New guidance on safeguarding

NEW guidance on reporting safeguarding and other serious incidents to the Charity Commission has been published.

Kate Waring, Head of the Charity Commission’s Risk Assessment Unit, commented:“We’re clear that reporting a serious incident alone is not necessarily a sign that there have been failings within a charity. In fact, making a report to us is an important way for trustees to demonstrate that they are responding responsibly to an incident.”

The Charity Commission has agreed to the bulk reporting of safeguarding serious incidents by DBFs every six months, unless an incident is very serious, for example it presents a live risk, in which case it must be reported immediately.

Religious Communities (except closed communities which are not charities) will continue to report directly to the Charity Commission, but will now use the new template reports to assist them.

Bishop Peter Hancock, the Church of England’s lead safeguarding bishop, said: “This new guidance for reporting means that for the first time we will start to have a national picture of emerging trends in serious incidents, particularly around safeguarding.

“We would like to thank the Charity Commission for offering their support and advice to enable the Church to develop this guidance across its dioceses, parishes and religious communities.”

The new guidance is designed for PCCs (Parochial Church Councils), DBFs (Diocesan Boards of Finance) and Religious Communities.

The Commission recently updated its guidance on serious incident reporting and the new House of Bishops’ guidance supplements this with information that is specific to PCCs, DBFs and Religious Communities.