Parish Safeguarding Checklist

We want to make it easier for parishes to fulfil their safeguarding responsibilities correctly. We have designed this section to have all the information you need.

Creating a safeguarding culture
Churches need to recognise that the few people who are determined to harm children or adults, deliberately seek out groups or organisations where they can meet children or other vulnerable people.

The church is particularly vulnerable to these people. So you need to create and maintain a safeguarding culture that will discourage them from becoming involved for the wrong reasons. You need to make it difficult for them to harm or abuse children or adults if they do get involved.

If you follow this checklist then you will be doing the right things to create a strong safeguarding culture in your church.

Read and follow the links below and download and print our two page checklist so you and your PCC can stay on track.
Adopt and Implement
Your need to adopt and implement

Your PCC needs to record they have adopted these in their minutes. They need to do this every year.
Your PCC needs to appoint
  • at least one appropriately experienced designated Parish Safeguarding Officer to work with the incumbent and PCC.

This Parish Safeguarding Officer should be a lay person. The Parish Safeguarding Officer should be supported, trained and given a copy of the parish safeguarding policy and procedures. You can find a model job description here

Model Job Description
  • One person known as a Lead Recruiter to be the DBS administrator for church officers who work with children or vulnerable adults.  

    Churches can also appoint an additional recruiter to assist with this work.
Safer Recruitment, Support and Training
You need to make sure that all church officers who work with children, young people and/or vulnerable adults are:
  • recruited following the House of Bishops’ Safer Recruitment practice guidance;
  • aware of and work to House of Bishops’ safeguarding guidance 
  • attend diocesan safeguarding training at least every three years;
You need to make sure that PCC members, as trustees of a charity, have a criminal record check 

You should provide appropriate insurance to cover for all activities undertaken in the name of the PCC which involve children and vulnerable adults:

More on Safer Recruitment

Read the national guidance here

See our pages on Safer Recruitment

Display good information
Your church should prominently disolay twp pieces of information
  1. Display A Safer Church Poster which should include contact details of the Parish Safeguarding Team – including phone, email and website details
  1. Information about where to get help with child and adult safeguarding issues, domestic abuse and key helplines e.g. ChildLine

You will also need to provide access to a hard copy Parish Safeguarding Handbook
Be responsive
You need to create an environment, which is welcoming and respectful and enables safeguarding concerns to be raised and responded to openly, promptly and consistently. You can do this by
  • Making sure everyone is aware of how to respond well to victims/survivors of abuse
  • Having a procedure in place to deal promptly with safeguarding allegations or suspicions of abuse. This needs to follow  the relevant policy and practice guidance and iyou should consult the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser
  • Reporting all safeguarding concerns or allegations against church officers to the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser;
  • Ensuring that known offenders or others who may pose a risk to children and/or vulnerable adults are effectively managed and monitored in consultation with the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser;
  • Comply with all data protection legislation especially in regard to storing information about the ‘church workforce’. Including volunteers and any safeguarding records;
  • Ensure that an “activity risk assessment” is completed and reviewed regularly for each activity, which is associated with either children or vulnerable adults, and run in the name of the Church. 

    Risk Assessment template
  • Be aware of Serious Incident  Reporting. This is the need and procedures to report serious safeguarding and non-safeguarding incidents to the Charity Commission.
Review and report progress
Your Parish Safeguarding Officer should regularly report on safeguarding in the parish.

You should make Safeguarding a standing agenda item at each PCC meeting.

At the Annual Parochial Church Meeting PCC should provide an annual report in relation to safeguarding.

In the PCC’s annual report will be a statement which reports on progress and a statement as to whether or not the PCC has complied with the duty to have “due regard” to the House of Bishops’ guidance in relation to safeguarding

Making it Easier

In this section

Download the checklist

Hiring out part of your Church Hall

Any hire agreement with any person/body wishing to hire church premises must contain a provision whereby the person/body hiring the premises agrees to comply with the relevant safeguarding guidance issued by the House of Bishops and the Diocese of Liverpool

The hire agreement should also contain a provision whereby all those hiring church premises are required to ensure that children and vulnerable adults are protected at all times, relevant staff have had appropriate DBS checks and that all reasonable steps have been taken to prevent injury, illness, loss or damage occurring.

(see model hire agreement)

You must make sure that all those hiring church premises carry full public liability insurance for this, or are covered through the church insurance (for example hire for a children’s party).

If working in a Local Ecumenical Partnership

If working within Local Ecumenical Partnerships (LEPs), you need to agree which denomination or organisation’s safeguarding policy to follow, This will include where to seek advice in urgent situations in line with the practice guidance.

This decision should be ratified by the other appropriate church leaders in the partnership and shared with the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser;. If you have a specific safeguarding concern, make sure that all the LEP partners are notified.

Irrespective of this choice you must report all abuse cases in a Church of England setting to the Diocesan Safeguarding Team.

If you are in a vacancy

During a vacancy the PCC must, working with the churchwardens, ensure that all information about safeguarding matters is securely stored before passing the information on to the new incumbent.

The departing incumbent must give the safeguarding information to the Parish Safeguarding Officer who can pass the information on to the new incumbent when he/she takes up their new role.