We have had an annual audit every year since 2014 and it has proved so popular we are going to do it again! As PCC's and Parish Safeguarding Officers you have responded brilliantly to the audit, although responses have started to reduce over the last 3 years. Please do take part in this years audit especially if you have not taken part in the last year or two.
The audit responses enable us to track progress over time for the whole diocese in our safeguarding arrangements and provide individual parishes with a view of where their safeguarding practice is developing and the progress they are making. Completing this self audit also counts towards the Safe and Welcome scheme.
Please do be assured that this audit is not an effort to catch you out or to find fault. It is designed to assist you in identifying where you are in respect to your Parish's safeguarding arrangements and to show if there are any gaps or actions that need to be taken.
The Clergy and Safeguarding Disciplinary Measure has now been fully implemented across the Church; amongst other changes it will place a duty on all ministers, PCC members and lay staff and volunteers to pay due regard to the safeguarding polices of the Church of England. Completing this audit will help you to know whether you are meeting that duty or whether you would benefit from making some changes. It is also important that we get to celebrate what has been achieved so far.
For those of you that have taken part in previous years you will notice some minor changes and some additional supplementary questions. You will see that this year we have amended the answers to Yes, No and Don't Know and have added a "Not Applicable" answer for some of the choices (Please only use this when that really applies).
Any policies referred to in the questions below can be found on the Safeguarding pages of the Diocesan Website: https://www.bristol.anglican.org/PSO-resources/ and https://www.bristol.anglican.org/safeguarding-resources/
Many Parishes already have a safeguarding action Plan or Improvement plan. When you submit your audit we will provide you with a template action plan that you can either use or incorporate into your current action/improvement plan. Action plans will be developed and sent out within a month of a submission being made.
Thank you in advance for completing this self audit and for the wonderful work you do in making our churches safe places for our communities.
This year we have not set a specific deadline for an audit return to be submitted. We will be reminding you to complete your audits but we also recognise that not all parishes are in the same position and setting a tight deadline is not always very helpful. Hopefully you can plan your Parish return with the PCC and ensure that you have made a submission during the first half of 2018.
Please do ensure that only one form is completed for each parish or, if responding together, for each team or benefice.
If you have any questions or queries regarding completing this audit, please don't hesitate to contact the Diocesan Safeguarding Team: email@example.com or Tel: 0117 9060100