National Safeguarding Standards

The Church of England has published a set of National Safeguarding Standards, an essential benchmark to understand the quality and the impact of its safeguarding activity at a local and national level. The Standards will enable Church bodies to identify both their strengths and areas for development, which will in turn inform their strategic planning in respect of safeguarding.

Along with an accompanying Quality Assurance Framework these Standards have been developed over a three-year period in consultation with a wide range of stakeholders including victims and survivors. They build on existing policies and procedures including the previous Promoting a Safer Church statement.

The five standards aim to cover the breadth of safeguarding activity in the Church.

  • Standard One: Culture, Leadership and Capacity
  • Standard Two: Prevention
  • Standard Three: Recognising, Assessing and Managing Risk
  • Standard Four: Victims and Survivors
  • Standard Five: Learning, Supervision and Support

Each Standard contains:

  • A statement of the Standard itself.
  • An explanation of why it is important.
  • A series of ‘What Good Looks Like’ Indicators – these are detailed criteria that show how well a Standard is being achieved.
  • Details of relevant House of Bishops’ Guidance and Code, training, resources and tools that can be used to help gather data relevant to the indicators. These are important as they will equip Church bodies with the means to undertake quality assurance work locally, but also in a way that is consistent across other bodies.

The standards will also inform the second round of independent audits of dioceses and cathedrals, to begin in 2024 and announced in August. It is not expected that every Church body will be able to meet every indicator immediately and the auditors are aware that those dioceses and cathedrals in the early audit phase will have had less time to embed these standards.

The National Safeguarding Team is also entering a partnership with the parish Safeguarding Dashboard. This will enable the dashboard to become fully integrated with the new standards, thus making it easier for thousands of parishes to explore the standards.

Andy Earl, Head of Safeguarding and Diocesan Safeguarding Officer, said: “We are delighted to see the National Standards released. The Diocesan Safeguarding Team has been working with Truro Cathedral, our parishes, and the National Safeguarding Team to develop and pilot these National Standards. The standards begin to inform what good should look like. These standards are relevant to all parishes in our diocese.”

The Church of England’s lead safeguarding bishop, Joanne Grenfell, said: ‘All organisations, including the Church, must be able to demonstrate how well they are fulfilling their safeguarding responsibilities. The standards published today are part of a vital quality assurance framework aimed at making the Church a safer place for all and build on work already developed. I know they will be welcomed by all those involved in their local church as an important part of ensuring that our safeguarding activity is making a difference to people’s lives. It will also help the Church to be accountable to all its key stakeholders particularly survivors and victims of abuse.

More information

Download the National Safeguarding Standards here

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Ensuring that children and young people as well as adults are kept safe whilst in our care in an integral part of our diocese life.