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All of the answers have been collected from information across our sector. We hope you spread the word about the Register and improve on these facts and help professionalise our sector. 


Q1: What percentage of 7 year old children in the UK do 1 hr of exercise a day?

  • 91%
  • 71%
  • 51%

Answer: 51% (Griffiths LJ, Cortina- Borja M, Sera F, et al. How active are our children? Findings from the Millennium Cohort Study. BMJ Open 2013;3:e002893. doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2013- 002893)


Q2: Are 7 year old girls or boys the most active, or are they the same?

  • Girls 
  • Boys
  • The Same 

Answer: Boys are most active – 63% are active for the recommended 1 hour a day, but only 38% of girls (Griffiths LJ, Cortina- Borja M, Sera F, et al. How active are our children? Findings from the Millennium Cohort Study. BMJ Open 2013;3:e002893. doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2013- 002893)


Q3: How many 5-16 year olds have a TV in their own room?

  • 1 in 5 
  • 2 in 5
  • 3 in 5 

Answer: 3 in 5. This down from 4 in 5 in 2005. However, One in ten watch TV on their computer, and eight in ten use on-demand services to watch TV (Childwise Trends Monitor Report 2012



Q4) How many 7-16 year olds can access the internet in their own room?

  • A quarter 
  • A half 
  • Two thirds 

$1·  Answer:  Two thirds of all 7-16 year olds can access the internet in their room, up from one fifth in 2005 (Childwise Trends Monitor Report 2012 )


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Code of Ethical Conduct - In order to gain recognition in the playwork sector, all members are bound by a Code of Ethical Conduct.


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As part of its objectives The Register of Playwork Professionals (the Register) aims to ensure that playwork professionals who are admitted to the Register should both establish and maintain proper standards of ethical and professional conduct in fulfilling their playwork role. In these circumstances persons who are registered will, as a part of their membership of the Register, be expected to adhere to these standards of ethical and professional conduct.


This Code of Ethical Conduct (the Code) defines what is good practice for professionals in playwork by reflecting on the core values of rights, relationships, responsibilities, standards and safety. The term 'professional' is used in a qualitative context and does not necessarily imply a paid position or person. Where playwork professionals are employed the Register accepts that they will be subject to the codes of practice and employment rules of their employers. In determining compliance, the Register will have careful regard to any such employment rules and in particular whether or not, in the case of any complaint being made, the professional concerned has or will be subject to any internal investigation by his or her employers. Therefore, any complaint received will be referred to the employer. In addition, any complaint to an employer which relates to a member of the Register should be notified to the Register, in order that the complaint can be reviewed and, if necessary, the playwork professional may be removed from the Register.


Playwork professionals on the Register accept their responsibility to children and young people who participate in playwork activities; to other professionals and playwork colleagues; to their respective playwork associations, professional bodies and institutes; to their employer; and to society. When practising, members must also be covered by adequate liability insurance which may, for employed members, be provided by their employers.


This Code of Conduct is guided by the Playwork Principles and members of the Register are expected to apply these principles to their practice.


The Playwork Principles

These principles establish the professional and ethical framework for playwork, and describe what is unique about play and playwork, and provide the playwork perspective for working with children and young people. They are based on the recognition that children and young people's capacity for positive development will be enhanced if given access to the broadest range of environments and play opportunities:

  • All children and young people need to play. The impulse to play is innate. Play is a biological, psychological and social necessity, and is fundamental to the healthy development and well being of individuals and communities.
  • Play is a process that is freely chosen, personally directed and intrinsically motivated. That is, children and young people determine and control the content and intent of their play, by following their own instincts, ideas and interests, in their own way for their own reasons.
  • The prime focus and essence of playwork is to support and facilitate the play process and this should inform the development of play policy, strategy, training and education.
  • For playworkers, the play process takes precedence and playworkers act as advocates for play when engaging with adult led agendas.
  • The role of the playworker is to support all children and young people in the creation of a space in which they can play.
  • The playworker's response to children and young people playing is based on a sound up to date knowledge of the play process, and reflective practice.
  • Playworkers recognise their own impact on the play space and also the impact of children and young people's play on the playworker.
  • Playworkers choose an intervention style that enables children and young people to extend their play. All playworker intervention must balance risk with the developmental benefit and well being of children.

The Playwork Principles Scrutiny Group, Cardiff, 2005


For the purposes of this document, anyone under the age of 18 (under 16 in Scotland) should be considered a child.


There are five ethical principles to the Code:



Playwork professionals should have consideration for the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child in their work at all times. In particular, playwork professionals should note and apply the following in their work:

  • Playwork professionals should respect individuality, difference and diversity, challenge discrimination and promote inclusion in their work with children, young people, their families and carers.
  • Playwork professionals should hold the best interests of the children and young people with whom they work as their primary consideration. While safeguarding the interests and safety of children and young people, playwork professionals should also take cognisance of the benefits afforded by children and young people's play which may sometimes contain an element of risk.
  • Playwork professionals should take account of the importance of, and wherever possible promote, children's development.
  • Playwork professionals should enable all children with whom they work to express their views freely in matters which affect them, and take those views into account when planning and providing for play.
  • Playwork professionals should recognise that children and young people using their provision have a right to rest and leisure, as well as upholding their right to engage in play and recreational activities. Playwork professionals should also take children's right to freely participate in cultural life and the arts into account through their work.
  • Playwork professionals should take all steps necessary to fully comply with any laws and legal principles and practices concerning the care and treatment of children and young people.

Playwork professionals will seek to nurture positive relationships with the children, young people, parents and carers with whom they work and with other professionals.


Playwork professionals should seek to ensure that the relationships they have with the children and young people attending play sessions and their parents and carers are based on openness, honesty, mutual trust and respect

  • Playwork professionals should acknowledge that children and young people are the experts in relation to their own play. Where possible, playwork professionals should help parents and carers whose children use the play setting, and other professionals, to understand this.
  • Playwork professionals should communicate clearly with children, young people, parents and carers, professional colleagues and representatives from other spheres of children’s lives. In relationships with other professionals, colleagues, parents and carers, playwork professionals should ensure transparency, honesty, accuracy and cooperation when communicating.
  • As dictated by the role, playwork professionals should act with integrity in recognition of the position of trust that they hold. In all professional relationships, they should avoid any behaviour which may cause offense or bring the sector into disrepute.

Although the Register cannot and will not seek to adjudicate or deal with private disputes (which should be dealt with by members, their employers and the complainant) the Register will, nevertheless, seek to ensure that playwork professionals maintain a proper regard to dealing with and addressing concerns raised by the people with whom they work. If a dispute should arise between a member of the public and a member of the Register, the member of the public shall, in the first instance, seek to resolve that dispute with the Register member and their employer. Only if that matter cannot be resolved or the dispute reveals a lack of proper professional conduct would the Register seek to intervene. The Register itself has no jurisdiction to actually resolve such a dispute.


The Sexual Offences Act 2003 states: "It is an offence for a person aged 18 years or over to involve a child under that age in sexual activity where he or she is in a specified position of trust in relation to that child. This includes those who care for, advise, supervise or train children and young persons."

  • No sexual relationship should exist between any person who is entered onto the register and any young person under the age of 18 or any vulnerable adult (Under the Sexual Offences Act 2003, the grooming of a child for the purposes of developing that relationship into a sexual one is a criminal offence).
  • All members who work with children, young people and/or vulnerable adults must obtain a Disclosure and Barring Service clearance (formally known as CRB) which must be updated in accordance with guidelines and upon commencement of a new post where appropriate.
  • All members should ensure that any concerns regarding the safeguarding of children, young persons or vulnerable adults are dealt with expediently and appropriately and in accordance with the laws, principles and best practices regulating those matters.

Playwork professionals should take responsibility for their own professional conduct

Compliance with this principle requires playwork professionals to:

  • Maintain high standards of professional conduct appropriate to their dealings with children and young people, parents and carers, and other professionals with whom they work and which reflect the particular image and expectations relevant to the role of the playwork professional working in the playwork sector.
  • Have an understanding of their legal responsibilities and accountability when dealing with the public and an awareness of the need for honesty and accuracy when promoting their services in the public domain.
  • Recognise their duty of care to be aware of their working environment and be able to deal with all reasonably foreseeable accidents and emergencies and to protect themselves, their colleagues and the children and young people with whom they work.
  • A willingness to accept responsibility and be accountable for professional decisions or actions, welcome evaluation of their work and recognise the need when appropriate to refer to another professional specialist.
  • An understanding of the Playwork Principles and their application in the context in which they work.

Playwork professionals will seek to adopt the highest level of professional standards in their work and in the development of their career
Compliance with this principle requires playwork professionals to commit to the attainment of appropriate qualifications and ongoing training to demonstrate:

  • Engagement in actively seeking to update knowledge and improve their professional skills in order to maintain a quality standard of service, reflecting on their own practice, identifying development needs and undertaking relevant development activities.
  • A personal responsibility to maintain their own effectiveness and confine themselves to practice of those activities for which they are trained or competent as recognised by the register.

Playwork professionals should apply safe working practices while complying with good playwork practice, relevant local and national guidelines, regulations and laws.
Compliance with this principle requires playwork professionals to consider their role in children's and young people's safety, while assessing the benefits that risky play might provide against the likelihood of harm in their play environment and to make a judgement on provision accordingly.
Playwork professionals should demonstrate:

  • A responsible attitude to the care and safety of children and young people within the playwork setting and in specific play opportunities which are being offered, ensuring that both are appropriate to the play needs of the children and young people who attend, and provide the benefits that can be afforded.
  • An appropriate ratio of playwork professionals to children and young people within any play session to ensure that, where appropriate, regulatory standards are met and sufficient adults are available to respond to children's and young people's needs, deal with emergencies and safeguard others present, when necessary.
  • Compliance with local safeguarding procedures, including the application of discretion when dealing with and reporting disclosure of abuse
  • In addition, playwork professionals should never subject children or young people, parents or carers, or other professionals to any form of treatment that is harmful, abusive, humiliating or degrading.