Child safeguarding training

The UK intercollegiate competences were published in 2019. These competencies are for all healthcare staff other than paediatricians who have their own set of competencies published by the RCPCH.

Child Protection/Safeguarding training is mandatory for healthcare staff, and competences are included at all stages of training for anaesthetists, and as part of ongoing maintenance of knowledge and skills for all other anaesthetists. Safeguarding competences form part of the RCoA CPD Matrix and are an important element of Revalidation.

All clinical staff require as a minimum Level 2 training.

You may wish to note that there is no absolute requirement for all paediatric anaesthetists to be Level 3 trained but many may wish to be. The RCoA recommends that there is at least one anaesthetist that leads for safeguarding in each department and that they undergo and maintain such training. 

The RCoA together with the Association of Paediatric Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland (APAGBI) issued the joint guidance statement (updated in 2016) which describes the role of the Lead paediatric anaesthetist for child protection and safeguarding. 

Activities for all healthcare professionals

The acquisition of the knowledge, skills and expertise in Safeguarding and Child Protection should be seen as a continuum and that this training should be flexible and encompass different styles and opportunities. Sessions should be tailored to benefit different professional groups. e-Learning is probably best used as preparation for more reflective based activities.

The RCPCH have designed a suite of educational resources which include links to e-learning for health (eLfH) for level 1 and 2 as well as RCPCH Compass and ALSG modules for level 3. Please note all may require separate registrations.

Specific activities for anaesthetists at level 2 and 3 (these maybe at level 2 or 3):

  • Organise an update and Q and A session with your local medical/nursing lead for SG/Child Protection. Ideally this should include other members of the multidisciplinary team, e.g. theatre staff, surgeons, ward and ED based nursing staff and paediatricians.
  • The RCoA has produced joint guidance on what to do to best protect children and young people in theatre when child maltreatment is suspected: Child Protection and the Anaesthetist – Safeguarding children in the operating theatre (2014). The following material is based on this guidance:
    • RCoA safeguarding film Protecting Children in Theatre – a new resource for anaesthetists
    • RCoA Podcast 1 - Safeguarding Children: Training
    • Further reading

Virtual cases (PowerPoints):

Other level 3 activities:

  • Attend a child death review or overview panel as an observer (arrange with chair in advance).

The Local Safeguarding Children Boards data collection tool (LSCB1) provides information on the number of child deaths which have been reviewed by the child death overview panels (CDOPs) on behalf of their local safeguarding children boards (LSCBs) in England. Data provided helps LSCBs in developing policies and procedures for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children in their Local Authority area.

See also the latest results of the Child Death Reviews in England.

  • When a Child Dies by Dr Sarah Steel
  • Attend regular forensic or other review meetings for Safeguarding/Child Protection. Some regions will have an annual half-day meeting. Note: these are not the same as individual serious case or section reviews relating to one particular case
  • There is a growing body of evidence which can help specialists in Safeguarding and Child Protection to decide on the aetiology and underlying pathophysiology of abuse. The effects of abuse may also result in long term serious effects on health and wellbeing. The evidence for this has been increasing steadily over the last 10-15 years and is now considerable.

Further information can also be found on the following pages: