PCEA Safe Church Code of Conduct

1. As a person in a position of leadership within the church you must always be concerned about the integrity of your position and remember that you are representing the church of the Lord Jesus Christ.

2. You should avoid situations where you will be vulnerable to temptation and where your conduct may be construed to be a breach of God’s holy standards.

3. With regard to young people and children, appropriate conduct includes the following protocols:
a. When visiting children in their homes, leaders will only do so if a parent or another appropriate adult is present.
b. When transporting children in vehicles, no leader is to be alone in a vehicle with a single child or young person.
c. There shall be at least two approved leaders at any activity (except for crèche where a sole female carer is acceptable). On occasion a parent present as an observer may suffice as a second adult. Preferably there should be male and female leaders for mixed groups with male leaders for boys’ groups and female leaders for girls’ groups. It is recognised that there may be occasions where there is a sole leader when breaking up into small groups; but in such cases, the small groups will not be out of eyesight or earshot of others.
d. A camp or other activity involving overnight accommodation should include “camp parents” (ideally a married couple over the age of 25 years, of known maturity and Christian commitment) approved by the church. In such overnight accommodation there will be a strict segregation by sex, with the exception of married couples and families. Supervision of children and young people must be provided by a person of the same sex.
e. A biblical pattern of behaviour is to be observed with respect to modesty and standards of morality. Adults and children are to respect the privacy of others during activities that require undressing and changing clothes. Leaders are to set an example by protecting their own privacy in similar situations.
f. Initiations and secret ceremonies are forbidden.
g. Any activity involving children or young people is open to observation by parents and other adults with a legitimate reason.
h. Leaders have the right to ask persons who do not have a valid reason to be present at child related activities to leave. Police may be contacted if such persons refuse to
comply with any such reasonable request.
i. If any personal counselling is required, it shall be carried out within the sight of other people (preferably another leader).
j. The consumption of alcohol during a church or youth activity is forbidden, with the
exception of communion services where wine is ordinarily used. Any young person found under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs is to be counselled and removed from the activity. Any such drugs found on the church grounds are to be witnessed (by a second person) and removed. Where appropriate, police should be informed.
k. In any physical contact with young people or children, leaders will respect the feelings and privacy of those persons. Physical violence of any kind is forbidden.
l. Where a protocol cannot be followed due to an emergency or unexpected situation, the session (or supervising body) must be notified in writing as soon as practicable. 
temporary variation may also be approved in advance. In both cases the supervising body must determine whether or not the circumstances justify the departure from protocol and must carefully document its finding.


4. The Bible commands us very clearly on purity of body and mind, for example in Ephesians 5:3,4,
Matthew 5:27-29 and Job 31:1. This is expanded in our Larger Catechism (Nos 138 and 139). All leaders should be familiar with these standards and be prepared to uphold and encourage these values in their personal lives and in all their dealings with others. Any sexualised behaviour (apart from that within marriage as defined by the Word of God) is to be carefully avoided. What is forbidden includes, but is not limited to, the following:
a. inappropriate conversation, remarks and jokes of a sexual nature, grooming behaviour, coarse language, suggestive gestures and impure looks
b. pornographic literature or media of any kind (from books, magazines, newspapers, posters, videos, movies, DVDs, internet sites, photographs, etc)

5. Leaders are to the best of their ability to take reasonable action to maintain the safety of all persons in their care. This particularly applies to the young, the elderly and other vulnerable persons.

6. State Governments from time to time legislate for reportable offences in the realm of child abuse. These standards vary from state to state. When any such abuse of children and young people is seen or reported to you, these must be notified to the minister or an elder of the congregation for reporting to the Police or Government agency. You also have the right to go directly to the Police yourself and can ask advice from the congregational Protection Officer. The church’s own disciplinary procedures may also apply.
You, in your position of leadership, are required to report any of the following (which are defined in the Safe Church Policy):
-physical or sexual child abuse,
-a child or young person at risk of significant harm,
-a child suffering neglect, and
-any sexual misconduct by leaders (per 4 above)

7. Before you commence working with children and young people in your position of leadership in the church, you will undertake the Government Working With Children Check (WWCC) and provide a copy of the documentation and approval number to the congregational Protection Officer, together with your date of birth.

8. Initial training and regular follow-up training in Safe Church matters must be undertaken if you are in any position of leadership. Approved training sessions will be organised by the clerk of presbytery. 

[PCEA Safe Church Code of Conduct, 2021. PLEASE NOTE: This document may be updated from time to time at the direction of the PCEA Synod]

PCEA Safe Church Complaints Handling Procedure

1. Making a Complaint

If you are a child, young person or vulnerable adult who has been abused then it is important that you tell someone about it.

Anyone who has reasonable grounds to believe that a child or other vulnerable person has been abused or is at risk of abuse should also report this.

1.1 Who should you speak to? You can speak directly to the minister or one of the elders, or you can speak to any leader of a church activity such as a Sunday school teacher or youth leader. All our leaders have been trained to listen to your complaint, to take it seriously, and to report it to the session. You also have the right to go directly to the police or relevant government agency to report abuse.

1.2 What if the abuser is one of the church leaders? As a Church we try to be very careful about who we appoint to leadership positions but it is a sad reality that sometimes even a person who was trusted to be a suitable leader may use that position of trust wrongly to abuse others. This is unacceptable and it is important that it is reported to another leader in the Church, or directly to the police or relevant government agency.

1.3 What if the abuse happened somewhere else? Even if the abuse happened somewhere else, such as at school, or at a friend's house, you can still speak to the leaders at your church about this. They will listen to you and seek to help you.

1.4 What if the victim is now an adult? Abuse by a church leader should be reported even if it happened a long time ago. It may not be easy for a victim to speak about the abuse they experienced but the Church should seek to ensure that help and support are provided to the victim, who should be encouraged to bring a report to police.

1.5 What is abuse? Children and vulnerable people have a right to be safe, protected, and looked after in their family, daily life and at church activities. Abuse is when a leader, adult, or even another young person, uses their power or position of trust in a wrong way to hurt or exploit by doing things to a child or vulnerable person, or making them do things, that are inappropriate or distressing. It can take many forms, including physical, sexual and emotional abuse, as well as neglect and exploitation.

2. Our Response to a Complaint or Disclosure of Abuse


2.1 We will treat all disclosures seriously and record the details - Our Church is committed to processes that strive for truth and confidentiality and will treat all allegations seriously and act upon them. A child or young person may disclose, deliberately or inadvertently, that he/she is a victim of abuse. Alternatively there may be reasonable grounds to suspect that a child or young person has been or is being abused. ‘Reasonable grounds’ is a subjective concept, but this does not remove responsibility from a person to act. In all cases, details will be recorded of what happened, when and where it happened, details of persons present or witnesses, using the complainant's own words as far as possible.

2.2 We will be compassionate - We are to ensure as far as possible that a compassionate response is a priority in all reported allegations especially at the time when details are sketchy and it is not yet certain that the allegations are accurate. At these times, when emotions may run high, leaders are not to pass judgment but to offer care and support to the aggrieved person(s) and, if practicable, to the alleged offender.

2.3 We will report abuse to the relevant church body and the proper civil authorities - Leaders and any others in the congregation who hear such disclosures or have reasonable grounds for concern should report the matter to the minister or an elder. You also have the right to go directly to the police or relevant government agency yourself and can ask advice from the congregational Protection Officer. From that time the session (or the presbytery if the allegation is against a minister), will appoint a suitable elder who will be the only one to have carriage of the matter for reportable conduct and will become the liaison person with the police and/or relevant government agency. This procedure shall also apply if a child discloses that the abuse has occurred somewhere else other than the church.

2.4 We will not let fear of being wrong prevent us from reporting abuse - The fear of being wrong is not sufficient ground for not reporting the concerns.

2.5 We will take immediate steps to minimise the risk of further harm – As soon as the session becomes aware of a complaint of abuse they must carry out a risk assessment to identify risks of harm that exist and they must take steps to ensure that those risks are minimised in order to protect the safety of children and vulnerable.

2.6 We will keep careful and confidential records – Confidential records (as a record apart) will be kept by the session clerk and controlled under the privacy legislation of the Church. These records will contain the details of any alleged abuse and the steps taken to process the alleged abuse with the resolution of the process and any conditions placed on the parties involved with all relevant supporting documents (or attested copies) attached. Copies will be kept with the session records for 50 years and then archived at the direction of Synod. A duplicate certified copy of the above records will be lodged with the presbytery clerk.

3. Investigating a Complaint


3.1 Initial stage - At the initial stage, allegations of child sexual abuse when the alleged victim is still under 18 years of age must not be further investigated by the Church, and neither should the child/young person or the accused be questioned by the Church. When the matter involves criminal behaviour, this must be investigated first by the police.

3.2 Confidentiality - There will be no disclosure to any interested parties connected with allegedly abused child to avoid contamination of evidence and prejudice of investigations. Although the Church minister and session are to be advised, at this stage it will not become a matter for session to act upon nor of presbytery involvement (unless a minister of the Church is the accused).

3.3 Precautionary suspension - Any church leader or worker who is accused will be stood down by the session or presbytery from his/her position until the police investigations and Church investigations are concluded.

3.4 Investigation according to Biblical standards – When any police investigation is concluded the Church will conduct its own investigation. It is possible that charges arising from the police investigation may not be proved to the satisfaction of the civil court. Nevertheless, the standards of conduct required by the Word of God are to be maintained by the Church. Irrespective of any other action that may be taken, the Church reserves the right to exercise its own powers of discipline over adherents, members and office-bearers.

3.5 Disciplinary action – Following investigation by the Church, any minister, office-bearer or other leader found guilty of the sexual abuse of a child, young person, or other vulnerable person, will be immediately removed from office and from all other positions or roles they may hold within the Church.

4. Providing Support and Assistance


4.1 We will seek to provide appropriate support to victims - Appropriate sensitive pastoral care will be extended to any child, young person or vulnerable adult who has made a disclosure of abuse, by the following protocols:
- not pushing the child or young person to disclose details of the alleged assault
- not attempting to investigate the allegation
- assuring the person that they are understood; that their disclosure is being taken seriously; that what has happened is not their fault and that they are correct in disclosing the incident.
- not making contact with the alleged offender to discuss the case.
- maintaining confidentiality by speaking only to those parties recommended by the police (or delegates), even though this may cause emotional tension.

4.2 We will provide ongoing care and support for victims and their families – This is the responsibility of the session and will normally be carried out by the minister or an elder. The Church should also assist victims and families to find information and obtain help from sources outside the Church if desired.

5. Review of Procedures


5.1 Commitment to review
We are committed to regularly reviewing and improving our Safe Church standards to ensure that our Safe Church Policy, Code of Conduct and procedures are effective in protecting children and the vulnerable from harm. We also want our stated procedures to be clear, accessible and easy to follow for all.

An internal review is to be carried out after a complaint process has been concluded. Any causes of systemic failure should be identified and the views of leaders, complainants, and the victim or their family should be sought wherever possible. Details of the review are to be retained as confidential records.

Safe Church training events may provide a regular opportunity for presbyteries to review, with leaders, how well they are able to understand and implement the Safe Church standards in their congregations.

Observations, comments and suggestions should be forwarded to the relevant Synod committee to facilitate improvements to the Church's policies and procedures.

5.2 Review with leaders

Questions to leaders who were involved in reporting or investigating a complaint may be along the following lines:

  1. Was there some inadequacy or systemic failure in the Church's procedures, or in the implementation of these procedures, that resulted in harm to a child or other vulnerable person under your care?

  2. Were you as a leader/session clear about your duties?

  3. Was the complaint process easy to understand and follow?

  4. Was there anything unclear in the Safe Church Policy, Code of Conduct or complaints

    procedure, or anything in these documents that requires to be clarified or to be updated?

5.3 Review with complainants, victims or their families

The views of complainants, victims or their families should be sought wherever possible in the review process. This will require particular care and sensitivity depending on the nature of the case. They may wish to submit responses in writing or prefer to meet with an appropriate person who has been appointed by the Church to talk with them and record their views. If it has not been possible to obtain these views then the reasons for this should be stated in the report. Questions may be along the following lines:

  1. Was the complaint process easy to understand and follow?

  2. Did you feel listened to and was your complaint taken seriously?

  3. Did you feel the Church handled the complaint appropriately?

  4. Did the Church take proper steps to protect children and the vulnerable from harm?

For further information on safe church matters, please refer to the PCEA Safe Church Policy, available from the Protection Officer and elders of your local congregation.

PCEA Safe Church Policy

1. Introduction

Christians are required by the Lord of the Church to think, speak and act in ways that are God- honouring, biblically obedient and motivated by the Christian values of love, mercy and justice. Unfortunately, perpetrators of crimes often seek out churches because they are welcoming, while Christians can also backslide into serious sin. Accordingly, the Presbyterian Church of Eastern Australia, in applying the principles of God’s Word, has adopted this fuller Safe Church Policy and the associated Code of Conduct for Church Workers.

This policy is a public document highlighting our resolve to maintain a safe church for all who attend our ministries. It is a privilege to serve Christ in working with all those who entrust themselves to our care, particularly children, young people, and the vulnerable as we help them to become and to mature as disciples of Jesus Christ.

However with this privilege comes responsibility. We have a high calling to protect the vulnerable among us, especially the young, and it comes from the Lord Jesus Himself. ‘“Let the little children come to me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God. Assuredly, I say unto you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter in.” And He blessed them.’ Mark 10: 14-16. Just as those first century children felt safe and secure with Jesus, so all children should feel safe and secure in our care. Their parents should also feel confident in leaving their children with us, knowing that we shall protect them from harm, whilst sharing the love of Christ in word and deed.

Parents have the primary responsibility to teach and to protect their children and they need to be assured that church leaders will similarly teach good things and protect their children. Church leaders undertake their task with responsibility towards parents and towards God. This policy seeks to fulfil the expectations of parents as well as society in these matters. These are set down in state laws but biblical standards are even higher, particularly when it comes to the care of children (including the unborn), the disabled and the elderly.

2. A Biblical Perspective

Firstly, we recognise that sin not only affects our relationship to God but also our relationships with one another. The Bible identifies sin as the root cause of the abuse and miseries we see in society. The institutional church is not free from such abuse as it is comprised of sinful people at varying levels of Christian commitment, as well as the unregenerate. But the church should be conforming to God’s standards.

In His teaching summarising the Ten Commandments, Jesus said, ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself’ (Luke 10:27). Jesus pronounced severe punishment upon anyone bringing offence or harm to ‘one of these little ones’ (Luke 17:2). The church therefore should always be ready to help the poor, the young and the vulnerable and to defend them from harm and exploitation. This teaching underlies our Safe Church practices.

In the law given through Moses there were many regulations designed to provide for, and to protect, ‘the stranger, the fatherless and the widow’ (Deuteronomy 14:29, 24:17-22, 26:12-13, 27:19, Psalm 82:3-4, Isaiah 1:17, Jeremiah 7:5-7, 22:3, Zechariah 7:9,10). This law reflected the heart of God himself, and Jesus reflected the same heart of love. He was moved with compassion for the widow of Nain (Luke 7:13), and for little children (Matthew 19:14). James writes, ‘Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.”(James 1:27).

Biblical standards include those of justice as well as mercy. These standards make provision for false allegations of abuse, either mistaken or deliberate, which may arise in the Church. This is also a serious offence (Deuteronomy 19:16-21) as persons falsely accused in public can suffer loss of reputation and health. Therefore, when an accusation is made it is important that we, as a church, judge with righteous judgment (Proverbs 17:15). ‘The house of God, which is the church of the living God, (is) the pillar and ground of truth’ (1Timothy 3:15).

The Bible requires us (as per the principle in Deuteronomy 22:8) to do our best to foresee possible sources of danger and put in place reasonable safeguards. We also recognise the need in doing this to strike a sensible balance between taking precautions on the one hand and, on the other, not being unreasonably oppressive when it comes to guarding against possible scenarios.

3. Outline of Principles and Practices by the PCEA and its Congregations

As a national organisation, the Presbyterian Church of Eastern Australia is committed to safe ministry by the following principles and practices:

-advocating Biblical principles which value children, young people and the vulnerable. We believe this will result in a safe, friendly and nurturing environment
-complying with Government requirements concerning all vulnerable people
-carefully appointing and monitoring leaders who oversee church ministries

-appointing a ‘Protection Officer’ in each congregation to promote safe church matters and to keep records
-providing initial and regular follow-up training on safe church matters
- reporting to the civil authorities any whose conduct infringe criminal codes

-disciplining (by documented procedures) and counselling any who exploit children, young people, the vulnerable or those who make false accusations
-regularly reviewing the implementation and effectiveness of this policy and updating as required

4. Definitions


4.1 Child: A person under the age of 16 years (some laws, under 18 years of age)

4.2 Young Person: A person from 16 to 18 years of age

4.3 Vulnerable Person: A child or someone who by reason of mental incapacity or other disability, age or illnesses may be unable to take care of or protect themselves against harm or exploitation by another person

4.4 Risk of Significant Harm: This is a term for situations where a reasonable person has concerns about the safety, welfare and wellbeing of a child.

4.5 Abuse categories: Each of the following constitutes a reportable offence (Serious) physical abuse occurs when a child or vulnerable person is severely and/or persistently hurt or injured. It can occur in the context of domestic violence.

Sexual abuse occurs when a child or vulnerable person is exposed or subjected to sexual behaviours or threat to commit such behaviours that are exploitative or inappropriate. It usually occurs when a person uses their power and authority to take advantage of another's trust to involve them in sexual activity. Sexual abuse does not necessarily involve physical contact. It includes any act which erodes the sexual boundary between two persons. It may appear to be consensual, but the validity of consent is negated by the power differential.

Emotional (psychological) abuse occurs when a child or vulnerable person is repeatedly treated in ways that damage their ability to feel, express their feelings and develop self- esteem.

Neglect is a legally defined term and occurs when a child or vulnerable person is deprived of the basic physical and emotional necessities of life (such as freedom of movement, food, medical care, clothing, housing, education).

4.6 WWCC: A Working With Children Check is carried out by State Governments, using a national database, to provide a clearance to work with children based on police records.

5. Positions for Ministry

These include the minister and any other paid employees, elders, deacons, carers (including the crèche), Sunday School teachers and helpers, Kid’s Club leaders and helpers, Youth Group leaders and helpers and Scripture Teachers (SRE). Most of these positions are voluntary.

6. Code of Conduct for Church Workers 2021

This is an associated document to be followed by all leaders and office-bearers. This Code may be updated from time to time by the Synod.

7. Protection Officer

The session of each congregation will appoint a suitable Protection Officer (or Officers) who will be responsible for the following:
-promoting to the congregation the details and importance of the Safe Church Policy including the Code of Conduct

-being readily available to answer queries and to provide information to the congregation and others (e.g. parents) when required
-keeping the non-confidential records such as the WWCC documentation and training records for each leader (and other records as outlined below)
-checking on the training of all leaders and liaising with the clerk of presbytery concerning training courses
-providing a report to the clerk of session annually, or as required

8. Record-Keeping

Within each congregation there will be two sets of Records kept in books or folders

8.1 Non-Confidential records showing the list of approved workers, dates of appointment to positions, Working With Children Check approval numbers and dates and training programmes attended; also to be recorded here are the training course programmes delivered to the congregation with name of the providers, objectives, content, dates of delivery and attendees. Registers are also to be kept showing attendance records of all those participating in youth activities, and these are to be retained for at least 25 years. These records are kept by the congregational Protection Officer.

8.2 Confidential records (as a Record Apart) kept by the session clerk and controlled under the privacy legislation of the Church. These records are to contain the details of any alleged abuse and the steps taken to process the alleged abuse with the resolution of the process and any conditions placed on the parties involved with all relevant supporting documents (or attested copies) to be attached. Copies are to be kept with the session records for 50 years and then archived at the direction of Synod. A duplicate certified copy of the above records should be lodged with the presbytery clerk. Confidential records are not to be stored electronically, nor to be communicated electronically except where there is a statutory requirement to do so. Presbytery clerks and session clerks are authorised to release relevant confidential information for insurance purposes upon receipt of a written request from the person or committee that organises the Church's insurance renewal.

9. Selection Process for Church Workers

This is a critical aspect in preventing harm and requires care and patience, with prayer. The most important thing is to appoint godly leaders who are well known members of the congregation. When Paul chose Timothy to be his assistant ministry worker he obtained the opinions of the local church members at Lystra/Iconium (Acts 16:2). We also should be encouraging those who have the gifts for service and leadership.

For those who will be working with children and young people, the following protocols apply: -applicants must be members of the congregation who have been regular attenders for at least one year (less time approved only if they are well attested from another approved congregation, with at least two referees' reports)
-applicants for leadership positions must be approved by the local session -before they commence working as a leader they must have a WWCC clearance -they must undertake initial and follow-up training as prescribed by presbytery -they must continue regularly at the public worship in the congregation
-they must have ongoing supervision and mentoring by an elder

10. Procedures for Dealing with Alleged Abuse

Our Church is committed to processes that strive for truth and confidentiality and will treat all allegations seriously and act upon them. Information about how to make a complaint can be found in our COMPLAINTS HANDLING PROCEDURES (Act 5, Synod 2021), which also sets out how the Church will respond and investigate the complaint.

A child may disclose, deliberately or inadvertently, that he/she is a victim of abuse. Alternatively there may be reasonable grounds to suspect that a child has been or is being abused. ‘Reasonable grounds’ is a subjective concept, but this does not remove responsibility from a person to act.

We are to ensure as far as possible that a compassionate response is a priority in all reported allegations especially at the time when details are sketchy and it is not yet certain that the allegations are accurate. At these times, when emotions may run high, leaders are not to pass judgment but to offer care and support to the aggrieved person(s) and, if practicable, to the alleged offender. Pastoral care at all stages is very important (see further under Item 11).

Leaders and any others in the congregation who hear such disclosures or have reasonable grounds for concern may go directly to the Police and/or report the matter to the Minister/Interim Moderator or an elder. From that time the session will appoint a suitable elder who will be the only one to have carriage of the matter for reportable conduct and will become the liaison person with the Police and/or relevant Government agency. This procedure shall also apply if a child discloses that the abuse has occurred somewhere else other than the church.

When session becomes aware of a complaint of abuse it must immediately assess the risks of harm that exist and take steps to ensure that those risks are minimised in order to protect the safety of children and the vulnerable.

At this stage, allegations of child sexual abuse when the alleged victim is still under 18 years of age must not be further investigated by the Church, and neither should the child/young person or the accused be questioned by the Church. When the matter involves criminal behaviour, this must be investigated first by the police.

There will be no disclosure to any interested parties connected with allegedly abused child to avoid contamination of evidence and prejudice of investigations. Although the church minister (or interim moderator) and session are to be advised, at this stage it will not become a matter for session to act upon nor of presbytery involvement (unless a minister of the Church is the accused).

Any church leader or worker who is accused will be stood down by the session from his/her position until the investigations are concluded. Irrespective of any other action taken by bodies outside the Church, the PCEA church discipline procedures, if necessary, will apply according to the Handbook of Practice and Procedure following the conclusion of Police investigations and the outcome of any Court or other legal proceedings.

Following investigation by the Church, any leader found guilty of sexual abuse will be immediately removed from office and from all other positions or roles they may hold within the Church.

11. Pastoral Care for Children & Young People who are Alleged Victims of Abuse

Appropriate sensitive pastoral care will be extended to any child, young person or vulnerable person who has made a disclosure of abuse, by the following protocols:

-not pushing the child or young person to disclose details of the alleged assault
-not attempting to investigate the allegation
-assuring the person that they are understood; that their disclosure is being taken seriously; that what has happened is not their fault and that they are correct in disclosing the incident. -not making contact with the alleged offender to discuss the case
-maintaining confidentiality by speaking only to those parties recommended by the police (or delegates), even though this may cause emotional tension

12. False Allegations

Accusations of abuse raised due to ignorance, by unwarranted suspicion or malice may prove to be false. Reputations can be irrevocably tarnished by a false accusation which is clearly forbidden under the ninth commandment, “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbour.” Exodus 20:16.

False accusations may themselves constitute criminal behaviour and as such, redress may be contemplated by the aggrieved. But it is preferable that false accusations should be dealt with by the session with counselling and seeking of forgiveness.

However, the fear of being wrong in reporting situations where it is believed that abuse has occurred is not sufficient ground for not reporting the concerns.

13. Managing Known Offenders

If the Church become aware that any person attending any of its services or activities is the subject of a substantiated complaint of child sexual abuse, or has been convicted of an offence relating to child sexual abuse, they must make this known to the session.

On receiving such information the session must assess the level of risk posed to children by such a person's ongoing involvement in church activities and take appropriate steps to manage that risk. Such steps may require that the known offender always attend meetings under the supervision of a responsible individual named by session. The Church's insurer must also be informed as soon as possible.

14. Working with a Body External to the Church

Using the services of another organisation in child related ministries (e.g. at camping, conference and other sites) is allowed if that organisation agrees to uphold the policies contained in this document.

Decisions to enter into agreements with other churches or organisations for the provision of advice on child protection issues or to conduct appropriate training for church workers will be made by presbyteries.

15. Training

It is required that those working with children and the vulnerable be given appropriate training in Safe Church matters. The clerk of presbytery will organise approved initial and ongoing training for all leaders and office bearers in the congregations of their jurisdictions. Records will be kept and details provided to Government agencies as required. Records also are to be kept by the congregational Protection Officers (see item 8.1 above).

[PCEA Safe Church Policy, 2021. Please note: Updates to this document will occur at the direction of the PCEA Synod from time to time]

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