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General Training Questions

Safe Ministry training can be completed either face to face or online

  1. Safe Ministry Training Online
    Refresher Online and Essentials Online are available now. The Junior Leader’s course will be online from mid-2018.
  2. Face to face Safe Ministry Training
    The PSU holds Safe Ministry training events throughout the year at a variety of locations. The training is provided by a qualified Senior Safe Ministry Trainer. Click here to view all upcoming Safe Ministry Training Events.

In accordance with the Parish Administration Ordinance (2008) A person appointed to a children’s ministry position must have satisfactorily completed safe ministry training within the last 3 years or within 3 months after their appointment…

When someone starts working with children for the first time, it is preferable that they complete their training prior to commencing in their role. If there are extraordinary circumstances*, there may be a grace period applied to allow them to complete the training as soon as possible, and definitely within three months of commencing work. If they do not complete their training within that time, they must stand down until they do.

*If there are very unusual circumstances such as serious medical reasons or the person is overseas, some leniency should be offered, but before doing so, the Safe Ministry Rep or Minister should contact the Safe Ministry Parish Consultant to discuss the details.

Safe ministry Training lasts for three years.

When the Safe Ministry Training expiry date approaches for an existing worker in your church (volunteer or paid), they should:

  • Make every effort to complete the Refresher course BEFORE the expiry date.
  • If this is impossible to comply with*, they should complete the Refresher course within 30 days of the expiry date. Note: where training is completed online, all aspects of the training including the webinar must be completed prior to the 30 day grace period expiring.

If a Refresher course is not completed within 30 days of the expiry of their training, the leader should step down from their ministry role(s), and complete the ‘Essentials‘ course again before resuming their role.

*If there are very unusual circumstances such as serious medical reasons or the person is overseas, some leniency should be offered, but before doing so, the Safe Ministry Rep or Minister should contact the Safe Ministry Parish Consultant to discuss the details.
The Safe Ministry Board clarified and confirmed the above details as policy at their December 2016 meeting. This underscores the importance for all church workers keeping track of their training dates.

The Sydney Anglican Diocese is a member and endorsed training partner under the National Council of Churches Safe Church Training Agreement (SCTA).

The National Council of Churches in Australia have established a network of Endorsed Training Partners across Australia who agree to accept each other’s training in Safe Ministry. You can see a current list of those churches/denominations here: http://www.ncca.org.au/scta/scta-members Scroll down to view the training partners.

So if someone joins your church and presents proof of current training from an endorsed SCTA training partner (church or organisation), then it is accepted as being equivalent to our training until the expiry of that training. You should enter the details of the training and its source and expiry date into your Safe Ministry Records.

When the expiry of that training approaches, that person will then need to complete our Refresher course before their current training expires, just as our own trainees do.

If someone presents training credentials from an organisation that is NOT on the SCTA Endorsed Training Partner list, that training cannot be accepted and they must complete Essentials before commencing ministry with children or youth.

All clergy and lay ministers have the same requirements as anyone who is working with children in your church or ministry.

That means:

  • they must have a verified WWCC and
  • they must be current in their Safe Ministry training – even if their role does not involve them directly working with children.

Things to check for if you are a Safe Ministry Representative:

  • Make sure you have all clergy staff members give you their WWCC details (for recording in your Safe Ministry Records and verifying), and their Safe Ministry Training details (evidence of date of last training, and preferably name of trainer, etc)
  • It’s easy for ministers to forget about renewing their WWCC or Safe Ministry training, so you will be doing them a big favour if you remind them in plenty of time when those dates are coming up.
  • In the past, clergy and lay ministers who hold a license from the Archbishop have gained credit for Safe Ministry training by attending the Faithfulness in Service Conference held every three years. But from 2017 that training credit will no longer exist, so all clergy and lay ministers will need to complete a Safe Ministry training online or as a face to face session at a regional Safe Ministry Training Event every three years.

Managing Junior Leaders (those under 18 years old) needs as much care as we give the process with adult leaders. Here are the main points:

  • Working with Children Check (WWCC) – Under 18 year olds cannot obtain a WWCC, so they and their parents/guardian must complete this declaration which must then be securely stored with other safe ministry documents. Note: A Junior Leader must have a verified WWCC as soon as they turn 18. This transition is helped by the fact that they can apply from 17 years 9 months of age.
  • Screening – We should be as vigilant with our screening of Junior Leaders as we are with adults (a high percentage of sexual abuse of children is peer-to-peer abuse). Therefore, every church should use a comprehensive screening policy such as found in  this document.
  • Safe Ministry Training – All Junior Leaders should be current in their Safe ministry Training – just as adult leaders are expected to be.
    To clarify the training requirements for Junior Leaders, the Safe Ministry Board approved the following at its December 2016 meeting:
    • A junior leader is a person who has been appointed to a leadership role in children’s or youth ministry in a parish who is under 18 years of age.
    • In general, it is more appropriate for a Junior Leader to complete the Safe Ministry Junior Leader Training Module instead of the Essentials course as a part of their training for their role.
    • However, once a person who has been a junior leader attains 18 years of age they must complete the Essentials course unless it was previously completed.
    • At the discretion of the rector or his delegate, a junior leader who is 16 or 17 years old but has greater leadership responsibilities than a junior leader would usually have (e.g. has some teaching responsibilities or has the maturity to be included in leader to child ratios), then that leader should complete the Essentials course.

Any further questions: please contact your local church Safe Ministry Representative,  Safe Ministry Training Support or the Safe Ministry Parish Consultant.

The Parish Administration Ordinance (2008) requires all people working with children (under 18 year olds) to complete our Safe Ministry Training (or an equivalent course under the SCTA – Safe Churches Training Agreement).

Because courses related to other professions are all structured differently, and do not teach from a gospel perspective or cover the church environment, we cannot accept that training. However, with Safe Ministry Training becomes available online, people with such profession-based training will be able to fast-forward through sections of material that they have already covered (e.g. signs of abuse).

Yes, it’s available on the Resources page of the Safe Ministry Training site (https://safeministry.training/resources/)

For face-to-face training, certificates will be emailed directly to participants with a note reminding them to forward it through to their Safe Ministry Representative and to record when they are next due to participate in training.

For online training courses, participants will be emailed after the live webinar when their certificate can be downloaded from ‘My Dashboard.’

Online Training

In general, the online courses will probably take a similar amount of time as the face to face training has done – 2.5 hours for Refresher and up to 5 hours for Essentials. The actual amount of time will however depend on the individual and how fast they read, absorb and interact with the information.

Remember that much of the online courses are self-paced, meaning that you do not have to complete them in one sitting.

The process of registering and purchasing access to course(s) is set out here.

Once you have set up your Safe Ministry Training account and have your log-in details, you log in and then purchase access to the training course you need.

Then, access the page called My Dashboard which will have all the details of the training courses you have access to.

From the day that you buy access to an online training course, you have six weeks to complete the course.

During that time, you can log in and out of the online training site as often as you wish, but we recommend that you set aside enough time to complete the self-paced component of the course in 1 or 2 sessions, and then book in for the earliest convenient live webinar module.

You can complete the self-paced components of the training on a smartphone or mobile device, however this will depend on an individual’s preference and the actual device used.

However, you should not attempt to attend the live webinar on a smartphone as it is an interactive session and it is not possible to fully participate on smaller devices.
In this instance a desktop computer, laptop or tablet would be recommended.

Webinars are generally offered 5-7 times per month, based on demand. It is mostly provided in evenings and some Saturday mornings

A participant must complete their online training including the webinar within 3 years and 1 month from their last training.

It is important to keep in mind that at busy times of the year, it may take 2-3 weeks after completing the self-paced part of the course before a space in a webinar is available.
It is recommended that you allow 1-2 months to complete all components of the online training before the expiry date of any current training.

Once attendance and participation at the final component of the course (a live webinar) is confirmed, users will be emailed to confirm the issue of the certificate and will be able to log into the My Dashboard page of the training site and download their certificate. This process can take up to 3 business days.

With the move to online training and the associated registration and payment system, churches who wish to sponsor or subsidise the training (online or face to face) for their members need to use the following approach:

  • Go to the Bulk Online Training Tickets page on this site, and carefully complete the form on that page.
  • That will automatically generate an invoice to the church, which will be emailed immediately to you.
    When that is paid, the church will be issued with a unique discount code for the course(s) required.
  • That code should be given to the church members wishing to train, and they must individually register and book for whichever course they are undertaking. When entered at the checkout, that code will automatically discount the fee for the course.
  • Once the registration process is complete, the course can be undertaken as normal.

It is not possible to simply make one booking for x people in the one transaction. Each individual has to register with their own details.

At regular points throughout the training, there are opportunities to contact the PSU. This may include the need for pastoral support, to make a report or to raise something about the training.

For Online Assistants, it’s best to let the participant contact the PSU directly rather than you doing this on their behalf. If you have any serious concerns please raise this with your Safe Ministry Representative or the PSU.

Online Assistant

With many aspects of safe ministry training going online, a new role has been created within local churches.

The Online Assistant role has been designed to assist people within the local church in a variety of online tasks and is a way to enable and support people as they complete the online safe ministry training. For more information go to https://safeministry.training/local-safe-ministry-online-assistant/

Yes this is absolutely fine and we greatly appreciate you taking on both roles.

The Online Assistant reports to the Safe Ministry Representative in the local church and so they may be involved in the selection, recruitment and appointment on the Senior Ministers behalf however, he will need to be involved in the decision.

As it is an entirely local appointment, it requires no paperwork or notifying of the PSU.

Training for the Online Assistant role can happen at any time as we have the training video and resources online at https://safeministry.training/local-safe-ministry-online-assistant/

It may be that participants meet in a public place such as coffee shop that has wireless internet or a library or it might be in a person’s home however it is important that Safe Ministry practises are implemented for this role.
We have a framework set out for this in the resource pack online at https://safeministry.training/local-safe-ministry-online-assistant/

The training is provided online. The online assistant enables participants to access the training and navigate their way around, book into/attend the webinar and assist participants to retrieve their certificate.
The Online Assistant role is not a training role in any capacity.

At regular points throughout the training, there are opportunities to contact the PSU. This may include the need for pastoral support, to make a report or to raise something about the training.

For Online Assistants, it’s best to let the participant contact the PSU directly rather than you doing this on their behalf. If you have any serious concerns please raise this with your Safe Ministry Representative or the PSU.

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