Safeguarding Form E, the form signed by licensees and hirers of Methodist premises to confirm their willingness to comply with the safeguarding policy of the Methodist Church is no longer in use. The Connexional Safeguarding Team made the decision that the safeguarding clause in the Standard Licence and Template Booking Form replaces the requirement to also complete Form E.
This means that when Managing Trustees enter into licences and booking forms they no longer need to ask the third party to sign a Form E but they still need to ensure that the third party is given a copy of the local safeguarding policy and signs the licence or booking form. The safeguarding clause already means that by signing the licence or booking form, the licensee/hirer is confirming that they have been given a copy of the safeguarding policy (the Methodist safeguarding policy applicable to the premises), understand it and will follow it or “comparable equivalent guidelines or procedures”.
If the Licensee is an established group they may have their own safeguarding policy that they can follow instead but only if that policy is a “comparable equivalent”, i.e. the Licensee’s policy sets a standard no less robust than the safeguarding policy of the Methodist Church.
What does the safeguarding clause say?
The safeguarding clause agreed with the Connexional Safeguarding Team, is found at clause 4 of the Standard Licence (with an equivalent clause at paragraph 8 of the Template Booking Form) and is set out below for ease of reference:
“The Licensee confirms that the Licensee has received a copy of the [local] Safeguarding Policy, has an understanding of it, and undertakes to follow it or comparable equivalent guidelines and procedures (such as Scouting and Guiding national safeguarding policy) for the safeguarding of children, young people and vulnerable adults at the Building.”
Please note that Managing Trustees not using the Template Booking Form will need to ensure that their own booking form includes the approved safeguarding clause.
In response to questions raised by Managing Trustees the Connexional Safeguarding Team confirms that
- A copy of the local safeguarding policy can be provided to the licensee/hirer via email or a hardcopy given.
- If the third party will be provided with a key, they will need to sign Safeguarding Form D (Key Holder Declaration) as before.
Why is this important?
It is important to ensure that third party users of church premises adhere to the safeguarding policy of the Methodist Church or a comparable equivalent policy for the protection of children, young people and vulnerable adults who may also be using church premises.
Section C4 of Licence Guidance 3 – The Standard Licence Explained has been updated to remove reference to the discontinued Safeguarding Form E. It also summarises the steps that Managing Trustees need to take when they enter into a licence with third parties to ensure that safeguarding procedures are followed.
Please contact TMCP Legal if you have any questions on the licences, booking forms or use of Methodist premises by third parties generally and contact the Connexional Safeguarding Team or your District or Circuit Safeguarding Officer for enquiries relating to safeguarding.