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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 general face-to-face training information and 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 of age) 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 is under 18 years of age, and has been appointed to a leadership role in children’s or youth ministry in a parish.
    • In general, it is more appropriate for a Junior Leader to complete the Safe Ministry Junior Leader course instead of the Safe Ministry 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. All leaders must complete the Essentials course prior to undertaking the Refresher course.
    • At the discretion of the rector or his delegate, a Junior Leader who is 16 or 17 years of age who 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),  should complete the Essentials course rather than the Junior Leader 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 available online, people with such profession-based training will generally be able to fast-forward through sections of material that they have already covered (e.g. signs of abuse) in their other training.

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.’

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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, although this will depend on an individual’s preference and the actual device used.

However, do not attend the live webinar on a smartphone.

Webinars are interactive sessions and you will not successfully complete a webinar on these smaller devices (you will be required to attend another webinar if you use a smartphone). Please use a desktop computer, laptop or tablet instead.

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 a special access code to give them access to one last Checkpoint. This email will be sent 24 hours after the webinar. When that Checkpoint has been successfully completed you will have immediate access to your certificate.
You will be able to access your certificate at any time after this via the My Dashboard page of the training site.

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.

It is very important that you attend the webinar as an individual, and not as part of a group using one device.
This is because of the interactive nature of the event, and how we record each individual’s interaction in the session.

That said, a group of people can gather at a suitable venue to log in to their webinar at the same time, provided the following is observed:

  • Each person has individually registered for the webinar as part of their training.
  • The venue has a high enough quality internet connection to service each device used. Do not expect a domestic grade connection to serve more than 2-3 devices (unless you have a 50Mb or 100Mb NBN connection). Wired connections will always work better than WiFi (where possible).
  • Each person uses their own device to attend the webinar. We recommend a laptop or desktop, however an iPad or Android tablet can also be used. A mobile phone will NOT be a suitable device and you will be unable to complete the webinar on a phone.
  • Each person uses a set of headphones or earbuds to hear the webinar on their own device.

Go to ‘Buy Access‘ and pay for your course again, which will gain you an additional enrolment period (six weeks).

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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.

Many of the people that Online Assistants will be asked to help will be older people or people with some disabilities.

Here are a few suggestions to help smooth the path for such people wanting to do online training:

  • If someone struggles with technology, don’t attempt the training on device like an iPad.
    The smaller screens will just add to the challenge.
  • For a better experience with such people, we recommend using either a desktop or laptop computer – ideally with a LARGE monitor to make viewing more comfortable.
    All laptops these days allow the plugging in of an external monitor.
  • Consider having a morning at one location with internet where two or three devices can be set up, and two or three people doing the training at a time, with an Online Assistant overseeing the session.
  • If you are experiencing unreliable internet, try and arrange to have the device connected by cable to the router rather than Wi-Fi.
    Wi-Fi is great for email and browsing the web, but was never designed for more serious usage (with some rare exceptions).

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Webinars

It is very important that you attend the webinar as an individual, and not as part of a group using one device.
This is because of the interactive nature of the event, and how we record each individual’s interaction in the session.

That said, a group of people can gather at a suitable venue to log in to their webinar at the same time, provided the following is observed:

  • Each person has individually registered for the webinar as part of their training.
  • The venue has a high enough quality internet connection to service each device used. Do not expect a domestic grade connection to serve more than 2-3 devices (unless you have a 50Mb or 100Mb NBN connection). Wired connections will always work better than WiFi (where possible).
  • Each person uses their own device to attend the webinar. We recommend a laptop or desktop, however an iPad or Android tablet can also be used. A mobile phone will NOT be a suitable device and you will be unable to complete the webinar on a phone.
  • Each person uses a set of headphones or earbuds to hear the webinar on their own device.

Tips on having a great webinar on your iPad

First things first:

  • Make sure the iPad you are using has the current version of the Adobe Connect app installed. This is free and available in the iTunes App Store.
  • Make sure your confirmation email for the webinar is available on the same device.
  • Make sure you have a good strong WiFi signal for your iPad – ie: try to be close to your router or wireless access point.
  • Minimise how many other devices are connected to the internet at the time of the webinar. Perhaps ask other household members to hold back on Netflix streaming and other downloading for the duration of the webinar.

Logging in

  • At least 10 minutes before the webinar start time, open the confirmation email and click on the ‘Join’ button in the email.
    This will open your web browser and will display this page:
  • Click on the ‘Open Adobe Connect Mobile‘ button
  • This will start the app and log you into the webinar, where you will be in the ‘lobby’
  • Once logged in, wait for the advertised start time then follow the instructions given by the Presenter or Producer during the webinar.

Participating in the webinar

  • The Presenter and Producer will give instructions for participants to follow during the webinar, however there are a number of control icons that are helpful for iPad users to be aware of to help you to communicate and participate during the session.The following icons will appear on the top left of your screen as needed, once the webinar is underway:
    • Layout

      Use this button to return you to the full presentation screen layout if you have used the Q&A icon or the Poll icon.
    • Q&A

      This is how you communicate with the Presenter/Producer.
      To enter a question, touch the ‘speech bubble’ icon that appears in the list of control icons. This will make the Q&A pod come to the foreground. Touch ‘ask a question’, type your question, then hit ‘Done’ to submit your question to the Producer.
      Touch the layout icon to return to the main presentation screen. Any response from the Producer will appear under your question in the Q&A pod.
    • Polls

      Polls will appear at various times throughout the webinar. To participate in the poll, touch the ‘voting’ icon that will appear in the list of control icons. This will bring the poll to the foreground. Touch the radio button next to the answer you wish to give.
      When you have selected your answer, touch the layout icon to return you the poll presentation screen.

Logging out


When the webinar has concluded, you log out by touching the ‘hamburger’ menu at the bottom left of your screen and choosing ‘logout’.
You may then close the Connect app and wait for your follow-up email in 24 hours time.

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