Safeguarding training

Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility. Core safeguarding training modules aim to promote a safer church across church communities from members of our congregations to our senior leaders. Whilst for some, completion of safeguarding training is an expectation as we strive to achieve best practice, for others it is a mandatory requirement for the role that they fulfill. Some form of safeguarding training should take place at least once every three years. You can find the latest safeguarding training and development practice guidance on the Church of England website.

Over the past few years, the National Church have been updating and improving the safeguarding training available to clergy, church officers, parish employees and volunteers. In addition to the Safeguarding Awareness Course (previously C0) being online and free, the the next level of training, the Safeguarding Foundation (previously C1) is now also available free and online through the Safeguarding Training portal.

We know that not everyone has access to the internet, or to a computer or other device on which they can complete the online training. We also recognise that at the moment it is probably not possible for those people to sit with someone else to complete the training on their computer or to attend a parish training session. Once things return to normal, and we can once again hold training in parish and deanery settings, face-to-face sessions can be arranged and Safeguarding Trainer, Emma Parslow, will welcome offers of support from Parish Safeguarding Officers willing to deliver the Basic Awareness or Foundation training in their parish to those without online access.

Safeguarding Awareness Course

The Safeguarding Awareness Course (Previously C0) is now available to anyone in the church to access online, 

The course gives an overview of what safeguarding is, and why it is important in the church and in our communities. It could be helpful for parents and carers to access the training for example, so that they understand how the church protects and cares for children and adults who may be vulnerable to abuse.

Whilst this course is mandatory for anyone needing a DBS check for their role, we recommend that all church volunteers complete this training so that they know what their legal responsibilities are if they witness something or are told about something which may need a safeguarding response. We understand that volunteers’ time is precious but if all our volunteers, from PCC members to side persons, bell ringers to organists were prepared to spend that extra hour going through the training materials the church and our communities would be safer places for everyone, as everyone would have an understanding of how to keep themselves and other people safe from abuse.

The other advantage of this training is that it is now accredited and can be used as evidence of having completed a safeguarding awareness course, for many other settings. Bell ringers for example can evidence to the Ringers Association that they have completed the training; people volunteering for a local charity could present the certificate to show they have completed an accredited safeguarding awareness training.

Safeguarding Foundation training

The next level of training, also available free and online through the portal is the Safeguarding Foundation (previously C1) which has been improved and strengthened to also include some of the important materials from the Safeguarding Leadership course, meaning that many people who needed to attend the Leadership Course previously do not now need to. The Foundation course is mandatory for any person in the Church in a Leadership role, or needing a DBS check indicating that they work with or have responsibility for the wellbeing of children and/or adults who may be at risk of harm and abuse. Anyone else who has completed the Basic Awareness course and wishes to attend further safeguarding training, even though it is not mandatory for their church role can also log in on the portal to complete the Foundation Training.  Those people in leadership or child/adult at risk roles who should complete the Foundation training (having already done Basic Awareness) include churchwardens, children’s helpers, tower captains, pastoral home visitors and parish safeguarding officers as well as all clergy and readers.

Leadership training

The lockdown meant that the Leadership course had to be reconfigured to be delivered on Zoom, and the National Team took the opportunity to change the training completely, and make it more focused on the theology of safeguarding, as well as what to do if you are the person with responsibility for safeguarding in your parish. The Zoom version is 2 sessions a week apart, with a workbook to complete to confirm your understanding of the safeguarding issues, and which can also be a helpful future resource. This is at present only available to clergy, readers, cathedral canons and parish safeguarding officers.

Now that Emma Parslow, Safeguarding Trainer is in post, she will contact people whose Leadership training is due for a refresher, and arrange for them to attend the relevant sessions.

Who to contact

Emma Parslow, Safeguarding Trainer


Training Guidance

Safeguarding Course Booking Form