Circular – New Safe Ministry Screening Requirements
Note: Updated Circular issued on October 31st 2019
At it’s November 2019 meeting Standing Committee ratified the request from Synod to delay the implementation of the Safe Ministry Checks until May 1st 2020, and to review the SMC document.
Therefore, the form referenced below should NOT be used until Standing Committee has approved it or its replacement.
Starting from January 2020, the Safe Ministry to Children Ordinance 2018 (consolidation) will bring into force new requirements for how our churches screen adult volunteers who work with:
- children aged 13 years or above (ie: youth group leaders and similar), or
- who are a co-ordinator of ministry to children aged under 13 years.
The Ordinance requires that ALL such volunteers undergo this new process – both existing and new volunteers.
The main tool to facilitate this is the Safe Ministry Check for volunteers a form to be completed by potential new volunteers before they start in their position AND all existing volunteers in the above categories.
This will involve reference checking and other processing by administrative and pastoral staff in churches.
The Circular explains the basics of how this will operate, but due to the extra elements this introduces to the screening process, parishes are urged to implement the new screening processes as soon as possible to allow for the normal influx of volunteers in many churches in January/February.
Senior Ministers, other key pastoral staff and Safe Ministry Reps are strongly encouraged to read the Safe Ministry to Children Ordinance 2018, the Circular and the Safe Ministry Check document thoroughly to understand the processes involved and the importance of correctly processing and storing the information collected.
Any questions about the implementation of this Ordinance can be directed to the Safe Ministry Team’s Parish Consultant – Neil Atwood