Updated: 2/11/2020 – Online refresher SPC courses now available.

Latest Status is here. Every Home Nation has different rules so please ensure you are following the rules that relate to your Home Nation. 

We recognise the impact of the current situation and the effects it may have on you, your coaching and your family. At this time, your health and wellbeing are of the utmost importance and we are here to support you.

As mentioned in our previous message to coaches and clubs, this dedicated page for coaches includes advice, guidance and signposting for help that is available. As the situation in the UK changes, we will update this page with new developments and announcements. These changes will be signposted through our social media platforms.

We are also collating resources (tools and templates) designed to support coaches clubs as they create their own Return to Fencing Plans.  They can be found here. These include specific advice on Equipment Cleaning Protocols and sample risk assessments.

We may not have the answers to all of your questions yet. To help us create the best resource for you, if you have a question that isn’t answered here or on our further advice and guidance pages, please contact [email protected].

Where are the latest guidelines and what do they mean for me?

It is important to note that different Home Nations have different local and regional legislation and guidance. So depending on where you operate you will have different restrictions. In addition, when government announcements are made to the public, it can take several days/weeks before the government websites provide the associated clarity that we need to advise our clubs, coaches and members.

To help you keep up to date, you can subscribe to our new weekly summary email featuring the previous week’s latest news and announcements. Sign up here.

A summary of the status in relation to fencing activity can be found here.


I am a self-employed coach who can’t work anymore, what support is available for me?

The Government announced Self-employment Income Support Scheme on March 26th, 2020. HMRC is publishing guidance on the scheme, available here.

The text below is from the government published advice, please visit the HMRC website for up to date guidance.

What is it?

The Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) will support self-employed individuals (including members of partnerships) whose income has been negatively impacted by COVID-19. The scheme will provide a grant to self-employed individuals or partnerships, worth 80% of their profits up to a cap of £2,500 per month. HMRC will use the average profits from tax returns in 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19 to calculate the size of the grant. The scheme will be open to those where the majority of their income comes from self-employment and who have profits of less than £50,000. The scheme will be open for an initial three months with people able to make their first claim by the beginning of June.


Am I eligible?

To be eligible for the scheme you must meet all the criteria below:

  • Be self-employed or a member of a partnership;
  • Have lost trading/partnership trading profits due to COVID-19;
  • File a tax return for 2018-19 as self-employed or a member of a trading partnership.
  • Those who have not yet filed for 2018-19 will have an additional 4 weeks from this announcement to do so;
  • Have traded in 2019-20;
  • Be currently trading at the point of application (or would be except for COVID 19) and intend to continue to trade in the tax year 2020 to 2021
  • Have trading profits of less than £50,000 and more than half of your total income come from self-employment. This can be with reference to at least one of the following conditions:
    • Your trading profits and total income in 2018/19
    • Your average trading profits and total income across up to the three years between 2016-17, 2017-18, and 2018-19.




Applications for the first grant closed on 13 July 2020.

The second and final taxable grant is worth 70% of your average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering 3 months’ worth of profits, and capped at £6,570 in total.

Applications for the second and final grant are now open. Make your claim from the date we give you. If you’re eligible and your business has been adversely affected on or after 14 July 2020, you must make your claim for the second grant on or before 19 October 2020.


How do I access it?

Individuals should not contact HMRC now. HMRC will use existing information to check potential eligibility and invite applications once the scheme is operational. HMRC will then pay the grant directly to eligible claimants’ bank account. HMRC is urgently working to deliver the scheme; grants are expected to start to be paid out by the beginning of June 2020. For eligible individuals who have not submitted their returns for 2018-19, they will have 4 weeks’ notice from the date of the announcement to file their returns and therefore become eligible for this scheme.


When can I access it?

HMRC is urgently working to deliver the scheme; grants are expected to start to be paid by the beginning of June 2020. This time is necessary to ensure that the scheme is both deliverable and fair. In the interim, the self-employed will still able eligible for other government support including more generous universal credit and business continuity loans.


I would like to run online training sessions for fencers, does BF insurance cover me to do this?

Fencing Coaches that are on the BF Register and meet the minimum standards are insured to provide instruction using on-line platforms provided, (as with all coaching practice):

  • the instruction falls under the remit of their fencing coaching qualifications
  • appropriate risk assessments are undertaken
  • suitable guidance is given to participants for each session/recording.

More information can be found here.


What are the guidelines for delivering a best practice online session?

There are multiple platforms available online including Zoom, Google Hangouts and Skype. You will usually need to create an account. Some of the services are free and others require payment for added features. We recommend trying a few and take the time to familiarise yourself with the software before your first session.

There are several important considerations to take into account when teaching online including content and safeguarding.


My Safeguarding certification is due to run out during lockdown. What should I do in order to remain compliant and on the Coach Register?

Update 2/1//2020 BF has developed a new online, fencing specific SPC refresher course which is now available for coaches who have previously completed a face to face course. To book and for more information please read the announcement here.

UK Coaching also offers online training:

Full Course

For the duration of the social distancing measures BF will accept UK Coaching online certifications for coaches based in Wales & England. 


My First Aid certification is due to run out during lockdown. What should I do in order to remain compliant and on the BF Coach Register?

Update 24/04/2020: The First Aid requirement is temporarily suspended as a minimum requirement for the Coach Register. All coaches are reminded to dynamically risk assess activities, and be mindful of best practices. First Aid courses are recommended to refresh knowledge, but will not be a criterion to remain on the Coach Register.


My Criminal Record Check has expired or is due to expire soon. How do I apply for a new certificate?

Temporary changes to ID checking guidelines are being made as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. More information is available here


I am not registered for the DBS online service, but I hold a valid certificate that can be checked by BF. Can I send you a photocopy or are you still only accepting to check the original hard copy document?

Update 24/04/2020: In January 2020 BF adopted an online DBS application service (Vibrant Nation) for all new DBS checks (England and Wales). You should contact your club to process a new application. For more information, click here, and information for clubs on Vibrant Nation can be found here.

BF will accept scanned copies of your DBS clearance certificate (please scan both sides of the document).  If you are unable to scan and send in the document we will accept presentation of the document by video link. Please contact [email protected].


I run a club, what information is available?

A separate page for clubs is available here.





Free Intro Membership

Activate your free, 90 day membership to British Fencing today. Membership insures you to fence at any British Fencing club.

Join Today

Core Coach Offer

Does your organisation want to bring fencing to your community? Explore our core coach course, no experience required.

Core Coach

Calling All Teachers

Start your journey to becoming a community fencing coach. Introduce fencing to pupils for as little as £25. Find out more today.

Learn More

Join the conversation. Share your stories using #BritishFencing on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram

Our Partners

  • Our Partners