Policy for the Safeguarding and Protection of Children, Young People and Vulnerable Adults
Purpose of the Policy
This policy is a statement of the University’s commitment to safeguarding children, young people and vulnerable adults. The policy provides all members of the University’s community with guidance on their responsibilities in relation to safeguarding. It also describes the procedure that a member of staff should follow if they suspect a child, young person or vulnerable adult (of any gender) is experiencing, or at risk of experiencing, harm.
This policy should be read in conjunction with those relating to:
- Dignity at Work and Study
- Criminal Convictions
- Personal Relationships Policy
- Protection of Vulnerable Groups
- The Prevent Duty
- Code of Good Practice in Research
- University Ethics Policies
A significant minority of students enrolled at the University is under the age of 18. The University’s staff and students may also engage with children, young people and vulnerable adults in the context of outreach, recruitment and voluntary activities, research, through their professional roles in, for example, education or medicine, or through the work of the Hunterian Museum and Art Gallery.
All members of the University community are expected to adhere to the relevant codes of conduct in the course of their studies and/or professional activities, both on and off campus.
Additionally, all members of staff have the responsibility to report concerns of abuse and/or harm to the relevant channels.
Some members of staff are engaged for the majority of their time in caring for, supervising and advising children and/or vulnerable adults. These staff are defined as undertaking work regulated under the Protection of Vulnerable Groups (Scotland) Act 2007 and are required to have PVG Scheme Membership. Students enrolled in certain courses of study are also required to obtain PVG Scheme membership.
The policy applies to all members of the University community who may come into contact with children, young people and vulnerable adults in the course of their duties or University-related activities. For these purposes, the University community is defined as employees, volunteers, agency staff, contractors (including sub-grantees and service providers) and students.
It is based on the understanding that all University community are required to abide by the standards of behaviour set out in the Dignity at Work and Study Policy.
The policy applies to all members of the University community on all campuses and in the course of all University duties on and off campus, including overseas.
University-related activities might include:
- Outreach, recruitment and other volunteering activities
- Supervising children, young people or vulnerable adults who are studying or on placement at the University
- Working with children, young people or vulnerable adults in the course of study or work placements organised by the University
- Participating in or running events taking place on University property
- Providing services such as those delivered by the University nursery or the Hunterian Museum and Art Gallery
The University is committed to providing a welcoming, inspiring and safe environment for all. To meet its commitments to safeguarding, it will:
- Recruit staff and volunteers safely, taking up references and ensuring that those who carry out “regulated work” with children or “regulated work” with a protected adult as defined by the relevant act are members of the PVG Scheme.
- Ensure that students who are accepted onto relevant undergraduate and postgraduate degrees (i.e. Medicine, Dentistry, Nursing and Education) obtain a satisfactory PVG Scheme membership.
- Provide clear and simple guidance for those who engage with children as volunteers or in support of the University’s outreach and recruitment activities.
- Ensure that staff and students understand their responsibilities and that they are aware of the procedure they should follow if they suspect a child, young person or vulnerable adult is experiencing, or at risk of experiencing, harm.
- Ensure that staff and students are trained appropriately and therefore able to discharge their safeguarding duties.
- Ensure that members of staff are aware of the required standards of conduct, as set out in the Dignity at Work and Study Policy and when applicable refer matters to be considered under the Student Code of Conduct or staff Disciplinary Procedure.
- Work with relevant external authorities to prevent individuals from being drawn into potential extremism and terrorist activities.
- Develop and implement coherent, supportive and survivor-led polices regarding gender-based violence and sexual harassment.
- Ensure that the on-campus nursery is covered by a separate, comprehensive safeguarding policy and procedure.
- Where necessary, report concerns to the relevant parties, involving parents/carers appropriately (see Appendix 2), with due regard to the relevant legislation, including:
- the Protection of Vulnerable Groups (Scotland) Act 2007), and
- the duty to prevent students from being drawn into terrorism described in Section 26 of the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act (2015).
Where members of the University community are working, studying or participating in events within a partner setting (e.g. an external school), the partner’s Safeguarding (or equivalent) policy and reporting procedures should normally be followed. However, if for any reason these prove to be ineffective, the University’s reporting procedure should be followed.
Members of the University community working overseas are required to follow the standard reporting procedures (see Appendix 2) if they suspect a child, young person or vulnerable adult is experiencing, or at risk of experiencing, harm.
Roles and Responsibilities
All Members of Staff
Safeguarding is the responsibility of everyone. All members of staff who come into contact with children, young people and vulnerable adults are in positions of trust and have a duty of care to act if there is a cause for concern. All members of staff should therefore:
- Participate in appropriate safeguarding training as mandated by the University
- Understand what constitutes abuse and how it may be recognised
- Listen carefully to children, young people and vulnerable adults, who may be trying to voice concerns
- Take action in consultation with the University’s Safeguarding Officers where there is cause for concern (noting that acting within the scope of this Policy over-rides the University’s usual obligations under the General Data Protection Regulation)
- Consult and take advice from the University’s designated lead for Prevent where they believe that an individual may be at risk of being drawn into terrorism
- At all times, treat others with dignity and respect, as required by the University’s Dignity at Work and Study policy
It is not the responsibility of a member of staff to investigate, make judgements or provide a response on safeguarding matters, but to follow the Reporting Procedure (see Appendix 2) if they believe there is cause for concern.
Safeguarding is also the responsibility of students on degrees where they will come into contact with children and vulnerable adults (i.e. in Medicine, Dentistry, Nursing and Education). All students are required to follow the Reporting Procedure if they believe there is cause for concern.
The members of staff listed below are the University’s Safeguarding Officers. The role of these members of staff is to:
- Undertake appropriate safeguarding training as mandated by the University
- Offer an initial point of contact, should any student or member of staff have any concerns relating to safeguarding
- Enable staff and students to meet their responsibilities towards safeguarding as expressed within this policy
- Maintain an up-to-date knowledge of safeguarding and oversee the provision of training to others as necessary
- Ensure the University meets its reporting requirement to the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) under the ‘Notifiable Events Scheme’, by reporting any significant incidents.
Lead Officer, Safeguarding
Lead Officer, Protection of Vulnerable Groups Scheme
Deputy Lead Safeguarding Officer (Students)
Deputy Lead Safeguarding Officer (Prevent)
Deputy Lead Safeguarding Officer (Research)
Executive Director for Student & Academic Services (interim cover)
If none of the above Officers are available and urgent contact is required (including out of hours) please call the University on 0141 330 4444.
The Executive Director of Student and Academic Services is responsible for ensuring that this policy is reviewed annually and in response to any significant change in legislation which may arise in the meantime.
Finalised 28 November 2018
Approved by University Court – 12 December 2018
Appendix 1: Useful definitions
Appendix 3: PVG Scheme Membership