Raising Safeguarding Concerns

Procedure for raising safeguarding concerns for staff, students and third parties.

Version January 2017. 

Executive Summary

This document has been written in line with Care Act 2014, and:

Abuse is a violation of an individual’s human or civil rights, by any other person or persons. Professionals should not limit their view of what constitutes abuse or neglect, as they can take many forms and the circumstances of the individual case should always be considered.

A person may abuse or neglect a child or adult by inflicting harm, or by failing to act to prevent harm. The Recognising Abuse Guidance document provides definitions of abuse and guidance on the signs of abuse.

These procedures should be read in conjunction with:

Reporting your concerns

The University has a designated Safeguarding Co-ordinator and a Deputy Safeguarding Co-ordinator team. You must ensure that you inform the Safeguarding Co-ordinator or designated Safeguarding deputy immediately on the numbers below.

The Safeguarding co-ordinator(s) will discuss your concerns and take appropriate action. If it is considered necessary, they will make arrangements to travel to your site.

If your concerns relate to a student, please refer to the Safeguarding Co-ordinator as detailed below:

To contact the Safeguarding Co-ordinator or Deputy, call:

Out of Hours response:

If your concerns relates to a member of staff:

If your concerns relate to both a student and a member of staff, please refer to the Safeguarding Co-ordinator.

Where a member of staff becomes aware of an allegation of abuse against another member staff, or indeed against themselves, or they suspect abuse is taking place, they should inform the Safeguarding Co-ordinator (SC). Where the SC is the subject of the allegation or suspicion, the SC’s line manager should be informed instead.

Responsibilities of the university

University of Derby staff are not responsible for diagnosing injury or assessing abuse. However, they are responsible for promptly reporting actual, suspected or alleged abuse.

Safeguarding Children

Safeguarding duties apply to all children and young people attending university sites, inclusive of parent students with children.

Safeguarding any child or young person under 18 years requires us to:

Safeguarding Adults

Safeguarding duties apply to an adult who:

Reporting Procedure for Staff, Students and Third Parties

In these procedures, it is accepted that:

When an individual is uncertain about whether or not to raise their concerns, advice should always be sought from the Safeguarding Co-ordinator/Deputy. In some cases, it may be appropriate for the Safeguarding Co-ordinator/Deputy to seek advice from Social Care.

Suspicion of Abuse

Any individual who becomes concerned that a child or an adult at risk may be subject to some form of abuse should discuss their concerns with the Safeguarding Co-ordinator/Deputy.

If, after discussion, it is felt that the concern should be taken further, the Safeguarding co-ordinator/Deputy will raise an alert with Social Care.

Disclosure of Abuse

All staff must inform the Safeguarding Co-ordinator/Deputy immediately if:

Concerns may be raised that have considered impact, both within the university and externally. Following a disclosure, it is important to inform the individual of your responsibilities to share this information with the Safeguarding Co-ordinator. The individual should be reassured that the Safeguarding Co-ordinator/Deputy will, whenever possible, discuss with them what action they are taking and what action is likely to follow.

If the individual requests that the information isn’t shared, it should be explained that it will be necessary to enable appropriate action to protect them or the child/adult at risk.

The Safeguarding Co-ordinator/Deputy must be informed, even if the student withdraws the allegation at this point.

Maintaining records

In normal circumstances, individual staff members should not hold any records relating to a safeguarding concern. Any exception to this must be agreed with the Safeguarding Co-ordinator/Deputy/HR. However, all staff must provide records concerning any safeguarding concern. These records should be completed on the same day, be factual, accurate and where possible, include the views and wishes of the child/adult at risks preferred outcomes.

Any original handwritten notes should be retained even if formal reports or typed records are made later. The originals may be required for court purposes. These should be handed to the Safeguarding Coordinator/Deputy so that they can be held on file in line with the Data Protection Act 1988.

Records should be stored and shared in line with the Data Protection Act 1998 and should be held either in the Safeguarding central record system, held by the Safeguarding Co-ordinator and/or the Professional Conduct Professional Suitability central record system and/or the Student Disciplinary central record system and/or the Human Resources central record system as appropriate.  
If there is a Subject Access Request or Freedom of Information Request, the Safeguarding Co-ordinator will make any decision as to whether it is appropriate to withhold information.

Appendix 1: Maintaining Records

Accurate records are essential to inform effective decision-making and enable appropriate action and response, noting the following as guidance: 

The Safeguarding record should contain:

Appendix 2: Data Protection

Appendix 3: Retention of safeguarding records

Written records of any safeguarding concerns will be retained for as long as is necessary for the purpose for which it was obtained or as legally required or lawfully permitted.

Length of time for retaining record:

In general practice, a student’s records should be held for 7 years after the student has left university or College. However, when the student is under 18 years of age, records must be held until their 25th birthday.

For guidance concerning the retention of safeguarding records, please refer to the Data Protection Act 1998.

Organisations need to have procedures to cover the review of personal/sensitive information held on files therefore they should assess how long to keep the information for, ascertain for what purpose it is being held and when it will be destroyed.

Some records are subject to statutory requirements (i.e. there is a defined retention period). Examples include:

Further Reading: