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IICSA Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse

The Roman Catholic Church Investigation Report

Contents

F.5: Future plans for safeguarding training

12. Notwithstanding the impact and benefit of the Valladolid safeguarding training, Baroness Hollins said that she had neither been asked to provide more training nor offered to do so.[1] Cardinal Nichols described future plans for the bishops in-service training as an “open page”.[2]

13. When asked if CoR had plans for any further safeguarding training in the future, Father Smyth said there was “nothing planned for the moment”.[3] In April 2020, the Inquiry was informed that the Conference of Religious Safeguarding Committee are intending to organise a “conference or training session” for CoR members “focussing specifically on listening to victims and survivors”.[4]

14. A number of witnesses, including some safeguarding staff within the Church, spoke of the need for improvements to training.[5] For example:

  • Dawn Lundergan, Director of Safeguarding at the Diocese of Salford, said:
     

    The development of a nationally approved accredited training programme for those at all levels who are involved with safeguarding would be worthy of serious consideration to aim at consistent and robust training for all at whatever the appropriate levels their roles may entail”.[6]

  • Sister Agnes Clare Smith, safeguarding coordinator of the Institute of Our Lady of Mercy, said:
     

    I would also like to recommend that a national training team be set up to enable safeguarding training across the Roman Catholic Church in England to ensure consistency of training and content”.[7]

15. The value of safeguarding training across the entire Church is obvious and the Inquiry encourages the involvement of the SAP in this regard. In seeking to make safeguarding training mandatory as part of canon law, the Church has taken a positive step. The Church lacks regular and ongoing training which includes the victim and survivor perspective.

References

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