IOLIS Legal Services

Expert support for sporting organisations

Advice on safeguarding and staff DBS checking

The legislation around who you can and cannot undertake an enhanced DBS check is confusing and complex. All too often these checks are not performed when they should be - exposing children and vulnerable adults to increased risk.

We can provide advice and guidance on the legality of applying for enhanced DBS checks and provide key staff in your organisation with training to help them make the correct decisions in future.

We also provide advice and guidance on the management and, importantly, on the sharing of safeguarding data. It is a common misconception that data protection laws and the GDPR in particular, mean you cannot share your concerns with other organisations or that you must delete this data.

We are able to provide comprehensive advice and guidance on safeguarding data and help you to determine how it should be managed and retained, and when to share it.

We also provide assistance where a subject access request has been made in connection with a safeguarding issue. We will help you to assess what data should be disclosed and what information is exempt under the various laws that govern safeguarding and personal data use.
people at the tennis court stadium during sunset

The right advice on SARs

Under GDPR, people have the right to request a copy of the data held about them by businesses and organisations, information about the legal basis for holding it, and other details such as with whom it has been shared.

SARs can be submitted by members, players, clients, and suppliers, and by employees and former employees. An SAR can sometimes be made during an employment dispute.

Knowing what to release can be difficult, though, as documents may mention other individuals or involve people who are under age. This is especially important for organisations with youth teams.

Ensuring you release the correct information to the right timescale is vital to avoid a complaint to the Information Commissioner’s Office.

IOLIS will help your sporting body or team draw up its response to a SAR, ensuring you comply with the rules effectively while managing your reputation.

man riding green racing wheelchair

Managing your athletes’ performance data

Coaches and governing bodies use performance data to help athletes reach the pinnacle of their achievement.

When this data is collected and analysed, there are important legal considerations to take into account.

Gone are the days when all the data on a player or an athlete consisted of weight, BMI, food intake, and performance times written in a coach’s notebook.

Now, biomedical science is used for monitoring progress, for example in blood testing and heart rate variability tests, and there is GPS tracking of training runs, with results being put together to create a rich picture of an athlete.

All this monitoring, however, also throws up data which might infringe on an athlete’s privacy, such as GPS being able to locate them via fitness devices.

We help sports teams and governing bodies balance performance data collection and processing with the human rights and privacy rights of individual athletes. You can read more on that subject here.

Organisational Governance

Sports organisations undergo many changes. Funding models and associated requirements are updated regularly and often require practices to be written into the governing documents.

As clubs grow, it may be appropriate to change the legal structure to suit the size, risks and objectives that have been developed.

It may be that everything is adequate, but this should be reviewed periodically and we can also assist with this exercise.

We have been involved in the review of sports governance for a number of years now and are well placed to offer forward thinking advice to help clubs and NGBs to meet their obligations to their membership, covering aspects of equality, diversity and inclusion, safeguarding, proper management, having a skilled and professional board, the restrictions and requirements for running a particular type of legal entity and how to change the structure legally and for the better.

We are always happy to look at any issue that a sports organisation might have.

Does your sporting organisation need advice? Tell us how we can help you.

Call us to start the conversation on 0330 043 4812 or email

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IOLIS Legal Services is a trading style of IOLIS Ltd. Regd in England & Wales. Company Number 11968202. Regd office: C5 Business Centre, C5 North Road, Bridgend Industrial Estate, Bridgend, Wales, CF31 3TP. Total paid up share capital £10.
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