Core Safeguarding Learning Pathways and Specialist Module overview

A more detailed summary of each of the following courses can be viewed here.  Please note the Safeguarding Learning and Development Framework 2021 was published on 23 April 2021.  We are currently updating these pages to reflect any necessary changes.

Complete the Basic Awareness and Foundation Modules online here.

View the face-to-face training modules delivered by the Diocesan safeguarding team, and book your attendance, here.


Core safeguarding learning pathways (Basic Awareness, Foundation and Leadership) have been developed as a modular programme which builds learning according to role. Therefore, these pathways should be completed in consecutive order until an individual has reached the required highest level of learning for their role. Additional safeguarding learning pathways have been developed to further enhance safeguarding knowledge in specific practice areas, or for specific roles

The level of the Core Module to which you are expected to undertake will determine which other modules you will need to have previously undertaken. i.e.

  • Basic Awareness - if you are only required to undertake a Basic Awareness module, you will only need to repeat that training once every three years.
  • Foundation - if you are required to undertake a Foundation module, you must also have completed a Basic Awareness module at least once. You then need to repeat the Foundation training every three years.
  • Leadership - anyone required to undertake this module must ensure they have also completed a Basic Awareness and Foundation module at least once. The Leadership module must then be repeated every three years.

It is a requirement that anyone required to complete any of the Core training modules must have obtained the Basic Awareness module at least once.

Core Safeguarding Learning Pathways

The core learning pathways are a modular programme with the level of learning required being determined by the role and responsibilities of individuals. Those who hold positions of responsibility will require more in-depth learning than those who do not. For example, a member of clergy will require learning to Leadership level whereas a volunteer who is acting as an additional adult at a youth group session would require learning to Foundation level.

No accreditation is given against the core safeguarding learning pathways for prior learning, including in other denominations (except for the Methodist Church Foundation module). This is due to Church core safeguarding learning pathways situating safeguarding practice within the unique context of the Church of England and providing participants with the opportunity to relate their learning to their faith.

The Basic and Foundation pathways provide the essential learning necessary to recognise, respond, record, and refer safeguarding concerns. The Leadership and Senior Leadership pathways explore effective leadership behaviours and organisational culture issues in depth. However further learning may also be needed for some. Beyond the requirements of core safeguarding pathways, additional pathways – covering a range of subject areas – have been developed.

The Basic Awareness and Foundation have both now been accredited by The CPD Certification Service. CPD stands for Continuing Professional Development (CPD) and is the term used to describe the learning activities professionals engage in to develop and enhance their abilities. It enables learning to become conscious and proactive, rather than passive and reactive.

Basic Awareness

  • All Church Officers
  • Anyone going on to complete any other safeguarding learning pathway.

Visit the website and view the instructions to help you in signing up.


  • Anyone holding the Bishop’s licence, commission, authorisation, or permission (clergy, PtO, Readers, LLMs). 
  • Anyone in a role which involves work with children, young people, or vulnerable adults. 
  • Churchwardens. 
  • Anyone going on to complete any other safeguarding learning pathway. 
  • Pre-ordination or license students, prior to BAP or selection Panel. 
  • Vergers. 
  • PCC Members / Lay Chapter Members. 
  • Staff at Theological Education Institutions with student facing roles. 
  • Members of the Diocesan Safeguarding Advisory Panel. 

Visit the website and view the instructions to help you in signing up.


This is designed for those people who play a lead role in shaping the culture of the Church body concerned. This will always include: 

  • All clergy holding the Bishop’s licence, commission, authorisation, or permission (including PtO where exemption has not been given) including Honorary/Assistant Bishops and Chaplains. 
  • All Readers and Licensed Lay Ministers holding the Bishop’s licence (under Canons E6 & E8), together with all others who hold the Bishop’s commission, authorisation, or permission to carry out similar ministerial functions (including PtO where exemption has not been given). (Ordinands need to have completed the Leadership Pathway before their diaconal ordination and lay ministers in training before they are licensed.) 
  • Non-executive members of Chapter (unless their role in the diocese requires a higher level). 
  • Safeguarding Officers / Leads in all Church bodies. 
  • Teaching staff at Theological Education Institutions who are delivering the Leadership Pathway.

It should also, according to the local context, include such other people who significantly influence the culture of that Church body. These may include, for example, lay ministry staff employed by a PCC or BMO, locally appointed leaders of new worshipping communities, focal ministers, and Churchwardens*. The requirements for attendance for people in local leadership roles will be determined by agreement between the Bishop/Dean and their respective safeguarding adviser. Where there is a determination that someone must undertake this pathway, that person then becomes a required attendee.

* Whilst in many contexts the level of influence of Churchwardens may well not reach the threshold, it should be noted that this can increase significantly during vacancies.

At the point that in-person learning can resume, and the Senior Leadership Pathway is able to commence via in-person delivery, this pathway also becomes a required pre-requisite for those required to attend the Senior Leadership Pathway

Available dates can be booked via the Diocesan Training Portal here.

Specialist Modules

Safer Recruitment & People Management accessed via the Church of England Training Portal 

  • Required for those with responsibility for administering DBS, Clergy and those with recruitment responsibilities (for example designated members of PCCs or members of staff who regularly sit on interview panels), Senior staff where they are involved in recruitment, Diocesan/Parish/Cathedral Safeguarding Officers, Safeguarding Leads on PCC/within Religious Communities/within TEIs.

Responding to Domestic Violence 

  • Required for anyone holding the Bishop's Licence or Permission to Officiate, Spiritual Directors, Bishops Visitors, Pastoral Visitors, Leaders of children/adults activities, Diocesan/Parish/Cathedral Safeguarding Officers

Diocesan Safeguarding Training Portal - Book your training place

The Diocesan Safeguardaing Training Portal is provided to help those that need to undertake training to book their place on a course offered by the Diocese.

The courses on offer will typically include those modules where there isn't an option to complete the module online (as in the case with the Basic Awareness, Foundation and Safer Recruitment & People Management modules).

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Page last updated: 27th September 2021 5:44 PM
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