Putting People First

Policy Statement

NECC has a duty of care to safeguard from harm all vulnerable adults and young people. We will ensure the safety and protection of all adults and young people involved in NECC through adherence to the following Safeguarding guidelines adopted by NECC.

In simple terms, we need to ensure we work effectively together to make the learning environment safe and secure for all.

The policy is divided into 9 sections:

Recruitment and Selection of Staff
Code of Practice
Confidentiality and Information sharing
Designated Protection Person

Recruitment and Selection of Staff
All prospective staff, recruited to work with learners, will complete an application form which asks for information about the applicant’s past, a self-disclosure about any criminal record and an agreement to be checked by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) – previously known as Criminal Records Bureau.  Where applicants do not complete an application form, they will be advised of the requirement for DBS clearance (e.g.  by the recruitment agency).  The DBS check will be completed during the probationary period. Two references will be requested, either from their previous employer or from someone known to them personally, but not a relative.  Evidence of identity will be required, such as a passport or a driving licence with a photograph.

Code of Practice
These are guidelines for staff working with learners:

• Always work in an open environment avoiding private or unobserved situations and encouraging open communication.
• Treat everyone as individuals with equal concern, respecting their background and culture.
• Always put the welfare of each person first.
• Maintain a safe and appropriate distance from each person, including no physical contact without a person’s permission, whilst maintaining supervision.
• Do not take a learner alone in a car on journeys, however short. If this is unavoidable, ensure you tell someone else where you are going, what you are doing and why.
• Do not speak inappropriately to a learner i.e. Do not use bad language or sexually suggestive language.
• Do not interact with any NECC learners via any Social Media, other than for authorised recruitment processes.
• NECC Managers’, who have learners employed within their teams, should exercise caution in the use of personal social media contact with those individuals.

Confidentiality and Information Sharing
• Colleagues will ensure confidentiality protocols are adhered to and information is shared appropriately. If in any doubt about confidentiality, colleagues will seek advice from their Regional Manager or Head of HR.
• The Designated Protection Person will disclose any information about an adult or young person to other members of staff on a need-to-know basis only.
• All colleagues must be aware that information an adult or young person discloses regarding abuse of themselves or another person must be shared as appropriate, and cannot be kept secret.
• Information will be shared on a ‘need to know’ basis – taking account of the best interests of the adult or young person.
• Any exchange or disclosure of information must be in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998 and the Human Rights Act 1998 and the Freedom of Information Act 2000.
• NECC recognises that confidentiality must be designed to safeguard the best interests of the abused person and must not be confused with protecting the management interest of an organisation.
• NECC operates a ‘Whistle blowing’ Policy if any staff have any concerns about the conduct of their colleagues.

The ability to recognise behaviour that may indicate abuse is of fundamental importance. Colleagues must be aware that the abuse may occur at work, in a training centre, in the home or in any other setting in which the learner may find themselves.

Type of Abuse Indicators, signs and symptoms
PHYSICAL – punching, hitting, kicking, pushing, burning, poisoning, cutting, biting, scratching, scalding, and shaking. Bruising
Cuts and Abrasions
Frequent fractures
Frequent hospital visits
EMOTIONAL/PSYCHOLOGICAL - name-calling, teasing without warmth or humour, swearing, shouting, ridiculing, humiliating, threatening, conveying of worthlessness, constant criticism, controlling, and harassment. Undemonstrative behaviour
Attention seeking behaviour
Destructive behaviour
Over-mature or Immature behaviour
Inappropriate responses


SEXUAL ABUSE – Rape and sexual assault or sexual acts to which the vulnerable adult or young person has not consented, could not consent or was pressured into consenting Awareness of any discussions between learners about:
• Genital, anal and oral damage
• Repeated urinary tract infections
• Sexually transmitted disease
Sexually explicit behaviour

NEGLECT – Failure to meet basic physical and/or psychological needs. Over or Underweight
Chronic conditions
Persistent illness and tiredness
Inadequate hygiene
Inadequate and inappropriate clothing
Repeated lateness/Poor attendance

Colleagues should also be aware of additional types of abuse such as:

Financial or Material – theft, fraud, exploitation, pressure in connection with financial transactions, the misuse or misappropriation of property and possessions.
Bullying (including cyber-bullying) – oppression or persecution of a weaker person by a stronger person.
Domestic – whole range of abuses occurring within the home setting.
Self-Harm – includes self-injury and self-poisoning – intentional direct injuring of body tissue without suicidal intent – most common form is skin cutting.

Appropriate response is vital. No report of a concern about possible abuse should ever be ignored. In order to determine the most appropriate response;  find out whether you are dealing with an allegation from a learner against a member of staff, employer, work colleague, fellow learner or another.

Is this disclosure from an individual alleging abuse to themselves or to another?  Is it the reporting of a concern or suspicion? What, precisely, is alleged to have happened? Detailed clarity is vital. If you suspect or are told that an adult or young person is being abused:

• Stay calm
• Listen carefully to what is said
• Allow them to speak, but be very careful not to say anything that may suggest or prompt a particular answer.
• Accept at face value what they say.
• Re-assure them that you are listening carefully to them but refrain from promising to ‘keep a secret’. Make it clear that you may have to tell someone else who can help to sort things out.
• Re-assure them that they have done the right thing in telling you.
• Tell the adult or young person what you will do next and with whom the information will be shared.
• You should IMMEDIATELY report all Safeguarding concerns to a Designated Protection Person by the quickest way possible. Ensure your Line Manager is also made aware. 
• All Safeguarding concerns must be recorded via the Intranet using the electronic Safeguarding Issue form – this is located on the Intranet>Training Home page>Safeguarding Issue.  Please ensure the following details are included:
o Name/Date of Birth and Address of Learner
o Learner Contact numbers (mobile, work and home)
o Employer Name and address
o Employer contact numbers
o Date(s) and time(s) of abuse/incidents
o Record precisely what has been alleged

Remember that you are not responsible for deciding whether abuse has occurred. That is the task for the professional agencies, following a referral from NECC’s Designated Protection Person.  Any concerns regarding allegations of abuse must be in the first instance, be reported to your Designated Protection Person via Safeguarding Issue (located on the Intranet – Training Home Page). This record will alert the Designated Protection Person – who will then decide whether to discuss the concern/allegation with Social Services or the police and if appropriate, make a direct referral.   Once you have completed a Safeguarding Issue the record will be kept confidential and the information will only be viewable by the referrer and the Designated Protection Person.

You should record precisely what has been alleged, using the words of the complainant. Your record should use accurate quotation. It should also, if felt appropriate, include factual observations about the observable physical and emotional state of the individual sharing their concerns with you. This information will be recorded and stored securely, in line with confidential policy and will only be accessible to those who need to access it as part of action to resolve a complaint or allegation.

Only the Designated Protection Person can make a decision to refer a complaint or allegation, having gathered and examined all relevant testimony and information.  No-one other than the Designated Protection Person should mount an investigation into complaints, allegations or suspicions of abuse. An investigation may include questioning colleagues, learners, carers, parents, learner representatives, volunteers, partners and the complainant. Actions of these sorts carried out by someone other than the Designated Protection Person could be construed as unjustified interference which could jeopardise an investigation and any possible court case.

Designated Protection Person

• To familiarise themselves with NECC’s Safeguarding policy and ensure it is reviewed on an annual basis.
• To ensure that all colleagues are aware of NECC’s Safeguarding policy and where to access the information.
• To ensure that the Policy is adhered to and raise any concerns in this respect with the Head of Training Operations.
• To receive any concerns about any NECC learners, adults or young people employed or on work placement with us.
• To respond to those concerns by discussing the matter with whoever has raised the concern, notifying the appropriate designated person and agreeing an appropriate response to the situation. Depending on the nature of the concern, the response may range from simply keeping a record of the concern to immediately, contacting the most appropriate external agency.
• To keep confidential records of any concerns received and the response.
• To attend any training events appropriate to the position.

Designated Protection Persons appointed by NECC are:

1. Names: Lindsey Thornton, Regional Manager
Contact No: 07912 478925
Location: NECC, Newcastle Office

2. Name:  Suzanne Slater, Regional Manager
Contact No: 07980 260044   
Location: NECC, Newcastle Office

3. Name:  Andrew Robson, Head of Training Operations
Contact No: 07714 845 607
Location: NECC, Newcastle Office

4. Name:  Pamela Robertson, Head of Human Resources
(for complaints/concerns involving NECC employees)
 Contact No: 07714 845601
Location: NECC, Durham Office

This policy will be reviewed annually by NECC.
 (Chief Executive)
Date: December 2013

Contact NECC

North East Chamber of Commerce
Aykley Heads Business Park
Tel: 0300 303 6322 

Email NECC