The RFL’s Welfare Policy came into force at the beginning of 2012 although some areas had been in place from late 2009 (including a confidential counselling hotline). As from January 2018 the RFL has entered into an agreement with Rugby League Cares who now deliver the RFL’s Welfare provision on its behalf with the RFL and Super League Clubs providing the funding. The RFL continues to drive and set the Welfare Policy.
Strategy, Monitoring & Compliance
The RFL set up the Player Welfare & Education Forum (PWEF) with representation from all stakeholders including the RLPA, players, a Welfare Manager, a Head Coach, a Super League CEO’s rep and RFL and Rugby League Cares personnel.
The Forum under its independent Chair, Mike Farrar, meets three times a year to make recommendations on strategy and monitor performance against agreed KPIs. The Welfare Policy forms part of the RFL Operational Rules and, if necessary, a club breaching the Policy could be referred to the RFL Compliance Department.
All Super League Clubs are now required to have full-time welfare provision, this can be one full-time position or a team with specific duties.
Full-time clubs outside Super League are required to have a three day a week provision.
Part-time clubs are required to have a nominated individual.
Rugby League Cares Provision
To deliver the Welfare Policy Rugby League Cares employs a Head of Welfare, Careers Coach and Transition Manager. It provides central resources for clubs and players to draw down. These include:
- Sporting Chance core funding so that counselling and other mental health support is available to all current players and for full time players for two to five years after they cease to be full time.
- Career planning advice and related advice such as CVs, job search and interview techniques
- Grants towards training and/or education courses
- Hardship grants and/or loans
- Links with flexible training and/or education providers
- Workshops and other resources
- Player Welfare Software so that club Welfare Managers can keep accurate records
- Training, CPD, support and advice for Welfare Managers including four meetings a year one of which is residential
- Welfare Manual containing all relevant information to support the Welfare Manager
- Resources for Welfare Managers to use with players such as induction, psychometrics, personal development tools
- Financial education and planning resources
- Links to companies providing specialist advice and/or services
- Transition support for players leaving the full-time game
- Measurement against KPIs and assessment surveys
For more information on Rugby League Cares, click here. For the Players. For the Game.