Standard Eight

Safe physical and online environments

Physical and online environments promote safety and contain appropriate safeguards to minimise the opportunity for children and adults to be harmed.

8.1 The Safeguarding Risk Management Strategy addresses both physical and online risks, without compromising the individual’s right to privacy or wellbeing.

8.1.1 Both physical and online risks are addressed within the provision of ministry and/or services, including risks arising from:

  • one-to-one interactions between an adult and a child;
  • ministries and/or services such as counselling, home visits, outreach, one-to-one tuition, the sacrament of reconciliation, spiritual direction, and mentoring;
  • potential physical contact between the penitent and the confessor where the sacrament of reconciliation is celebrated;
  • one-to-one interactions with adults at risk;
  • child-to-child interactions;
  • adult-to-child interactions;
  • adult-to-adult interactions (with consideration of power imbalances); and
  • the nature of physical spaces.

Where possible, these interactions are to be conducted in an open or visible space, or within clear line of sight of another adult.

8.1.2 The entity’s policies require the safe use of online applications for children and adults to learn, communicate and seek help.

8.1.3 Personnel are involved in identifying and mitigating physical and online risks to children and adults.

8.2 The online environment is used in accordance with the entity’s Code of Conduct and Safeguarding Policy.

8.2.1 Personnel access and use online environments in line with the Code of Conduct, Privacy Act and relevant communication protocols.

8.2.2 The online environment is monitored, and breaches are managed in accordance with disciplinary procedures, or other relevant policies and reported to the leadership.

8.3 Risk management plans address the range of settings, activities, and physical environments in which ministry and/or services occur.

8.3.1 A process is in place to assess and manage risk if the organisation becomes aware of the presence of someone who poses an unacceptable risk to others within their ministry and/or service.

8.4 Where facilities and services are contracted to and from third parties, contractual arrangements specify safeguarding considerations.

8.4.1 If a third party provides services or uses the organisations facilities appropriate safeguarding policies and practices in place.

Find definitions of key terms used throughout the Standards in our glossary