Serious incident reporting

Following recent high-profile safeguarding-related incidents in the charity sector, the Charity Commission updated its guidance on Serious Incident Reporting in October 2018, with a particular focus on the reporting of Safeguarding Serious Incidents.

The Church has worked with the Charity Commission to agree bespoke guidance for DBFs, PCCs and Religious Communities on how to identify and report a Serious Incident.

All PCCs are charities (whether or not their annual income is at the threshold to require them to register with the Charity Commission). Therefore, they are already required to report any Serious Incidents (both safeguarding and non-safeguarding) to the Charity Commission.  
This means that, from 1 January 2019, when PCCs report any Serious Incident to the Charity Commission, they should do so in accordance with the new CofE Guidance. 

Purpose of the guidance

The purpose of the Guidance is to assist those responsible within PCCs to ascertain:  

  • whether an incident is a Serious Incident (whether safeguarding related or otherwise) and so must be reported to the Charity Commission; and 
  • how to report the incident. 

A safeguarding Serious Incident is described as follows:

  • an actual or alleged safeguarding incident, which results in or risks significant harm either to people linked with or employed by the charity or to its reputation.
  • Other Serious Incidents are actual or alleged adverse incidents, which result in, or risk loss, of the charity’s money or assets, damage to its property or harm to its work or reputation. 

Resources and links

Please find below the relevant guidance and forms required. You can also find more information on the Parish Resources website here:

**Please note that the above guidance does not change how any PCC deals with safeguarding as the House of Bishop’s policy and guidance must still be followed; any safeguarding concerns or allegations must be reported to the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser (DSA) within 24 hours, who will liaise with statutory agencies, as required.

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