All the policy and practice guidance on the Church of England Safeguarding pages have been approved by the House of Bishops and must, where relevant, be followed by all Church Bodies* and Church Officers**.
The Church of Engalnd Policy and Practice Guidance web pages contain resources relating to; Practice Guidance, Responding Well, Past Cases Review, Safer Recruitment, Training, Serious Incident Reporting, Joint Practice Guidance and Policy Notes can be accessed on the Church of England website here. Copies are also included in the links below for your ease.
Please note under section 5 of the Safeguarding and Clergy Discipline Measure 2016*** all authorised clergy, bishops, archdeacons, licensed readers and lay workers, churchwardens and PCCs must have ‘due regard’ to safeguarding guidance issued by the House of Bishops (this will include both policy and practice guidance).
A duty to have ‘due regard’ to guidance means that the person under the duty is not free to disregard it but is required to follow it unless there are cogent reasons for not doing so. (‘Cogent’ for this purpose means clear, logical and convincing.) Failure by clergy to comply with the duty imposed by the 2016 Measure may result in disciplinary action.
- Parish Safeguarding Handbook (2018) – order a hard copy from Church House Publishing
- National Safeguarding Practice Guidance – Safer Environment and Activities – October 2019 – Click here
- National Safeguarding Code of Safer Working Practice – 2019 – Click here
For templates and resources relating to safeguarding policy and practice guidance, including those referenced in the Parish Safeguarding Handbook, please see here.
Past Cases Review 2 (PCR2)
Protocols and practice guidance for the Church of England’s Past Cases Review 2, (PCR2) have been published on the Church of England Website. Individuals who wished to make representations to the PCR2 process or who need to come forward with information or make any disclosures regarding church related abuse are encouraged to make direct contact with their diocesan safeguarding adviser.
NSPCC Helpline: However, recognising that this may not feel safe for those with a lived experience of abuse from within the church, a dedicated telephone helpline – 0800 80 20 20 – operated independently from the church, by the NSPCC, has been set up.
Anyone can use the helpline to provide information or to raise concerns regarding abuse within the Church of England context; whether they are reporting issues relating to children, adults or seeking to whistle blow about poor safeguarding practice.
Further PCR documentation is linked below.
- PCR2 Protocol and Practice Guidance
- PCR2 Background and Overview
- PCR2 Full Appendices for Practice Guidance
- Responding to Safeguarding Concerns or Allegations that relate to Children, Young People and Vulnerable Adults practice guidance (2018)
- Responding to, assessing and managing concerns or allegations against church officers practice guidance (2017)
- Responding well to domestic abuse practice guidance (2017)
- Responding well to those who have been sexually abused practice guidance (2011)
Serious Incident Reporting
The Church has worked with the Charity Commission to agree bespoke guidance for DBFs, PCCs and Religious Communities on how to identify and report a Serious Incident.
The Charity Commission updated its guidance on 14 June 2019 to require all individual Serious Incident reports to be submitted to it using a new online form, which can be accessed at here. In addition, all bulk reports must now be made using a Charity Commission template form and a bespoke template has been created for DBFs.
The Church of England’s bespoke guidance on Serious Incident Reporting has now been updated (version: 1 August 2019) and has been approved by the Charity Commission and by the National Safeguarding Steering Group.
The revised Church of England guidance also includes further advice/guidance from the Charity Commission on when you may need to report a Serious Incident in a partner organisation.
- Serious Incident Reporting to the Charity Commission FAQs (August 2019)
- Guidance: Identifying and Reporting Safeguarding Serious Incidents to the Charity Commission: Guidance for DBFs, PCCs and Religious Communities (August 2019) (Guidance explains how to identify a safeguarding Serious Incident and what to do when one occurs.)
- Practical guidance: How to make a Safeguarding Serious Incident report to the Charity Commission (August 2019)(Practical guidance sits alongside the General guidance and explains how to prepare a safeguarding Serious Incident Report and submit it to the Charity Commission.)
- Bespoke Bulk Reporting Template for DBFs (August 2019)
Other Key Guidance
- Glossary reference document (2017)
- Safeguarding in religious communities practice guidance (2015)
- Safeguarding Records Retention Toolkit 2016
Joint Practice Guidance with The Methodist Church
- Safeguarding records: joint practice guidance for the Church of England and the Methodist Church (2015)
- Safeguarding joint practice guidance for single congregation Local Ecumenical Partnerships (2015)
- Promoting a Safer Church; House of Bishops policy statement (2017)
- Protecting All God’s Children (safeguarding policy for children and young people, 4th edition, 2010)
- Promoting a Safe Church (safeguarding policy for adults, 2006)
*Church Bodies includes PCCs, diocesan bodies, cathedrals, religious communities, theological training institutions and the National Church Institutions. This policy will apply to the whole of the provinces of Canterbury and York (including the Diocese in Europe subject to local variations/modifications). There is also an expectation that the policy will apply to the Channel Islands and Sodor and Man unless there is specific local legislation in a jurisdiction that would prevent adoption.
**A “Church Officer” is anyone appointed/elected by or on behalf of the Church to a post or role, whether they are ordained or lay, paid or unpaid.
***The Safeguarding and Clergy Discipline Measure 2016 applies to the whole of the provinces of Canterbury and York (including the Diocese in Europe subject to local variations/modifications), with the exception of the Channel Islands and Sodor and Man. In order to extend the 2016 Measure to the Channel Islands or Sodor and Man legislation will need to be passed by the relevant island jurisdictions in accordance with section 12 of that Measure.