NSP Arbitration

Sports organisations may refer matters concerning safeguarding in sport for arbitration by the NSP. NGBs may opt to use the NSP Arbitration Service in place of an internal disciplinary panel or appeals panel in cases of significant complexity or seriousness. The NSP Arbitration Service also provides a procedural framework for the management of cases before the tribunal.

The service includes:

  • Appointment of an independent panel of three arbitrators, comprising an experienced legal chair and two specialist members;
  • Case management support and guidance for all parties in accordance with child-centred NSP procedural rules;
  • Specific support and guidance for any children or young people and their parents involved in proceedings and for individuals who are alleged to have breached NGB rules;
  • Provision of case directions which set out the timetable and procedure to be followed;
  • Organisation of the hearing - including any "special measures" requirements considered appropriate by the NSP;
  • Drafting and distribution of a detailed written decision of the NSP with reasons;
  • Oversight by the NSP President, who is an experienced High Court judge and family barrister with specific expertise in child safeguarding issues.

The NGB retains responsibility for presenting a case before the NSP arbitration panel and is responsible for ensuring that it confers necessary jurisdiction on the NSP. 

To refer matters to the NSP for arbitration, NGBs will need to confer jurisdiction on the NSP by either:

(i) amending their rules (see suggested clause below), or

(ii) entering into an arbitration agreement on a case-by-case basis.

Making a request for arbitration to the NSP

NGBs that wish to refer matters to the NSP for arbitration should amend their rules by including part or all of the following wording:

The following matters arising under these Rules shall be submitted for determination by the National Safeguarding Panel (NSP) c/o Sport Resolutions (UK) (a trading name of The Sports Dispute Resolution Panel Ltd - Company No. 3351039) in accordance with the NSP Rules, as amended from time to time, which Rules are deemed to be incorporated by reference to this clause:

  • allegations that a person has engaged in conduct which directly or indirectly adversely affects the welfare and safety of a child or children and/or places them at risk
  • an application that a Provisional Suspension, arising from concerns or allegations that a person has engaged in conduct which directly or indirectly adversely affects the welfare and safety of a child or children and/or places them at risk, should not be imposed (or be lifted)
  • an appeal brought against any finding of fact and/or decision made under these Rules regarding the conduct of a person which directly or indirectly adversely affects the welfare and safety of a child or children and/or places them at risk

If a NGB has not amended its rules to provide for direct referral it may still make a request for arbitration in writing to the NSP. The NSP secretariat may require the NGB and the individual who is alleged to be in breach of the NGB’s rules to enter into an arbitration agreement to confer jurisdiction on the NSP where this is necessary to bind all parties to the arbitration process.