Frequently asked questions: Safeguarding

A new Safeguarding Policy for the Diocese of Coventry was approved by Coventry Diocesan Synod on 7 November 2015.  Every PCC must formally adopt this policy and file a copy with their PCC minutes.

This page answers questions arising from this new policy.

Where is the latest version of the Safeguarding Policy?

The latest version of the Safeguarding Policy (and all associated procedures and resources) can be found by clicking here.

Does a church need its own Code of Practice?

The Safeguarding Policy applies to ALL churches within the diocese.

Churches are also encouraged (but not required) to write their own Safeguarding Code of Practice.  This ought to explain how the Safeguarding Policy is being implemented within their local context (eg how volunteers are recruited, vetted and trained).

Where can I find what needs to be completed for Safer Recruitment

Full details are found on the resources page under Safer Recruitment.

Safer Recruitment means:-

  • Having a job / role description.
  • Application forms.
  • References.
  • Interview.
  • DBS if needed for the role.
  • Volunteer agreement.
  • Probationary period.
  • Named person to talk to about concerns.
  • Attending safeguarding training regularly (minimum of every 3 years)
Where can I find the DBS application forms?

All DBS applications are now made on-line.  Go to https://disclosure.capitarvs.co.uk/cas to apply. 

Once on the site click on the orange box.  You will need your organisational code and password, please ask your Parish Safeguarding Officer for the code.

Is there a fuller definition of an 'adult at risk'?

Promoting a Safe Church (a national policy written in 2006) uses the term 'vulnerable adults'; however, this term is gradually being phased out.  In its place, more recent guidance uses the phrase, "adults experiencing, or at risk of abuse or neglect" (Safer Recruitment written in 2015).

The diocesan Safeguarding Policy uses the shorter phrase 'adults at risk', with an explanation that it refers to "a person aged 18 years or over who is experiencing or at risk of abuse (including neglect)".

The Church of England is currently revising its national safeguarding policies, and this is likely to include a fuller definition of an 'adult at risk'.  In the meantime, churches should have a particular care for:

"Any adult aged 18 or over who, by reason of mental or other disability, age, illness or other situation is permanently or for the time being unable to take care of him or herself, or to protect him or herself against significant harm or exploitation."

The above guidance is found in Promoting a Safe Church, section 1.3.

How often do I need to undergo safeguarding Training?

Training should be completed every three years. Those who need to undergo the training are as follows:

  •  Everyone who works with children (under 18) or adults who are vulnerable
  •  Everyone in a position of authority or trust
  •  Everyone who holds a Bishop's Licence or has the Bishop's Permission to Officiate. 

For more information please click on the safeguarding training in the purple box on the right hand side

What do I do is someone makes a disclosure or has a concern?

See the document 'What to do if.......'  on the Safeguarding Resources page and complete the 'Allegations of Abuse or Concerns form' also on the Safeguarding Resources page

What are the rules about DBS filtering and 'spent' convictions'?

The rules about DBS filtering and spent convictions are complex.

Under DBS filtering rules, any adult conviction does not need to be declared where:

  • 11 years (or 5.5 years if under 18 at the time of the conviction) have passed since the date of the conviction; and
  • It is the only offence; and
  • It did not result in a prison sentence or suspended prison sentence (or detention order); and
  • It does not appear on the DBS’s list of specified offences relevant to safeguarding (broadly violent, drug related and/or sexual in nature).

Under DBS filtering rules, any adult caution does not need to be declared where:

  • 6 years (or 2 years if under 18 at the time of the caution, reprimand or warning) have passed since the date of the caution etc; and
  • It does not appear on the DBS's list of specified offences.

Further guidance is provided by the DBS and can be found at www.gov.uk/government/publications/filtering-rules-for-criminal-record-check-certificates
and www.gov.uk/government/publications/dbs-filtering-guidance

'Rehabilitation periods' (i.e. the amount of time which has to pass before a conviction etc. can become 'spent') have recently been amended by the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012.  Since 10 March 2014, custodial sentences greater than 4 years are never 'spent'.  For further guidance in relation to the 'rehabilitation periods', please see http://hub.unlock.org.uk/knowledgebase/spent-now-brief-guide-changes-roa/