Safeguard Policy

Safeguarding Policy for Bishop’s College, Kolkata

1.0 Purpose

The purpose of the Safeguarding Policy document is to clearly define Bishop’s College, Kolkata’s commitment to protect children[1], vulnerable adults and those with mental and physical disabilities, from abuse or harm that may be caused due to their participation in programmes and activities of Bishop’s College.

The policy will highlight guidelines and procedures for handling safeguarding concerns, allegations of abuse or complaints.

This policy has been informed by the following:

  • Our Christian understanding of biblical teaching.
  • The National laws and Constitution of INDIA; and
  • Policies of other international organisations such as UNICEF.

2.0 Safeguarding Policy Statement

Bishop’s College values every human being as part of God’s creation and made in the image of God. Safeguarding is the action Bishop’s College takes to promote a safe and caring environment for children and vulnerable adults at risk. This means we will:

2.1 promote the welfare of children and vulnerable adults;

2.2 work to prevent abuse from occurring;

2.3 strive for justice in the response to abuse;

2.4 challenge those who abuse their power and examine safe ways for them to be part of our communities;

2.5 work to help rehabilitate offenders within the confines of the church and our cultural context in a bid to reduce re-offending.

Bishop’s College will undertake all appropriate steps to maintain a safer and caring environment. It will practice fully and positively, Christ’s ministry towards children and adults who are vulnerable and respond sensitively and compassionately to help keep them safe from harm.

Bishop’s College will be proactive and take reasonable steps to prevent abuse from occurring. Bishop’s College upholds the principle that everyone should be protected, especially children and vulnerable adults and will respond appropriately when harm occurs or is at risk of occurring.

3.0 Scope and Application of Policy

This policy applies at all times to all employees, volunteers and representatives of Bishop’s College and visitors to Bishop’s College sites/premises when they are carrying out work or visits to Bishop’ s College.

The policy is not a substitute for, but complements the

  • Code of Conduct and the Sexual Harassment of Employees and Students of Bishop’s College.
  • Guideline for Good Community Living.

4.0 Bishop’s College’s Commitment 

Bishop’s College commits to the creation of a positive safeguarding culture based on measures to Prevent, Report and to Respond to abuse and concerns of abuse.




Identify those who may pose a risk and take steps to reduce such risks – see comments Train all staff and personnel on appropriate reporting procedures Provide a timely response to all concerns and allegations
Ensure staff have access to the policy and know their responsibilities Safe, appropriate and accessible means of reporting concerns are available to staff and the communities Appropriate action will be taken if allegations are proven or there are still deemed to be safeguarding risks
Develop and implement clear protocols for working with children and vulnerable adults People who report concerns or abuse will be properly protected Maintain confidentiality in handling all safeguarding concerns
Develop a safe culture for protection of children and vulnerable adults. Investigate reports or concerns received from external sources against individuals Concerns and allegations will be shared only with the appropriate people and institutions on a ‘need-to- know’ basis
Give a clear message that safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility Implement robust and appropriate report handling procedures Ensure the procedures are followed
Promptly follow up on concerns according to established procedures Provide timely feedback to appropriate people Acting appropriately
Publication of an abridged version of the policy which will include types of abuse Publication of procedures for reporting abuse

5.0     Bishop’s College Leadership Responsibilities

The leadership of Bishop’s College:

5.1  affirms that safeguarding is everybody’s responsibility and everyone has a part to play in preventing and eradicating abuse.

5.2  asserts that it is not the responsibility of individuals/managers or associates to decide if abuse has taken place. Their responsibility is to pass these concerns on to designated persons or officers in a timely manner.

5.3  will sensitively apply safeguarding measures to maintain a safe and caring environment without compromising justice for both the abused and the accused person.

6.0 Recruitment of Bishop’s College Personnel.

Bishop’s College will implement the following actions for the recruitment of safe and competent persons and discourage those who may be a risk to children and vulnerable adults.

6.1  All job advertisements will include a safeguarding statement that reinforces Bishop’s College’s commitment to the safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults.

6.2 Bishop’s College will undertake reference checks – minimum of two (or more, depending on the position), for all potential employees to ensure only suitable candidates are appointed.

6.3 Successful candidates will be required to undertake safeguarding training and receive a copy of the safeguarding policy document.

6.4 Bishop’s College will institute a robust supervisory and monitoring process for staff who works with children and vulnerable adults, to facilitate and promote a safe and caring environment.

6.5  Bishop’s College will implement refresher safeguarding training course every three years.

7.0     Reporting Safeguarding Concerns

Bishop’s College will encourage staff and/or external agencies with safeguarding concerns, to report them immediately through any of the following:

7.1  In Person – to any senior member of staff, their manager or a nominated officer with responsibility for safeguarding; or appropriate personnel including ministers and laity.  

7.2  Telephone – Bishop’s College will publicise a number for people and staff with safeguarding concerns to call.

7.3  In writing – either online, by email or by post to an address to be provided by Bishop’s College.

7.4  When the officer responsible for safeguarding receives a concern or complaint, they will acknowledge the referral, maintain confidentiality, and securely store the details of the complaint or concern. The information should only be accessible to officers progressing or completing an investigation; or for referral to a government agency.

Within (a pre-determined time limit – usually 24-48 hrs), the officer responsible for safeguarding will assemble the appropriate committee (or, in the absence of such a committee; predetermined post holders), to evaluate the concern or complaint to ascertain the following:

  • If the concern or complaint falls within the scope of the safeguarding policy of Bishop’s College and relates to a representative of Bishop’s College who is suspected or alleged to have suffered or instigated abuse during Bishop’s College activities or at their site/institution or agencies.
  • If the reported concern or complaint involves possible criminal behaviour by Bishop’s College employee(s) representative(s), partner(s) or associate(s).
  • If the concern or complaint involves possible criminal behaviour it should be immediately reported to the police and social services, if the victim is under age, especially if there is risk of possible harm to the child.
  • If the concern involves a vulnerable adult, it should be reported to the relevant government agency (police) as long as this is in accordance with the wishes of the victim.
  • Bishop’s College or appropriate safeguarding committee may need to decide on internal steps to ensure the victim is protected from further harm.

7.5  Bishop’s College will provide support to enable officer’s discharge their responsibilities effectively.

7.6  Apply lessons learnt to strengthen safeguarding procedures.

8.0 Confidentiality

Bishop’s College will maintain confidentiality when responding to a complaint or concern. The exception will be if this compromises safety. Information will be shared on a ‘need to know’ basis.

If there is a breach of confidentiality this will be investigated and the person may be subject to disciplinary action.

Sanctions may be applied (to offenders), and may include disclosure to other institutions to prevent further harm or abuse.

9.0 Reference Sources

Bishop’s College is encouraged to refer to Safeguarding resources to inform the development of their policy documents. These may include:

Safeguarding Principles for the Methodist Church in Britain and International Partners

Policy Document of Methodist Church in Britain (available online)


United Nations Convention On The Rights Of The Child (UNCRC) 

Relevant Conventions of Regional bodies – e.g. African Union Charter On The Rights And Welfare Of Children. 

Bishop’s College Code of Conduct and Policy on Sexual Harassment of Employees and Students.
  1. Definition of Terms 


Child is defined as a person under 18 years old.[2]

At Risk adult (Vulnerable Adult)


A person who is or may be in need of care by reason of mental or other disability, age or illness; and who is or may be unable to take care of, or protect themselves against harm or exploitation.


*Please note not all forms of abuse are listed here*


To treat with cruelty or violence, especially repeatedly or regularly of a child, vulnerable adult or person. This could lead to injury and may include, but is not limited to kicking, hitting shaking, torture, inhumane or degrading treatment or punishment.


Where a person is denied access to food and other basic needs such as warmth, healthcare or exposed to danger, deliberate or otherwise.


Abuse where sexual exploitation of a person occurs. This includes rape, incest, sexual activities without informed consent; the exchange of benefits, for example goods, food and money, for sexual favours. NB: Children are never considered to have ‘consented’ to sexual relations with an adult. Sex by an adult with a child is always considered sexual abuse of the child and should be dealt as child abuse.


A person engaged by Bishop’s College or a member of an organisation who works or visits Bishop’s College. This includes volunteers, contractors, agency workers and any other visitors.


Please note: Non-identifiable information may be shared with donors and legislators to help strengthen this safeguarding policy.


This Safeguarding Policy should be reviewed after three years.




Office held:

Date to be reviewed:

[1] See 10 below for definitions.