Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit



Unit rationale, description and aim

This microcredential aims to provide students with a thorough understanding of the protective and preventative measures in safeguarding children and young people in a sporting context. Students will explore the issue of child abuse in sport and the legislative requirements that binds sporting officials as it explores the findings of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse and the abuse that was exposed in sport and how this has shaped Safeguarding Children in Sport today. The microcredential addresses preventative measures to safeguarding children in sport as it examines the signs and indicators of child abuse and its application in practice, to give sports officials the confidence to identify and respond to a child in harm. Sport is a particularly vulnerable area for children and young people due to the large number of people under the age of 18; the level of influence and power of a coach; the close rapport between adults in position of power and children; overnight stays as well as elite expectations. Understanding how to recognise abuse, create a safe and enjoyable environment, and having the confidence and knowledge to act on a disclosure or suspicion of abuse are vital elements in the protection of children from harm. This microcredential offers students the opportunity to contextualise safeguarding in a sporting environment through scenarios and real life examples to build the knowledge, skills and awareness of the preventative strategies and response techniques required to become safeguarding champions. 

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

LO1 - Demonstrate knowledge of the importance of safeguarding and the legislative requirements that bind sporting officials (GA1). 

LO2 - Demonstrate awareness and understanding of the signs and indicators of abuse by identifying and recognising the changes in a child’s behaviour and demeanour, in order to promote and protect the safety and wellbeing of children and young people in sport (GA1, GA2, GA4). 

LO3 - Critically evaluate behaviour and actions to prevent harm to children and young people, and apply knowledge to safely respond and act against a child’s disclosure or suspicion of harm (GA1, GA2, GA4). 

Graduate attributes

GA1 - demonstrate respect for the dignity of each individual and for human diversity

GA2 - recognise their responsibility to the common good, the environment and society 

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 


Topics will include:

  • Impact of child abuse in Australia and the effects of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse on sport.  
  • Legislative rights and responsibilities for protecting children and young people in sport  
  • Understanding and recognising the signs and indicators of abuse  
  • Understanding a child’s vulnerability and what might motivate someone to harm  
  • Understanding role boundaries and risk management in the prevention of harm to children and young people
  • Victim-centred approach in recognising and responding to a disclosure or suspicion of harm
  • Understanding how to make reports and records of child abuse concerns to relevant State/Territory government agencies or Police. 

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

Learning and teaching strategies include active learning, case-based learning, online learning, and reflective/critical thinking activities. These strategies will provide students with access to required knowledge and understanding of unit content, and opportunities for application of this learning in sport coaching contexts. These strategies will allow students to meet the aim, learning outcomes and graduate attributes of the unit. Learning and teaching strategies will reflect respect for the individual as an independent learner.  

Assessment strategy and rationale

In order to best enable students to demonstrate unit learning outcomes and develop graduate attributes, standards-based assessment is utilised, consistent with University assessment requirements. The first assessment task offers the opportunity for students to demonstrate their knowledge and awareness of child abuse and legislation requirements in sport. The second assessment task offers an authentic learning opportunity relevant to the sporting environment, whereby students apply their knowledge and understanding to develop an action plan for managing a child safety scenario. 

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Students will be required to answer a series of multiple choice and short answer questions to test their knowledge and awareness of child abuse and their legislation requirements in sport.


LO1, LO2

GA1, GA2, GA4

Students will be presented with a scenario and asked to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of the issue and how they would apply this knowledge to develop an action plan, outlining how they will manage the scenario within their sport environment.


LO1, LO2, LO3

GA1, GA2, GA4

Representative texts and references

Australian Human Rights Commission (2017). Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse – Final Report. Retrieved from: Final report | Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse ( 

Australian Human Rights Commission (2021). Change the Routine: Report on the Independent Review into Gymnastics in Australia (2021). Retrieved from: Change the Routine: Report on the Independent Review into Gymnastics in Australia (2021) | Australian Human Rights Commission

Brackenridge, C.H., Bringer, J.D. and Bishopp, D. (2005), Managing cases of abuse in sport. Child Abuse Rev., 14: 259-274Nurse, A. M., (2018) "Coaches and child sexual abuse prevention training: Impact on knowledge, confidence, and behavior," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 395-400.

Brackenridge C.H., Kirby S. (1997) “PLAYING SAFE: Assessing the Risk of Sexual Abuse to Elite Child Athletes”. International Review for the Sociology of Sport, 407-418

Brackenridge, C.H., (2001) “Spoilsports: Understanding and preventing sexual exploitation in sport” London, Routledge, p.35.

Brackenridge, C.H., (2000), “Harassment, Sexual Abuse, and Safety of the Female Athlete”. Clinics in Sports Medicine, Vol. 19., 187-198

Brackenridge, C.H., Bishopp, D., Moussalli, S. and Tapp, J. (2008) “The characteristics of sexual abuse in sport: A multidimensional scaling analysis of events described in media reports”, International Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 6:4, 385-406

Kavanagh, E., Brown, L., Jones, I., (2017) “Elite Athletes' Experience of Coping With Emotional Abuse in the Coach–Athlete Relationship”, Journal of Applied Sport Psychology

Vertommen, T., Kampen, J., Schipper-van Veldhoven, N., Wouters, K., Uzieblo, K., & Van Den Eede, F. (2017). “Profiling perpetrators of interpersonal violence against children in sport based on a victim survey”. Child Abuse and Neglect, 63, 172-182

Rhind, D., McDermott, J., Lambert, E., and Koleva, I. (2015) “A Review of Safeguarding Cases in Sport”. Child Abuse Rev., 24: 418– 426.

Winters, G., Jeglic, E., & Kaylor, L. (2020) “Validation of the Sexual Grooming Model of Child Sexual Abusers, Journal of Child Sexual Abuse”, 29:7, 855-87

Winters, G. and Jeglic, E. (2017) “Stages of Sexual Grooming: Recognizing Potentially Predatory Behaviors of Child Molesters, Deviant Behavior”, 38:6, 724-733

Nurse, A., (2018) "Coaches and child sexual abuse prevention training: Impact on knowledge, confidence, and behavior," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 395-400

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