With the advent of online training, a new role has been created within local churches – the Local Safe Ministry Online Assistant (Online Assistant).
Their role is to assist those who would like to do online training but may lack the ability to access the internet, or require assistance to:
- book and pay for the course,
- navigate through the course, or
- participate in the webinar.
The role is managed in the local church and is a way to enable and support people as they complete the online safe ministry training.
It is ideal that there is one Online Assistant in each church. A suitable person for this may be the previous local Safe Ministry trainer or another person in your church who is committed to Safe Ministry. The PSU (Safe Ministry Team) will provide yearly training (via webinar) and provide ongoing support to those in this role.
The Online Assistant is appointed by the Senior Minister, and is an entirely local appointment, requiring no paperwork or notifying of the PSU.
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).
If you are interested in becoming an Online Assistant, we have a recording of one of the two original training webinars conducted in 2017.
You can view the video of this webinar below.
‘Online Assistant’ Information Webinar
originally conducted on September 19th 2017
Online Assistant’ -Training Webinar
Originally held Oct 3 2017