National Safeguarding Policy and Practice Guidance

All the policy and practice guidance on the Church of England Safeguarding pages have been approved by the House of Bishops and must, where relevant, be followed by all Church Bodies* and Church Officers**.

The Church of England Policy and Practice Guidance web pages contain resources relating to; Practice Guidance, Responding Well, Past Cases Review, Safer Recruitment, Training, Serious Incident Reporting, Joint Practice Guidance and Policy Notes can be accessed on the Church of England website here. Copies are also included in the links below for your ease.

Duty to have 'Due Regard' 

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.

Please read this explanatory note for further informatiuon - Safeguarding Explanation of duty to have Due Regard - February 2020

Practice Guidance

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

Past Cases Review 2 (PCR2)

Protocols and practice guidance for the Church of England’s Past Cases Review 2, (PCR2) have been published on the Church of England Website. Individuals who wished to make representations to the PCR2 process or who need to come forward with information or make any disclosures regarding church related abuse are encouraged to make direct contact with their diocesan safeguarding adviser. 

NSPCC Helpline: However, recognising that this may not feel safe for those with a lived experience of abuse from within the church, a dedicated telephone helpline - 0800 80 20 20 - operated independently from the church, by the NSPCC, has been set up.

Anyone can use the helpline to provide information or to raise concerns regarding abuse within the Church of England context; whether they are reporting issues relating to children, adults or seeking to whistle blow about poor safeguarding practice.

Further PCR documentation is linked below.

Responding Well

Safer Recruitment & People Management (14.06.2021)


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 safeguarding Serious Incident.  

All individual Serious Incidents must be reported to the Charity Commission using the new online form, which can be accessed on their website

The Church of England’s bespoke guidance on safeguarding Serious Incident Reporting has now been updated (version 3: 1 March 2021) and has been approved by the Charity Commission and by the National Safeguarding Steering Group. 

The supporting FAQs and example template delegation resolutions have also been updated to support the revised guidance:

Any DBFs which bulk report Safeguarding Serious Incidents must use a Charity Commission bespoke template:

Other Key Guidance 

Joint Practice Guidance with The Methodist Church

Policy Statements



*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.

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Page last updated: 10th August 2021 5:14 PM
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