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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 employment role in playwork. 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 good practice is 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 in this Code and does not necessarily imply a paid position or person. The Code applies to both employed and self employed professionals but where professionals are employed the Register accepts that employed playwork professionals will be subject to the codes of practice and employment rules of their employers and will, in determining compliance with this Code of Ethical Conduct, 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. With that in mind any complaint received will be referred to the employer. Playwork professionals on the Register accept their responsibility to children and young people who participate in playwork activities; to other playwork professionals and 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 takes the Playwork Principles as its basis:


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 deal openly and in a transparent manner with the children, young people, parents and carers with whom they work. They should at all times adopt the highest degree of professionalism in dealing with childrens’, young peoples’, parents’ and carers’ needs and rights.’


Compliance with this principle requires playwork professionals to maintain a standard of professional conduct appropriate to their dealings with all people with whom they work and to responsibly demonstrate:

  • Respect for individual difference and diversity.
  • Good practice in challenging discrimination and unfairness.
  • Discretion in dealing with confidential disclosure.


As part of these principles members of the Register should seek to ensure that the relationships they have with the children and young people attending play sessions and their parents and carers are clear, transparent and unambiguous. 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 do maintain a proper regard to dealing with and addressing concerns raised by the people with whom they work. If a dispute shall 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.


Children, Young People and Vulnerable Adults

Every Person and organisation which appears on the register shall take all such steps as are necessary to fully comply with any and all laws and all legal principles and best practices concerning the care and treatment of children, young people and vulnerable adults and shall ensure that they fully comply with any such laws, principle and practices.

  • Children, young people and vulnerable adults must never be subject to any form of treatment that is harmful, abusive, humiliating or degrading.
  • All reasonable steps must be taken to promote the interests and well-being of children and vulnerable adults and protect them from harm, discrimination or degrading treatment.
  • All children, young people and vulnerable adults have the right to be treated with dignity and respect.



‘Playwork professionals will seek to nurture healthy relationships with the children, young people, parents and carers with whom they work and with other playwork professionals'


Compliance with this principle requires playwork professionals to develop and maintain a relationship with the children, young people, parents and carers with whom they work based on openness, honesty, mutual trust and respect and to responsibly demonstrate:

  • Awareness of the requirement to place children’s play needs as a priority and promote their welfare and best interests first.
  • Clarity in all forms of communication with children, young people, parents and carers, professional colleagues and representatives from other spheres of children’s lives, ensuring honesty, accuracy and cooperation when seeking agreements and avoiding misrepresentation or any conflict of interest arising between service-users and own professional obligations.
  • Integrity as a playwork professional and recognition of the position of trust dictated by that role, ensuring avoidance of inappropriate behaviour in professional relationships.


Children, Young Persons and Vulnerable Adults

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 shall ensure that any concerns regarding the safeguarding of children, young persons or vulnerable adults shall be dealt with expediently and appropriately and in accordance with the laws, principles and best practices regulating those matters.



‘Playwork professionals will demonstrate and promote a responsible conduct’


Compliance with this principle requires playwork professionals to conduct proper personal behaviour at all times and to responsibly demonstrate:

  • The high standards of professional conduct appropriate to their dealings with all their service-users and which reflect the particular image and expectations relevant to the role of the playwork professional working in the playwork industry.
  • An understanding of their legal responsibilities and accountability when dealing with the public and awareness of the need for honesty and accuracy in substantiating their claims of authenticity when promoting their services in the public domain.
  • An absolute duty of care to be aware of their working environment and to be able to deal with all reasonably foreseeable accidents and emergencies – and to protect themselves, their colleagues and clients.
  • 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 the development of their career’


Compliance with this principle requires playwork professionals to commit to the attainment of appropriate qualifications and ongoing training to responsibly 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.
  • 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.
  • A personal responsibility to maintain their own effectiveness and confine themselves to practice those activities for which they are trained or competent as recognised by the register.



‘Playwork professionals will systematically prepare for all play sessions ensuring that safety of their clients is considered against the benefits that risk might provide’


Members must ensure that all reasonable steps are taken to provide an environment for play in accordance with the appropriate regulations, or best practice if there are no regulations, and be appropriate for the age, experience and ability of the participating children and young people. Compliance with this principle requires playwork professionals to consider 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 environment and in planned play opportunities, ensuring that both are appropriate to the play needs of the service-users.
  • An appropriate ratio of playwork professionals to children and young people within any play sessions to ensure that, where appropriate, regulatory standards are met and sufficient adults are available to respond to children and young people’s needs.


Children, Young People and Vulnerable Adults

  • There should be a sufficient number of adults to safely manage and support the session, including being able to adequately respond to any challenging behaviour, deal with emergencies and to safeguard other members of a group and the staff and volunteers involved.
  • A Risk/benefit analysis must be applied to play opportunities.