Policy & practice guidance

All the policy and practice guidance on this page has been approved by the House of Bishops and must, where relevant, be followed by all Church Bodies* and Church Officers**.

Please note under section 5 of the Safeguarding and Clergy Discipline Measure 2016*** all authorised clergy, bishops, archdeacons, licensed readers and lay workers, churchwardens and PCCs must have 'due regard' to safeguarding guidance issued by the House of Bishops (this will include both policy and practice guidance). A duty to have 'due regard' to guidance means that the person under the duty is not free to disregard it but is required to follow it unless there are cogent reasons for not doing so. ('Cogent' for this purpose means clear, logical and convincing.) Failure by clergy to comply with the duty imposed by the 2016 Measure may result in disciplinary action.

*Church Bodies includes PCCs, diocesan bodies, cathedrals, religious communities, theological training institutions and the National Church Institutions. This policy will apply to the whole of the provinces of Canterbury and York (including the Diocese in Europe subject to local variations/modifications). There is also an expectation that the policy will apply to the Channel Islands and Sodor and Man unless there is specific local legislation in a jurisdiction that would prevent adoption.

**A "Church Officer" is anyone appointed/elected by or on behalf of the Church to a post or role, whether they are ordained or lay, paid or unpaid.

***The Safeguarding and Clergy Discipline Measure 2016 applies to the whole of the provinces of Canterbury and York (including the Diocese in Europe subject to local variations/modifications), with the exception of the Channel Islands and Sodor and Man. In order to extend the 2016 Measure to the Channel Islands or Sodor and Man legislation will need to be passed by the relevant island jurisdictions in accordance with section 12 of that Measure.

Practice Guidance

For templates and resources relating to safeguarding policy and practice guidance, including those referenced in the Parish Safeguarding Handbook and Safer Working Practice, please see here. 

Past Cases Review 2 (PCR2)

Responding Well

Safer Recruitment


Serious Incident Reporting

The Church has worked with the Charity Commission to agree bespoke guidance for DBFs, PCCs and Religious Communities on how to identify and report a Serious Incident. 

The Charity Commission updated its guidance on 14 June 2019 to require all individual Serious Incident reports to be submitted to it using an online form. In addition, all bulk reports must now be made using a Charity Commission template form and a bespoke template has been created for DBFs.

The Church of England’s bespoke guidance on Serious Incident Reporting has now been updated (version: 1 August 2019) and has been approved by the Charity Commission and by the National Safeguarding Steering Group.

The revised Church of England guidance also includes further advice/guidance from the Charity Commission on when you may need to report a Serious Incident in a partner organisation.


Other Key Guidance 

Joint Practice Guidance with The Methodist Church


Policy Statements