to go through the full process of accreditation.
We believe the system is far less burdensome on a club, so the full process should be lighter touch than even the re-validation process in previous years.
5. Can we lose RFL Club Accreditation?
We reserve the right to remove RFL Club Accreditation for serious breaches of the Competition Rules, Operational Rules and/or the RESPECT code. We will consult with league management in any such cases where we believe it may be necessary to remove accreditation.
6. Why has the process moved online?
In re-designing the process, we wanted to make it simpler, less time-consuming and more accessible for all clubs to achieve accreditation.
Much of the information was collected in a paper based folder and checked in person at a club venue. This was time consuming and burdensome for clubs and the RFL, and more difficult for clubs who weren’t within easy reach of the RFL community team.
The new criteria remains aligned to the Sport England requirements for Clubmark, but allows us to do the administrative work to check a club meets the criteria by looking at league websites, club website and the RFL database.
7. So we don’t need to keep a “Clubmark” folder at our club?
However, we do recommend that you keep a record of all the relevant qualifications and contact details for club players, parents/carers and officials.
8. How does the RFL keep its information up to date?
The RFL receives information on clubs through a variety of sources; league entry forms, coach courses, safeguarding courses and from clubs direct.
If a club applies for RFL Club Accreditation, and we don’t have all the information on our database, we will contact the club to request any missing information.
9. Do we need a club website to meet the criteria for RFL Club Accreditation?
Certain criteria require the club to demonstrate they have relevant policies, processes or personnel in place on the club website. The means we don’t have to come out to the club to look at a paper copy.
Whilst this may create some additional work for clubs in the short term, we believe it’s important for club members to see this information as well.
We also believe that it’s important to have a website to be a visible and accessible club.
10. What if we don’t have a website?
There are a number of free club website providers that you’ll find through a quick search on the internet. We’re not in a position to recommend one in particular, though many clubs do use Pitchero.
11. Why aren’t professional clubs required to work towards achieving RFL Club Accreditation?
The Sport England Clubmark scheme is an initiative for community sport clubs to demonstrate they provide a safe, rewarding environment for children and young people.
The professional clubs in rugby league are very much at the heart of their local community however they are obviously selective from a player perspective. Not everyone can pull on a shirt to play for Wigan Warriors, for example! As such there is no practical purpose in professional clubs working towards club accreditation.
Any more questions?
Contact the RFL's Community Game Services Department on 0844 477 7113 (Option 4) or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org