PROGRESS Wrestling has provided fans with a new update on its restructuring brought about by the #SpeakingOut movement. The company announced some new updates to its structural changes, among them the announcement that all UK talent, crew, and management will require a DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check of their previous criminal convictions and cautions.
PROGRESS announced in June that it would be temporarily shutting down as it underwent heavy structural changes as allegations of sexual misconduct burned their way across the wrestling industry, particularly in the UK. An update last Thursday noted that Jon Briley is now the sole owner of PROGRESS and first mentioned the mandatory DBS checks for UK talent, along with allowing only accredited people backstage and “:the commitment to have a Lead Safeguarding Officer for talent and crew, plus the hiring of an Independent Wellbeing Officer to advise talent, crew and audience members.”
In addition to the DBS Checks, today’s update also notes that the Progress Fans Committee will be wholly independent of the company and that they pledged their support for the UK creative union Equity’s recommendations for wrestling companies in the wake of the #SpeakingOut movement. Those recommendations include:
* That all promotions have a clear, robust Dignity at Work policy so that complaints of abuse can be addressed in a fair and transparent way, protecting both talent and promotion.
* That all transport and accommodation arrangements are agreed with talent in advance and in writing before the date of the booking.
* That a separate, private and secure dressing room space be provided at every show.
* That a paramedic be present at every show
* That should the promotion have an associated wrestling school that it provides clear transparent safeguarding policies, that staff and visiting professionals understand those policies, are trained in them and that first aid provision is a requirement for all classes. We also ask that all independent vocational training schools take these necessary steps to protect their students.
PROGRESS’ full statement from Lucy Cave is below:
Myself and James wanted to provide a further update in regards to the manifesto PROGRESS published last week.
The fans committee this will be wholly independent of us, our only involvement has been to say we will make ourselves available for monthly (or more frequently if needed) conversations with them. Please contact Progressfancommittee @ gmail. com and they will advise on further details, they are in the process of putting together who will make up this group.
Merchandise and wrestlers there will still be the ability for a talent to sell their own merchandise and interact with fans, if they decide to do this then there will be crew on hand to oversee the interactions. PROGRESS will sell the merch for the talent should that be a preferred option for them.
Club PROGRESS further info will be sent out in the next few days to members as we are just finalising the London dates for 2021.
DBS Checks For the avoidance of doubt UK talent, referees, crew and management will all require a valid DBS check.
Equity have today issued their industry advice we would like to go on record and state we are happy to pledge our support for the criteria set out today which can be found here – equity.org.uk/speakingoutresponse
Fundamentally we are not taking anything for granted and know that putting our policies into practice is what we will ultimately be judged upon.