Updated: Jun 4, 2021
There are many definitions of safeguarding, but the simplest way of putting it is that safeguarding is how a business or organisation protects people from physical or psychological harm, abuse and neglect. This is often in the form of laws, policies or frameworks that businesses or institutions must abide by.
Safeguarding and the prioritisation of safer recruitment is a vital part of the compliance process of many businesses and organisations. It is therefore important to know exactly what constitutes a good safeguarding policy, and this article will take you through what the perfect safeguarding policy should look like.
1.) Make It Clear
Businesses and organisations in any sector that involves working with vulnerable or potentially vulnerable individuals, such as education and care, should have the following:
- A secure and robust hiring and compliance process, including comprehensive background and criminal record checks. This emphasis on safer recruitment can give you and everyone in your workplace piece of mind that all new hires are the sort of people you want in your institution.
- A clear child protection policy which everyone understands. This should be written clearly, contain appropriate contact details, and should clearly outline the procedures that should happen in certain situations.
- A diversity and equality policy
- A code of conduct that everyone is aware of and adheres to
The main priority here is to have, clear simple steps for people to follow, and ensuring they have the relevant knowledge to follow them.
This goes without saying, but there are many potentially awful consequences to having an inadequate or unclear safeguarding policy, or not enforcing it to the necessary levels:
- Vulnerable people not being treated appropriately
- Individuals (either victims or staff) not knowing who to speak to or what to do due to unclear policy, causing cases of harm, abuse, and neglect to be missed
- The rate or number of cases of abuse and harm increasing
- The wellbeing of everybody not being prioritized
2.) Know The 5 R’s
Any effective safeguarding policy should be based around the ‘5 R’s’:
- Recognise: Knowing and being able to detect the signs of physical or psychological abuse and neglect.
- Respond: Knowing the appropriate way and manner to deal with the issue.
- Report: Knowing who to tell (this is normally your Safeguarding Lead), and how to tell them.
- Record: Knowing to record everything you know about a particular incident, including dates, times, and precise details, and where to store them so they are safe and secure.
- Refer: Knowing who the appropriate authorities to refer a case where there is a genuine concern of abuse are, and how to do so.
3.) Constantly Review your Policy
Having a routine for reviewing safeguarding procedures (this is usually annually), is also paramount. Definitions and procedures can change, and it is important your safeguarding policy changes with them.
The importance of an effective safeguarding framework goes without saying. It can be difficult, however, to keep on top of background checks and compliance. If you would like to see how our platform can help you keep on top of your hiring and compliance process and prioritise safer recruitment, then please find out more here.
Photo by Scott Graham on Unsplash