Safeguarding training update – August 2022

Author: Ruth Walker

Published on: 5 September 2022

Where has this year gone? Here we are entering the Autumn, and what this time last year felt like a new Training Plan to be delivered, is now well very well established, and planning for next year already well underway!

So, once again I would like to sincerely thank all of those enthusiastic participants who have engaged in our Safeguarding Pathways so far, as well as shown such commitment to Safeguarding within our Church Communities.

We have experienced some tremendous participative interaction in many of the sessions already facilitated, and I would also like to acknowledge all those individuals within Parishes who have been so receptive as well as encouraging in supporting and assisting others to engage and undertake Safeguarding Training appropriate to the various Parish roles.

Following the introduction of the new ‘Safeguarding Leadership Pathway’ last year, and the new ‘Permission to Officiate Pathway’ (PtO) introduced in October 2021, the training sessions continue to be undertaken via Zoom. However, a small number of PtO Pathway Training sessions were planned during the year, to take place in person at Diocesan House, the first of which was facilitated in April, and another in July. There was certainly lively interaction and contribution, and attendees valued the opportunity to meet face to face, benefitting from the experience and reflections of others.

Since the new ‘Parish Safeguarding Officer Induction’ sessions were introduced and facilitated at the start of the year, we have run monthly Saturday morning sessions. Initially, due to further Covid restrictions, the sessionshad to be held via Zoom in January, February and March. However, since April, the PSO Inductions have been held at Diocesan House, and all those attending appear to have valued the networking opportunity. The inductions to date have evaluated well, and it has been recognised that perhaps previously, PSO opportunities such as this had not been readily available, and were now found to be a valuable source of support, information and sharing of experience.

Further details and forthcoming dates for the Safeguarding Leadership Pathway, Permission to Officiate Pathway and PSO Induction sessions are available on the Diocesan website:

The Safeguarding Learning & Development Framework was updated in 2021, and is available to view on the Safegurading Training page of the Diocesan website. This provides the framework for safeguarding learning and development across all Church of England communities. However, the many changes from previous training requirements have sadly in some cases caused an element of angst, and at times, even resistance to undertaking training. The requirements set out are not set by our own Diocese, nor by the Bishop of Norwich, but by the House of Bishops, and this also includes the format, methodology and delivery of safeguarding training.

However, I would like to share with you some feedback I have received in relation to completing safeguarding training from one or two participants who have kindly agreed to let me share their comments:

“I have to confess that I begrudged completing the C0 and C1 courses I had attended in 2016, especially when it became apparent that this involved doing the complete updated versions of both courses. But they were interesting and not hard to do… I am now glad I did the basic and foundation courses, and even the PTO Pathway course. They have taken a new meaning and urgency for me, and I am fully convinced of the importance of safeguarding and of the safeguarding team.”

“I thought the day would just be another box ticking experience, but other participants’ experiences were also helpful and made me aware that we have a long way to go in relation to how we bring members of society to a fuller understanding of what safeguarding truly means.”

“Although quite a commitment, it was a pleasure to engage in the training which is, as always, of a far higher standard and far more thought provoking then that which we receive in education.”

If a healthy Christian community is one which ensures and nurtures the wellbeing of all, then safeguarding needs to be embedded in all aspects of the life and ministry of the Church. Whether we be clergy, senior leaders, church officers, parishioners or members of a church community, we all of us have a responsibility, and indeed duty, to ensure that importance is placed on safeguarding within how we exercise our faith, how we integrate within our communities and how we conduct ourselves in our everyday professional, pastoral and personal lives.

Within the Diocese of Norwich, we continue on our journey toward ensuring a church which is safer for everyone. As a Safeguarding team, we remain committed to supporting you, such that we all may continue to work collaboratively together in ensuring that the culture of safeguarding is integral throughout all of our church communities. If at any time you have any queries or concerns, we are all here to support you, and may be contacted on 01603 882345, or at

Once again, thank you so much for your ongoing cooperation, participation and engagement.

The author...

Ruth Walker

Diocesan Safeguarding Trainer

This article is from...

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