Charity Safeguarding Policy Template And Resources To Comply With Charity Commission Safeguarding Guidance

This resource highlights the key points in the Charity Commission trustee safeguarding guidance on child protection and safeguarding vulnerable adults, which can be used as a template to create your policy, with links to other safeguarding resources

Charity Commission Guidance - Child Protection & Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults Policy

This resource uses the Charity Commission trustee safeguarding guidance to provide a sample charity policy template for safeguarding vulnerable adults and child protection, including online and has links to the Charity Commission guidance and other safeguarding resources for charities.   

It covers all aspects of the Charity Commission trustee safeguarding guidance, but it is not possible to write a policy that covers every kind of non profit or activity. Consequently, it is essential that you add/delete/amend as necessary to ensure it is appropriate for your charity.  

Implementing A Charity Safeguarding Policy

A policy is nothing more than a piece of paper, unless everyone is made aware of and understands it, and any necessary DBS checks and training are carried out.

As importantly, the senior leadership must ensure that what they say and do conveys the importance of this to create a culture, which puts the safeguarding of those we work with at the heart of our charity. 

The Charity Excellence masterdatabase contains 500+ assessment statements that it uses to create individual questionnaires.  The statement  'A board member/committee oversees safeguarding of vulnerable individuals, including regular reviews of compliance and reports of any breaches in safeguarding practice' is reported by charities to be one of the lowest performing areas.  Why not table safeguarding for your next trustee meeting, review your policy and reporting and appoint a lead trustee for safeguarding?  

What To Include In A Charity Safeguarding Policy

If you work with vulnerable people or children, you will need a safeguarding policy.  Charity Commission guidance requires that it includes how you will:

  • Protect people from harm.
  • Make sure people can raise safeguarding concerns.
  • Handle allegations or incidents.
  • Respond, including reporting to the relevant authorities.

I would add to this that:

  • It be reviewed and approved by the Board annually.
  • The requirement for DBS checks.
  • Training requirements.
  • Your process for assessing and managing risk.

You may wish to add any other requirements you may have if working with specific groups of people, such as children or older people.  

You can download a safeguarding policy template and other safeguarding resources from the Charity Excellence People questionnaire.

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Detailed below are the main headings you would expect in a safeguarding policy, with content that you must tailor to meet your own specific requirements. 

Purpose - Protecting Children and/or Vulnerable Adults

Our charitable activities include working with vulnerable people.  The purpose of this policy is to protect children and vulnerable adults and provide stakeholders and the public with the overarching principles that guide our approach in doing so. 

Safeguarding Principles

We believe that:

  • Nobody who is involved in our work should ever experience abuse, harm, neglect or exploitation.
  • We all have a responsibility to promote the welfare of all of our beneficiaries, staff and volunteers, to keep them safe and to work in a way that protects them.
  • We all have a collective responsibility for creating a culture in which our people not only feel safe, but also able to speak up, if they have any concerns.

Safeguarding Policy Applicability

This safeguarding policy applies to anyone working on our behalf, including our charity trustees and other volunteers.

Partner organisations will be required to have their own safeguarding procedures that must, as a minimum, meet the standards outlined below, and include any additional legal or regulatory requirements specific to their work.  These may, but are not limited to:

There may be other requirements ot frameworks for those working overseas.

Safeguarding should be appropriately reflected in other relevant policies and procedures. 

Types of Abuse

Abuse can take many forms, such as physical, psychological or emotional, financial, sexual or institutional abuse, including neglect and exploitation.  Signs that may indicate the different types of abuse are at Appendix 1.  There isn't enough room to include Appendix 1, but you can download it from the safeguarding policy questions in the Charity Excellence People questionnaire, or use you own. 

Reporting Safeguarding Concerns

If a crime is in progress, or an individual in immediate danger, call the police, as you would in any other circumstances. 

If you are a beneficiary, or member of the public, make your concerns known to a member of our team, who will alert a senior member of the charity. 

For members of the charity, make your concerns known to your supervisor.  If you feel unable to do so, speak to a trustee.   

The trustees are mindful of their reporting obligations to the Charity Commission in respect of Serious Incident Reporting and, if applicable, other regulator.  They are aware of the Government guidance on handling safeguarding allegations.

Trustee Safeguarding Responsibilities

Responsibilities shoud be made clear and individuals provided with any necessary training and resources to enable them to carry out their role.  It should be reflected in Comittee ToRs, job descriptions, annual plan and appraisal objectives, reporting to the trustee Board and other procedures, as necessary. .

Trustees.  This safeguarding policy will be reviewed and approved by the Board annually. 

Trustees are aware of and will comply with the Charity Commission guidance on safeguarding and protecting people and also the 10 actions trustee boards need to take to ensure good safeguarding governance. 

A lead trustee/committee with be given responsibility for the oversight of all aspects of safety, including whistleblowing and H&SW.  This will include:

  • Creating a culture of respect, in which everyone feel safe and able to speak up.
  • An annual review of safety, with recommendations to the Board.
  • Receiving regular reports, to ensure this and related policies are being applied consistently.
  • Providing oversight of any lapses in safeguarding.
  • And ensuring that any issues are properly investigated and dealt with quickly, fairly and sensitively, and any reporting to the Police/statutory authorities is carried out.
  • Leading the organisation in way that makes everyone feels safe and able to speak up.
  • Ensuring safeguarding risk assessments are carried out and appropriate action taken to minimise these risks, as part of our risk management processes.
  • Ensuring that all relevant checks are carried out in recruiting staff and volunteers.
  • Planning programmes/activities to take into account potential safeguarding risks, to ensure these are adequately mitigated.
  • Ensuring that all appointments that require DBS clearance and safeguarding training are identified, including the level of DBS and any training required.
  • Ensuring that a central register is maintained and subject to regular monitoring to ensure that DBS clearances and training are kept up-to-date.
  • Ensuring that safeguarding requirements (eg DBS) and responsibilities are reflected in job descriptions, appraisal objectives and personal development plans, as appropriate.
  • Listening and engaging, beneficiaries, staff, volunteers and others and involving them as appropriate.
  • Responding to any concerns sensitively and acting quickly to address these.
  • Ensuring that personal data is stored and managed in a safe way that is compliant with data protection regulations, including valid consent to use any imagery or video.
  • Making staff, volunteers and others aware of:
    • Our safeguarding procedures and their specific safeguarding responsibilities on induction, with regular updates/reminders, as necessary.
    • The signs of potential abuse and how to report these.

Everyone. To be aware of our procedures, undertake any necessary training, be aware of the risks and signs of potential abuse and, if you have concerns, to report these immediately (see above).

Safeguarding And Fundraising

We will ensure that:

Charity Commission Guidance - Online Safeguarding

We will identify and manage online risks by ensuring:

  • Volunteers, staff and trustees understand how to keep themselves safe online. You could use high privacy settings and password access to meetings to support this
  • The online services you provide are suitable for your users. For example, use age restrictions and offer password protection to help keep people safe
  • The services we use and/or provide are safe and in line with our code of conduct.
  • Protect people’s personal data and follow GDPR legislation.
  • We have permission to display any images on our website or social media accounts, including consent from an individual, parent, etc.
  • We clearly explain how users can report online concerns. Concerns may be reported using this policy, or direct to a social media provider using their reporting process.  If you are unsure, you can contact one of these organisations, who will help you.

Approval and Review


Approval By


Next Review Date

Trustee Board




The Charity Excellence assessment statement 'A member of the Board leads on whistleblowing (Public Disclosure Act), with the whistleblowing policy and his or her contact details available to everyone' is at amber in the Charity Excellence Sector Data Store meaning that many charities do not do this well. Yet, it forms a key component in keeping your people safe from harm, by enabling them to alert the Board to serious issues they aren't or do not feel able to raise through normal procedures.

You can download an example whistleblowing policy from Charity Excellence Governance questionnaire. It should be readily available to everyone. It could be included in your staff handbook, briefed during induction, or included in safeguarding training, on your website, and/or pinned to the wall in your office/staff room. You might consider simple A4 posters with the key elements of the policy included.


Outline dbelow are a range of safeguarding resources and guidance, which will help you in creating your safeguarding policy.

How To Keep Your People Safe From Harm

Charity Excellence holds a master list of 95 statements about how well charities keep people safe from harm.  It enables you to assess not just safeguarding, but also other issues such as data protection, discrimination/bullying, whistleblowing and H&SW for staff, volunteers, beneficiaries, donors and the public.  These are reported in the safeguarding area on your dashboard, with each connected to a wide range of resources, including example policies. 

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International Safeguarding Resources

Charity Commission guidance - working overseas.

International Child Safeguarding Standards.

Keeping children safe online assessment tool.

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