In 2005 Crowborough RFC was awarded the RFU Community Rugby Seal of Approval and was one of only a few clubs at the time to do so in Sussex. In 2008 this highly valued accreditation was reviewed and renewed.
The Mini and Youth Seal of Approval and the Sport England Clubmark accreditation scheme are based upon a 3 year rolling award system in which the club will be assessed on its continuing ability to provide a safe, effective, child-friendly club environment.
A club qualifies in the first year by the completion of the assessment file and the writing of a 3 Year Development Plan. By implementing the development plan, with an annual review, a club will continue to be accredited and ensure continuous improvement in provision for the young players at the club
The Award is intended to be an indication of the quality of provision the club offers, and its commitment to the continued development of young rugby players. The club receives certification to confirm accreditation, both from Community Rugby and Sport England.
About the Seal of Approval
The RFU Community Rugby section introduced the Mini and Youth Seal of Approval accreditation programme as a method of examining, maintaining and improving the provision of rugby in the mini and youth section of a rugby club. Building upon current good practice, the accreditation aims to recognise the effort and achievement of those clubs that reach, maintain and improve on the required standard of a club committed to the provision of quality rugby union experiences for young players.
Community Rugby has worked with Sport England to integrate the Mini and Youth Seal of Approval accreditation with the Sport England Clubmark scheme to ensure that the safe, effective, child-friendly club standards are met. Any club awarded the Community Rugby Mini and Youth Seal of Approval will also have achieved Clubmark accreditation.
Clubs applying for Mini and Youth Seal of Approval and for Clubmark accreditation complete an evidence file to show that their programme meets the required criteria. Information for the evidence file is used as the basis for an in-depth discussion between the club and a Rugby Development Officer (RDO) to ascertain development needs. The club then produces a Development Plan which is ratified by the RDO and the Regional Rugby Development Manager. The club and RDO review the plan on an ongoing basis to assess the extent to which it has been implemented and the future development needs.
Clubmark is the only national cross sports quality accreditation scheme for clubs with junior sections. It is built around a set of core criteria which ensure that accredited clubs operate to a set of consistent, accepted and adopted minimum operating standards.
Sport England recognises and values the commitment made by sports clubs to develop high quality, welcoming environments for young participants. The development of clubs that encourage young people to take-up sport, improve their talents and give them the option to initiate and maintain life-long participation in sport is an essential part of Sport England’s work to support the sporting infrastructure in England.