All PCCs, DBFs and most Religious Communities are charities and their trustees are required to report any Serious Incidents, both safeguarding and non-safeguarding, to the Charity Commission.
Why is there Church of England guidance?
On 1 January 2019, the Church issued bespoke Serious Incident Reporting guidance for DBFs, PCCs and Religious Communities (“Guidance”), agreed with the Charity Commission, on how to identify and report a Serious Incident to the Charity Commission. This Guidance is Church focussed and so easier for church bodies to apply. It also uses the Church’s safeguarding structures to streamline the reporting of safeguarding Serious Incidents, particularly by PCCs.
After the Charity Commission updated its guidance on 14 June 2019, to require all individual Serious Incident reports to be submitted to it using a new online form, the Church updated its guidance accordingly. The online form which must be used to report a Serious Incident to the Charity Commission can be accessed at https://ccforms.charitycommission.gov.uk/report-a-serious-incident:
As part of the National Safeguarding Team’s revision of all House of Bishops’ safeguarding policies and guidance, the Guidance on how to report safeguarding Serious Incidents has been revised, so make it clearer and easier to follow. The current version of this Guidance is 1 March 2021.
Frequently Asked Questions
The Legal Office and National Safeguarding Team put together some FAQs on the Church of England’s Guidance to clarify those issues on which a number of questions have been raised. We have sought to provide simple, clear and brief questions and answers on these key issues and we hope you find them helpful. These FAQs have been updated for 1 March 2021 to reflect the revisions made to this Guidance. Click here to view the FAQs
If DBFs choose to bulk report Safeguarding Serious Incidents, the bespoke Charity Commission template for DBFs (below) must be used. Bulk reports should be sent to the Commission’s bulk reporting email address firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bulk reporting information for DBFs can be found on the National Safeguarding team website.
Example template delegations have been produced, alongside the Guidance, to assist DBFs, PCCs and Religious Communities to prepare suitable delegation resolutions under the Guidance. As example templates, they may be amended in such ways as your trustees think fit for your DBF, PCC or Religious Community, provided that the delegation resolutions passed reflect what is required by the Guidance. These templates have been updated as at 1 March 2021, to reflect changes to the Guidance.
The Charity Commission’s updated guidance for charity trustees on how to spot and report Serious Incidents can be downloaded at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/how-to-report-a-serious-incident-in-your-charity