Section 7: Quality Assurance

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Last updated: 03 September 2021
Version: 1

The Church has committed to developing a set of National Safeguarding Standards as part of a quality assurance framework. The quality assurance framework under development will be a mechanism for:

  • Asking and answering the question: “How well are we doing this and what is the difference / outcome being achieved?”
  • Analysing the answers to this question to gain learning and deepen organisational safeguarding understanding and expertise.
  • Using that learned expertise to drive systematic change and continuous improvement in both the quality and impact of the activity, and to increase our knowledge and understanding of the evolving nature of church-based abuse.

Under the new quality assurance framework, statements to ascertain “What good looks like” will be developed for each of the standards.   One of the Standard areas to be developed is “Safeguarding expertise, supervision and support, management structures and governance”. Safeguarding Learning will be part of this area, and the Standard will focus on “Safeguarding learning can be evidenced to be transformative: it results in positive safeguarding behaviours by engaging people at the level of their beliefs, values and theology.”

Set out below are the “What good looks like” statements in respect of safeguarding learning which have been developed so far, and will be further developed  as work on the introduction of the quality assurance framework is taken forward as part of the IICSA Recommendation 1 and 8 projects.

  1. The safeguarding learning delivered is characterised by the following:
  • Based on a clear theoretical model of how people learn.
  • The design and methodologies used enable engagement at the level of people’s beliefs and values.
  • The voice and experience of victims and survivors is a key active ingredient of all safeguarding learning.
  • Theological principles are linked with safeguarding imperatives and values.
  • Opportunity for dialogue and self-reflexivity.
  • Developing a healthy Christian culture in Church bodies, and the relationship between culture and safeguarding, are golden threads.
  1. All Church bodies (parishes / dioceses / cathedrals / TEIs / religious communities) can evidence whether their safeguarding learning is impacting on participants’ behaviours.
  1. Participants of the Leadership / Senior Leadership Pathways can evidence changed behaviours in respect of safeguarding as a result of their completion of the Pathway.
  1. Participants of the Leadership / Senior Leadership Pathways will not be deemed to have successfully completed the Pathway until they have completed all elements including the evaluation stage.
  1. Safeguarding learning is co-led by facilitators who together can bring the required level of safeguarding and learning delivery/facilitation expertise.
  1. Church bodies  have in place a strategy for the involvement of survivors in learning pathways and can demonstrate how they have involved survivors in-person in the delivery of learning pathways.1
  1. Church officers are up to date with their safeguarding learning requirements.
  1. An adequate level of resource is secured to enable the required level of learning to be delivered.2

Supervision and on-going development of safeguarding trainers

  1. The national Church has in place a continuous professional development programme for those who deliver safeguarding learning pathways.
  1. Safeguarding trainers can evidence the positive impact of their learning from the development programme on their own practice.
  1. Those who deliver safeguarding training are observed – at least annually - to demonstrate an understanding of, and ability to deliver effectively, a range of learning methodologies.  
  • 1The National Safeguarding Team will support Church bodies in achieving this where possible and when appropriate. This is not always achievable, and not always suitable. What is critical is to incorporate survivor voice.
  • 2It is recognised by the NST/NSSG that that Diocesan Boards of Finance cannot always ‘just add’ suitable resource quickly and there will be Safeguarding related demands beyond training that will also need to be resourced.