Safeguarding Awareness Training - Important Information

15th March 2011

The following is the text from an email that was sent to all GSLs and Group Contacts on 11 March 2011:

Dear GSLs & Group Contacts,

You will be aware from information that has been circulated from SHQ, UKHQ and Clyde Region that during the latter half of 2010, The Scout Association introduced a requirement for all adults who are subject to a 5 year appointment review, to undergo Safeguarding Awareness Training as part of the preparation for the consideration of their appointment renewal.

Below, is some important information about why this change has been introduced which I would ask you to take time to read.

Why has this change been made?

The Association reviews its safeguarding arrangements constantly and following a formal internal review and external advice from the NSPCC, it was decided that training in safeguarding should be an on-going requirement, as it is with first aid. The issues facing Scouters in keeping young people safe are changing all the time and it's essential that we provide up to date training.

Who is responsible for ensuring adults have completed the training?

The appointee's line manager, which for the majority of adults in Scouting is their Group Scout Leader or Group Contact will need to check that those they review have completed the training; as they do for First Response (and Disclosure checks). Form AR reflects this. It is therefore your responsibility to remind adults in your Group that they require to register for a Safeguarding Awareness Course.

Who is responsible for ensuring that training is available?

Clyde Region's Safeguarding Awareness Co-ordinators are provide training sessions meeting the objectives and can offer advice about the NSPCC Keeping Children Safe package.

The training will be offered in each District, once every year, between September and June. You do not necessarily have to attend the training in your District, you can attend the one on the most convenient date for you.

How should we record this safeguarding training?

Following completion of the training, the staff in the Regional Office will record it on the adults record on the membership database at scouts.org.uk

Which appointments does this rule apply to?

All those subject to an appointment review - essentially anyone who holds an appointment except for Scout Active Support and those in elected roles.

How is this training different to the safeguarding training delivered in Module 1?

Module 1 provides basic knowledge and information for Adults in Scouting regarding their role and responsibilities in respect of safeguarding young people. This training is delivered by specialist trainers who are equipped with a deeper knowledge of the subject matter. It supplements and builds on the training given in Module 1, so adults have more confidence in their safeguarding roles and responsibilities.

How long does this training take?

Participants in the NSPCC Keeping Children Safe package can complete the training at their own pace. Training workshops would normally be expected to last about 2-3 hours.

What should be checked at review?

Adults need to be able to demonstrate that they have completed safeguarding training during the period since their last review. Form AR has been amended to assist.

External courses can be used in 'exceptional circumstances' - what are these?

Our preference is a session with a Safeguarding Awareness Co-ordinator or participation in the NSPCC Keeping Children Safe package. When this is not seen as a viable option, external courses (such as those offered by local authorities) may be a suitable way to meet this training obligation, subject to the prior approval of the Head of Safeguarding.

I am a police officer / social worker / teacher. Why should I have to be trained again?

Professional training for the likes of police officers, Social Workers or teachers will not have any Scouting context. For example, a specialist police officer will have a detailed understanding of the law and investigative techniques, but will not (by virtue of their professional background) have an understanding of what the Association's stance is in respect of alcohol on activities or best practice in terms of the Yellow Card.

Why should I have to do the same training every five years?

Safeguarding training is constantly reviewed and our understanding of the issues faced by young people change over time. The content of this training will, therefore, change to reflect this. Best practice suggests that those completing online training for one appointment review may benefit from doing an alternative method for the following one - but this is likely to be affected by local priorities.

What happens if my leaders do not complete the training?

Any adult who does not complete the Safeguarding Awareness Training cannot continue to be involved in Scouting. They will have their appointment cancelled for failing to comply with the rules of The Scout Association.

If you have any queries in relation to this, please don't hesitate to contact me, your District Commissioner or one of our Safeguarding Awareness Coordinators.

Author: Gary Bainbridge

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