Skip to main content

4. Safeguarding Training Competency Framework

For amendments and updates, see the Amendments & Archives.

4.1 Introduction

Caption: Introduction table


Every professional body has their own competence and training framework against which the workforce knowledge and skills are be measured, according to their professional role and set out by their own professional organisations. Some of this training will inform their safeguarding procedures, policies and protocols.


This document supports those existing frameworks and is designed to assist all employers, voluntary organisations and Local Safeguarding Children Partnerships (LSCPs) and multi-agency safeguarding partnerships, to meet the minimum requirements for the provision of multi-agency safeguarding children training.


This document sets out the level of competency in regards to safeguarding children, required by professionals who have a varied range of levels of contact with and responsibility for children and or parents /carers. These will include those who in their work or volunteering have limited contact with children, young people and their parents/carers, and no responsibility for them to those who have the highest levels of responsibilities for them, including at strategic level.


It underpins Working Together 2018 and the London Child Protection Procedures and provides a framework for single and multi-agency training to enable professionals, volunteers, agencies, organisations and services to acquire the skills and knowledge to work effectively within existing guidance and procedures for safeguarding children. It promotes consistency across London Boroughs for the delivery of such training. It does not set out the type of training required to achieve the different levels of competency but allows for a degree of local flexibility required to meet locally identified needs.


For the purpose of this document, training is not limited to formal events, but can include a wide range of learning and development activities including shared expertise, e-learning, shadowing and presentations.


Whilst the implementation of this document is not mandatory, it represents a standard of good practice and will help LSCPs/ multi-agency safeguarding partnership and partner organisations fulfil their responsibilities under Regulations 5. 1(a)(ii) as outlined in chapter 3 of 'Working Together to Safeguard Children' (2018).


The framework outlined in this document supports one of the primary duties that the Children Act 2004 creates: to ensure local authorities and key agencies work together to improve outcomes for children. In the context of learning skills and developing knowledge to better safeguard children and promote their well-being, "working together" can be translated as multi-agency learning and development activities or training.


It is therefore essential that systems are in place to evaluate the quality and effectiveness of training provided, its impact on practice, and on the delivery of services to children, young people and their families. The London Safeguarding

Training Sub Group has developed a Training Evaluation and Impact Analysis Framework, endorsed by the London Partnership as good practice. The focus of the evaluation should be on the extent to which training is contributing to improving the knowledge and skills of the workforce with regard to working together to safeguard and promote the welfare of children. Evaluation should include the following:

  • Relevance, currency and accuracy of course content;
  • Quality of training delivery;
  • Short and longer term outcomes; and
  • Impact of working together and inter-professional relationships.


Management support has been identified as one of the most important factors that contribute to the effectiveness of learning and development. Managers therefore play a crucial role in supporting their staff to attend training, transfer learning into practice by ensuring they have enough time, resources and opportunities to use their new skills.

4.2 Knowledge and Skills for Child and Family Work

Caption: Knowledge and Skills for Child and Family Work


  1. Effective communication and engagement with children, young people and families;
  2. Children and young people development;
  3. Safeguarding and promoting children and young people welfare;
  4. Multi-agency working;
  5. Information sharing.

4.3 Purpose of the Framework

Caption: Purpose of the Framework


The aim of this document is to outline the competencies within the workforce and to support staff and volunteers in ensuring the safety and wellbeing of children and young people who may be experiencing abuse or neglect. It offers a framework of these competencies within varied roles of staff and volunteers who work with children and young people who may be at risk and their families. The framework will aid staff, supervisors and team managers to use identifiable standards to measure the competencies of staff, record appropriate evidence and have a framework as to the achievable outcomes for the development of staff and volunteers.


Each professional competency within the framework refers to a combination of skills, knowledge and experience expected of individual staff. Competency involves being able to demonstrate the ability to be critically reflective and self- aware in analysing, reviewing and evaluating ones skills, knowledge and professional practice and being open to change.


Competence Still Matters identified the following groups audiences based on their degree of contact with children and/or parents/carers and their levels of responsibility.


This document recognises that in the absence, for most agencies of any clear guidance in relation to training, each LSCP/ multi-agency safeguarding partnership would have developed their own training strategy.


This framework wants to offer some guidelines to employers for identifying the relevant competencies (either by group or level including Inter-Collegiate Levels – (ICL)) (see Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) website) according to staff involvement and responsibilities in relation to children, young people and their parents.

Caption: Inter-Collegiate Levels
Level Group ICL Description
1 1 1 Those who have occasional contact with children, young people and/or parents/carers.
2 2 2-3 Those in regular or in intensive but irregular contact with children, young people and/or parents/carers.
3 Those who work predominantly with children, young people and/or parents/ carers.
3 4 4-5 Those who have particular specialist child protection responsibilities.
5 Professional advisers and designated leads for child protection.
4 6 4 Operational managers of services for children, young people and/or parents / carers.
5 7 5 Senior managers responsible for strategic management of services for children, young people and/or parents/carers.
8 Members of Local Safeguarding Children Partnerships./ Multi-agency safeguarding partnerships.

Board Level for Chief Executive Officers, Trust and Health Board Executive and non-executive directors/members, commissioning body Directors.

4.4 Safeguarding Children: Professional Competency in Working with Children, Young People and their Families and Delivering Safeguarding Services 6

Caption: Professional Competency
Level / Groups Professional Competency
Level 1 / Group 1 (Inter-Collegiate level 1)
  • Understanding what is child abuse and being able to recognise potential signs and indicators of abuse and neglect;
  • Awareness of the organisation's basic safeguarding children procedures;
  • Awareness of who within the organisation should be contacted regarding any concern about a child's safety or welfare (including who to contact if that person is unavailable);
  • Awareness of who within the organisation should be contacted regarding any concern about a colleague's behaviour towards a child or potential risk that they may present;
  • Awareness of the expected standards of behaviour by staff towards children.
Level 2/ Groups 2-3 (Inter- Collegiate Levels 2-3)
  • Documentation and sharing of information regarding concerns;
  • Using the Framework for the Assessment of Children in Need and their Families (: Own safeguarding roles and responsibilities;
  • Working together to identify, assess and meet the needs of children where there are safeguarding concerns. To identify child focused interventions and measurable outcomes;
  • Understanding the possible impact of parenting difficulties, such as domestic abuse, mental health, substance misuse, learning difficulties on parenting capacity;
  • Recognising the importance of family history and functioning;
  • Working with children and family members, including addressing lack of co-operation and superficial compliance within the context of role.
Level 3 / Groups 4-5 (Inter- Collegiate Levels 3-4)
  • Conducting section 47 enquiries, attending Child Protection Conferences and managing Core Groups; roles, responsibilities and collaborative practice;
  • Using professional judgements to make decisions as to whether a child is suffering, or is likely to suffer, significant harm;
  • Working with complexity;
  • Taking emergency action;
  • Communicating with children in line with interviewing vulnerable witness guidance. • Promoting effective, professional practice;
  • Supervising child protection cases and advising others.
Level 4 / Group 6 (Inter-Collegiate Level 4)
  • Supervising child protection cases. Managing performance to promote effective inter-agency practice;
  • Specialist training to undertake key management and/or supervisory roles in, for example, intake/duty teams.
Level 5 / Group 7-8 (Inter- Collegiate Levels 5-6)
  • Section 11 expectations, roles and responsibilities;
  • Expectations on members in order to promote effective co-operation that improves effectiveness;
  • Current policy, research and practice developments;
  • Implementation of lessons from Serious Case / Learning and Improvement Reviews. Specialist training to undertake specific roles, for example Independent Chair; Business Manager.

4.5 Diagram: Levels, Groups and Inter-Collegiate Levels and the Training Required

Levels, Groups and Inter-Collegiate Levels and the Training Required

Trix procedures

Only valid for 48hrs