Training Update: July 2020
In May 2020, the Connexion issued directions that due to Covid-19, all safeguarding training would need to be cancelled until further notice. Since this was applied, the Connexional Safeguarding Committee has been gathering and collating feedback and experiences regarding the issues cancelling safeguarding training has produced. This information has since been shared as part of a wider report on safeguarding training.
It has been recognised by the Safeguarding Committee that the resumption of the traditional face-to-face training will be severely disrupted by social distancing and limits to other practical arrangements. They have also recognised that the ability of each District, Circuit and church to complete safeguarding training within set time frames will vary immensely, according to local demographics, the number of people in each area that may be shielding or self-isolating and the ability of individuals to partake in online training. It is therefore, not possible at this time, to provide a definitive date by which face-to-face training can resume.
In light of this, the Safeguarding Committee has agreed to the following measures:
An interim extension to the timescales for completion of both the Foundation and the Advanced modules
The development of additional ‘opt in’ training resources, which will cover the requirements for both the Foundation and the Advanced modules.
Therefore, the primary focus at the current time is the development and implementation of online and blended training. We are very pleased to announce that the London District has been permitted to act as a pilot District and can commence trialling the new training format once the resources are available.
What the new training will look like:
Foundation Module (Online version)
This version of the Foundation Module will take the form of a ‘virtual classroom’. It will be an optional additional resource for circuits that wish to offer online training. Over the coming months, a Connexional working group will review the current Foundation Module (2020 edition) and develop modifications that will ensure the course can be provided via on online forum such as Zoom.
Advanced Module (Online Version)
The Safeguarding Committee have approved the development of a ‘blended’ learning approach to the Advanced Module, which will be hosted on the Theology X website. This version of the Advanced Module will combine online learning modules and short films before concluding with a Zoom session facilitated by the London District Safeguarding trainers. This course will also be an optional additional resource for circuits who wish to receive online training.
As with the Foundation Module, a Connexional working group will review the current Advanced Module (2019 edition) and develop the online learning content. Once the course and its materials are made available the District will contact circuits to advise and will then share further information. It is anticipated that this will not be until January 2021.
The District strongly encourages circuits to participate in online training, bearing in mind we do not know when face-to-face training can resume.
What this means for our circuits and churches:
In order to ensure that the District, our circuits and churches are best placed to commence the online training as soon as the resources are available, a process of information gathering needs to be undertaken. Therefore:
All circuits are required to forward Foundation Module Training records to the District by Tuesday 1st September.
All circuits are required to submit to the District any records pertaining to the Leadership module
All circuits are required to identify those individuals who may be in new roles and require training, and all those who are due refresher training (including those who may have expired training). Once these people have been identified, circuits are required to email either Becky Skinner or Martha Yankey with the totals for each category. This will provide us with an understanding of how many people in each circuit require each level of training.
What this means for existing Foundation Level Trainers:
All current Foundation Level trainers are welcome and invited to join a pool of ‘pilot trainers’ to facilitate the online training. All those who wish to do so are required to contact Becky Skinner or Martha Yankey.
Please also note the following:
You will need to have technical competence (or be willing to learn).
You may be required to facilitate training for a circuit other than your own and you may be buddied up with a trainer from outside your circuit. (This is due to inconsistent demand for Foundation Level training and the fact that some trainers may not be able to / want to facilitate online training).
You may be asked to attend a short workshop on ‘Delivering Safeguarding Training via Zoom’ to enable pilot trainers to gain confidence in the IT skills required for online course facilitation. Trainers willing to deliver the online training will be notified directly of the date for this, once material is available from the Connexion.
Frequently asked questions
What is the revised timescale for completion of safeguarding training?
The timescale for completion of training is as follows:
Safeguarding training to be refreshed every 4 years (at the appropriate level)
Local Preachers and Worship Leaders are to complete the Advanced training by August 2021
All those in appropriate roles to have completed safeguarding training within 6 months of starting in role
All those who have had their training expire during during Covid-19 will need to complete the appropriate refresher level within 3 months of the District returning to face-to-face training
Did the Safeguarding Committee agree to the current Foundation Module being delivered online?
No, the Safeguarding Committee agreed to the development of a modified online Foundation module which will be suitable for online platforms such as Zoom.
We have a plan to deliver the Foundation Module online, can we do it now?
No. The connexion need to make adjustments to the current material to ensure that it is accessible to all, and that the training delivery is consistent.
As a circuit we do not feel it is appropriate to deliver online training; what should we do?
Online training is an optional additional resource to enable circuits to deliver training. The District encourages those who are able to access online learning to do so. For circuits that do not want to offer online training, it is important that they work closely with the District to review what is needed to ensure face-to-face training can take place safely, and is kept under review.
Some of our churches are now open for socially distanced worship; can we start delivering face-to-face-training again?
No. The current format for training uses discussion groups which we cannot facilitate under the current restrictions. This should be kept under review, and the District will be able to provide guidance on when face-to-face training can resume.
Who will pay for the Zoom licence for Foundation Module training?
Circuits will need to purchase a licence for the Online Foundation Module training.
How do we ensure appropriate pastoral support during Online Foundation module training?
There is clear recognition of the need to be pastorally sensitive during training, and the potential for the material to trigger traumatic memories and experiences. Part of the remit of the working group will be to look at how this need can be met when training is being delivered online.
What happens with the timescale if we are unable to deliver the training and/or people are unable to commit or fit in with the dates?
The intention behind the training extension and the offer of online training, is in recognition of the challenges circuits are experiencing. Circuits are asked to work with the District by submitting their training records by Tuesday 01 September, to enable the District to make informed decisions
Is there a maximum number of people per session we can train online?
Once the courses are available there will be guidance in relation to the number of people permitted per session.
How frequently doe smy circuit need to forward training records to the District?
Every 6 months. You will be sent a reminder notification one month in advance. Records will be reviewed as part of the safeguarding audit process.