Section 2 - Appointing a Designated Safeguarding Person

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Last updated: 15 July 2021
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2.1     Each community must appoint a Designated Safeguarding Person (DSP)

               2.1.1 The DSP must not be the Leader of the community.  They need not be a safeguarding professional but must be able to demonstrate an aptitude for the role.

            2.1.2 In exceptional circumstances, an external DSP may be appointed, this must be done in conjunction with the DSA.

2.2   The DSP must be trained in safeguarding at the leadership pathway level and take day-to-day responsibility for safeguarding practice, awareness raising and ensuring there is safeguarding training provision in place. 

        2.2.1 In a recognised community, the DSP is responsible for establishing links with the DSA in the diocese where the main community house is based.  It is accepted that there may be some differences in local practice, and these should be reflected in the local arrangements - for example, where a community has houses in different dioceses.   

       2.2.2 In an acknowledged community, the DSP will be responsible for establishing links with a lead DSA (normally from the area where the Episcopal Visitor is based) for the purposes of making a connection, acknowledging that any safeguarding reports will be made to the DSA in the diocese where the incident occurred. This must be clarified in the local arrangements.

      2.2.3 The DSP may be trained to co-train alongside the DSA.   

2.3    The DSP is the person to whom all concerns must be reported, unless the concerns are about the DSP, in which case they be reported directly to the DSA.  In an emergency situation, first contact should always be with the police or social services. 

2.4  The DSP must report all allegations or concerns to the DSA in the first instance (see section 6 later).

 2.5 The DSP must discuss all safeguarding matters, including ongoing cases, preventative measures and embedding a safeguarding culture with the Leader at regular meetings.

2.6   The DSP will help facilitate the culture change referred to previously by taking a risk based, preventative approach, proportionate and appropriate for their community.  


Guidance for Section 2

The role of the DSP is to provide advice and support to all members of the community, including leaders, guests and visitors. They should liaise with the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser to secure training for members and for advice on dealing with reports.  The DSP will be the first point of contact for any concerns which are raised (see section 6 later). A template person specification/roles and responsibilities is included at Appendix A.


One key aspect of the DSP role will be to help develop the organisational culture and promote a healthy, safer community.  The role is not simply about reacting to situations, but proactively identifying and mitigating risks where these exist, having open discussions about behaviour, regular meetings with the Leader and helping to embed safeguarding throughout the life of the community. In other words, enabling the culture change referred to under Section 1 to take place.  This is an ongoing process, and can be started by having honest discussions about culture, seeking advice from the DSA, undertaking the training courses and using the tools and resources available on the Church of England website.[1],[2] A self-audit tool is available at Appendix B. This is not designed to be exhaustive and deals only with the implementation of the policy.  Once the policy is implemented, thought will need to be given as to how to evaluate the policy, ie, how to know it is working and making a difference. 

The reason for establishing a relationship with one “lead” DSA  for acknowledged communities or where there are multiple community houses, is to act as a point of reference in terms of keeping up-to-date, being made aware of national changes, and any queries about general practice or training.  The DSP may wish to have regular check-in sessions with the DSA, and should undergo an induction on appointment.  Where it is relevant, this should be in addition to links with local DSAs, to whom any actual concerns need to be reported