Safeguarding should be intentionally ‘designed into’ the planning stage through active risk assessment that considers the needs and vulnerabilities of those this policy represents.
Risk assessment is an intrinsic part of the safeguarding process. It is used to assess and manage potential risk of abuse or neglect that might harm a person’s wellbeing, in a similar way to how we consider health and safety, so that the specific needs of children and vulnerable groups are considered in University activity and incorporated within the University Risk Management Framework.
Preventative Safeguarding considerations and mitigations for the risks identified are incorporated within the wider risk assessment, grants and contracts processes:
- Everyone is clear about their responsibilities in relation to safeguarding within each unique operational context; has access to, and complies with this policy and procedures.
- We identify a single point of contact who supports the risk assessment process from start to finish, and who liaises with a counterpart at the partner organisation to ensure that safeguarding measures appropriate to the activity are in place.
- We request to see the partner organisation’s safeguarding policy and procedures.
- Identify and manage risk associated with public interaction to ensure vulnerable groups are safe.
- Clarify whether under 18s or vulnerable groups will be attending events and ensure that specific considerations are outlined in the risk assessment.
- We incorporate specific guidance relating to gender-based violence within the Equality Impact Assessment and Risk Assessment processes.
- We know who to contact in the University for advice.
- Safer recruitment requirements are articulated so that all staff and volunteers have appropriate training and appropriate checks before activity commences.
- At the point of induction, a safe and respectful behaviour code is promoted, and all participants understand the ground rules for engagement.
- Report and Support, the public reporting tool, is promoted and the process through which to report a concern is communicated from the outset and made continually accessible.
- Equality Impact Assessment and Risk Assessment explores any barriers to a person’s ability to raise concerns, receive early help or rapid response.
- Digital safeguarding: Online activity is risk-assessed in addition to physical risks.
- Appropriate supervision is assessed and ensured for both physical and digital activity.
- Registers of activity that takes place off campus, may also be held centrally.
- We promote at point of induction to activity so that under 18s are aware of their rights and know how to report.
We use risk assessment to make informed decisions. The University reserves the right to refuse to recruit an employee or to admit a child, adult at-risk or protected adult to a programme or course of study, or other university managed activities, if it judges that any risk-based adaptations necessary to safeguard that individual’s wellbeing go beyond what is possible, reasonable or proportionate.
A suite of guidance supplements this policy to provide detailed information to support operational teams in their application of safeguarding practices and when undertaking their everyday roles. This enables a thorough grounding and context for how we design safeguarding into every aspect of University activity.