Find a Church  |  Vacancies  |  Documents  |  Directory  |  Safeguarding |  Contact 


Parish Safeguarding Officers

“If you’re prepared to take on a voluntary role, it doesn’t always have to be a big role, but just taking on some aspects or a supporting role can really help.”

Kelly Baxendale, Parish Safeguarding Officer, St Michael's, Tonge-cum-Alkrington


Thank you so much for taking on the role as Parish Safeguarding Officer (PSO), which plays such an important part of our mission to create safer churches. We want to do all we can to support and encourage you in this role.

The role of PSO is to help parishes to understand the need for a positive approach to safeguarding and create an environment which is welcoming and respectful, and enables safeguarding concerns to be raised and responded to openly, promptly and consistently.

We encourage all PSOs to raise your profile and visibility within your congregation, so that people know more about safeguarding and who to come to if they have a concern. The PSO is also the key link between the diocese and the parish, working with the safeguarding team at St John's House.

The role can be taken by one person or the role shared, for example with one person covering children the other vulnerable adults.

Hear from one of our Parish Safeguarding Officers

Role description 

The key tasks of the parish safeguarding officer are to:

1. Have an overview of all church activities involving children and vulnerable adults and keep a record of these activities.

2. Be familiar with diocesan safeguarding guidance and ensure that leaders of activities are fully aware of, and are implementing, this guidance.

3. Liaise with the incumbent over safeguarding issues.

4. Keep in touch with the leaders of all activities and offer them advice and support over safeguarding matters.

5. Liaise as necessary with the Diocesan Safeguarding Advisers (DSA). Report all concerns or allegations against church officers to the DSA.

6. Attend diocesan safeguarding training offered for PSOs.

7. Assist with safeguarding training in the parish as appropriate.

8. Attend a meeting of the church leadership (PCC) at least annually to ensure safeguarding issues are discussed and that the church leadership adopt the annual Church Safeguarding Policy.

9. Ensure that the Church Safeguarding Policy and contact details is displayed in all Church premises, on the church's website and A Church Near You page.

10. Keep good records of any safeguarding concerns that may arise, and ensure that others do the same.

11. Promote inclusiveness in places of worship and within church activities.

12. Keep the church leadership informed of good safeguarding practice.

13.Undertake a regular parish safeguarding self-assessment in the format offered by the diocese.

Preferably the PSO should be someone who is a lay person, has good pastoral and organisational skills and experience of working with children/young people or vulnerable adults although not always currently involved in such work in the parish. They should not be the incumbent or his or her partner. The level of the resource will be dependent on the size and complexity of the parish.  Some parishes have one PSO for children and one for vulnerable adults. 

This role description is taken from the Church of England's Key Roles and Responsibilities of Church Office Holders and Bodies Practice Guidance.

Actions for a new Parish Safeguarding Officer to take


All Parish Safeguarding Officers must complete these two training modules:

1. Basic Awareness (online) 

2. Foundation (online)

Then complete these courses (in any order):

3. Safer Recruitment and People Management (online),

4. Raising Awareness of Domestic Abuse (online),

5. PSO Induction 

6. Leadership 

More information about safeguarding training is available here Safeguarding Training

Support and contact details

The Safeguarding Team at St John's House is on hand to support you in your  role. Working with you, the team shares best practice safeguarding advice so that our clergy, volunteers and lay people are safe. Contact details for the team are provided on this Safeguarding page.

The team offers advice, support, and guidance to anyone in the diocese about all aspects of safeguarding. This includes:

  • Advice and support: telephone, email, and face-to-face consultation about a range of issues.

  • Casework: management of complex cases, joint working with statutory agencies, consultation, and advice.

  • Support for survivors: direct support and advice, provision of Authorised Listeners.

  • Supervision of offenders and those who pose risk: working with individuals who have criminal convictions, or where other safeguarding risks are identified, to ensure that they, and all members of the church community, are safeguarded.

  • Policy and practice: signposting to national and local policies and practice guidance.

  • Training: safeguarding training to clergy and other leaders, including training at St John's House and online.


Head to this page for resources to support your work in parish safeguarding Safeguarding resources

Powered by Church Edit