RSS Feed

The National Safeguarding Standards

The National Safeguarding Standards - What are they, and what do they mean for you and your Parochial Church Council (PCC)?

What are the National Safeguarding Standards?

  • The Church of England’s National Safeguarding Standards aim to create a mechanism for answering the question "How good is our safeguarding activity?"
  • There are five (5) Standards, which encompass all areas of safeguarding activity, and each Standard comes with a range of ‘What Good Looks Like’ indicators and numerous tools to help you and your parish ensure you are fulfilling your responsibilities under the House of Bishops Policies and Practice Guidance.
  • We have summarised the key areas of the Standards that you might find a useful place to start reading more on the Diocesan website here.

Is this more work my PCC has to do above and beyond what we do already?

  • No. The Standards do not reinvent what parishes are doing already, they simply build on the core functions already set out in the House of Bishops Policies and Practice Guidance.
  • Parishes are already required to follow House of Bishops Policy Practice Guidance, so these Standards do not bring in any new requirements to follow.
  • The House of Bishops Policy Practice Guidance leads to the actions that Parishes need to take (such as Risk Assessments and Safer Recruitment etc.), these Standards simply provide the tools to measure the safeguarding activity.
  • The Safeguarding Standards are themselves not the legal requirement, that is delivered through the House of Bishops Policy Practice Guidance. The Standards are a way of helping us to understand how well our actions and practices are meeting the House of Bishops Policy Practice Guidance. This means in most cases you will already be meeting the Standards.
  • The Standards are there to help us see what we are doing well already and what we need to work on.

What should you do next?

  • Please start by reading the materials produced, introducing and explaining the Standards.  Familiarise yourself with what has been shared on the National Church of England website (clicking here) and also on the Diocesan website here.
  • The National Safeguarding Team is entering a partnership with the parish Safeguarding Dashboard. This will enable the Dashboard to become fully integrated with the Standards, making it easier for parishes to explore them. If your parish is not already using the Safeguarding Dashboard, you are strongly encouraged to do so. If you’re not already using the Safeguarding Dashboard but wish to use it for your church safeguarding, please contact the Diocesan Safeguarding Team.
  • With your PCC, undertake a “Quality Assurance Self-Audit” using the Quality Assessment Self-Audit Tool (an MS Excel file) on the Church of England website here. Use the outcome of the audit to asses where you might wish to make improvements.

Join us for an online discussion about the Standards

  • We recognise that many parishes may still have questions or may just want to have the Standards and what is expected from their PCC explained further.
  • To support you, we will be hosting an online Zoom meeting where members of the Diocesan Safeguarding Team and Senior Diocesan colleagues will introduce the Standards and explain how they can be easily incorporated into your parish process to help you measure and develop your safeguarding activities.
  • The first session will be at 13.30 on 25 March 2024 you can book your place here Diocese of Ely (
  • Please feel free to invite colleagues from your parish to this session if you feel they would benefit.
  • We will also be holding a series of informal “drop-in” sessions over the coming weeks for anyone who wishes to ask any further questions on the Standards or any aspect of safeguarding in the parish, the dates for these will be published shortly, there is no need to book your place on these sessions.

A message from Bishop Dagmar, Bishop of Huntingdon and Acting Bishop of Ely

The National Safeguarding Standards are an important additional resource to all local church leaders to help identify and continuously improve on all aspects of our safeguarding work: not as paper exercises with which we need to comply but rather positively, to help us appreciate and affirm what good safeguarding practice looks like as well as making it easier for us to identify areas where further development is necessary.

Therefore, please make sure each Parochial Church Council (PCC), whose members are the Trustees responsible for delivering good standards of safeguarding, is enabled to engage with the materials, and that local church leaders use the Standards to inform their safeguarding planning work.

The Diocesan Safeguarding team also remains available to help support you and answer any questions you may have about making use of these Standards locally.

Thank you for all you do, and may God bless you as we strive to develop further welcoming and life-affirming communities in which we “speak out for those who cannot speak, for the rights of all who are vulnerable” (Proverbs 31:8) and care for one another.



With continued thanks for all the essential work our parish colleagues continue to do.

Page last updated: Friday 8th March 2024 10:43 AM
First published on: 8th March 2024
Powered by Church Edit