Section 1 – Statements & Description

AlexSys is committed to providing a safe working environment for its staff, customers, candidates and people in their care, regardless of age, gender, race, religion or disability.

Section 2 - Related policies and procedures

Safeguarding is an overriding policy which includes the following:

  • Health & Safety Policy
  • Equality & Diversity Policy
  • Malpractice Policy
  • Fair Assessment Access and Special Consideration Policy
  • Appeals Policy
  • Information, Advice and Guidance Policy

Section 3 - Safeguarding Policy
  • Risk Assessment and Procedures

    Health and Safety: 

  • Initial Health and Safety check prior to staff involvement
  • Regular safety checks
  • Health and Safety documentation randomly sampled by nominated
    competent person
  • Internal audits on regional health and safety

Details can be found within the company health and safety policy. The responsibilities for recording and monitoring are to be undertaken by the competent person, Bridget Squance, Managing Director.

  • Safe Environments:

AlexSys is committed to ensuring that all staff have the knowledge to keep themselves safe and have a detailed understanding of AlexSys’s responsibilities towards ensuring all candidates live and work in a Safe Environment. All staff have the ability and procedural knowledge to report any issues of concern at any time.

On initial contact with each employer / company a risk assessment is carried out to include all or some of the following, depending on the environment and function of the company.

  • All AlexSys staff have knowledge of their responsibilities on Vulnerable Adult and Child Protection Issues. Bridget Squance is designated to ensure all staff are competent in the safeguarding process. All staff who have learner contact or have access to or potential to access learner information are CRB checked at
    Enhanced Disclosure Level. No staff are allowed to work with children or vulnerable adults unsupervised until CRB checks at Enhanced Disclosure Level are complete.
  • Staff training is provided to identify potential indicators of abuse or neglect amongst learners. 
  • We ensure that all subcontractor staff, partners/suppliers and volunteers have appropriate checks/policies and procedures in place if required to work unsupervised with vulnerable adults. 
  • Safeguarding is clearly addressed in this policy and procedures are laid down and disseminated to all staff. A whole organisational approach to safeguarding has been adopted which includes a clear statement that shows the organisation’s values and beliefs in relation to individual rights to freedom from abuse and harm. 
  • Having clear statements for all learners and staff which indicate that there is zero tolerance of abuse and other harmful behaviours. We are committed as a company to work with existing local Safeguarding or Adult Safeguarding Boards, details of these boards are available to all staff within the company policy and procedure file. 
  • Information and advice given on when to take action and how, confidentiality, how to deal with allegations against staff and a clear code of behaviour (what is and is not appropriate – being updated as required and in the light of changing circumstances and experience). 
  • Using online training for staff to help raise awareness, particularly regarding child welfare issues (some good examples of materials devised by charities concerned with child welfare). 
  • Ensuring that learner inductions / training programmes include awareness of rights and freedom from abuse etc. 
  • Embedding personal safety rights and responsibilities into the curriculum for all learners, with reinforcement on induction and at mid stage IAG. 
  • The company is committed to raising awareness of ‘newer’ forms of abuse such as internet grooming, (highlighting safety while using computers), the financial abuse of older people with learning difficulties and the difficulties faced by young asylum seekers or drug users (blackmail, etc). 
  • Information for staff (on safeguarding, abuse and how to seek help) available and accessible in different formats such as handbooks. 
  • The company completes self-assessment processes and pays regard to safeguarding practices at all
    levels of the organisation and with all partners. We also evaluate the risk management system in relation to safeguarding vulnerable groups. 
  • We review policies annually to ensure currency and relevancy.
  • The company has a staff development programme beginning with activities for induction of new staff
    in safeguarding and an annual reinforcement event for established staff.

It is considered focal to the maintenance of Safe Environments that each employer / partner / potential company that works in partnership with Flexible Training is assessed to consider their current position against Safeguarding. The checklist to be used in all assessments is attached in Form A.

Should the assessor believe the customer/partner is not in a suitable position regarding their responsibilities they are fully expected to confirm their concerns to both the Designated Safeguarding Officer and the Managing Director. There is an expectation that a partnership will not be entered into where potential candidates are seen to be at risk through non-compliance due to the prioritising of these responsibilities.

Where indicated support can be given in the form of direct training for customers/partners.

  • Recognising Signs of Abuse

All staff need to be familiar with the types of abuse and how to recognise the signs of symptoms of such abuse.

Types of abuse
Physical Abuse
Physical abuse is deliberately causing physical harm to a child/vulnerable adult. This might involve punching, kicking, biting, burning, shaking, throwing or beating with objects. Using belts, whips, sticks or other similar objects as a form of administering discipline is also considered physical abuse. It may also include poisoning, giving a child/vulnerable adult alcohol or illegal drugs, drowning or suffocation.

Signs of Physical Abuse

  • Any injuries not consistent with the explanation given for them
  • Injuries which occur to the body in places which are not normally exposed to falls, rough games and so on
  • Injuries which have not received medical attention
  • Reluctance to change for, or participate in, games or swimming
  • Bruises, bites, burns and fractures, for example, which do not have an accidental explanation
  • The child gives inconsistent accounts for the cause of injuries
  • Frozen watchfulness

Emotional Abuse
Emotional abuse is where repeated verbal threats, criticism, ridicule, shouting, or lack of love, affection and warmth emotionally harms a child/vulnerable adult. It includes conveying to children vulnerable adult that they are worthless, unloved, and inadequate or valued only if they meet the needs of another person. Emotional abuse can also include constantly belittling or threatening a child/vulnerable adult. It may involve causing the child/vulnerable adult to feel frightened or in danger. Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of ill treatment of a child/vulnerable adult.

Signs of emotional abuse

  • Depression, aggression, extreme anxiety, changes or regression in mood or behaviour, particularly where a child withdraws or becomes clingy
  • Obsessions or phobias
  • Sudden underachievement or lack of concentration
  • Seeking adult attention and not mixing well with other children
  • Sleep or speech disorders
  • Negative statements about self
  • Highly aggressive or cruel to others
  • Extreme shyness or passivity
  • Running away, stealing and lying
  • Signs of possible neglect
  • Dirty skin, body smells, unwashed, uncombed hair and untreated lice
  • Clothing that is dirty, too big or small, or inappropriate for the weather condition
  • Frequently left unsupervised or alone
  • Frequent diarrhoea
  • Frequent tiredness
  • Untreated illnesses, infected cuts or physical complaints which the carer does not respond to
  • Frequently hungry
  • Overeating junk food

Sexual Abuse
Sexual abuse involves any contact or interaction where a child, adolescent or vulnerable adult is used for the sexual stimulation of an older, stronger or more influential person. This may involve direct or indirect sexual exploitation or corruption of children by involving them in inappropriate sexual activities. It includes any touching, stimulating, rubbing, or patting that is meant to arouse sexual pleasure in the offender. Sexual abuse can also involve sexual contact between a significantly older child and a younger child. In addition, it includes exposing children to pornography and unsuitable videos.

Signs of sexual abuse

  • Any allegations made by a child concerning sexual abuse
  • The child has an excessive preoccupation with sexual matters and inappropriate knowledge of adult
    sexual behaviour for their age, or regularly engages in sexual play inappropriate for their age
  • Sexual activity through words, play or drawing
  • Repeated urinary infections or unexplained stomach pains
  • The child is sexually provocative or seductive with adults
  • Inappropriate bed-sharing arrangements at home
  • Severe sleep disturbances with fears, phobias, vivid dreams or nightmares which sometimes have overt or veiled sexual connotations
  • Eating disorders such as anorexia or bulimia 

Neglect means failing to provide basic essential care of children/vulnerable adults. Neglect happens when a parent or carer fails to provide adequate food, housing, clothes, medical care, or necessary supervision to protect children/vulnerable adults from physical harm or danger. It also includes failure to ensure access to education or to look after a child/vulnerable adult because the carer is under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

  • Reporting

Designated Safeguarding Officer for AlexSys is Bridget Squance.

The Deputy Designated Safeguarding Officer to deal with incidents in Bridget’s absence is Sara Smith.

All staff members working with employers and/or placements are reminded of their responsibilities regarding ensuring that all individuals, with whom they come into contact / all individuals employed or present on that site / with that employer are in a safe environment.

All employers should be aware of their obligations but all staff are aware of their own responsibilities to report any concerns they may have as a representative of AlexSys within all environments.

If an incident is witnessed, reported to you or strongly suspect an incident has occurred you must document all details and details of witnesses’ immediately or as soon as possible in as much detail as possible. You must also as far as is possible record the language used by the suspected victim as this is important evidence.

The person reporting the incident then needs to contact the Designated Safeguarding Officer immediately and it is the responsibility of the Designated Safeguarding Officer to contact the relevant authorities.

  • Actions on Allegations against an Employee

There may be up to 3 stages in the consideration of an allegation:

  • A police investigation of a possible criminal offence
  • Enquiries and assessment by social services in the case of a vulnerable adult
  • Consideration by the Company of disciplinary action in respect of the individual


  • Monitoring

The task of monitoring is normally carried out by the Local Authority dealing with each case; the company will endeavour to give as much assistance to their representative as possible.

  • Confidentiality

Every effort should be made to maintain confidentiality and guard against unwanted publicity while an allegation is being investigated/considered. In accordance with the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) guidance, the police will not normally provide any information to the Press or media that might identify an individual who is under investigation, unless and until the person is charged with a criminal offence. (In exceptional cases where the police might depart from that rule, e.g. an appeal to trace a suspect, the reasons should be documented and partner agencies consulted beforehand.) The system of self-regulation, overseen by the Press Complaints Commission, also provides safeguards against the publication of inaccurate or misleading information.

  • Resignations and “Compromise agreements”

The fact that a person tenders his or her resignation, or ceases to provide their services, must not prevent an allegation being followed up in accordance with these procedures. It is important that every effort is made to reach a conclusion in all cases of allegations bearing on the safety or welfare of Children/Vulnerable Adults
including any in which the person concerned refuses to cooperate with the process. Wherever possible the person should be given a full opportunity to answer the allegation and make representations about it, but the process of
recording the allegation and any supporting evidence, and reaching a judgement about whether it can be regarded as substantiated on the basis of all the information available should continue even if that cannot be done or the person does not cooperate. It may be difficult to reach a conclusion in those circumstances, and it may not be possible to apply any disciplinary sanctions if a person’s period of notice expires before the process is complete, but it is important to reach and record a conclusion wherever possible.

By the same token so called “compromise agreements” by which a person agrees to resign, the employer agrees not to pursue disciplinary action, and both parties agree a form of words to be used in any future reference, must not be used in these cases. In any event, such an agreement will not prevent a thorough police investigation where that is appropriate. Nor can it override the statutory duty to make a referral to protection registers where circumstances require that.

  • Record keeping

It is important that a clear and comprehensive summary of any allegations made, details of how the allegation was followed up and resolved, and a note of any action taken and decisions reached, is kept on a person’s confidential personnel file, and a copy provided to the person concerned. The purpose of the record is to enable accurate information to be given in response to any future request for a reference if the person has moved on.

It will provide clarification in cases where a future CRB Disclosure reveals information from the police about an allegation that did not result in a criminal conviction. And it will help to prevent unnecessary re-investigation if, as sometimes happens, an allegation re-surfaces after a period of time. The record should be retained at least until the person has reached normal retirement age or for a period of 10 years from the date of the allegation if that is longer.

  • Timescales

It is in everyone’s interest to resolve cases as quickly as possible consistent with a fair and thorough investigation. Every effort should be made to manage cases to avoid any unnecessary delay. Indicative target timescales are shown for different actions in the summary description of the process below. Those are not performance indicators: the time taken to investigate and resolve individual cases depends on a variety of factors including the nature, seriousness and complexity of the allegation, but they provide useful targets to aim for that are achievable in many cases.

  • Training and Development

On initial contact with customers a risk assessment is carried out on the customers approach to safeguarding. Information, advice and guidance is offered to the customer and a training plan be developed where required. This training can be delivered at initial contact or a package can be developed for the customer to deliver this in line with existing training requirements.


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