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National safeguarding training standards consultation: a summary of consultation responses
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Consultation

National safeguarding training standards consultation: a summary of consultation responses

- | Social Care Wales

Between 19 April and 17 June, we asked for your views on the draft National Safeguarding Training Standards.

To make sure those who might be affected by the proposed changes had a chance to comment, we:

  • put the document in a prominent place on our website
  • sent frequent reminders to encourage people to take part
  • put information about the consultation in our e-bulletin
  • sent information about the consultation to the Regional Safeguarding Boards.

The consultation document was available in Welsh and English, and other versions were available on request. We also accepted responses that were not submitted through our online survey.

Who responded to the consultation

We received 115 responses. Of those who responded, 64 said they were responding as an individual and 51 said they were representing the views of an organisation.

Of those who responded, the largest number of responses:

  • from individuals came from social care workers or managers
  • from organisations came from third sector organisations, local authorities and the category “other”.

The percentages noted below represent those who answered the questions and don’t take into account those who skipped the question.

What you told us

Q1. Do you agree that these training standards align with the current safeguarding arrangements?

You responded:

  • yes: 93 per cent
  • no: 7 per cent.

You told us this was a consistent and standardised approach. The National Safeguarding Training Standards align with the Wales Safeguarding Procedures and will prevent duplication in practice.

We received some suggestions to include wider legislation and that we needed to be clearer about training for roles and responsibilities.

Q2. Do the six groups (A to F) set out in the standards represent the main roles in the safeguarding process?

You responded:

  • yes: 83 per cent
  • no: 17 per cent.

You told us the training standards included all workers and the training was developed incrementally.

We received some suggestions that the groups should reflect wider roles and that “whistleblowing” should be further defined.

Q3. Is Group A clear and does it give enough information?

You responded:

  • yes: 83 per cent
  • no: 17 per cent.

You told us this was clear and concise. We received a suggestion that we needed to make the target group clearer.

Q4. Is Group B clear and does it give enough information?

You responded:

  • yes: 83 per cent
  • no: 17 per cent.

You told us there were clear expectations and the focus was right for the roles. We received some specific suggestions about the standards.

Q5. Is Group C clear and does it give enough information?

You responded:

  • yes: 70 per cent
  • no: 30 per cent.

You told us this was excellent for planning induction and managing staff competencies. You welcomed having the required skills set out and were pleased to see the child/person-centred aspect.

We received some suggestions about further refining this group of practitioners and allowing more flexibility around the training needed.

Q6. Is Group D clear and does it give enough information?

You responded:

  • yes: 83 per cent
  • no: 17 per cent.

You told us the guidance was clear and concise about what would be expected for this group of practitioners. We received some suggestions about making this clearer and more in-depth.

Q7. Is Group E clear and does it give enough information?

You responded:

  • yes: 92 per cent
  • no: 8per cent.

You told us there was clear use of delegation to distinguish between groups D and E, and it was clear that safeguarding is still a responsibility for this group of practitioners.

We received some suggestions around making specific reference to the multi-agency work expected at this level.

Q8. Is Group F clear and does it give enough information?

You responded:

  • yes: 87 per cent
  • no: 13 per cent.

You told us these guidelines would be helpful to encourage mandatory training for this group. We received some suggestions about what to add to this training.

Q9. Do you recognise your own workforce or role in the group descriptions?

You responded:

  • yes: 77 per cent
  • no: 23 per cent.

Overall, you told us you could clearly see how the groups would map across to your organisation. Some called for greater clarity about the groups and how to manage those who may fall into a “grey area”.

Q10. What opportunities do organisations need to think about when embedding the standards?

You said: “The National Safeguarding Training Standards will provide a framework for consistency and help to raise the quality of safeguarding training for all practitioners, which it is hoped will support better outcomes in relation to the protection of children and adults in Wales.”

Some concerns were raised about internal policies, procedures and regulations that still needed to be followed and that this needed to be considered as part of the implementation stage.

Q11. What challenges do organisations need to think about when embedding the standards?

You said:

  • “Moving away from blame culture to a learning culture, whilst recognising professionals should be accountable.”
  • “It is positive that the standards recognise the emotional challenges of safeguarding work from a practitioner perspective.”
  • “Ensuring practitioners/managers have confidence in professional judgment and that it is everyone’s responsibility to safeguard.”

Other feedback included:

  • “It is important that organisations can access new training courses and materials, and that due to demand, their costs do not unduly escalate.”
  • “Staffing levels: do organisations always have suitable qualified and experienced staff to deal with and have the skills to manage complex situations?”
  • “Clear messages and guidance that all staff can relate to in their own individual area of work, placing accountability at varying levels on all, as many still see safeguarding as something they think their managers should deal with.”
  • “Collate training requests/complete gap analysis to ensure the programme is meeting the needs of all agencies and an ever-changing safeguarding agenda.”

Q12. Is there anything else we should include in the standards? If so, what should it be?

You told us they were “extremely comprehensive and well written”. Most people who responded didn’t think anything had been left out.

We received some specific requests to include legislation and to further emphasise the need for information sharing and professional curiosity.

Q13. Is child/person-centred practice addressed sufficiently in the standards?

You responded:

  • yes: 90 per cent
  • no: 10 per cent.

You told us this was well evidenced in the standards and nothing more was needed.

We received some suggestions to include trauma-informed practice and to have a greater emphasis on elder abuse and domestic abuse.

Q14. What effects will our proposals have on the Welsh language, specifically on:

  • opportunities for people to use Welsh
  • treating the Welsh language no less favourably than the English language.

How could we increase the positive effects or reduce the negative ones?

You told us these proposals would have a minimal effect on the Welsh language. We received some specific suggestions about the provision of training.

Q15. Do the standards have an impact on those with protected characteristics? The protected characteristics are age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation.

You said:

“Yes, but we felt the standards adequately covered this. For example, noting that someone’s ethnic culture should be considered in relation to the principles. We did not feel there was any further requirements.”

We received some suggestions about the need to be flexible with the expectations around refresher training linked to some of the protected characteristics.

What happens next?

We looked at the responses and discussed them as part of the multi-agency development group meetings. It was felt that some of the feedback was more relevant for the National Safeguarding Training Framework, so it will be incorporated into that instead of the training standards.

The National Safeguarding Training Standards will be launched as part of National Safeguarding Week, which is taking place on 14 to 18 November 2022. The standards will be available in Welsh and English, and an easy read version will also be available in both languages.

For the first six weeks after the launch, we’ll be sharing FAQs about the standards on a regular basis.

The National Safeguarding Training Framework will be published early 2023.

The development group that produced the standards and the framework will meet quarterly in 2023 to review the standards and the framework, and to make sure we action any changes that are needed.

Proposed timeline

  • November to December 2022: Sharing the FAQs from the launch
  • Early 2023: Publish National Safeguarding Training Framework
  • April 2023: First meeting of the standards review group
  • July 2023: Second meeting of the standards review group
  • October 2023: Third meeting of the standards review group.

We’ll also be working closely with the Regional Safeguarding Boards to make sure the standards are put into practice effectively.

This will include publishing Group B training materials that can be used by trainers and developing new Group C generic training materials for the first training element required in Group C. Both will be available for free on the Social Care Wales website.