2021 saw a spotlight shined on safeguarding, with press coverage of internal safeguarding investigations by sporting Governing Bodies and suspensions of high-profile individuals.
Although safeguarding is a term commonly used in sport and education, the fundamental principle of protecting children, young people or vulnerable adults applies across all sectors.
Safeguarding is not a new concept, but following the release of reports such as the Sheldon QC report, there is an increased awareness and level of expectation around the roles and responsibilities of adults when dealing with children, young and vulnerable adults.
The 5 R’s of safeguarding namely: Recognise, Respond, Report, Record and Refer apply universally to individuals with safeguarding responsibilities and organisations. It is as important for all organisations, businesses, charitable trusts and associations to understand safeguarding roles and responsibilities and to know how to deal with safeguarding concerns and referrals appropriately. We often find individuals and organisations dealing with safeguarding issues without proper guidance or structure. A clear safeguarding policy together with simple, comprehensive guidance documents allows issues to be dealt with fairly and justly and in a timely manner.
As we move into 2022, we anticipate seeing the increased use of apprentices and young adults in the manufacturing, engineering and construction sectors. These young adults should be afforded protection in the workplace which will allow them to thrive and develop. It is therefore important at the beginning of the New Year, to revisit your organisations safeguarding framework and to familiarise yourself with your roles and responsibilities.