More and more clubs are opening up for training in the coming weeks with COVID-19 Club Health & Safety Plans in full effect.
Clubs have been refining those plans and making certain elements more efficient with a particular focus on the administrative side of health and safety.
A paperless version of the Pre-Return To Rugby Personal Assessment Declaration is currently being prepared by the IRFU. This is a mandatory element of each club’s Health & Safety plan and will sit within the all new RugbyConnect system for games administration and player registration. This system is currently in test phase and will be rolled out to clubs with training modules in the coming weeks.
While a solution is being finalised for all 217 clubs, Banbridge RFC have found a paperless option that works for them.
Training resumes at Rifle Park on Tuesday July 14th and they have been working hard to take the pen and paper out of the process for players to get back on the pitch.
IrishRugby.ie caught up with Banbridge’s Media & Marketing Convenor Marc Eadie to chat about their system.
Marc, your club has a hard working COVID-19 Club Safety Officer in James McGowan, but how have all of Banbridge RFC bought into the return to rugby guidelines?
James is also our House Convenor so it was a bit of a no-brainer to throw it at him. He does it in his own work so he knows what he’s talking about and is on the ball as things keep changing from day to day. But there’s a string of people supporting him and making sure he has what he needs. The whole club is behind him, really.
IrishRugby.ie: So you’ve made your Pre-Return To Rugby Personal Assessment Declaration Form available online. Talk us through it.
Marc Eadie: James sent us through the IRFU form. There’s a list of questions on it and we haven’t deviated from that – we’ve just made it paperless.
I went online and googled forms and obviously ‘Google Forms’ came up. It took less than an hour to set than up but then it’s about the data and sending that off to the COVID-19 Club Compliance Officers.
Personally, I’m not a fan of Google Sheets and I have my own Microsoft account so what I did was move across to Microsoft Forms and created it on that. It’s exactly the same to be quite honest with you, it just means the information gets put into excel spreadsheets instead. It’s all saved on our cloud on a daily basis, which obviously under GDPR no one else can see.
It’s been quite fluid and we’ve changed elements when we’ve needed to such as adding times and date stamps but we’re ready to go now.
IR: You don’t have any IT background, so how long did it take to put in place?
ME: About two hours. I googled it, found it, did it and created a link I could send through to the COVID-19 Club Safety Officer. He liked it and that was really it.
We have forms for ground staff, contractors and meetings as well and for players from the seniors down to our sixths team, our mixed ability team, girls, youths and minis. Each of them has their own section so when I look at the excel spreadsheet, everything is easily found.
The form feeds into the spreadsheet and then we can email the declarations without the medical data on to who needs it.
IR: How is that information shared with the COVID-19 Club Compliance Officers?
ME: The button is there. All you do is send it across to the Excel. Obviously with them both being Microsoft it works well. People have filled in these forms privately so I’m not sharing any sensitive information – I just snip out the names and email that across to the person who is going to be on the gate.
The person on the gate will have a spreadsheet in front of them and they can just tick people off as they go. If you’re name’s not down you’re not getting in!
We do keep copies of the form in case something does happen and we need to be able to go back and check who was in the club at any given time.
IR: That sounds like a responsible approach by the club. What about the responsibility on the individual?
ME: These forms can’t be sent at the last minute – I work for a living! People have all day to fill the form out and we ask that it’s submitted by 5pm on the day. It takes about a minute to complete with the date, your name and the answers to the questions.
Our training sessions start at 8pm and there’s no one allowed in until 7:50pm so I have a window where I can get all the information across to the Compliance Officers. The officers need to print them off and they work for a living too so we have to be careful about asking them to do a job that’s going to take up too much of their time.
IR: How do members access the form?
ME: We’re very fortunate that we have an app. There’s a COVID-19 Section in it which includes the personal declaration for every different person that would need it. Having it on the mobile is very convenient, but if they’re filling it out on the way to training they won’t be getting in the gate and that’s the way it has to be!
IR: What about getting people trained up on how to use the system?
ME: I just created a wee video on my mobile and then voiced over it. It’s easy to follow and simple to use.
IR: What about visitors? There’s a form there for them too.
ME: Paper – clipboard – pen! It’s just a case of getting people to fill out the paper form because they’re not filling out the form a few times a week. They’re still with members as is the law with clubs.
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