Policy for the Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults

Belfast Photo Imaging Club - Policy for the Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults
(adapted from the Northern Ireland Photographic Association (NIPA) Child Protection Policy)

Belfast Photo Imaging Club (hereafter known as BPIC) is committed to policies which promote good practice and protect children and vulnerable adults from harm.  A child, for these purposes, is defined as a young person aged 16 years and below.

BPIC is committed to making sure that children and vulnerable adults are protected and kept safe from harm while they are engaged in all formal or informal activities organised by the club.

Members of BPIC accept and recognise their responsibilities to develop awareness of the issues which may cause children and vulnerable adults harm.


To demonstrate the commitment of BPIC, to provide and maintain an environment that protects children and vulnerable adults from harm, as well as protecting BPIC, and its members from potential allegations.

To ensure that BPIC members are familiar with the club’s Policy for the Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults.

To ensure BPIC members adopt protection guidelines for children and vulnerable adults, through a code of behaviour, detailed in appendix 1 of this document.

To share information about concerns with agencies which may require to know and involving parents/guardians and children/vulnerable adults appropriately.

To take appropriate action in response to protection issues which may involve members.


All members should be aware that ‘abuse’ of children/vulnerable adults may occur when the behaviour of someone in a position of greater power than a child/vulnerable adult causes harm.

The common denominator of all forms of abuse is that it makes the child/vulnerable adult feel bad and worthless. Because children/vulnerable adults may be abused in a number of ways, the harm caused cannot always be easily categorised.

The actual or likely persistent or significant neglect of a child/vulnerable adult, or the failure to protect a child/vulnerable adult from exposure to any kind of danger.

Actual or likely deliberated physical injury to a child/vulnerable adult, or wilful or neglected failure to prevent physical injury or suffering to a child/vulnerable adult.

Actual or likely sexual exploitation of a child/vulnerable adult. The involvement of children or vulnerable adults in sexual activities they do not truly comprehend.

Actual or likely significant or persistent emotional ill-treatment or rejection, resulting in severe adverse effects on the emotional, physical and/or behavioural development of a child/vulnerable adult.
A child/vulnerable adult who is bullied may be suffering from any type of abuse. Bullying may take many forms, but the main types are; physical (e.g. hitting, kicking, theft), verbal (e.g. sectarian/racist remarks, name-calling) and indirect, such as spreading rumours.




1.1    BPIC recognises that it is not practical to provide definitive instructions that would apply to all situations at all times whereby members come into contact with children/vulnerable adults and to guarantee the protection of children/vulnerable adults and members.
1.2    However, below are the standards of behaviour required of club members in order to fulfil their role in the application of a Child/Vulnerable Adult Protection Policy. This code should assist in the protection of children, vulnerable adults and club members.
1.3    Members MUST implement the Policy for the Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults and procedures at all times.
1.4    Members must not:
have children/vulnerable adults in their own vehicle.  Where circumstances require the transportation of children/vulnerable adults in their vehicle, another adult/parent/guardian must also travel in the vehicle.  Also it is essential that there is adequate insurance for the vehicle to cover transporting children/vulnerable adults in connection with the activities of the club.
in extreme emergencies (for medical purposes) where it is required to transport a child/vulnerable adult on their own, it is essential that the parent/guardian is notified immediately.

take a child/vulnerable adult to the toilet unless another adult is present or has been made aware (this should include a parent/guardian, if present).

Spend time alone with a child/vulnerable adult on his or her own. If members find themselves in this situation, make sure that they may be clearly observed by others.

1.5     Members must never:

  • engage in rough, physical games including horseplay with children/vulnerable adults.
  • allow or engage in inappropriate touching of any kind. 

The main principles of touch are:
touch should always be in response to the child/vulnerable adult’s need. 
touch should always be appropriate to the age and stage of development of the child/vulnerable adult.
touch should always be with a child/vulnerable adult’s permission.

  • do things of a personal nature for children/vulnerable adults that they can do for themselves or that their parent/guardian can do for them.
  • Physically restrain a child/vulnerable adult unless the restraint is to:
  • prevent physical injury of the child/vulnerable adult/visitors/other club members or yourself.
  • In all circumstances physical restraint must be appropriate and reasonable, otherwise the action can be defined as assault.
  • Make sexually suggestive comments to or within earshot of a child/vulnerable adult.
  • Photograph a child/vulnerable adult without the express written permission of their parent(s)/guardian(s).
  • Photograph a child/vulnerable adult without their parents(s)/guardian(s) being present.
  • Photograph a child/vulnerable adult in a suggestive manner.



Revised 07.05.2016 (JMcG)