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.

7.1 We require those responsible for Safeguarding to plan, record and participate in relevant Safeguarding training.

7.1.1 Effective training must ensure that those involved in the work of Safeguarding are at the forefront in the Church in reducing and managing risk and in creating safe environments for children, vulnerable adults and those who engage with them as volunteers or paid workers. There is a basic level of expertise that all Safeguarding personnel must acquire and then, for specific roles, a deepening and particular expertise will be required. All of this must be part of the process of continuing professional development that must be undertaken by those involved in the work of Safeguarding in the Church.

7.1.2 Across all Safeguarding training, through consultation, the perspective of survivors of abuse must be considered so that an on-going, deepening understanding of the impact of abuse is gained.

7.1.3 Upon their recruitment, it must be made clear to any new volunteer that Safeguarding Induction Training Part 1 must be completed prior to assuming any role in the Church involving children or vulnerable adults. This also applies to Seminary applicants, those accepted for the Propaedeutic period and those entering any formation programme provided by Religious Institutes. Within 18 months of having started in any such role, a person must have completed Safeguarding Induction Training Part 2.

7.1.4 Each Diocese must recruit and develop a sufficient number of Trainers to deliver the Safeguarding training required in the Diocese. Strategies used to recruit and train the requisite number of Trainers must form part of the Training Audit each year. Supported by the Scottish Catholic Safeguarding Service, Dioceses and Religious Congregations may wish to co-operate in sharing effective strategies for recruitment and Safeguarding training.

7.1.5 Appropriate Safeguarding training must be arranged for: Clergy (Bishops, Clerical Religious Provincials, Priests and Deacons), Provincials of professed religious and all religious Brothers and Sisters, Diocesan Safeguarding Advisers, members of DRAMTs and Diocesan Safeguarding Teams, and Parish Coordinators. Safeguarding Training needs must be identified in the annual Audit and addressed through the Planning process.

7.1.6 Planning for continuing professional development of those in specific roles must ensure that the latest insights and developments in the field of Safeguarding will be addressed in any training provided each year. The advice and support of the Scottish Catholic Safeguarding Service must alert Dioceses and Religious Institutes to any issues and developments that are relevant to various personnel and postholders. Support must be offered to all volunteers, in the context of Support/Update Meetings, to ensure that they are kept abreast of all developments whilst avoiding repetition of work covered previously at Induction Training.

7.1.7 Any volunteer or employee who fails to participate in the required Safeguarding Training within a reasonable time must be suspended from their role or dismissed. Bishops and Provincials must address appropriately such issues with clerics or religious, according to Canon Law.

7.2 We undertake annual analyses of Safeguarding Training needs in all organisations.

7.2.1 As part of the Audit process, the Scottish Catholic Safeguarding Service, each Diocese or Religious Institute and each parish must analyse the Safeguarding Training needs of personnel both to ascertain that the minimum Safeguarding Training requirements are being met by each Safeguarding person and to develop the knowledge and skills appropriate to his/her role.

7.2.2 Each organisation must maintain a Record of Safeguarding Training35Section C: Record of Safeguarding Training completed by its own personnel, whether clerical or lay, employed or volunteering. This must support the planning of Training for the following year and the development of each person in their personal skills and knowledge.

7.2.3 The annual Safeguarding Action Plan36Section C: Safeguarding Action Plan drawn up by each Diocese, Religious Institute, parish and SCSS must specify which Safeguarding Training courses will be undertaken by which personnel and when.

7.3 We provide a range of Safeguarding training opportunities to meet the needs of specific groups.

7.3.1 Safeguarding training must be provided to various groups by people who themselves have received training for this role. The main types of courses are listed in the table below. Other courses are provided by SCSS on request.

7.3.2 As is shown below, some courses are provided at a Diocesan level; others are organised nationally. The provision of Safeguarding training must be kept under constant review to ensue that it meets needs appropriately and is accessible to all who wish to access it. The provision of access to on-line training courses will be explored.

Parish Volunteers Diocesan Trainers Safeguarding Induction Part 1
includes: information on Safeguarding structures in Scotland, signs and forms of abuse, how to respond to a concern and how to respond to a disclosure of abuse.
Safeguarding Induction Part 2
includes: focus on prevention by developing the skills to risk assess places, people and activities.
Diocese Parish Safeguarding Co-ordinator Diocesan Trainers PSC Training
prepares new PSCs for their role by exploring in detail the remit and duties.
Diocese Clergy NSC or Diocese Safeguarding Induction Part 1 & Part 2
Clergy Updates: covers national issues plus focus on specialist topics.
Diocese DRAMT NSC DRAMT Training explores the roles and remits of DRAMT.
National Diocesan Safeguarding Advisory Group NSC DSAG Training explores the roles and remits of DSAG.
Risk Assessment specialist training
National Diocesan Safeguarding Advisers NSC CCP E-Learning course: an on-line course, offered in conjunction with the Centre for Child Protection in Rome
National Diocesan Trainers NSC Training for Trainers 2 day course
Induction for new Trainers
Trainers' Annual CPD Day
Attendance is mandatory
National Various NSC National Conference addresses and annual theme
National Permanent Diaconate NSC One day during annual Summer School always includes a national update and explores a different topic each year.
National Propaedeutic participants NSC Propaedeutic course
4 days' intensive training on a range of Safeguarding topics
Rome & UK Seminarians NSC Seminarians' course
1.5 days covering a range of topics
Rome & UK Religious NSC Conference of Religious Safeguarding Link Co-ordinators
includes a national update and explores a different topic each year.


7.4 Those responsible for leading Safeguarding practice at every level are required to promote the sharing of best practice among colleagues.

7.4.1 The sharing of good practice is a feature of any effective organisation. It helps to ensure consistency of approach and contributes to the development of a strong culture of self-evaluation and continuous improvement.

7.4.2 Within the Church’s Safeguarding arrangements, given variations in staffing levels across Dioceses, the sharing of good practice by those who are leading Safeguarding in the Church is all the more important. Those in leadership positions, in particular senior personnel such as the National Safeguarding Co-ordinator, Diocesan Safeguarding Advisers and the Safeguarding Link Co-ordinators, must actively plan strategies for sharing good practice across Dioceses, parishes and Religious Institutes. Such strategies might include:

  • Diocesan Safeguarding Advisory Group (DSAG) meetings, support sessions, conferences and courses at which various personnel (both ‘intra & ‘extra’ Church) are invited to share experiences and strategies
  • the publication of newsletters and other documents which feature specific examples of successful approaches deployed nationally and internationally
  • reading about, and contributing to, research on Safeguarding matters
  • using the platform of the SCSS website to share information and resources on relevant topics of national and international import.

7.4.3 The national Catholic Safeguarding Co-ordinator must disseminate information, advice and research emanating from National and international networks, meetings and conferences.