At Flexible Training we comply with all UK policies relating to the Care and Health of our Clients and Employees.
These policy statements are listed for your convenience and downloadable should you desire, the relevant ones will be explained with you by one of our staff when the need arises.
Flexible Training celebrates and values the diversity of individuals and aims to create an environment where all staff, learners, contractors and visitors are respected.
The company is committed to offering our learners and staff a fulfilling and challenging training programme or career in which we share equal opportunities in an environment free from discrimination, harassment, victimisation and bullying.
We aim to ensure that all of our learners/staff are treated fairly regardless of age, class/socio-economic status, disability including physical appearance, culture/religion, employment status, gender including gender reassignment, HIV/Aids status, marital status, race/ethnicity/colour, socially excluded or sexual orientation.
No person on our training programmes or within our organisation or seeking employment with Flexible Training Limited is to receive less favourable treatment on any of the above grounds or disadvantaged by requirements or unjustifiable conditions. Our objective is to eliminate unfair discrimination and we will monitor our performance on a continuous basis.
1. We will promote an active Single Equality vision for the organisation and beyond. Our managers will implement, monitor and review detailed practices and procedures covering equal opportunities in compliance with all relevant legislation in order to ensure:
• Good learner/staff communications
• Fair recruitment, selection, promotion, transfer and leaving training/employment
• Effective performance management
• Appropriate and timely access to counselling and other support processes
• Flexible patterns of training/work
• Effective management of individual grievances
2. We will encourage a culture where all learners, staff, directors, stakeholders, visitors and contractors can participate and contribute, feel welcome, safe, valued, fairly and respectfully treated and free from harassment, victimisation and bullying.
3. We will strive to embed Equality and Diversity as key priorities and underpinning values integral to all teaching and learning, day to day activities and life within broader communities.
4. We will ensure that the organisation complies with all of its legal duties and specific requirements in relation to the promotion of Equality and Diversity.
5. We will have due regard to the need to challenge and eliminate discrimination, harassment, victimisation and bullying.
6. We will involve learners, staff and other stakeholders in strategies to eliminate discrimination, harassment, victimisation, bullying or other prejudicial behaviours, including indirect disability discrimination.
7. We will actively advance quality of opportunity and foster good relations between staff and learners whether they share or do not share protected characteristics including: age, gender, gender reassignment, learning difficulty and/or disability, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation.
8. We will exceed compliance to relevant UK and European legislation to encompass best practice in relation to the positive spirit of the best in individualised learning, safeguarding, respect and advancement of common themes of understanding.
9. We aim to be responsive to the Five Outcomes of the Every Child Matters Agenda and the Machinery of Government Changes (2010/11) that will affect the delivery of support for learners with learning difficulties and/or disabilities.
10. We will set and monitor targets that measure our success in widening participation to groups currently under-represented on the programmes that we offer. We will monitor the performance of different groups of learners and seek to narrow any identified achievement gaps.
11. We will regularly monitor and review our effectiveness as part of the business review and self-assessment processes. This will involve gathering the views of learners, staff and other stakeholders to evaluate our performance.
12. Staff and managers will include actions to improve the promotion of equality and diversity in their annual quality improvement plans.
It is the policy of Flexible Training Ltd to develop a positive health and safety culture throughout the organisation because we believe that high health and safety standards are a pre-requisite in the pursuit of company efficiency and competitiveness.
To achieve this the Company will progressively identify all workplace hazards and take appropriate measures to eliminate or control risks to employees and others affected by our operations by applying positive control standards and provision of information, training and supervision as needed.
Employees are reminded that they have a duty to ensure that the Company’s Health and Safety Policy is observed and in particular they are required:
• to take reasonable care for their own health and safety at work and of those who may be affected their actions, or by their omissions.
• to co-operate with their employer to ensure that any duty, or requirement, for health and safety imposed upon their employer by law is performed or complied with.
• not to intentionally, or recklessly, interfere with or misuse anything provided in the interests of health, safety or welfare.
• to report to supervisory staff hazardous conditions or defects in the company safety arrangements.
The company recognises that it has the ultimate legal responsibility for health and safety. Accordingly the Managing Director accepts overall responsibility for policy formulation and implementation. In turn, all staff are responsible for carrying out those health and safety duties placed on them.
The Managing Director will ensure that the safety plan includes sufficient resources for the successful implementation of the Health and Safety Policy.
Where appropriate, the monitoring and review of the Company’s Health and Safety Policy will be carried out by the Managing Director.
Development of the Health and Safety Policy will be conducted through the normal business meetings where health and safety will be given standing equal to other activities of the business.
I can confirm I have read and understood the above Health and Safety Policy.
Reviewed December 2015
Flexible Training is committed to ensuring that all learners, regardless of age, gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnic origin, religion or disability undertake their learning in a safe environment.
To comply with this, we have Safeguarding, Equality and Diversity and Health and Safety policies in place.
On induction you will be advised of your rights and responsibilities in line with these policies.
They will then be embedded throughout your qualification and will be discussed as part of your qualification reviews.
Your Assessor and Internal Verifier will regularly ask you if you feel safe and if you feel you are being treated fairly.
If at any time you feel you are being harassed, bullied or treated unfairly by anyone please contact either of our Designated Safeguarding Officers for confidential support.
Reviewed December 2015
The purpose of the policy is to ensure that all staff and learners are aware of Information, Advice and Guidance (IAG) practices.
We provide high-quality services or if necessary, make referrals to external organisations. These services are recorded and monitored in accordance with requirements of the Skills Funding Agency (SFA) and our partner organisations.
This policy recognises that high-quality IAG improves retention and achievement in learning programmes.
IAG policy and practice will benefit all learners and potential learners by ensuring:
• Delivery and management of service is consistent.
• Learners and potential learners receive a high quality IAG service to enable them to make informed choices from the range of options available.
• Awareness of the service is raised through providing information to all learners.
• Services promote equality of opportunity for individuals and groups and reflect a diversity of learner needs which takes into account issues connected with race, religion, sexual orientation, age, disability and gender.
• The overall responsibility for the IAG Policy rests with the Operations Director.
• The company is responsible for providing staff delivering IAG with opportunities to develop and maintain competence, where required.
• Staff are responsible for ensuring they have the skills and knowledge to look after the needs of learners and/or refer them to alternative providers of IAG.
• The delivery of IAG is the responsibility of front-line delivery staff and managers.
• Delivery of IAG will be through clear communication and referral services as follows:
➢ Induction Process
➢ Completion of Individual Learning Plan
➢ On-going Assessment and Support
➢ Exit Interview / Progression IAG Discussion
All IAG will be delivered, recorded and monitored as detailed within the organisations’ Confidentiality Policy.
Processes and Procedures
IAG policy and practice will ensure that:
• Aims and objectives for service delivery are identified and targets established.
All learners and potential learners have access to specialist Advice and Guidance services through referral as appropriate to meet their needs.
• All staff are aware of the IAG processes and procedures.
• Delivery of IAG is logged and monitored, in line with the requirements of the Skills Funding Agency (SFA) and our partner organisations, by completion of:
➢ Progress Reviews
➢ Exit Interview / Progression IAG Discussion
• A range of information on internal and external learning opportunities is maintained and up-to-date.
• IAG is available throughout all stages of learning.
• IAG is accessible to all learners.
• Regular evaluation of the service is carried out to make continuous improvement in provision by:
• Pre-course Evaluation Questionnaires
• Exit Evaluation Questionnaires
• Informal Feedback from learners through Quality Assurance processes
• Upon completion of a qualification with Flexible Training learners are encouraged to contact The National Careers Service on 0800 100 900 or visit their website www.nationalcareersservice.direct.gov.uk to discuss the next steps in their career progression.
Attempting to, or actually carrying out any malpractice activity is not permitted by Flexible Training.
The following are examples of malpractice by learners; this list is not exhaustive and other instances of malpractice may be considered by Flexible Training at its discretion:
• plagiarism by copying and passing off, as your own, the whole or part(s) of another person’s work, including artwork, images, words, computer generated work (including Internet sources), thoughts, inventions and/or discoveries whether published or not, with or without the originator’s permission and without appropriately acknowledging the source.
• collusion by working collaboratively with other learners to produce work that is submitted as your work. You should not be discouraged from teamwork, as this is an essential key skill for many sectors and subject areas, but the use of minutes, allocating tasks, agreeing outcomes, etc are an essential part of team work and this must be noted in any work submitted.
• impersonation by pretending to be someone else in order to produce the work for another or arranging for another to take one’s place in an assessment/examination/test.
• fabrication of results and/or evidence.
• failing to abide by the instructions or advice of an assessor, a supervisor, an invigilator, or the awarding body conditions in relation to the assessment/examination/test rules, regulations and security.
• misuse of assessment/examination material.
• introduction and/or use of unauthorised material contra to the requirements of supervised assessment/examination/test conditions, for example: notes, study guides, personal organisers, calculators, dictionaries (when prohibited), personal stereos, mobile phones or other similar electronic devices.
• obtaining, receiving, exchanging or passing on information which could be assessment/examination/test related (or the attempt to) by means of talking or written papers/notes during supervised assessment/examination/test conditions.
• behaving in such a way as to undermine the integrity of the assessment/examination/test.
• the alteration of any results document, including certificates.
• cheating to gain an unfair advantage.
If malpractice is discovered, Flexible Training reserves the right to withdraw the learner from the programme and to withhold any monies already paid.
Learner Name ……………………………………………………………………………………………
I have read and understood the above Malpractice Statement.
Reviewed December 2015
If a candidate is dissatisfied with an assessment outcome he/she has the right of appeal.
The main reasons for an appeal are likely to be:
• The candidate does not understand why he/she is not yet regarded as competent, due to lack or unclear feedback from the Assessor.
• The candidate believes he/she is competent and that the Assessor has misjudged him/ her.
There are three stages within any appeals procedure:
Appeal directly in writing to the Assessor who carried out the assessment stating:
• Points of disagreement and reasons.
• Evidence to which the disagreement relates.
(Timescale 10 days)
Candidates who are not satisfied with the outcome of Stage 1 appeal, can next appeal in writing to the Internal Verifier, contact details below, including all documentation from Stage 1.
(Timescale 10 days)
Candidates who are not satisfied with the outcome of Stage 2 may appeal in writing to the Complaints Manager, contact details below, including all documentation from both Stages 1 & 2.
(Timescale 10 days)
Flexible Training Ltd,
Devonshire Business Centre,
Letchworth Garden City,
Flexible Training Ltd,
Devonshire Business Centre,
Letchworth Garden City,
NOTE: The decision of the Complaints Manager is final.
I can confirm I have read and understood the appeals procedure.
Reviewed December 2015
Flexible Training Ltd 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.
Safety of children and vulnerable learners is a topic that is too often in the news. High profile cases of abuse of children and vulnerable adults highlight the importance of vigilance by Flexible Training staff.
A child is legally defined as ‘any person who is under the age of 18 years’. Further education providers are required to safeguard and promote the welfare of children. The broad definition of a vulnerable adult is ‘a person who is 18 years of age or over, and 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/herself, or unable to protect him/herself against significant harm or serious exploitation’.
The main categories of people covered by this definition of vulnerable adult include people:
• who have a learning disability
• who have physical or sensory impairments
• who have a mental illness including dementia
• who are old and frail
• detained in custody or under a probation order
• those considered vulnerable and who may experience abuse due to problems with alcohol or drugs (or be vulnerable due to other circumstances such as being an asylum seeker).
Flexible Training staff will include:
• All those directly employed by Flexible Training Ltd.
• Peripatetic assessors, trainers and internal verification staff.
• Agency staff.
• The staff of any sub-contractors and delivery partners.
• Any company or individual that we provide training to.
• Any individual receiving training or assessment from Flexible Training Ltd.
• Any individual within their care or who they are responsible for, for example, adults and children in the care of candidates.
Flexible Training recognises that certain groups of people are legally defined as vulnerable, and has relevant policies, procedures and practice in place to cover them.
Flexible Training policies are designed to be fully inclusive and have integrated safer practices that apply to all staff and learners at source. This is intended to create a safer environment for all.
Contained within the policies are the two main aspects of safeguarding and promoting welfare of children and vulnerable adults:
• arrangements to minimise risks.
• arrangements to take all appropriate actions to address concerns – actively promoting the concept of “safe learner”.
Flexible Training has appointed a Lead Designated Safeguarding Officer, Michelle Dudderidge (Operations Director) and a second Designated Safeguarding Officer, Peter Woolnough (Director of Quality and Compliance).
Safeguarding is an overriding policy which includes the following:
• Health & Safety Policy
• Equality Policy
• Malpractice Statement
• Appeals Procedure
• Information, Advice and Guidance Policy
1. 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, Jason Dudderidge, Managing Director.
2. Safe Environments
Flexible Training is committed to ensuring that all staff have the knowledge to keep themselves safe and have a detailed understanding of Flexible Training’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 Flexible Training staff have knowledge of their responsibilities on Vulnerable Adult and Child Protection Issues. Michelle Dudderidge 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 learners and 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.
• All new course approval procedures include safeguarding.
• The company ensures all staff receive training in safeguarding of vulnerable adults, as well as, the “five Every Child Matters outcomes,” (be healthy, stay safe, enjoy and achieve, make a positive contribution, achieve economic well-being) ensuring that staying safe is regarded as the most important.
• 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.
3. 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 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 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 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.
Lead Designated Safeguarding Officer for Flexible Training Ltd is Michelle Dudderidge.
Michelle can be contacted on 07886 556 673 (24hours) or by email
A second Designated Safeguarding Officer to deal with incidents in Michelle’s absence is Peter Woolnough.
Peter can be contacted on 07891 028 575 (24hours) or by email
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 Flexible Training within all training and assessment environments.
Incident report forms are attached to this document as Form B, and are available on request from Michelle Dudderidge or Peter Woolnough.
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.
5. 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
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.
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.
8. 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.
9. 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.
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.
11. 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. Staff undertake regular training as part of their Continual Professional Development (CPD). This training is delivered by Michelle who is an LSIS Safeguarding Facilitator.