Our Safeguarding Policy

1. The commitment to safeguarding

1.1 The Society of Jesus in Britain[1] is committed to the safeguarding of children and adults at risk.[2]

1.2 The Jesuits in Britain are committed to promoting a culture of safeguarding in which Jesuits themselves, those who are employed by us or who work with us as volunteers, and members of the communities in which we work, including children and young people, are well informed about safeguarding, know how to respond to concerns or allegations, and know how to protect children and adults at risk.

1.3 The Jesuits in Britain are committed to adopting and implementing best practice in safeguarding and will regularly review its policy, procedures and practice to achieve this.

2. Support for victims of abuse

The Jesuits in Britain are committed to providing pastoral and professional support to victims of abuse and to endeavour to ensure that this provision is effective and responsive to their individual needs. 

3. Policies and procedures where we work

3.1 In England and Wales, the Jesuits in Britain subscribes to the safeguarding policy of the National Catholic Safeguarding Commission (NCSC) and the procedures for the safeguarding of children and adults at risk set out in the Catholic Safeguarding Advisory Service (CSAS) Procedures Manual, as amended from time to time.[3]

3.2 In Scotland, the Jesuits in Britain subscribes to the safeguarding policy and procedures of the Scottish Catholic Safeguarding Service (SCSS)[4]  as set out in the safeguarding manual Awareness and Safety in Our Catholic Communities, as amended from time to time.

3.3 In Guyana, the Jesuits of the region subscribe to the safeguarding policy and procedures established by the Regional Superior.[5]

3.4 British Jesuits working overseas, or in other jurisdictions, understand that they have a responsibility to know and follow local safeguarding policy, expectations, and procedures.

4. Safeguarding checks

4.1 All Jesuits in public ministry will have completed current DBS/PVG[6] checks.

4.2 All Jesuits in public ministry will sign up to the DBS/PVG update service, and give personal data consent, so that checks can be renewed when moving to a new residence or ministry.

4.3 All those working for the Jesuits in Britain or its works[7] and houses[8] will be DBS/PVG checked where their work involves children or adults at risk.

5. Jesuits visiting from other provinces

5.1 Jesuits coming from overseas who will engage in public ministry in Britain will be checked with their home provinces in regard to safeguarding.  This takes the form of a testimonial from a Jesuit’s Provincial Superior which includes child and adults at risk protection checks carried out with the civil authorities in his home province.

5.2 Jesuits coming to Britain for a longer period of time which would allow DBS/PVG checks to be completed will also undergo DBS/PVG checks.

5.3 The province will keep a single central register of up to date safeguarding checks which includes every Jesuit in the province.

6. Jesuits in restricted ministry

A risk management strategy (RMS) will be drawn up by the province Safeguarding Commission, and enacted by the Provincial Superior[9], for any Jesuit

  • who is the subject of a safeguarding allegation that is under investigation;
  • or who has been found to have abused a child or vulnerable adult and is, at a later date, to be allowed to return to restricted public ministry under supervision.

The RMS will outline the conditions under which the man may continue to live as a Jesuit, and detail any restrictions to his life and ministry.  The Jesuit’s Superior and Director of Work[10] are to be informed about the RMS, and the local Superior is responsible for monitoring its implementation.  The RMS will be regularly reviewed by the Safeguarding Commission.  Details of the RMS will be appended to any testimonial of suitability for ministry provided for work in a diocese or Jesuit province.

7. Care of vulnerable Jesuits

The Jesuits in Britain are committed to the safeguarding and good care of its own sick, elderly and vulnerable members.  This it does through the customary cura personalis[11] of Superiors, as well as by the appointment of an Assistant for Healthcare who is a member of the province curial team.

8. Individual responsibility for safeguarding

8.1 Individual Jesuits[12] understand that they have a personal responsibility to know and comply with the safeguarding procedures of the bishops’ conference where they reside; and to co-operate with the province safeguarding officer.

8.2 Jesuits  understand that they have a direct and personal responsibility to report, without delay, safeguarding concerns or allegations to the appropriate authorities.  In the first instance, the report should be made to the Safeguarding Officer of the work or community, and also to the province or diocesan Safeguarding Officer as specified in local safeguarding procedures.[13]

8.3 When a safeguarding report is made, the Jesuit making the report must satisfy himself that appropriate and timely action is being taken and, if this is not the case, additionally report to other appropriate authorities which may include the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO), the police, and the local Safeguarding Children Board.

9. Safeguarding in Jesuit communities

9.1 Each Jesuit community and work will have:

a) codes of practice setting out safeguarding expectations and procedures to respond to and report concerns and which are consistent with this province policy and the arrangements of the bishops’ conferences;
b) safer recruitment procedures for employees and volunteers;
c) information sharing arrangements;
d) and appropriate supervision and support for staff, including safeguarding training.

9.2 In each Jesuit community, one person, usually the local Superior, will be appointed by the Provincial Superior to have lead responsibility for safeguarding.  This responsibility includes:

a) promoting an effective culture of safeguarding within the community and its associated works and outreach;
b) ensuring that safeguarding checks are made, and recorded, for each Jesuit joining the community;
c) ensuring that visiting Jesuits exercise their ministry only in so far as this is compatible with the safeguarding arrangements of the community and its associated works and outreach;
d) arranging appropriate safeguarding training for Jesuits and ensuring that all community members are involved, and that a record of attendance is kept;
e) liaising with those responsible for safeguarding in the works associated with the community;
f) working co-operatively with the province Safeguarding Officer and Safeguarding Commission.
g) reporting safeguarding concerns or allegations promptly to the province Safeguarding Officer;
h) acting upon the safeguarding policy and procedures;
i) and ensuring that he himself is informed and up to date about safeguarding law and best practice.

9.3 Jesuit Superiors understand the responsibility, additionally, to report any serious incident (which includes safeguarding allegations) to the Charity Commission.  This is done through the province Safeguarding Officer.

9.4 Jesuit Superiors and Directors of Work will report to and liaise closely with statutory agencies[14] to ensure that any allegations of abuse are responded to properly and promptly and that survivors are supported and perpetrators are both held to account and supported.

10. The role of the Jesuit Provincial/allegations against the Jesuit Provincial

10.1 The Provincial Superior has responsibility for ensuring the commitment to safeguarding in the communities, works, and individuals of the province, is consistently and effectively applied in practice.

10.2 A safeguarding allegation made against the Provincial Superior will be handled on behalf of the Jesuits in Britain by a person nominated by the Chair of the Safeguarding Commission.  This person will refer the matter to the civil and church authorities according to the usual procedures.

11. Province safeguarding commission

To assist the province with safeguarding, the Jesuits in Britain has established an independent Safeguarding Commission, whose remit is:

a) to advise the Provincial Superior on all aspects of Jesuit life and work in the province which relate to the safeguarding of all those with whom they work, including providing appropriate training;
b) to manage, on behalf of the Provincial Superior, any cases of malpractice in these areas which may arise;
c) to do whatever can be done on behalf of the Provincial Superior to help and support victims, especially any who have been abused by anyone who is a member of, or who works in a project under the jurisdiction of, the Jesuits in Britain;
d) and, in cases which come under the jurisdiction of other safeguarding commissions or disciplinary systems, to liaise closely with them and work together in securing safety for the public and help and support for victims.

12. Province Safeguarding officer

12.1 The province Safeguarding Officer is responsible to the Safeguarding Commission, advises the Provincial Superior and province trustees, and is responsible for promoting safeguarding within the Jesuits in Britain in accordance with this policy.

12.2 The responsibilities of the province Safeguarding Officer are:

a) to lead in the implementation and management of safeguarding policy and practice in the prevention of child abuse and adults at risk of abuse;
b) to inform, advise and collaborate with the Safeguarding Commission and the Jesuit Provincial Superior on appropriate practice in managing safeguarding policy and practice;
c) to support the work of the Safeguarding Commission;
d) to set up and maintain risk assessments and risk management plans, and the commissioning of preliminary enquiries;
e) to work closely with the Jesuits in the development and delivery of introductory training and refresher training for all Jesuits, volunteers and others who work in Jesuit managed projects;
f) to keep up to date with safeguarding best practice in both national practice and in the Catholic Church, and to work cooperatively with the Catholic Safeguarding Advisory Service (England and Wales) and the Scottish Catholic Safeguarding Service;
g) to maintain appropriate links with statutory agencies including the local safeguarding children board, adult social care services, the police, and multi-agency public protection arrangements (MAPPA) agencies.

13. Insurance

The Jesuits in Britain are committed to maintaining appropriate levels of insurance such that the needs and compensation of victims of abuse may be adequately met by the province through its insurances and from its own resources.

14. Record keeping

The Jesuits in Britain keeps personnel records on each member of the province, including records relating to any safeguarding allegations or concerns.  Records relating to safeguarding will be kept for five years if an allegation has been investigated and found to have no foundation; and for 75 years if an allegation was found to have substance.


[1] The Society of Jesus is an international Religious Order of the Roman Catholic Church founded in 1540.  It is divided in 82 more or less territorial Provinces or Regions of which the British Province is one.  The British Province operates in England and Wales, Scotland, and in Guyana.  The British Province is incorporated in English civil law as the Trust for Roman Catholic Purposes 1929.

[2] By ‘adults at risk’ is understood any person over 18 years of age ‘who is or may be in need of community care services by reason of mental or other disability, age or illness; and who is or may be unable to take care of him or herself, or unable to protect him or herself against significant harm or exploitation.’  Department of Health and Home Office (2000) No secrets: Guidance on developing and implementing multi-agency policies and procedures to protect vulnerable adults from abuse

[3] The National Catholic Safeguarding Commission (NCSC) and the Catholic Safeguarding Advisory Service (CSAS) have been established by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales to handle safeguarding policy and procedure.  The CSAS Procedures Manual contains the national procedures to be followed by those who respond to allegations of abuse or concerns about safeguarding within the Catholic Church and its institutions in England and Wales.

[4] The Scottish Catholic Safeguarding Service (SCSS) has been established as an agency of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Scotland.

[5] The Regional Superior is the Jesuit appointed to govern the Jesuits, houses and works of the region.

[6] The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) for England and Wales, and the Protection of Vulnerable Groups (PVG) disclosure service in Scotland.

[7] By ‘works’ is meant the different institutions and ministries in which Jesuit work, usually with others, such as parishes, schools, colleges, retreat houses, etc.  Each work will have a named Director of Work.

[8] By ‘houses’ is meant the residences where Jesuits live in community.  Each house will have a named local Superior.

[9] The Provincial Superior (the Provincial) is the Jesuit appointed to govern the Jesuits, houses and works of the province.

[10] The Director of Work is the person, Jesuit or lay, who has been appointed to lead and direct a work of the Jesuits in Britain such as a parish, school, college, retreat house, etc.

[11] Cura personalis is the traditional latin phrase used to describe the individual care that Superiors have for those under their authority.

[12] By ‘Jesuit’ is understood any member of the Society of Jesus, including novices (but not candidates who should be treated as volunteers) and those in formation, as well as priests and brothers; including both members of the British Province and Jesuits assigned to, working in, or visiting the UK.

[13] In Scotland, all safeguarding concerns are to be reported to the diocesan safeguarding officer and to the police.

[14] Statutory agencies include the local authority designated officer (LADO), the police, and the local safeguarding children board (LSCB).


Safeguarding policy, Safeguarding