Standard Five

Robust human resource management

People working with children and adults are suitable and supported to reflect safeguarding values in practice

5.1 A strong commitment to safeguarding underpins an entity’s recruitment.

5.1.1 The commitment to safeguarding and zero tolerance approach to abuse are explicit in advertising, screening, and recruitment for personnel.

5.1.2 Recruitment and screening procedures and processes are fully documented.

5.1.3 Positions are assessed for the expected level of contact with children and/or adults at risk and appropriate safeguarding recruitment procedures are implemented.

5.2 Personnel have current clearances (for example working with children checks) and/or equivalent background checks relevant to their role.

5.2.1 All personnel are required to have a background check and clearance (as relevant to their role).

5.2.2 As required by legislation, personnel must have a current working with children check (or working with vulnerable people check) and/or NDIS Worker Screening Check prior to working with children or adults at risk.

5.2.3 Records of all checks are maintained and monitored in accordance with legislation, for all personnel.

5.3 Personnel complete appropriate induction and are aware of their safeguarding responsibilities, including reporting obligations.

5.3.1 All personnel participate in a safeguarding induction program, which occurs as soon as possible after commencement.

5.3.2 Church Authorities and their leadership team undertake the National Catholic Safeguarding Standards Introductory Session for Leaders.

5.4 Ongoing supervision and people management includes an emphasis on safeguarding responsibilities.

5.4.1 Professional supervision, mentoring, and annual performance reviews for personnel include a focus on safeguarding responsibilities.

5.5 Before and during seminary and religious formation, candidates are appropriately screened and supported, including processes for ongoing formation, support and supervision of clergy and religious.

NOTE: Criteria 5.5 – 5.8 apply to Church Authorities and related entities with seminarians, clergy, lay ministers and those in formation with, or members of, religious institutes.

5.5.1 The Church Authority seeks professional support in screening candidates for seminary/ formation programs and before ordination/profession of vows. This includes a responsibility to
enquire if an applicant or candidate has previously withdrawn or been exited from another seminary or formation program.

5.5.2 Seminary and initial formation programs have robust screening processes for candidates, including external psychological and psychosexual assessments.

5.5.3 Ongoing integrated formation for clergy and religious addresses both the canonical and civil safeguarding requirements. For priests, this would include supporting their fidelity to the Church’s teaching regarding the Sacrament of Reconciliation and the inviolability of the Sacramental Seal.

5.5.4 All clergy and religious in full-time ministry participate in at least 6 hours, with the optimum being 10 hours of professional/pastoral supervision each year. Clergy and religious not in full-time ministry participate in 6 hours of reflective practice activities each year.

5.5.5 All clergy and religious in ministry, undertake ongoing professional development and regular appraisals.

5.5.6 All newly ordained clergy and newly professed religious are supported with a suitable mentor for at least five years post ordination or final profession.

5.6 The curriculum for seminary and formation programs for clergy and religious includes safeguarding knowledge and skills development of candidates to understand and lead initiatives for safeguarding children and adults.

5.6.1 Seminary and initial formation programs build candidates’ knowledge and skills in a range of areas to support safeguarding children and adults.

5.6.2 Seminary and initial formation programs include developing pastoral responses to victims and survivors of abuse.

5.6.3 Seminary and initial formation programs identify how to avoid abuse of power and the development and/or reinforcement of clericalist attitudes and behaviours.

5.7 The movement and credentialling of those in ministry is appropriately managed.

5.7.1 A system to assess the safeguarding credentials (good standing) and manage the movement of all seminarians, clergy, religious and lay ministers between different seminaries, formation programs and other Church entities is in place.

5.8 Where clergy and religious from countries other than Australia are recruited to ministry, programs are in place to support their cultural awareness, screening, induction, professional supervision, and development.

5.8.1 Clergy and religious from countries other than Australia recruited to ministry are screened and verification information is sought from the international Church Authority.

5.8.2 Clergy and religious from countries other than Australia participate in a safeguarding induction program which is documented and occurs as soon as possible after commencement of ministry.

5.8.3 Clergy and religious from countries other than Australia are supported with a suitable mentor for at least the first two years of their time in Australia.

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