Safeguarding Children and Young People: Roles and competencies for healthcare staff

To protect children and young people from harm, and help improve their wellbeing, all healthcare staff must have the competences to recognise child maltreatment, opportunities to improve childhood wellbeing, and to take effective action as appropriate to their role. This is an intercollegiate competency framework for all groups, ranging from non-clinical staff to experts.

All staff who come into contact with children and young people have a responsibility to safeguard and promote their welfare and should know what to do if they have concerns about safeguarding and child protection issues. All Trusts must have a named doctor and nurse for safeguarding, who will provide advice and expertise for fellow professionals and promote good practice within their organisation.

The latest document has been updated to include changes to legislation and statutory guidance in England and now includes education and learning logs to enable individuals to record their learning and form a 'passport' for those who move on to new jobs or other organisations. Levels 1-3 relate to different occupational groups, while Levels 4 and 5 are related to specific roles. This version of the framework also includes specific detail for chief executives, chairs, board members including executives, non-executives and lay members.

Latest version

The fourth edition of Safeguarding Children and Young People: Roles and Competences for Healthcare Staff was updated in 2018, led by the Royal College of Nursing (RCN). You can find the latest version published on the RCN website (January 2019).

RCPCH are in the process of developing a complementary guide for our members, to support navigation of the latest intercollegiate document. This guide will ensure that our members fully understand the competences that are required of them, and will correlate with the RCPCH Progress curriculum for trainees. We hope this will be available in March 2019.

Other documents

The below downloadable documents accompany the intercollegiate competency framework. They are based on the 2014 third edition, and are currently under review:

  • Named Doctor for Child Protection - model job description and competences (derived from the complete competency framework)
  • Designated Doctor for Child Protection - model job description and competences (derived from the complete competency framework)
  • Scottish Lead Paediatrician in Child Protection - model job description and competences (derived from the complete competency framework and specific to Scottish child protection system)
  • Scottish Paediatrician with a Special Interest in Child Protection - model job description and competences (derived from the complete competency framework and specific to Scottish child protection system)