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Catholic Safeguarding Advisory Service (CSAS)Procedures Manual

National Standards for Induction, Supervision, Support, Training and Appraisal


  1. Introduction
  2. Scope of these Standards
  3. Induction
  4. Supervision and Support
  5. Training
  6. Appraisal

1. Introduction

The report of the Cumberlege Commission, "Safeguarding with Confidence" 2007, stated the need for consistency in safeguarding practice. In response to this, the Catholic Church in England and Wales developed and implemented national standards for induction, supervision, support, training and appraisal for key safeguarding roles. 

This document sets out the national standards and provides the guidance and supporting materials for those who are responsible for implementing them.

Safeguarding structures within the Catholic Church in England and Wales benefit from the knowledge, experience and skills of individuals from differing professional backgrounds including Police, Social Work, Probation, and law. These standards seek to describe what is required good practice in the unique context of the Catholic Church in England and Wales and are not derived from a single professional context.

2. Scope of these Standards

These standards apply to the roles of Safeguarding Co-ordinators, Safeguarding Officers/Advisers, Parish Safeguarding Representatives and Religious Safeguarding Co-ordinators and Religious Safeguarding Representatives in the Catholic Church in England and Wales.

Policy statement

The Catholic Church in England and Wales is committed to developing and maintaining high standards of practice in relation to safeguarding children and adults and to supporting the staff and volunteers who carry out these roles for the benefit of the whole Church community, so that they are confident in their own practice and able continually to develop their knowledge, skills and understanding. 

The Church recognises that the provision of good quality induction, supervision, support, training and appraisal contributes to the provision of high standards in service provision, role satisfaction and potentially the retention of individuals contributing to the safeguarding work of the Church.

3. Induction

Induction is a process which orientates a person to their job or role and provides them with essential information and support in the early stages to enable them to do it well. It is a planned process within set timescales and is led by the line manager or other designated support person.

Induction is a vital part of the process by which people become familiar with their role and responsibilities, the context within which they perform their role, and what the expectations of them are in that role in relation to their conduct, practice and performance.

All new appointees to a safeguarding role within the Catholic Church in England and Wales are entitled to receive an induction into their role. 

As far as possible, induction programmes will be tailored to the demands of the role and the needs of the appointee.

Table 1: Specific Responsibilities

Role Person / body responsible for ensuring induction
Diocesan Context  
Safeguarding Co-ordinator Safeguarding Commission
Safeguarding Adviser / Officer Safeguarding Commission
Parish Safeguarding Representatives Safeguarding Co-ordinator/Adviser
Religious Context  
Religious Safeguarding Co-ordinator Religious Safeguarding Commission
Religious Safeguarding Representative Religious Safeguarding Co-ordinator / Religious Safeguarding Commission

It is the responsibility of the line manager or their delegate to ensure that the appointee receives an induction that meets their particular needs.  It is also the responsibility of the appointee to ensure that they are provided with an induction programme. 

The standards in the following tables set out the basic level of induction that new role holders should receive and suggest timescales for completion.

Click here to view Table 2: Standards for Induction for Safeguarding Co-ordinators, Advisers/Officers.

Click here to view Table 3: Suggested Induction Programme for Safeguarding Co-ordinators, Advisers/Officer.

Click here to view Table 4: Induction Standards for Parish Safeguarding Representatives.

4. Supervision and Support


Supervision is an essential means of providing professional support and guidance for safeguarding co-ordinators, officers/advisers and where the need is identified, safeguarding representatives. It is the process which ensures that the work of the Church reaches agreed standards and is compliant with to the national policies and procedures of the Catholic Church in England and Wales and wider recognised good practice standards. 

Supervision includes discussion of roles and responsibilities, strategies for individual case management, strategies for prevention and management of risk in the community, appropriate use of resources, safe recruitment of volunteers, delivery of training programmes, ways of working with those accused or convicted of abuse and dealing with the emotional impact of the work.

Supervision ensures that responsibility for decisions about safeguarding matters is shared between the supervisee, their supervisor, and the Commission which approved the supervisor.

Supervision supports the learning and development needs of the individual by identifying gaps in knowledge and practice and recommending ways in which to address such gaps. It can also highlight that learning is taking place and practice is improving, and should be experienced by the supervisee as a supportive process.

Supervision and management of Safeguarding Co-ordinators

Overarching requirements

To ensure compliance with the statutory requirements and expectations, Safeguarding Co-ordinators must be provided with 'appropriate supervision and support' [1]

Regard must be had to the Church's National Standards for Induction, Supervision, Support, Training and Appraisal, which provides templates and other material to support supervision and appraisal.

Authority and Responsibility

Given the authority and responsibility that is vested in them by the Church in relation to safeguarding, Bishops and Leaders of Religious Congregations hold ultimate responsibility for ensuring that the arrangements for the supervision and management of safeguarding co-ordinators are in line with both national safeguarding policies and procedures of the Catholic Church of England & Wales, as well as statutory requirements and expectations.

The Bishop / Congregation Leader may delegate responsibility for the various elements of this support and will seek input from the Diocesan / Religious Safeguarding Commission (e.g. assistance with the appointment of a suitably qualified safeguarding professional as supervisor and the on-going audit of arrangements).  Where responsibility is delegated, there must be clarity about lines of authority and the arrangements should be documented.  Persons involved in putting in place arrangements for the supervision and management of safeguarding co-ordinators must understand the role and its responsibilities.


Compliance with the outcomes for the supervision and management of Safeguarding Co-ordinators shall be audited via (1) (any) Diocesan / Religious Safeguarding self-audit form and (2) CSAS Audits.

Table 5 sets out the supervision standards for Safeguarding Co-ordinators, Safeguarding Officers/Advisers and Safeguarding representatives

Table 5: Supervision Standards for Safeguarding Co-ordinators and Safeguarding Officers/Advisers

Standard Evidence
Supervision is provided on a one to one basis. However, in appropriate circumstances, it may be possible for supervision sessions to be shared, for example, where individuals in the same Diocese or involved in the same casework could benefit from joint discussions. Dated records of supervision sessions are to include those present.
Professional supervision is to be provided by a suitably qualified safeguarding professional [2] appointed by the Bishop /Congregation Leader on the recommendation of the Safeguarding Commission. This individual must be trained in supervision skills and possess an up to date knowledge of the legislation, policy and research relevant to safeguarding and ideally should have an understanding of the Church. CV/credentials of appointed supervisor including CPD record
Persons appointed to provide such professional supervision must do so under the terms of a written agreement / contract between the supervisor and the relevant Diocese / Congregations, which should be reviewed annually by the Commission. Written contract/agreement
Diocesan / Religious Safeguarding Commissions must undertake regular reviews of the professional supervision arrangements, the results of which should be reported to the Bishop / Congregation Leader. Commission meeting minutes, audit reports, contract/agreement review documents
Full time Safeguarding Co-ordinator, Adviser/Officer roles should receive supervision on a regular basis and part time role holders should receive supervision on a pro-rata basis. The frequency of supervision should be agreed by the Safeguarding Commission but should be no less than on a quarterly basis. Dated records of supervision sessions.

The supervisor will:

  • Prepare for supervision sessions;
  • Review progress since previous session;
  • Advise on case management, assessments, legislation, and research;
  • Advise on general safeguarding issues in the Diocese/Religious community;
  • Assess learning and support needs;
  • Support implementation of policies and procedures;
  • Promote sound interagency working;
  • Provide feedback on quality of practice;
  • Help the supervisee to deal with stressful situations and overcome barriers to good practice.
Record of discussion.

The supervisee will:

  • Prepare for each session;
  • Update the supervisor on case issues and progress on actions previously agreed;
  • Update the supervisor on general safeguarding issues in the Diocese/Religious community;
  • Raise problem areas for discussion e.g. personal feelings, barriers to good practice;
  • Contribute to identifying their own learning and development needs;
  • Implement actions agreed.
Record of discussion.
A supervision agreement will be signed by supervisor and supervisee. A signed agreement exists on file and supervisee has a copy.
Supervision sessions will last for a minimum of 1 hour. Record of session.
Supervision will be held in a location which affords privacy and no interruptions.  
Cancelled sessions will be rearranged within 2 weeks of the planned date. Dates of rearranged sessions.
An agreed agenda will be used for each session. Agenda on file and supervision record reflects its use.
A written record of each session will be made by the supervisor and a copy will be given to the supervisee. Records available.

The written record will include issues discussed, decisions made and action agreed.

The supervision record is confidential and should be accessible to only the supervisor and the supervisee unless there are serious concerns which require information to be shared with another appropriate person. The record should be stored in a secure, locked place.

Records available
Discussions in supervision will be confidential between the supervisor and supervisee unless an issue about performance arises and needs to be shared with the Chair of the Commission and the line manager. Record of any information brought to the attention of the Chair and/ or line manager.
If a supervisor is concerned about quality of the supervisee's practice which could result in harm to a child, adult or other person, this will be addressed in supervision and through the line management and safeguarding structures. Records of discussions.
If the supervisee wishes to raise concerns about the quality of supervision they receive, this should be done with the supervisor initially who will attempt to improve the quality, and with the Chair of the Commission if the quality does not improve satisfactorily. Records of discussions.

Supervision for Religious Safeguarding Representatives

Supervision for Religious Safeguarding Representatives will be provided by the Commission and a Religious Safeguarding Co-ordinator. The role of the Religious Safeguarding Representative generally requires less intensive involvement in safeguarding processes than Religious Safeguarding Co-ordinators and the level of supervision and support provided for them will reflect this. Where a Religious Safeguarding Co-ordinator is coordinating and leading a group of Religious Safeguarding Representatives, supervision for that group could be on a group basis with potential for individual sessions as required. It is acknowledged that the role of the Religious Safeguarding Representative carries different responsibilities from Parish Safeguarding Representatives, and that supervision, rather than the broader and less personal function of "support", is likely to be necessary.

Where it is assessed that a Religious Safeguarding Representative does not have a need for supervision e.g. because they have no active case work, they will receive support similar to Parish Safeguarding Representatives as outlined below.

Support for Parish Safeguarding Representatives

In respect of Parish Safeguarding Representatives, supervision is neither appropriate nor possible given their large numbers and their role. Instead, clear local support arrangements will be established that are appropriate for the individuals concerned and approved by the relevant Commission.

"Support" means the provision of information, advice and guidance, and access to a named person responsible for this. It also means providing a listening ear when necessary.

Support for Parish Safeguarding Representatives will be provided by Safeguarding Co-ordinators, Parish Priests, other Parish Safeguarding Representatives and possibly Commission members. 

Support is not necessarily a one to one arrangement. It is a less intensive arrangement than supervision and can be provided in groups, at Deanery meetings or training events, by telephone or email contact or through newsletters.

Parish Safeguarding Representatives should not be left without contact or support for indeterminate periods of time. Lack of contact with and support from the local safeguarding structure can expose individuals to feelings of stress and the Church to avoidable risks.

Table 6: Standards of Support for Parish Safeguarding Representatives

Standard Evidence
1) Parish Safeguarding Representatives will participate in an induction programme which commences at the time of their appointment; this will be supported by access to the parish pack. Induction programme dated and signed by PSR.
2) Parish Safeguarding Representatives will have a contact telephone number and email address for their Safeguarding Co-ordinator/Safeguarding Adviser The Parish Safeguarding Representative can name their Safeguarding Co-ordinator/Safeguarding Adviser and identify how to get in touch with them
3) Parish Safeguarding Representatives will attend a minimum of one deanery meeting a year for training and support purposes. Register of attendance.
4) Parish Safeguarding Representatives will be invited to attend a yearly meeting for informal networking with other Parish Safeguarding Representatives. Record of scheduled meetings.
5) Parish Safeguarding Representatives will be informed of important changes in practice, policy and procedure that affect their role through deanery meetings, newsletters, diocesan websites. Agenda for deanery meetings.
Content of Newsletters.
Website updates.

Dealing with concerns about skills or practice in respect of Safeguarding Co-ordinators, Safeguarding Advisers/Officers and Safeguarding Representatives (Religious and Parish)

From time to time concerns may arise for example about a safeguarding practitioner's skills or practice. The individual will be offered appropriate support, guidance and training to improve their performance. If concerns persist, and practice is at an unacceptable level, this must be addressed through the relevant line management and personnel procedures and safeguarding structures in the Diocese or Religious community. Such concerns, and steps taken to address them, will form part of the supervision record and relevant records will be added to the personnel file. In exceptional circumstances, it may be necessary to remove a safeguarding practitioner from their role. 

If there are concerns about the functioning of a Parish Safeguarding Representative, these must be addressed by the Safeguarding Co-ordinator, or their delegate, with support from the Safeguarding Commission, to enable them to carry out their responsibilities to a good standard. If concerns persist and performance cannot be improved, it will be necessary to remove an individual from their role so that the safety of children and adults is not compromised;

Sample forms are provided in this document to assist with the supervision process and recording: 

Click here to view Form 1: Supervision Agreement

Click here to view Form 2: Supervision Agenda

Click here to view Form 3: Record of Supervision

Click here to view Form 4: Record of an Individual Case

[1] The Government guidance Working Together to Safeguard Children (2015) sets out expectations around organisational arrangements (including faith organisations), which reflect the importance of safeguarding.
[2] In the case of a retired professional with safeguarding expertise, this requirement will be satisfied where the individual's name is entered on an appropriate professional register, such as that held by the Health and Care Professions Council and who is in compliance with the continuing education requirements attaching to registration. This provides assurance around the maintenance and updating of specialist knowledge and proficiency. Where the retired individual is not from a regulated profession, the Safeguarding Commission will need to be satisfied that the individual is taking appropriate on-going measures to ensure that he/she is maintaining and updating their specialist knowledge and proficiency.

5. Training

It is recognised that there are many ways of gaining knowledge which are effective and valid; these include attendance at conferences, supervision sessions, meetings, consultation with colleagues, reading of books, journals etc., but for the purposes of this document, "training" is used to refer to formal, organised sessions which are attended by the role holder and which have learning outcomes defined at the outset.

Training needs will be identified in a number of ways for example, through meetings of safeguarding staff, through policy and case consultation with CSAS, through supervision and through formal appraisal as well as in response to changing legislation, guidance etc.

Training needs are to be matched by training opportunities so far as resources allow and all safeguarding role holders will have access to training and development opportunities commensurate with their role and responsibilities.

Training courses will be provided "in house" at times by employees or role holders within the Catholic Church. At other times it will be appropriate for external training to be accessed.

Training Requirements

SC Safeguarding Co-ordinator
SA/SO Safeguarding Adviser/Officer
RSC Religious Safeguarding Co-ordinator
RSR Religious Safeguarding Representative
LSCB/LSAB Local Safeguarding Children Board / Adult Board

Click here to view Table 7: Training for Safeguarding Practitioners.

Table 8: Training for Parish Safeguarding Representatives

Training needs Delivered by
Basic Child Protection and Adult awareness LSCB/LSAB
Commission Members
Definitions of child abuse and abuse of adults LSCB
Commission Members
Signs and symptoms of abuse LSCB
Commission Members
Prevention and protection LSCB
Commission Members
National safeguarding policies and procedures of the Catholic Church in England and Wales SC/SC
Commission Members
Creating a safe environment in Church contexts SC/SA
Statutory framework for safeguarding children and adults LSCB
Commission Members
Inter-agency roles and responsibilities LSCB
Working with people who abuse (perpetrators) External trainer
Barriers to disclosure / power issues SC/SA
Safer recruitment processes (including DBS) CSAS
Skills for interviewing volunteers External trainer
Key messages from "A Programme for Action" and "Safeguarding with Confidence" SC/SA
Counter signatory training CSAS
ID verification training SC/SA

6. Appraisal

The standards apply to role holders whether or not they are paid workers, permanent role holders or volunteers.

Appraisal is a process which complements supervision sessions that take place throughout the preceding year. It provides an opportunity for acknowledging achievements and success in a formal and focused way, as well as looking at areas of performance that require improvement or further development.

It is a shared process which culminates in a meeting between the role holder and their supervisor/ manager, usually on an annual basis.

Performance appraisal (regular assessment of effectiveness through line-management)

An annual appraisal of the performance of the safeguarding co-ordinator must be provided by a person appointed by the Bishop / Congregation Leader.

A formal appraisal must take place at least once a year and must be documented.

Contributions will be made to the formal annual appraisal by both the person providing professional supervision and the Chair of the relevant Diocesan / Religious Safeguarding Commission (if these functions are not undertaken by the person undertaking appraisal).

Given the importance of case management in the Safeguarding Co-ordinator's role, regular audits of case files should be undertaken on a random basis as part of the performance management process by the Chair of the relevant Diocesan / Religious Safeguarding Commission [3].

Any areas of concern arising from the annual performance appraisal shall be reported to the Bishop / Congregation Leader.

Preparing for and conducting the performance appraisal

A date for the meeting will be set at least one month in advance to allow for preparation.

The role holder and their supervisor/ manager will prepare for the appraisal meeting using Form A or Form B as appropriate. Preparation is necessary to ensure that the outcome of the appraisal is effective.

Following the appraisal meeting, the outcome will be summarised on Form C by the supervisor/ manager. This will identify objectives for the next 12 months and show how the role holder's needs for support will be met. The role holder will receive a copy of the completed Form C. Any areas of disagreement will be recorded.

The outcome may require action by the supervisor/ manager as well as the role holder.

It is good practice for progress on the agreed actions to be monitored through the supervision process so that momentum can be maintained.

Click here to view Form A: Appraisal Preparation - Role Holder.

Click here to view Form B: Appraisal Preparation - Supervisor/Manager.

Click here to view Form C: Annual Appraisal Summary.

[3] Safeguarding through audit: A guide to auditing case review recommendations (NSPCC, 2004)