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Safeguarding policies

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Create a safeguarding policy

A safeguarding policy will help you to bring all of the elements of your approach to safeguarding into one document, setting out exactly how you will do these things in your particular organisation. It will demonstrate that you have thought about all the steps required and will explain this clearly to everyone who needs to know about your safeguarding.

It will tell your Trustees, volunteers and staff what is expected of them and will outline certain specific responsibilities. This should include your Designated Safeguarding Person who will be the central point for all issues and concerns in your organisation. You might also appoint a Lead Trustee/board member/Director for safeguarding who can take strategic oversight of your safeguarding. We look at these roles in more detail in our Role of the Board section.

Policy templates are widely available and we have created a Safeguarding Policy Template and Safeguarding Policy Guidance to help you.

If you carry out DBS checks as part of your safeguarding processes then you must ensure that you treat anyone with criminal convictions fairly. To support this you should have a  Rehabilitation of Ex-Offenders Policy and a template is available from DBS which is available here.

Although there are many common principles and elements appropriate for most organisations, how you put them into action should be specific to your organisation. Keep it as simple and straightforward as possible, and consider ‘Is this what works for us?’ It is important that the information set out in your policy accurately reflects the actions that your organisation is taking.

Do set a review date for your policy. Your organisation will change and evolve, and safeguarding requirements change frequently, too. Read over the policy and ask yourself, is that still how things work? Do you need to update any information? Is it clear to understand? Does it explain what you want people to do? Ask someone from outside your organisation to ‘sense-check’ the wording.

Advice about safeguarding is available to voluntary organisations through the network of local voluntary councils (CVCs).  


WCVA also provide a free enquiry service offering one-to-one, confidential advice and information from our Safeguarding Officer. You can get in touch by emailing us directly

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Safeguarding cannot be considered in isolation as it cuts across all of your organisation’s activities. This means that your safeguarding policy should link to other policies that you will need as your organisation develops, such as:

  • Health and safety – ensuring the physical and digital environment is safe for people to access, whoever they are
  • General recruitment – for roles not placed in direct contact with people who could be at risk; overall induction, support and training you will put into practice for all
  • Code of conduct – setting out your expectations of people’s behaviour towards one another within the organisation and to your beneficiaries/service users/the public; everyone associated with your organisation is representing them and can enhance, or damage, your reputation by their conduct/actions
  • Complaints and Disciplinary policies- how you will address staff and volunteers who do not perform their roles or behave as you would want them to, and may mean you ask them to leave your organisation; this will be different for paid staff compared to volunteers.

You can find information and templates to help you create these other policies in our Running your organisation section.