In order for staff members to effectively identify and report safeguarding concerns, and ultimately protect pupils from harm, it is important that the appropriate training is undertaken.

Training requirements differ depending on the job role; therefore, this document aims to ensure that the appropriate standard and level of training is undertaken for an individual’s role within the school. In order to help schools achieve this, our guidance also outlines the key considerations to address when choosing training programmes, as well as the arrangements for updating and refreshing training for staff members, including in relation to the DSL.  

It is important to note that, unless a school’s Local Safeguarding Children’s Board (LSCB) talks about training specifications in levels within their own training policy, training programmes should not be described in terms of levels.


Training requirements



All staff members should receive safeguarding and child protection training; this is often undertaken as part of induction training. All staff members must be made aware of the following:

  • How to identify safeguarding concerns
  • Their duty in the prevention of terrorism
  • What to do if a child discloses a concern
  • The procedure to follow when reporting concerns
  • Information sharing restrictions and protocols
  • The early help process
  • The referral process and their role in assessments 
  • Who to contact for support
  • Whistleblowing procedures within safeguarding


In line with statutory guidance, the DSL must have undertaken the training described above, as well as the following:

  • Prevent awareness training – the content of this training must reflect government and departmental advice, with the aim of developing an understanding of radicalisation, associated indicators, the referral process and the role of the Channel programme.
  • Further child protection training – this training focusses on specific issues, such as female genital mutilation and child sexual exploitation, as well as the specific duties of the DSL. The LSCB should be contacted regarding this training as, in some areas, DSLs are required to attend specified multi-agency training as part of their local policy.

Governing boards and proprietors

At least one person on the appointment panel must have undertaken safer recruitment training which reflects part three of ‘Keeping children safe in education’. Governing boards are able to seek advice from their LSCB when choosing the appropriate training for a panel member.


Key considerations


When choosing which safeguarding training to undertake, and by which provider, schools should ask themselves the following questions:

  • What are the needs of the school and its staff members?
  • What are they trying to achieve by undertaking the training?
  • Is the course appropriate for the job role?
  • Does the course meet the role-specific criteria?
  • Is the course specific to a type of school? E.g. maintained schools only.
  • Is the course up-to-date with recent statutory publications and updates?
  • Does the course talk about identifying emerging trends?
  • Are the language and materials used in the course up-to-date?
  • Is it a certified course?
  • Is the provider a reputable safeguarding source?
  • Are there reliable testimonials for the training?
  • Is value for money being achieved?  
  • What is the payment method and cancellation policy?
  • What training methods are used? E.g. face-to-face or online?
  • Can staff members easily access the training and support on offer?
  • What information and resources are accessible to attendees of the training?
  • How does the course fit into the school’s safeguarding development plan?
  • Can the provider develop bespoke training for the context and specific needs of the school?


Refreshing training


Although staff members are not required to refresh their safeguarding training on any particular basis, they should be regularly updated. DSLs must make staff members aware of any safeguarding updates which may affect their role or responsibilities, such as changes to the reporting procedure or when new guidance is issued.

The DSL is required to refresh their training every two years, in order to ensure that they are up-to-date and acting in compliance with statutory policies and procedures. Specific requirements for the DSL’s refresher training are outlined within our article, which can be viewed here.

In addition to their formal training, the DSL and any deputies have a responsibility to maintain up-to-date knowledge and skills; this can be achieved in numerous ways, including e-bulletins, meeting with other DSLs and reading about safeguarding developments. It is statutory for this to be undertaken at least annually, but is recommended to be carried out at regular intervals.


What's next?


DSLs and school leaders can use this guidance when searching for, and comparing, different courses, to ensure that the school’s training arrangements are compliant with statutory guidance and relevant legislation.

When identifying appropriate training opportunities, it can be useful to create a matrix of courses from numerous providers. This enables schools to compare the different functions of the training programmes on offer, in order to find the most suitable course for the setting and its employees. For example, the functions being compared may give consideration to the content of the course, the duration, the price, who the course is aimed at and whether it is certified.

Please note that, when arranging training for staff members, it is advised that schools contact their LA for details of any region-specific training programmes available.




Hall, A., (2016) ‘Safeguarding Training Requirements’, <> [Accessed: 24 January 2018]

DfE (2016) ‘Keeping children safe in education’, p.6-7, 16-17, 18, 57 and 60

DfE (2015) ‘The Prevent duty’, p.7