Safe Ministry goes online
Spontaneous applause broke out on the floor of Synod when the head of the Professional Standards Unit, Lachlan Bryant, announced that elements of the Diocese’s Safe Ministry Training were now accessible online.
“We’re very pleased to announce that from today the Safe Ministry Refresher course will become available online, making it possible for Safe Ministry Training participants to complete their training anywhere there is internet connectivity – anytime,” he said, as part of a PSU presentation on day two of Synod.
The three modules of the Refresher course can be accessed by computer, smartphone or tablet by registering on the Safe Ministry website and paying a nominal fee. Each module should take about 45 minutes, although participants can do them at their own pace.
The training consultant for the PSU, Kylie Williams, said the nature of online training meant a far greater number of people inside and outside the Diocese could now do the courses – which include teaching from diocesan leaders in video format as well as through live, interactive webinars.
“The feedback we have received about both these aspects of training throughout the testing phases has been overwhelmingly positive,” she said.
The PSU’s parish consultant for Safe Ministry Training, the Rev Neil Atwood, told Synod that with the online platforms in place there was the potential to provide “all types of value-added content” – such as Safe Ministry to seniors, ESL groups, refugees, people with disabilities, or indeed in other languages altogether.
Mr Bryant said about 5000 people did Safe Ministry Training each year, and there had been a strong demand for online training from a range of people such as shift workers and those with English as a second language.
“Many of them will benefit from participating in training when it’s most convenient for them and when they learn best,” he said, adding that face-to-face training would still operate in regional locations “up to twice a year from early 2018”. The Essentials course and a junior leader course will go live at about the same time.
Mrs Williams added that those who do the course online would be required to sign a “safe ministry pledge”, which has been developed using material from Faithfulness in Service. She said those registered in the Diocese as “persons of interest” would not be able to receive a certificate with online training.
Main photo: Kylie Williams explains the online system