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Serious Incident Reporting

by Michael Ford last modified 06 Aug, 2019 03:21 PM

All PCCs, Diocesan Boards of Finance, and most Religious Communities are charities. Trustees are required to report any Serious Incidents, both safeguarding and non-safeguarding, to the Charity Commission.

Why is there Church of England guidance?

Following high-profile safeguarding-related incidents in the charity sector, the Charity Commission updated its guidance on Serious Incident Reporting in October 2018, with a particular focus on the reporting of Safeguarding Serious Incidents. The Church has worked with the Charity Commission to agree bespoke guidance for DBFs, PCCs and Religious Communities on how to identify and report a Serious Incident. View it here

The Charity Commission further updated its guidance on 14 June 2019 to require all individual Serious Incident reports to be submitted to it using a new online form, which can be accessed here. The Church of England’s bespoke guidance on Serious Incident Reporting (both safeguarding and non-safeguarding) has also been updated accordingly (version 1 August 2019). The updated Church of England guidance has been approved by the Charity Commission (and, for the safeguarding guidance only, by the National Safeguarding Steering Group).

The revised Church of England guidance also includes further advice/guidance from the Charity Commission on when you may need to report a Serious Incident in a partner organisation.

A fact sheet, which explains the changes for PCCs made by the 1 August 2019 version of the Church of England guidance can be accessed here.

Guidance Documents


Guidance for DBFs, PCCs and Religious Communities: Identifying and Reporting Safeguarding Serious Incidents to the Charity Commission

This Guidance explains how to identify a safeguarding Serious Incident and what to do when one occurs.

Practical guidance: How to make a Safeguarding Serious Incident report to the Charity Commission

The Practical guidance sits alongside the General guidance and explains how to prepare a safeguarding Serious Incident Report and submit it to the Charity Commission.

DBFs can access the new template safeguarding bulk reporting form from the Church of England’s safeguarding webpage


Guidance for PCCs: Reporting non-safeguarding Serious Incidents to the Charity Commission

Guidance for DBFs and Religious Communities: Reporting non-safeguarding Serious Incidents to the Charity Commission


Example template delegations have been produced, alongside the Guidance and Explanatory Notes, to assist DBFs, PCCs and RCs to prepare suitable delegation resolutions under the Guidance. As example templates, they may be amended in such ways as your trustees think fit for your DBF, PCC or Religious Community, provided that the delegation resolutions passed reflect what is required by the Guidance.

DBF Template Delegations as a PDF (or as a Word document)
PCC Template Delegations as a PDF (or as a Word document)
Religious Community Template Delegations as a PDF (or as a Word document)

Frequently Asked Questions

Following requests at the seminars in early February 2019, the Legal Office and National Safeguarding Team put together some FAQs on the Church of England’s internal Serious Incident Reporting Guidance to clarify those issues on which a number of questions have been raised. We have sought to provide simple, clear and brief questions and answers on these key issues and we hope you find them helpful. The FAQs have been updated (1 August 2019) to reflect the changes made to the Church of England’s guidance to implement those changes made by the Charity Commission. Click here to view the FAQs

Other information

The slides from SIR guidance seminars held on the 6th and 7th of February 2019 can be downloaded here.

The Charity Commission’s updated guidance for charity trustees on how to spot and report Serious Incidents can be downloaded here.

The original CofE page is here.

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