Our Normative Safeguarding Standards

In many areas of public life, elected representatives, public officials, employees and volunteers are expected to observe certain standards, or codes of ethical conduct, which, in governing their practice, assure the public of the quality and trustworthiness of their work. Public trust in those who care for the vulnerable is dependent on knowing that certain standards of service and conduct are being adhered to by those who have taken on these responsibilities.
All in the Church must strive to re-build trust where it has been broken and to hold ourselves to high standards of conduct and practice. To enable us to achieve this goal, we have defined a framework of eight Safeguarding normative standards for all canonical jurisdictions within the Catholic Church in Scotland. These set out the required levels of care and protection to be offered by all who are responsible for children and vulnerable adults.
Our Safeguarding standards are set out broadly in the table below and each standard is further illustrated by a number of indicators that describe the procedures and protocols to be followed in order to meet the standard.
The numbering of each standard is merely intended to facilitate ease of reference and should not be seen to confer any sense of greater significance on one standard than one another. Compliance with all eight standards is required.
Standard 1

Creating and maintaining safe Church environments

We provide environments that are welcoming, nurturing and safe. We put measures in place to protect children and vulnerable adults and to promote the wellbeing of all.

Go to Standard 1

Standard 2

Vetting the appointment of clergy, religious, lay employees and volunteers

When admitting men to seminary, appointing clergy & religious and recruiting lay employees & volunteers, we require PVG checks on their suitability for working with vulnerable groups.

Go to Standard 2


Standard 3

Responding to concerns or allegations

We follow canonical and civil procedures when alerted to information, concerns or allegations regarding a person’s safety or welfare and we ensure that there is a prompt response.

Go to Standard 3

Standard 4

Providing care and support for survivors

We provide a compassionate response to survivors of abuse when they disclose their experiences and we offer them support, advice, care and compassion.

Go to Standard 4


Standard 5

Managing and providing care for those accused of abuse

When an allegation is received concerning clergy, religious, lay employees or volunteers, we offer the accused pastoral care and support, including supervision and management of appropriate duties when necessary.

Go to Standard 5

Standard 6

Working together in Safeguarding

In our shared responsibility for Safeguarding, we work together effectively: recording, communicating and sharing information safely, in full compliance with both civil and canon law.

Go to Standard 6


Standard 7

Training and support for all involved in Safeguarding

Church personnel participate in induction training and continuing professional development and receive support in all aspects of Safeguarding, relevant to their respective roles, thus developing the requisite knowledge, attitudes and skills. We encourage and facilitate the sharing of best Safeguarding practice.

Go to Standard 7

Standard 8

Quality assurance in Safeguarding

We deploy effective planning processes to monitor, review, self-evaluate and report on our Safeguarding practices and on our compliance with these Safeguarding standards. The Independent Review Group (IRG) externally monitors and reports on our compliance with these Safeguarding standards.

Go to Standard 8