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Group E


Group E roles have the final say about safeguarding decisions during the safeguarding process.

They can advise about high level, complex situations. They ‘make a call’ about any safeguarding decisions that need to be made.

Certain decisions in the safeguarding process can’t be made below this level.

These include the higher levels of care and support packages (placements) that are sometimes needed because of safeguarding concerns.

Some agencies may not have people that work at this level because of the high level of expertise, knowledge and decision-making powers needed in the safeguarding process.

The people working at this level would also advise other agencies on their area of expertise. They’d be able to lead regional or national safeguarding work their area of expertise.

They’d routinely be involved in regional or national groups that look at safeguarding issues, including national initiatives and complex reviews.

Group E practitioners wouldn’t necessarily be the people at the highest levels in organisations, as these may be in group F (which would consist of elected members, board members and chief executives).

They may have to advise people in group F.

People in group F have higher decision-making powers in general but wouldn’t get involved in the details of the safeguarding process or make decisions about the process.

Memorable principles

  • I have strategic oversight on all safeguarding matters within the organisation.
  • I will aim to make sure that we have sufficient resources to meet the organisation’s safeguarding duties.
  • I will use my knowledge and influence to improve safeguarding practice regionally and national.

According to the standards, people in group E need to know:

  • the core competencies (if they’re sector leaders or have specialist roles)
  • how to work in ways that safeguard people from abuse, harm and neglect
  • support others to safeguard people.

Learning outcomes

At the end of a period of learning and development specific to their safeguarding role, they must be able to:

  • lead and make decisions to make sure safeguarding actions are done robustly timely, and processes are in place across the organisation
  • lead or oversee safeguarding quality assurance and improvement in the organisation and monitor practice changes
  • give appropriate advice to other agencies and to specialist safeguarding professionals in the organisation who carry out services
  • lead innovation and change to make safeguarding better in the organisation
  • understand and encourage effective supervision processes, appraisal, and support for specialist safeguarding practitioners
  • understand the expectations of organisational accountability and quality assurance for safeguarding
  • have a detailed understanding of safeguarding legislation and procedures
  • give advice and evidence about safeguarding decisions, processes and procedures
  • understand systems that support:
    • evaluation
    • compliance of workforce development and training for safeguarding
  • understand the knowledge and skills needed to lead, coordinate and collaborate at national, regional, local levels
  • apply changes from legislation and guidance
  • share information and learning from child and adult practice reviews (Single Unified Safeguarding Reviews) and act on recommendations.

Training, learning and development

  • We strongly recommend a blended way of learning. This will include:
    • basic online training
    • virtual classrooms
    • face-to-face teaching and learning.
  • The learning should, where possible or relevant, be done with a multi-agency approach.
  • There must be specialist and single agency learning, and this must be in addition to general and multi-agency learning.
  • Learning opportunities for practitioners will:
    • focus on research
    • be outcomes-based
    • include short, targeted information sessions
    • include analysing complex case studies
    • use video material and reflective practice.

Things to consider

Learning should include:

  • shorter, targeted information sessions
  • reflection
  • analytical practice which focuses on research and is outcome-based.

Group E training should be reflective and is often conducted in facilitated sessions to encourage interaction, reflection and learning.

Group E practitioners should keep formal CPD logs of learning opportunities outside of training. (For example: going to strategic meetings.)

How much training, learning and development?

  • Newly appointed practitioners in group E complete a minimum of hours of safeguarding training, learning and development in their first six months. This training can be agreed between the practitioner and their line manager.
  • Practitioners will complete a minimum of 24 hours’ refresher training in every three-year period.
  • Practitioners should keep a formal CPD log of learning opportunities outside virtual or classroom-based training. (For example: going to strategic meetings.)