In the light of the Church of England decision to suspend gatherings, all face to face training in the Diocese of York has been cancelled today, 18th March 2020 and for the immediate future.

We are aware that, particularly for those due to attend mandatory Safeguarding training over the next 12-16 weeks, this may cause some additional anxiety at what is already a difficult time.

It has been agreed nationally that the rules around authorisation for Ministry will be relaxed so that nobody who currently holds an authorisation to minister will be immediately barred on the basis of non-attendance at training. As the situation develops, we will put in place new schedules for training and will try to provide as many opportunities to undertake training later in the year before whatever new deadline is set for completion.

The online training is still available via the Safeguarding pages on the Church of England website and you are encouraged, if you have access to the internet, to complete the modules there as a refresher of the foundation material in the meantime. Indeed, you may feel able gently to encourage others in your church who find themselves with more time at home than usual to complete this part of their training if they have not already done so.

Please note that the requirements to hold a valid DBS have not currently been relaxed, either for new applicants or renewals. At this stage therefore we have to continue as normal, although we understand that verification of documents may become an issue depending on how things develop in the coming weeks.

As things become clearer about our plans to reinstate training or we receive any updates in relation to other Safeguarding related considerations, including DBS, we will of course let you know.

In the meantime our Safeguarding staff can all be contacted via the normal numbers and email addresses ( Calls will be routed to them as they will be working remotely for most of the time. They will do their best to respond as quickly as possible but they may not be able to respond immediately. If at all possible, initial contact via email would be preferred.

Thank you for all that you are doing to help support those who are most vulnerable in our communities as the situation continues to unfold each day. Do contact the Safeguarding Team, or alternatively your Archdeacon or Bishop, for advice if you have any particular Safeguarding concerns in the coming weeks.

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