Position of Trust legislation - update on changes to the law relating to coaches

This is an important update to advise coaches of changes to the law which came into effect on Tuesday 28th June 2022. These changes have been brought in to support sports organisations and national governing bodies, like British Ice Skating, to make sport safer for children and will affect the position of coaches under criminal law.

What is changing?

Under criminal law, all coaches are now deemed to be in a “position of trust” as outlined in the Sexual Offences Act 2003.

What does this mean for Ice Skating coaches?

Prior to the law changes, sections 16 to 19 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 made it illegal for an adult in a position of trust to engage in sexual conduct with a 16 or 17 year old. This was intended to safeguard 16 and 17 year olds who are over the age of consent for sexual activity but are considered vulnerable to sexual abuse and exploitation in situations where an adult is in a position of trust. It included people like doctors and teachers but did not include sports coaches.

The new section 22A of the Sexual Offences Act will extend the definition of “position of trust” to include any adult that regularly coaches, teaches, trains, supervises, or instructs a 16 or 17 year old in sport.