General Information about Safeguarding (FAQs)

General Safeguarding FAQs

What is safeguarding training?

Who needs safeguarding training?

What types of safeguarding training are there?

What are safeguarding levels?

What is the difference between safeguarding children and child protection?

What is safeguarding adults?

Who does safeguarding children apply to?

Who is responsible for safeguarding adults?

What defines a child in the UK?

What defines a child worldwide?

What is the difference between a vulnerable adult and an adult at risk?

Who does adult safeguarding apply to?

What defines an Adult at Risk?

How should safeguarding be set up in an organisation?

What is a Safeguarding Trustee?

How can management ensure their organisation is meeting it's safeguarding legal duty of care?

What is a lead or deputy for safeguarding?

What is Safer Recruitment?

What is a Single Central Record (SCR)?

How long is safeguarding training valid for?

Do I need safeguarding training?

Are safeguarding concerns confidential?

What difference does age make to safeguarding?

What is safeguarding training?

Simple Answer;

Safeguarding training teaches people to recognise what might be a safeguarding concern and what to do about it in their job role  

More Detail;

  • Safeguarding training should also cover:
  • Legislation and guidance
  • Recognition of abuse
  • How to respond to concerns and handling disclosures
  • Information sharing, consent, confidentiality, record keeping,
  • Who to contact when there is a safeguarding concern
  • Whistle blowing
  • The role of the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO, for child allegations in England and Wales) and social services for all other personnel allegations
  • Fulfilling legal safeguarding 'duty of care'
  • Safer practice and keeping children, young people and adults at risk safe

and meet the requirements of

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Who needs safeguarding training?

Simple Answer;

All those who work, paid or unpaid, directly with children, young people, adults at risk their families and carers

More Detail;

They should all have up to date safeguarding training appropriate to the job roles. This includes managers, Leads and Deputies for safeguarding, Charity Trustees, Company Directors and those who recruit personnel

For all these people, appropriate safeguarding training is available as online courses, face to face training (onsite or remotely) or a combination of the two (blended learning).

Those working at a higher level in safeguarding including those who may attend child or adult protection conferences etc require more specialist safeguarding training, which needs to be delivered face to face and as bespoke training.

All training should meet the requirements, where relevant, of the local Safeguarding Partnership, Board and/or Committee requirements  and local equivalents across the UK, including the Channel Islands.

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What types of safeguarding training are there?

Simple Answer;

Safeguarding training is available as complete online, courses, face to face training (either onsite or remotely) and as a combination of online courses and face to face or remote training (blended training).

More Detail;

The quality of safeguarding training varies immensely. Many generic training companies buy in their courses (both online and live), and do not have the knowledge or ability to keep them continuously up to date without paying the original supplier. Economics mean that the updates are therefore relatively infrequent, if they happen at all.

Most commercial training companies use "professional trainers" to deliver their live training. Whilst this means they are very good at presenting pre-prepared training courses, they are highly unlikely to have any experience of the subject itself or how it applies to the candidate

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What are safeguarding levels?

Simple Answer;

There are no levels nowadays, other than for health staff

More Detail;

The levels are detailed in Children and Young People: Roles and Competences for Health Care Staff and Adult Safeguarding: Roles and Competences for Health Care Staff

The levels refer to job roles and responsibilities with:

  • level one applying to all staff and
  • level two to all clinical and non-clinical staff who (however small) have contact with children, young people and/or parents/carers, adult patients, or any adult who may pose a risk to children
  • level 3 is for those in the above group who could become involved in ongoing safeguarding issues
  • levels 4 and 5 are for specialist roles

SAFEcic’s Standard online safeguarding training courses are appropriate for all Health level 1 and 2 roles, and the  Leading on online safeguarding training courses are  suitable for most level 3 positions (e.g. safeguarding lead in a dental surgery, opticians, etc). They are available online, blended and face to face

However, some level 3 job roles (e.g. those in hospitals) require some additional training which is not suitable for delivery purely by online courses but can be delivered face to face

Safeguarding training for higher level positions (above Level 3)   are professionally sensitive. They cannot adequately be delivered via standard online courses and will be provided by trainers who also have the competences to be delivered. They would need to be blended (online plus live training) or face to face training. The face to face aspect can be delivered either onsite or remotely

Any training provider that offers levels of safeguarding training for sectors outside health is out of date. Credible providers have multi agency experts (from Police, Social Care, Education and Health) who would not refer to levels and would fully understand the safeguarding requirements of all sectors and job roles

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What is the difference between safeguarding children and child protection?

Simple Answer;

Safeguarding refers to everything we all do to keep children as safe as possible. Protection refers to the actions taken to protect children who may be at risk of harm

More Detail;

Safeguarding children is preventative. It is about creating a safer environment for children and young people (up to the age of 18 in the UK and 16 in Scotland in some circumstances) and minimising the risk of harm to them and when there is harm, stopping it continuing.

Everybody has a duty to safeguard children and young people, and all who manage, work, paid or unpaid, with children and young people, have a responsibility to undertake safeguarding training to help them with this.

Child protection is the response to an identified child safeguarding issue, i.e. the actions taken after a child or young person is known to have suffered or likely to suffer significant harm. Professions involved in child protection are Social Care Services, the Police and professionals in specialist positions e.g. those who attend child protection conferences and those who conduct rapid or serious case reviews.

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What Is Safeguarding Adults?

Safeguarding adults means protecting an adult’s right to live in safety, free from abuse and neglect.

More Detail;

Most adults are in a position to protect themselves but those who are not are defined as an adult at risk.

The Care Act 2014 defines an adult at risk as an adult who:

  • has needs of care and support (whether those needs are being met or not)
  • is experiencing, or at risk, of abuse or neglect and
  • as a result of those care and support needs is unable to protect themselves from either the risk of, or the experience of abuse of neglect.

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Who does safeguarding children apply to?

Simple Answer;

Everyone to keep all children and young people safe

More Detail;

According to the Children Act 1989, a child is anyone who has not reached their 18th birthday and it is everyone's responsibility to safeguard children. However, people who work directly with children and young people have additional legal responsibilities. Safeguarding training is intended to help them understand and discharge their legal and moral duty of care.

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Who is responsible for safeguarding adults?

Simple Answer;

Everyone to keep all adults at risk safe

More Detail;

Under the Care Act 2014 Care and Support Statutory Guidance, safeguarding adults at risk is everyone's responsibility to be alert to concerns and report those concerns to the local authority and/or the police. However, people who work directly with adults at risk have additional legal responsibilities. Safeguarding training is intended to help them understand and discharge their legal and moral duty of care.

Social care services, police and the health services have a legal responsibility to take any action required and provide appropriate services to protect individuals at risk of harm.

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What defines a child in the UK?

Simple Answer;

Anyone under 18

More Detail;

The answer according to law in the UK, is that a child is anyone who is not yet 18 years old. Once someone reaches the age of 18, they legally become an adult. In Scotland, there are some circumstances where legally people are treated as adult from the age of 16.

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What defines a child worldwide?

Simple Answer;

Anyone under 18

More Detail;

According to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), Article 1;

"For the purposes of the present Convention, a child means every human being below the age of 18 years unless under the law applicable to the child, majority is attained earlier."

This means that everyone under the age of 18 should be considered a child unless the laws that apply to that particular child (due to location or nationality) state they become an adult at an earlier age.

In practice, there are many countries which either have no laws which define a child (i.e. the same laws apply regardless of age) or do have laws which specify an age earlier than 18.


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What is the difference between a vulnerable adult and an adult at risk?

Simple Answer;

A Vulnerable Adult is anyone 18 and older who is vulnerable to abuse.

An Adult at Risk is anyone 18 and older who is vulnerable to abuse and is unable to protect themselves from abuse.

If there is a concern about a vulnerable adult who is able to protect themselves from abuse, they should be supported to keep themselves safe. If a crime has been committed against a vulnerable adult, it should be reported to the police, but it will only be a safeguarding issue if the adult involved is classified as an Adult at Risk.

More Detail;

The term vulnerable adult was used in the guidance No Secrets 2000 (now archived) as the term to define adults who needed care and protection and required social care and/or the police to take action if there were safeguarding concerns. No Secrets has been replaced by the Care Act 2014 which limits that requirement to "adults at risk", and not all "vulnerable adults".

An adult at risk is a person aged 18 or older who:

  1. has needs of care and support (whether those needs are being met or not)
  2. is experiencing, or at risk, of abuse or neglect and
  3. as a result of those care and support needs is unable to protect themselves from either the risk of, or the experience of abuse of neglect.

Section 42, Para 1 of The Care Act 2014

When there are safeguarding concerns about an adult at risk, a referral or alert should be made to social care and/ or the police without delay

It will be for social care and or the police to work with all adults, unless they lack mental capacity, to make decisions on how they want to be made safe.

Safeguarding training should refer to adults at risk, not vulnerable adults, and organisations should ensure their policies and procedures reflect the use of the term “adults at risk” and not “vulnerable adults”.

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Who does adult safeguarding apply to?

Simple Answer;

Everything everyone does to keep adults safe

More Detail;

Everybody has a duty to help safeguard adults. Professionals also have a legal obligation to safeguard adults at risk. Adult safeguarding training is designed to help them discharge both

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What defines an adult at risk?

An adult at risk is a person aged 18 or older who:

  1. has needs of care and support (whether those needs are being met or not)
  2. is experiencing, or at risk, of abuse or neglect and
  3. as a result of those care and support needs is unable to protect themselves from either the risk of, or the experience of abuse of neglect.

Section 42, Para 1 of The Care Act 2014


If an adult meets all of these requirements, there is a legal duty to ensure they are safeguarded. If they do not meet all of these but are still vulnerable, there is a duty to help them to keep themselves safe from abuse of all kinds.

Carers can be also be eligible for support in their own right and the threshold is based on the impact their caring role has on their wellbeing.

If a crime has been committed against a vulnerable adult, it should be reported to the police, but it will only be a safeguarding issue if the adult involved is classified as an Adult at Risk.

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How should safeguarding be set up in an organisation?

Simple Answer;

Safeguarding should be embedded in everything including policy and practices

More Detail;

All organisations, large or small, who work with children, young people and/or adults at risk, their families and carers;  need to ensure they can protect those they work with and for. They must take reasonable steps to protect people who come into contact with them through their work.

Safeguarding should be embedded throughout and run like a golden thread from the management board or committee, via all personnel through to clients and beneficiaries and back again

Each organisation should:

  • have appropriate policies and procedures in place which follow relevant legislation, statutory and good practice guidance.
  • ensure these procedures are understood and followed by all paid or unpaid personnel, including managers, governors, trustees, clients and beneficiaries
  • appoint a designated lead and a deputy for safeguarding and, as relevant, a trustee or director for safeguarding or a safeguarding governor for schools, academies and colleges
  • follow safe recruitment practice including relevant criminal records checks when appointing anyone paid, unpaid and including managers, trustees and governors
  • provide safeguarding induction training to all and relevant safeguarding training and update training as required
SAFEcic membership provides templates to establish these requirements and relevant safeguarding training for all organisations large or small.

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What is a Safeguarding Trustee?

Simple Answer;

The trustee who overseas safeguarding as part of their strategic portfolio

More Detail;

The Charity Commission for England and Wales state:

"Safeguarding should be a key governance priority for charities, not just those working with groups traditionally considered at risk."

"If something goes wrong in a charity, the trustees are accountable and the Commission expects the trustees to take responsibility for putting things right. This is why trustees should assure themselves that their safeguarding practices are robust."

                                                         Safeguarding and protecting people for charities and trustees 2019

All trustees have the same shared responsibility for safeguarding obligations, but best practice is for one trustee to be nominated to take responsibility for ensuring compliance.

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How can management ensure their organisation is meeting it's safeguarding legal duty of care?

Simple Answer;

In any organisation, it is ultimately the management's responsibility to ensure safeguarding compliance is kept continuously up to date. The simplest and most reliable way to do this is to commission safeguarding experts to look after the organisation's safeguarding needs.

More Detail;

All organisations, large or small, who work with children, young people and/or adults at risk, their families or carers; need to ensure they can protect those they work with and for. They must take reasonable steps to protect people who come into contact with them through their work.

Each organisation should:

  • have appropriate policies and procedures in place which follow relevant legislation, statutory and good practice guidance.
  • ensure these procedures are understood and followed by all paid or unpaid personnel, including managers, governors, trustees, clients and beneficiaries
  • appoint a designated lead, deputy for safeguarding and, as relevant, a trustee or director for safeguarding , safeguarding governor
  • follow safe recruitment practice including relevant criminal records checks when appointing anyone paid, unpaid and including managers, trustees and governors
  • provide safeguarding induction training to all and relevant safeguarding training and update training as required

SAFEcic membership provides templates to establish these requirements and relevant safeguarding training for all organisations large or small, including management briefings to help ensure management has the knowledge to ensure that their organisation is fully compliant.

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What is a lead or deputy for safeguarding?

Simple Answer;

The Lead for safeguarding manages safeguarding concerns and makes referrals to social services or the police. The deputy for safeguarding takes over these duties if the lead is not available.

More Detail;

Because of the nature of the Deputy's role (they may have to take action if the Lead is implicated), it is inappropriate that they should be related to, cohabiting with, or emotionally involved with the Lead.

In organisations which work with both children and adults at risk, these can have separate Leads and Deputies for each, but most organisations combine the two posts.

Both the Lead and Deputy should have appropriate current safeguarding training. This would be Standard Child and/or Standard Adult safeguarding training plus Leading on Child and/or Leading on Adult safeguarding training. They are available online, blended and face to face

Leads and Deputies should ensure all safeguarding policies and procedures are in place, current and adhered to by all personnel at all levels


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What is Safer Recruitment?


Simple Answer;

Safer recruitment is a process for interviewing and carrying out all diligent checks for all job roles

More Detail;

Section 11 of the Children Act 2004 places a duty on organisations and agencies to promote the welfare of children and safer recruitment is one of the areas included in the arrangements listed to do this. This is also the case for job roles working with adults at risk

Policies for safe recruitment should set out the requirements for appointing staff paid and unpaid where they will be working with children and young people and include:

  • the recruitment and selection process
  • pre-appointments and vetting checks and recording of information
  • other checks which may be necessary for all staff, paid or unpaid, including management, governors and trustees
  • appropriate recording of all information using a Single Central Record
  • safeguarding induction, supervision, safeguarding training and regular updating training

It is important that at least one person involved in the recruitment process has been trained in safer recruitment

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What is a Single Central Record (SCR)?

Simple Answer;

This is a comprehensive database to evidence and track the recruitment details of all personnel,

More Detail;

The SCR records  pre-appointment checks including Right to Work in the UK, ID checking, criminal records checks, professional qualifications and references. For education it is a statutory requirement for recording all staff paid and unpaid, including agency, third party supply staff and regular visitors. It is almost always electronic but can be a paper record and stored appropriately. It can be used for recording all recruitment data. Some organisations also use it to record professional development. It is important that at least one person involved in the recruitment process has been trained in safer recruitment


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How long is safeguarding training valid for?

How long is safeguarding training valid for?

Simple Answer;

Normally, online safeguarding training courses are valid for two years and face to face  or blended (online and live) safeguarding courses are valid for three years.

More Detail;

Good quality training courses always include evaluation feedback opportunities, idated certificates of attendance for face to face and blended . Online will issue certificates and have assessment tests, based on large datasets of questions, to test learning

SAFEcic’s online training certificates can all be verified on line as being genuine.

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Do I need safeguarding training?

Yes if you work or volunteer for an organisation delivering services or activities to children, young people, adults at risk, their families or carers

More Detail;

Whatever your job role: volunteer, staff, trustee, manager or governor, you will need training which is available online, blended and face to face. Additional safeguarding training should be taken  as individual roles and responsibilities required including: Trustees safeguarding, safer recruitment and International safeguarding.

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Are safeguarding concerns confidential?

Simple Answer;

No, confidentiality can never be promised

More Detail;

All who work paid or unpaid and in any capacity with children, young people and adults must follow their organisation’s safeguarding policy which should refer to confidentiality, consent and data protection. It is not always possible to gain consent to report safeguarding concerns. This should not stop anyone reporting  safeguarding concerns .  The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), Data Protection Act 2018 and the Human Rights Act  do not prevent information sharing if there are real safeguarding concerns.

The government has issued useful guidance Information sharing advice for safeguarding practitioners

Any member of the public who know or suspect a child or adult is at risk of harm should report to Social Care or dial 999 if a possible crime has been committed or there is risk of immediate harm.

If there is a risk of immediate harm dial 999


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What difference does age make to safeguarding?

Simple Answer;

Age makes no difference to everyone’s right to live in safety

More Detail;

Safeguarding is everyone's business and can be needed by anyone

Safeguarding and child protection duties apply to all children and young people under the age of 18, (in some cases 16 in Scotland)

Safeguarding duties for those 18 and over protect adults who are adults at risk because they:

  • have needs of care and support (whether those needs are being met or not)
  • are experiencing, or at risk, of abuse or neglect and
  • as a result of those care and support needs are unable to protect themselves from either the risk of, or the experience of abuse of neglect.

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