Training

Information about safeguarding training for Ministers and other church roles, as well as courses available in Church of Scotland presbyteries.

Safeguarding Learning Pathway for Ministers

The Ministers’ Safeguarding Learning Pathway is set out below.

'Ministers’ for the purposes of the Safeguarding Training Learning Pathway means parish ministers, Interim Ministers, Transition Ministers, auxiliary ministers, probationers, OLM, readers, locums and Armed Forces chaplains. The Learning Pathway for Deacons and MDS will be identified through their job descriptions; advice should be sought from the Safeguarding Service.

Completion of the full pathway is considered necessary for those holding a leadership position, so they have the breadth of understanding required to fulfil their safeguarding responsibilities.

Introductory Safeguarding Training (approx. 2.5 hours)

  • Delivered locally by volunteer safeguarding trainers and the safeguarding training officer where necessary.
  • Learning includes understanding what safeguarding means (and child/adult protection), national guidance and policy, types of harm and abuse, the four R’s and your role in reporting.

Advanced Safeguarding Training (approx. 2.5 – 3 hours)

  • Replaces Safeguarding Coordinator Training and Safeguarding Panel Training
  • Delivered locally by volunteer safeguarding trainers and the safeguarding training officer where necessary.
  • Learning includes understanding the role of the Safeguarding Coordinator and Safeguarding Panel, raised awareness of resources available for ensuring best practice in safeguarding, understanding responsibilities regarding training, management and support of workers, understanding responsibilities regarding Safeguarding referrals and raised awareness of the Church Safeguarding Policies for example in relation to Managing those who pose a risk and Responding to Domestic Abuse.

Leadership Safeguarding Training (approx. 3 hours with some reflective work)

  • Delivered nationally by the Safeguarding Service
  • Learning will be reflective and collaborative and will seek to include content such as analysing the leadership behaviours needed to promote a healthy safeguarding culture (including how to involve and empower others) and feel confident and determined to demonstrate them, reflecting on the kind of healthy culture that is protective, preventative, healing, and restorative, reflecting on the impact that abuse and trauma has on individuals’ lives, relationships, and interaction in a community setting and looking at lessons learned.

Order and timescales for the training pathway

Moving forward, the pathway should be completed in this order:

  1. Introductory Safeguarding Training: Undertaken before or within 6 months of starting training
  2. Advanced Safeguarding Training: Completed within the first half of your probation
  3. Leadership Safeguarding Training: Within the first 2 years of your training for ministry ending. It is recommended that this training is refreshed every 3 years. It is a mandatory requirement every 5 years.

In relation to relevant Safeguarding refresher training, it was agreed at GA 2022 that the highest level of training previously completed is undertaken as a mandatory requirement every 5 years (recommended every 3 years).

Courses recommended for MDS staff and Deacons

  • Introductory Safeguarding Training
  • Advanced Safeguarding Training (This course may be recommended, depending on the person's Job Description. Please seek advice from the Safeguarding Service/HR.)
  • Leadership Safeguarding Training (This course may be recommended, depending on the person's Job Description. Please seek advice from the Safeguarding Service/HR.)

You can find out where you should start your journey under Training Compliance or by seeking information from the Presbytery and/or Safeguarding Service.

Safeguarding Learning Pathway for other Church roles

Introductory Safeguarding Training (approx. 2.5 hours)

  • Delivered locally by volunteer safeguarding trainers and the safeguarding training officer where necessary.
  • Learning includes understanding what safeguarding means (and child/adult protection), national guidance and policy, types of harm and abuse, the four R’s and your role in reporting.

Advanced Safeguarding Training (approx. 2.5 – 3 hours)

  • Replaces Safeguarding Coordinator Training and Safeguarding Panel Training
  • Delivered locally by volunteer safeguarding trainers and the safeguarding training officer where necessary.
  • Learning includes understanding the role of the Safeguarding Coordinator and Safeguarding Panel, raised awareness of resources available for ensuring best practice in safeguarding, understanding responsibilities regarding training, management and support of workers, understanding responsibilities regarding Safeguarding referrals and raised awareness of the Church Safeguarding Policies for example in relation to Managing those who pose a risk and Responding to Domestic Abuse.

OR

Trustee Safeguarding Training (approx. 2 hours – 2 hours 15 mins)

  • Delivered locally by volunteer safeguarding trainers and the safeguarding training officer where necessary
  • Learning includes: familiarity with the Church of Scotland Safeguarding policy and practice, Awareness and understanding of duties regarding the implementation of safeguarding act of the General Assembly, including key appointments e.g. Safeguarding Coordinator and a Safeguarding Panel, Understanding the Safe Recruitment process and their responsibilities therein,  Understanding their responsibilities regarding training, management and support of workers, Understanding their responsibilities regarding Safeguarding referrals and other relevant safeguarding policy.

Summary of Safeguarding Learning Pathway for other Church roles

All those undertaking regulated work (paid or voluntary)

  • Introductory Safeguarding Training

Safeguarding Coordinators and Safeguarding Panel Members

  • Introductory Safeguarding Training
  • Advanced Safeguarding Training

Interim Moderators (who are doing regulated work)

  • Introductory Safeguarding Training
  • Advanced Safeguarding Training

Interim moderators (who are not doing regulated work)

  • Trustee Safeguarding Training

Trustees

  • Trustee Safeguarding Training

Trustees who are also safeguarding coordinator and/or panel members need only attend the Introductory and Advanced Safeguarding Training module.

In relation to relevant Safeguarding refresher training it was agreed at GA 2022 that the highest level of training previously completed is undertaken as a mandatory requirement every 5 years (recommended every 3 years).

If you are unsure about what training is required for a certain role please contact the Safeguarding Service.

Information on compliance with Safeguarding Training Requirements

Compliance Pathway and Associated Timescales for Essential Safeguarding Training: Ministers, Elders (and other congregational trustees), those doing regulated work (at congregational and Presbytery level).

This compliance pathway will be subject to review by the Safeguarding Committee on an ongoing basis.

Process for Ministers

Ministers’ for the purposes of the Safeguarding Training Learning Pathway, parish ministers, Interim Ministers, Transition Ministers, Associate Ministers, auxiliary ministers, probationers, OLM, readers, locums and Armed Forces chaplains. MDS and deacons who are appointed by the Church of Scotland national office will follow their HR procedures.

1. Presbytery should assess whether:

  • Ample opportunities have been provided to attend the appropriate safeguarding training (at least two or three suitable opportunities)
  • There are exceptional circumstances for the individual not attending the appropriate safeguarding training e.g. sickness absence.

If either of these situations apply, re-assess when reasonable opportunities are available and/or exceptional circumstances have changed.

2. If neither of those circumstances apply (or other circumstances which could be deemed to be exceptional) then:

  • Presbytery Clerk should initiate an informal discussion to encourage attendance, discuss the importance of safeguarding training and provide guidance on opportunities. An open discussion should be had about any concerns which the individual faces in engaging with the relevant safeguarding training.
  • This meeting should be recorded (albeit informally) and the Presbytery Clerk should write to the individual to confirm agreements made/any actions and the associated timeframe.
  • During this meeting if agreement can be reached for the individual to attend the relevant safeguarding training then a timeframe should be set (approximately 3 months or so dependent on the next available training courses)

3. Review at agreed timeframe (in point 2) to ensure relevant safeguarding training has been successfully completed. If not, continue to next step.

4. If the concern has not been dealt with satisfactorily:

  • A letter detailing the fact that non- attendance may result in a referral under the Discipline Act should be sent and a more formal meeting should be arranged by the Presbytery Clerk to discuss next steps.
  • There is an option at this meeting to set another timeframe for completion of safeguarding training and any actions or outcomes of the meeting should be recorded.

5. Review at agreed timeframe (in point 4) to ensure relevant safeguarding training has been successfully completed. If not continue to next step.

6. Another letter may be sent from the Presbytery Clerk detailing the need to attend the appropriate safeguarding training and the potential for a referral under Discipline Act.

7. If no resolution reached, Presbytery should treat the ongoing failure as a Discipline matter and refer under the Discipline Act. At this point the Law Department would be consulted.

Process for Trustee/Elder

1. In the first instance, Presbytery should work with the relevant congregation and advise the Safeguarding Co-ordinator and Panel Members to establish whether there are exceptional circumstances for an elder’s non-attendance (e.g. illness, infirmity, recent bereavement, lack of training opportunities etc)

If none of these circumstances apply, Presbytery should advise the Safeguarding Co-ordinator and/or Panel Members to have an informal discussion with the elder to try to come to an agreement before the matter is referred to the Presbytery officially. If no resolution can be found, the matter can be referred to Presbytery to take forward.

2. Presbytery should assess whether:

  • Ample opportunities have been provided to attend the appropriate safeguarding training (at least two or three suitable opportunities)
  • There are exceptional circumstances for the individual not attending the appropriate safeguarding training e.g. sickness absence

If either of these situations apply, reassess when reasonable opportunities are available and/or exceptional circumstances have changed.

3. If neither of those circumstances apply (or other circumstances which could be deemed to be exceptional) then:

  • Presbytery Clerk should initiate an informal discussion to encourage attendance, discuss the importance of safeguarding training and provide guidance on opportunities. An open discussion should be had about any concerns which the individual faces in engaging with the relevant safeguarding training.
  • This meeting should be recorded (albeit informally) and the Presbytery Clerk should write to the individual to confirm agreements made/any actions and the associated timeframe.
  • During this meeting if agreement can be reached for the individual to attend the relevant safeguarding training then a timeframe should be set (approximately 3 months or so dependent on the next available training courses)

4. Review at agreed timeframe to ensure relevant safeguarding training has been successfully completed. If not continue to next step.

5. If the concern has not been dealt with satisfactorily

  • A letter detailing the fact that non-attendance may result in a referral under the Discipline Act should be sent and a more formal meeting should be arranged with the Presbytery Clerk to discuss next steps.
  • There is an option at this meeting to set another timeframe for completion of safeguarding training and any actions or outcomes of the meeting should be recorded.

6. Review at agreed timeframe to ensure relevant safeguarding training has been successfully completed. If not continue to next step.

7. Another letter may be sent from the Presbytery Clerk detailing the need to attend the appropriate safeguarding training and the potential for a referral under Discipline Act.

8. If no resolution reached, Presbytery should treat it as a Discipline matter and refer under the Discipline Act. At this point the Law Department would be consulted.

Process for those undertaking regulated work (appointed by Presbytery)

1. Presbytery and the individual’s line manager should assess:

  • Whether ample opportunities have been provided to attend the appropriate safeguarding training (at least two or three suitable opportunities)
  • There are exceptional circumstances for the individual not attending the appropriate safeguarding training e.g. sickness absence

If either of these situations apply, reassess when reasonable opportunities are available and/or exceptional circumstances have changed.

2. If neither of these circumstances apply

  • An informal meeting should be arranged with the Presbytery Clerk and individual line manager to encourage attendance, discuss the importance of safeguarding training and provide guidance on opportunities. An open discussion should be had about any concerns which the individual faces in engaging with the relevant safeguarding training
  • A note of this meeting should be made and timeframe for completion of training agreed.

3. Review at agreed timeframe (in point 2) to ensure relevant safeguarding training has been successfully completed. If not continue to next step.

4. Arrange a more formal meeting with the Presbytery Clerk and individual’s line manager to discuss non-attendance. Another reasonable timeframe can be agreed and a letter confirming this should be sent to the individual.

5. Review at agreed timeframe (in point 4). If training has not been completed or an appropriate resolution agreed, convene a meeting to agree next steps.

6. Letter should be sent to individual detailing the potential outcome of non-attendance at essential recommended training

7. If no resolution is reached, the advice from the Safeguarding Service is that the individual be removed from regulated work with children and/or protected adults. This is to acknowledge that they may present an ongoing risk to vulnerable groups if not suitably trained. If an individual is a paid employee, advice should be sought from the Law Department before any further action is taken.

8. Outcome should be recorded by the Presbytery and communicated to the individual.

Process for those undertaking regulated work (appointed by Kirk Session at congregational level)

1. Safeguarding Coordinator and/or Safeguarding Panel assess:

  • Whether ample opportunities have been provided to attend the appropriate safeguarding training (at least two or three suitable opportunities)
  • There are exceptional circumstances for the individual not attending the appropriate safeguarding training e.g. sickness absence

If either of these situations apply, reassess when reasonable opportunities are available and/or exceptional circumstances have changed.

2. If neither of these circumstances apply

  • An informal meeting should be arranged with the safeguarding coordinator to encourage attendance, discuss the importance of safeguarding training and provide guidance on opportunities. An open discussion should be had about any concerns which the individual faces in engaging with the relevant safeguarding training
  • A note of this meeting should be made and timeframe for completion of training agreed.

3. Review at agreed timeframe (in point 2) to ensure relevant safeguarding training has been successfully completed. If not continue to next step.

4. Arrange a more formal meeting with the Safeguarding Panel and individual to discuss non-attendance. Another reasonable timeframe can be agreed and a letter confirming this should be sent to the individual.

5. Review at agreed timeframe (in point 4). If training has not been completed or an appropriate resolution agreed, convene a meeting of your Safeguarding Panel to agree next steps.

6. Letter should be sent to individual detailing the potential outcome of non-attendance at essential recommended training

7. If no resolution is reached, the advice from the Safeguarding Service is that the individual be removed from regulated work with children and/or protected adults. This is to acknowledge that they may present an ongoing risk to vulnerable groups if not suitably trained. If an individual is a paid employee, advice should be sought from the Law Department before any further action is taken.

8. Outcome should be recorded by the Kirk Session and communicated to the individual.

Timescales for initiating compliance pathway (Ministers and other church roles)

Timeframe for initiating compliance pathway for Ministers

To ensure that active ministers are brought up to date in terms of safeguarding training, they should look back to the last safeguarding training they attended. If this training was more than 3 years ago, the Learning Pathway should be started from the beginning, with Introductory Safeguarding Training being attended as soon as practicable (but certainly by the end of 2022). A compliance process and timescales for completing training are detailed below.

New in role

  • Introductory Safeguarding Training: Completed within 3 months of starting first placement
  • Advanced Safeguarding Training: Within the first half of full-time probationary placement
  • Leadership Safeguarding Training: Within the first 2 years of your ministry training ending
  • Complete Leadership Training no less frequently than every 5 years thereafter

Already in role

If no training completed in last 3 years:
  • Introductory Safeguarding Training: Complete by 31 December 2022
  • Advanced Safeguarding Training: Complete by 30 June 2023
  • Leadership Safeguarding Training: Complete within 6 months of it first being offered
  • Complete Leadership Training no less frequently than every 5 years thereafter
If you have attended Introductory Safeguarding Training in the last 3 years:
  • Advanced Safeguarding Training: Complete by 31 December 2022
  • Leadership Safeguarding Training: Complete within 6 months of it first being offered
  • Complete Leadership Training no less frequently than every 5 years thereafter
If you have attended Safeguarding Panel or Safeguarding Coordinator Training in the past 3 years:
  • Leadership Safeguarding Training: Complete within 6 months of it first being offered
  • Complete Leadership Training no less frequently than every 5 years thereafter

Timeframe for initiating compliance pathway for other Church Roles

New in role

All those undertaking regulated work (paid or voluntary)
  • Introductory Safeguarding Training: Before starting or within 3 months of taking on role
Safeguarding Coordinators
  • Introductory Safeguarding Training: Before starting in post
  • Advanced Safeguarding Training: Before starting in post
Safeguarding Panel Members and Interim Moderators
  • Introductory Safeguarding Training: Before starting in post or within 3 months of taking on role
  • Advanced Safeguarding Training: Before starting in post or within 6 months of taking on role
Trustees

(Trustees who are also safeguarding coordinators and/or panel members need only attend the Introductory and Advanced Safeguarding Training module)

  • Trustee Safeguarding Training: Before starting in office or within 3 months of becoming a trustee

Currently in role and not attended training in the last 5 years

All those undertaking regulated work (paid or voluntary)
  • Introductory Safeguarding Training: Complete by 30 June 2023
Safeguarding Coordinators
  • Advanced Safeguarding Training: Complete by 30 June 2023
Safeguarding Panel Members and Interim Moderators
  • Advanced Safeguarding Training: Complete by 30 June 2023
Trustees

(Trustees who are also safeguarding coordinator and/or panel members need only attend the Introductory and Advanced Safeguarding Training module)

  • Trustee Safeguarding Training: Complete by 30 June 2023

Refresher Training

All Church roles should complete the highest level of training previously completed no less frequently than every 5 years thereafter.

Available Safeguarding Training courses

All Congregational Safeguarding Training (Introductory, Coordinator and Trustee) is organised at presbytery level and not directly through the Safeguarding Service. The Safeguarding Service is not always informed of training that is taking place so please get in touch with your presbytery contact If you require Safeguarding training and to find out more.

If you have any further questions please email the Safeguarding Training Officer.

Aberdeen and Shetland

Abernethy

Angus

Annandale and Eskdale

Ardrossan

Argyll

Ayr

Buchan

Caithness

Clyde

Dumfries and Kirkcudbright

Dundee

Dunkeld and Meigle

Duns

(Courses available: 2)Edinburgh and West Lothian

Introductory Safeguarding training

Date: Wednesday 29 June, 2022

Time: 19:00
Details:

In person at Blackburn and Seafield Parish Church, 5 MacDonald Gardens, Blackburn, Bathgate EH47 7RE

Introductory Safeguarding Training

Date: Saturday 2 July, 2022

Time: 10:00
Details:

To be held remotely via Zoom.

Your presbytery contact is: Pres Edinburgh and West Lothian

England

Falkirk

Forth Valley and Clydesdale

Fife

Glasgow

Gordon

International Presbytery

Inverness

Irvine and Kilmarnock

Jedburgh

Jerusalem

Kincardine and Deeside

Lewis

Lochaber

Lochcarron-Skye

Lothian

Melrose and Peebles

Moray

Orkney

Perth

Ross

Stirling

Sutherland

Uist

Wigtown and Stranraer