ICS Learn provides learning programmes that are open to everyone, including young people1 and vulnerable adults.2 In line with current legislation and guidance in the United Kingdom, ICS Learn recognises that we have a responsibility of care in ensuring that the learning environment is safe for vulnerable groups during their studies and we are committed to ensuring that they are safeguarded and protected from harm.
The ICS Learn Safeguarding Policy has been developed in regard to Government guidance, in particular The Children Act 1989, The Education Act 2002 and The Protection of Children (Scotland) Act 2003. The Children Act 1989 allocates a duty of care to local authority, courts and parents to safeguard children’s welfare. The Education Act 2002 gives duty to schools to protect and safeguard students and their welfare. The Protection of Children (Scotland) Act 2003 aims to improve safeguards for children by preventing unsuitable people from working with them.
ICS Learn aim to provide a safe environment for learners who are considered to be in a vulnerable group,3 this is a priority and is the shared responsibility of all staff4 at ICS Learn.
Vulnerable groups should be free to learn and develop their potential without fear of abuse or exploitation. At ICS Learn, we value all learners, irrespective of their age, gender, racial origin, religion, belief or sexual orientation and will ensure that their rights are respected.
ICS Learn takes reasonable measures to ensure that members of staff who have regular and significant contact with vulnerable groups do not have a known history of harmful behaviour.
All suspicions or allegations of inappropriate behaviour will be taken seriously by ICS Learn and responded to as appropriate. All members of staff are expected to operate in accordance with all ICS Learn policies including Safeguarding.
All ICS Learn policies are reviewed annually and kept up to date, taking into account any changes in United Kingdom legislation, guidance and requirements from the Awarding Organisations and other bodies we work with, as well as industry best practice.
Designated Safeguarding Officer(s) will be responsible for dealing with safeguarding issues related to this policy. The Designated Safeguarding Officer(s) will be appointed by the Head of Curriculum and Quality Assurance for a period of two years, at which stage the appointment will be reviewed.
This policy will be published to ICS Learn staff so that they are aware of the Safeguarding Policy and what they can do when a concern arises. Support and advice will be provided to staff if/when such matters arise.
The Head of the Curriculum and Quality Assurance team will be responsible for identifying appropriate training, for ensuring that the Designated Safeguarding Officer(s) have attended the necessary training, and that they have the knowledge and skills to give advice and guidance about safeguarding issues. All ICS Learn staff will receive information and guidance about safeguarding and be made aware of who the Designated Safeguarding Officer(s) are.
This policy will be published to all ICS Learn learners through the ICS Learn website and the ICS Learn Student Community so that they are aware of our commitment to the protection of vulnerable groups. Detailed and accurate records of concerns will be kept securely and confidentially by the Designated Safeguarding Officer(s) when concerns arise.
ICS Learn is aware that some of the programmes offered may require previous experience in a particular field that is unsuitable for young people and that some of the programmes leading to a qualification by an Awarding Organisation may have minimum age requirements. ICS Learn has procedures in place to prevent young people from enrolling on such programmes and has addressed this within its enrolment criteria.
The parents/guardians/carers of young people will be made aware during the enrolment process that the young person will be studying alongside adults.
ICS Learn employ safe recruitment procedures and makes sure all appropriate checks are carried out on all staff including – tutors/internal quality assurers/authors/internal staff who work with vulnerable groups.
All young people who have enrolled on an ICS Learn course and their parents/guardians/carers will be given guidance on what communications will be taking place and will be given advice on how to keep safe in all aspects of their studies. These communications may include online workshops, communication through the Student Community, external social networking forums and one-to-one telephone communications.
By enrolling on ICS Learn programmes which involve photographic or video assessment, vulnerable people and the parents/guardians/carers of young people consent that we can store those for assessment, internal verification and external verification purposes and circulate with the appointed tutors, and internal and external verifiers.
ICS Learn will ensure that photographic and video assessment evidence are only passed to the relevant staff and are not circulated with a wider audience. Evidence will be kept securely and deleted after three years.
Reporting suspicions or concerns about abuse or inappropriate behaviour
Staff or learners need to report suspicions or concerns of abuse or inappropriate behaviour to the Designated Safeguarding Officer(s).
The Designated Safeguarding Officer(s) will record and raise concerns with the Head of Curriculum and Quality Assurance following the process above and with the HR Manager as necessary.
Concerns raised will then be reviewed and investigated with the Head of Curriculum and Quality Assurance who will be responsible for overseeing the matter and ensuring it is dealt with correctly and a full investigation takes place in line with this and other ICS Learn processes that are necessary.
Designated Safeguarding Officer(s) for 2017 – 2019 are:
- Dianne Paterson, Curriculum Support - email: Dianne.Paterson@icslearn.co.uk
- Darren Dixon, Quality Co-ordinator – email: Darren.Dixon@icslearn.co.uk
The Designated Safeguarding Officer(s) will be reviewed in September 2019 or if a position becomes vacant before that.
Roles and Responsibilities
The Head of Curriculum and Quality Assurance will have an overarching responsibility for the development, review and implementation of the Safeguarding Policy. They will be responsible for the appointment of the Designated Safeguarding Officer(s) for ICS Learn and will have overall responsibility for the correct implementation of the Safeguarding Policy in accordance with current legislation of the United Kingdom.
The Education Services Director, Head of Curriculum and Quality and the Designated Safeguarding Officer(s) will be responsible for keeping up to date with safeguarding developments and best practice.
The Education Services Director and Head of Curriculum and Quality will be informed of all instances relating to reports or suspicions of inappropriate behaviour by the Designated Safeguarding Officer(s).
It is not the place of ICS Learn staff to make a judgement about whether abuse or inappropriate behaviour has occurred. This is the remit of the statutory agencies and/or the police. However, all ICS Learn staff and learners have a responsibility for reporting any suspicions or concerns of inappropriate behaviour or abuse to the Designated Safeguarding Officer(s).
All ICS Learn staff have a responsibility for ensuring that suspicions or concerns of inappropriate behaviour or abuse of vulnerable groups are reported to the Designated Safeguarding Officer(s).
ICS Learn is committed to co-operating fully with appropriate external agencies.
If any allegations of abuse are made against a member of staff this will be taken seriously and in accordance with ICS Learn policy on Standards of Conduct and the Disiplinary Policy if appropriate.
Any member of staff who has a concern about abuse or inappropriate behaviour by another member of staff will report that concern to the Designated Safeguarding Officer(s), who will follow ICS Learn’s Safeguarding Policy and work with the Head of Curriculum and Quality Assurance and HR Manager where Standards of Conduct or Disciplinary procedures are implemented.
Associated or Related Policies
- Learner Recruitment and Enrolment Policy
- DBS Policy
Safeguarding – A term to denote measures to protect health, well-being and human rights of individuals which allow people – particularly children, young people and vulnerable adults – to live free from abuse, harm and neglect.
Awarding Organisation – A body issuing qualifications (certificates, diplomas) formally recognises the learning outcomes (knowledge, skills and/or competences) of an individual, following an assessment and verification procedure.
 Young people includes anyone under 18.
 The definition of vulnerable adults used is as defined per the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006, section 59 – http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2006/47/section/59
 Within this policy, both young people and vulnerable adults will be referred to as “vulnerable groups”
 “Staff” includes and refers to ICS Learn staff, tutors, internal verifiers, authors and other staff appointed on a freelance basis.