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Last updated: 29.03.18

Safeguarding training on a global scale – how e-learning can help increase standards

At the recent Safeguarding Summit, UK-based international development charities, regulatory bodies and independent experts were challenged to increase their safeguarding standards and agree practical tools, processes and protocols to ensure that the aid sector protects the people it serves.

All forms of abuse are prevalent worldwide, in every society, and it can take place in all organisations, regardless of your sector. Organisations that have a responsibility to safeguard children, young people or vulnerable adults should ensure that they not only have the very best processes in place, but are also confident that the chances of an incident happening on their watch are as close to zero as possible.

Now is the time to review training standards, take action, and find the right solutions for your organisation.

Having worked within the safeguarding sector for over 10 years, we understand the importance of sharing best practice. Here we share three key areas of focus to reconsider, to improve your processes and increase your organisation’s safeguarding standards:

Continuous code of conduct

A code of conduct can be an important step in establishing an inclusive culture, but it is not a comprehensive solution on its own. Requiring staff members to read the code is simply not enough to ensure that they understand it and will remember its contents.

One way to change this is to create a valuable and enjoyable learning experience which not only covers content specific for your organisation, but provides effective engagement, influences behaviour change and promotes the high standards which your organisation aims to achieve. Today, in our rapidly changing world, learning is less about transmitting existing knowledge and more about creating learning experiences.

Your training programme may cover your people in the field and your offices worldwide, but how does your organisation ensure that expectations for all staff are continuously monitored? Does your organisation have robust recording and reporting mechanisms in place? Audit and learning management systems are not just buzzwords in the learning and development industry, they allow for measurement and change to take place and support global scale training operations.

Culture change

Building an international, companywide culture of learning and development may seem like a daunting task, especially when you have to take into account the differing cultural and legal contexts within which they operate. But it is possible.

The key here is to recognise that training must be more than a ‘tick-box' solution. The best results are delivered when content is accessible, engaging and memorable and which makes people feel empowered. There are a whole host of training solutions available and finding the right one for your organisation is key.

In addition to a training platform that helps you to manage, measure and reinforce learning, e-learning that is mapped to your organisation’s needs can support the development of your workforce and ensures that your organisation’s standards are being adhered to, wherever you operate in the world. Consider creating training solutions that focus on behaviour change as these can really influence challenging cultures and inspire a ‘speak up, speak out’ ethos. Done properly, learning becomes an integral part of employees’ daily working schedule in a way that doesn’t really feel like learning – certainly not in the traditional sense. They can see and understand the context of the learning and the benefits are immediately clear to them.

Organisational alignment and creating a universal learning environment where everyone is empowered to protect themselves and others is something all organisations should strive for.

Relationships of trust

Those who have responsibility for, or influence over, children, young people and vulnerable adults are in relationships of trust and this should be universally recognised. A relationship of trust can be described as one in which one party has power and influence over the other by virtue of their work or the nature of the activity. It is vital for all those in such positions of responsibility to truly understand the power they may have over those in their care, and the responsibility they must exercise as a consequence.

Your learning and development environment and platform should be a space where practice is shared, challenged and reported. Effective reporting mechanisms can ensure that your workforce is developed, and having regular, companywide review processes in place ensures that trust is maintained between all parties, supporting continuous improvement throughout your organisation. It is important to maintain an ethos whereby colleagues and partners feel able to express any concerns comfortably, and to have a learning management system in place which provides you with the tools you need to fully support your organisational safeguarding objectives.

If you have any questions or want to learn more about how our services can help your organisation meet its training requirements, then please get in touch with Felicity Bagshaw – felicity.bagshaw@virtual-college.co.uk. We’d love to hear from you.