PCCs have a duty to report serious safeguarding incidents to the Charity Commission. Here is our guidance
Reporting serious incidents to the Charity Commission
The national church and the Charity Commission have issued guidelines that set out how serious incidents which affect the reputation of the church should be reported. The guidelines mention two categories of incident
- A serious safeguarding incident
- Other serious incidents including fraud, data protection breach and other crime.
As trustees of the local church, the PCC is already obliged to report serious incidents but now you need to follow the new guidance which is set out here PCCs (Parochial Church Councils): Explanatory Note
The church has agreed that serious safeguarding incidents are reported on PCC’s behalf by the Diocesan Board of Finance. PCCs need to report other serious incidents themselves.
What you need to do
If you haven't already at your next PCC meeting you may wish to use the template: PCC Template Delegations to formally agree on who on your PCC decides what is a serious incident and makes the report.
Serious safeguarding incidents will be ones that would involve the Diocesan Safeguarding team and would tend to be major incidents of abuse, suspected abuse or wrongdoing. If you had such an incident you should have already been in touch with the team and they will guide you through the reporting process.
Other serious incidents include fraud, theft, data protection breach, a significant loss of money and other criminal activity. We suspect that if these occurred you would also want to contact St James House for advice and we would be able to help you through the process.
The guidance notes
For more information about serious incident reporting and what you need to do then you can read the guidance notes on the parish resources website
If in doubt
The best people to contact are
Andy Holmes, Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser for Safeguarding - firstname.lastname@example.org
Pamela Ambrose for all other incidents email@example.com