What is the board’s role in safeguarding?

Protecting people and safeguarding responsibilities should be a governance priority for all organisations. Board members must take reasonable steps to protect all people who come into contact with the organisation from harm, which is a wider duty than just taking care of young people and vulnerable adults.

The Commission suggests ten actions that all boards need to take to ensure good safeguarding governance, including: adopting a safeguarding policy and codes of conduct; the identification of possible risks, making cultural changes within organisations to address safeguarding and training everyone.

One of the few regulatory cases in our sector concerned the Charity Commission’s concerns relating to safeguarding procedures and financial processes of a London based drama school. Although the regulatory compliance case was quickly resolved, the matter was picked up by the press causing public concern and potential damage to the organisation’s reputation.

For those who operate in different nations, note the need to comply with local legislation too. For example the legislation in Wales includes the concept of safeguarding and people protection.

Go Deeper:

10 Safeguarding Actions for Charity Trustees - The Charity Commission (updated October 2019)

Safeguarding and Protecting People for Charities and Trustees -The Charity Commission

Charity Ethical Principles -NCVO

Introductory guide to safeguarding and child protection for the voluntary and community sector
- NSPCC

Related resources

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