The Church of England is committed to promoting a safe environment and culture across all church bodies for children, young people and vulnerable adults. An essential part of this commitment is ensuring that all those who work or volunteer with vulnerable groups are suitable for the role they will carry out.
Over the past 12 months, with the input and support of church bodies across England, new House of Bishops Safeguarding Guidance (entitled Safer Recruitment and People Management) has been developed to replace the existing Safer Recruitment Practice Guidance 2016. The revisions made to the guidance offer church bodies clarity and detail on key areas which have been consistently raised as areas of concern and confusion; for example, DBS eligibility criteria, reference checking requirements and who the guidance applies to.
The guidance includes a toolkit consisting of a number of forms designed to help implement the guidance to a good standard, as well as an assessment tool to help you review and understand your current safer recruitment and people management practices and procedures, and easily identify where you may have gaps in your processes.
Launch of guidance
We are excited to announce the launch of the guidance, with an implementation date for all church bodies of 4 January 2022.
The Safer Recruitment and People Management Guidance is available via the online Safeguarding e-manual, found here. (This is the first guidance to go onto the Safeguarding e-Manual and eventually all safeguarding guidance will be located there).
Please find the assessment toolkit here for your reference.
More than 3,000 parishes across 24 dioceses are using Safeguarding Dashboards to support their parish safeguarding. The National Safeguarding Team is exploring with the developers various ways in which Safeguarding Dashboards can better support the new guidance and we will update you on this as work progresses.
We know many of you are already doing much of what is required, and the guidance aims to make it as easy as possible for everyone to understand expectations and apply them in their particular environment.
In doing so, you will be creating and maintaining a safe and supportive environment that inspires trust, enabling individuals to thrive and grow, and have the very best experience of Christian living through the work of the Church.
Online learning module
The online learning module for Safer Recruitment and People Management is now live on the Safeguarding Training Portal. The link for the course is on the home page and can also be found under Online Courses.
Other HR policies and practice guidance
Clergy Discipline Measure (on the Church of England website)
Model Role Descriptions
The Model Role Descriptions for common roles in parishes can be found here. These role descriptions will need to be amended to fit your local context and it is important that the description has the level of both DBS check (if required) and Safeguarding Learning added, so expectations of the person and the role are clear from the outset.