Section 15 - Learning and Development

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Last updated: 15 July 2021
Version: 1

15.1 Safeguarding learning is mandatory for all posts that fall within the scope of this guidance. Learning requirements will vary according to role and responsibility as set out in the Safeguarding Learning and Development Framework

15.2 All those involved in the recruitment, appointment and management/supervision of roles that fall within the scope of this guidance must undertake training on Safer Recruitment and People Management

15.3 Local case studies and examples must be added to safeguarding training wherever possible

15.4 Basic and Foundation (where required) safeguarding training must be completed during the probation period.

15.5 All those who manage or supervise roles that fall within the scope of this guidance must ensure and be able to evidence that all relevant training for themselves and those they manage/supervise has been undertaken

15.6 Safeguarding training programmes must be delivered in accordance with the requirements of the Safeguarding Learning and Development Framework.

Good practice advice


An individual’s safeguarding competency is an ongoing development – it is not simply learning a set of actions and using checklists.  Safeguarding learning is essential for roles involving contact with children, young people and vulnerable adults, equipping individuals to have the confidence, knowledge and skills they need in order to care for and support people who are vulnerable, and to recognise and respond to safeguarding issues, including neglect and abuse.

Comprehensive learning packages help encourage a robust safeguarding culture and should reflect the national requirements for ensuring healthy safeguarding practices and responding well when issues arise. Training for roles needs to include safer working practices that emphasise the importance of consistently maintaining proper boundaries.


The Church of England has introduced learning pathways that are different in important aspects from what has gone before. There is an emphasis on learning being a journey rather than a one-off event, the use of a blend of learning methodologies, and a focus on personal reflection and dialogue.

The aim is that such pathways should be transformative, going beyond a change in process to affecting people at the level of beliefs and values to achieve behavioural change.    Training must be considered the start of the learning process, not the whole of it, and should be evaluated and followed up as appropriate through one-to-one meetings/supervision. 

The learning pathways cannot be modified but should be enhanced by incorporating local examples and case studies.  This helps provide context, cement the learning, and makes it more engaging.  This will also help ensure it applies to the whole range of church bodies.

Many bodies will have their own processes for tracking when refreshers of mandatory training are due, and they should be scheduled in good time to allow for annual leave commitments or any emergencies which arise. 

The requirement that training programmes must be delivered by a minimum of two people ensures that appropriate support can be given to those who may find the subject matter particularly distressing, as well as to allow for observation of any inappropriate behaviour or non-engagement.