What is Level 3 Safeguarding Training?

what is level 3 safeguarding training
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Safeguarding is set of policies, procedures and practices used to actively prevent the harm, abuse and neglect of children and vulnerable adults and promote their well-being. All workplaces, setting and organisations that work with or have contact with children and vulnerable adults must demonstrate compliance with their safeguarding responsibilities and undertake safeguarding training.

Safeguarding training encompasses recognising the signs of abuse, the recruitment of staff and ensuring that all staff are aware of safeguarding legislation and best practices.

According to the latest government guidance ’Working Together to Safeguard Children (2018)’, safeguarding refers to:

  • Protecting children from maltreatment
  • Preventing harm of children’s health or development
  • Taking action to enable all children to have the best outcomes
  • Ensuring all children grow up with the provision of safe and effective care

Whilst the term safeguarding and child protection seem to be used interchangeably; safeguarding and child/adult protection are distinct. Safeguarding can be thought of as a preventive measure, protecting all children and vulnerable adults from abuse or neglect and providing them with the best life chances. Protection is a reactive measure, a process of helping a child or vulnerable adult who has already experienced or is at risk of experiencing abuse or neglect.

Which sectors refer to ‘levels’ in safeguarding training?

The majority of workplace settings which need safeguarding training tend not to refer to safeguarding training in ‘levels’. The exception to this rule is healthcare staff who still have a clear framework which identifies minimum training and competency requirements for different healthcare roles. The framework, produced by the Royal Colleges and professional bodies, is the Safeguarding Children and Young People: Roles and Competencies for Healthcare Staff.

In the framework, levels 1-3 relate to different occupational groups, while level 4 and 5 are related to specific roles. The document also outlines specific details for chief executives, chairs, board members including executives, non-executives and lay members. All healthcare professionals will need to refer to this framework to ensure they are trained to the right safeguarding level.

Healthcare staff

Every member of staff in a healthcare role requires at least level 1 safeguarding training, as specified in the framework. Our online Safeguarding for Children and Vulnerable Adults, Safeguarding Children and Level 1 Safeguarding for Dentists online courses covers the core competencies and knowledge requirements for level 1.

All staff working in a clinical capacity and all non-clinical staff who have duties that require a more in-depth involvement with children or vulnerable adults, should take level 2 safeguarding training in addition to level 1 training. Our Safeguarding Lead Training for Children and Vulnerable Adults, Designated Safeguarding Lead Training and Level 2 Safeguarding for Dentists online courses covers the core competencies and knowledge requirements for level 2 as set out in the framework.

Our online courses do not extend to level 3, 4 or 5. Typically these levels are healthcare who have a greater involvement with children, including General Practitioners and those working in child health and specialist child paediatrics, requiring a depth of knowledge and skills that necessitates more specialist training.

We recommend that you always check with your Local Safeguarding Board or NHS Trust before purchasing a training course, to ensure it fulfils the expectations of your specific role.

Other Sectors

The reference to levels within safeguarding training was dropped several years ago. Although our Safeguarding Children and Safeguarding Children and Vulnerable Adults courses cover what used to be the first two levels of safeguarding training. Historically level 1 safeguarding training offered a comprehensive knowledge of the signs of abuse and neglect; level 2 safeguarding training expanded upon this, including a more detailed understanding of safeguarding legislation and procedure. Our course brings both together under the same umbrella. 

Employees who often require this level of knowledge include teachers, care home staff, taxi drivers, sports coaches and those people who do social, voluntary and community roles who come into contact with children, young people and/or vulnerable adults. 

Level 3 safeguarding training, meanwhile, is intended for those who take on extra, dedicated care responsibilities in their workplace. These include our Designated Safeguarding Lead Training and Safeguarding Lead Training for Children and Vulnerable Adults online training courses. Level 3 courses are suitable for safeguarding leads in the majority of workplaces and those who lead and co-ordinate internal safeguarding efforts and co-operate with external services. 

What information will be included in a historic Level 3 safeguarding training course?

An overview of your responsibilities

A historic level 3 safeguarding training course should include an overview of both the responsibilities and prerequisites that a designated safeguarding professional or senior staff member with extra responsibilities should have. It should rightly point out that taking a level 3 course requires prior safeguarding knowledge, typically via a level 2 course.


As level 2 safeguarding training is required for those taking higher qualifications, a level 3 course should include some sort of refresher on the basics of safeguarding. This might include some detail on spotting the signs of abuse and neglect, articulating and expressing safeguarding concerns and some knowledge of safeguarding procedures.

Understanding safeguarding legislation

As a designated safeguarding professional, you should understand the purpose of UK safeguarding legislation, including how it relates to your position in the workplace. This section should be adapted to your region. For example, if you work in Scotland, ensure the course includes information on guidance such as ‘Getting It Right for Every Child’.

Your role as a designated safeguarding professional

The designated safeguarding professional is pivotal within the workplace. Your course should outline specifically what is expected of you in the role, including advice on how to act as a central contact for safeguarding concerns within your organisation, how to create and update safeguarding policies, and advice on who to contact externally if you require support in your role.

Effective communication

Your course should teach you how to communicate effectively. This should include handling sensitive information and, as the designated safeguarding professional, fostering a culture of clear communication regarding workplace safeguarding.

Multi-agency procedure

You will be expected to work with internal teams and external partner agencies when reporting and dealing with safeguarding concerns. This section of the course should include information on your local safeguarding partnerships, for example, with advice on how best to operate as a central contact between your organisation and external agencies.


It is your duty as a designated safeguarding professional to handle any complaints and any other allegations during the safeguarding process, whether from the victims, their families and/or any partners you liaise with. A level 3 course should help you to understand how to deal with complaints effectively, and when to approach outside agencies with concerns.

Handling safeguarding concerns

Arguably the most important part of your role as a designated safeguarding professional is to be able to direct any safeguarding concerns to the correct agency when necessary. Furthermore, Level 3 safeguarding training should give you a clear understanding of what to do (and what not to do) in response to a potential abuse situation and/or if you have concerns about an individual’s behaviour.


Your training course should end with an assessment to test your knowledge. Upon completion, you should receive a verifiable certificate as evidence for Ofsted or any other local authorities which may investigate your competence.

Need any help?

If you would like to speak to a member of our friendly customer support team about your safeguarding training needs or need any help or explanation regarding our training, please get in touch today by calling us on 01327 552030, emailing us at hello@smarthorizons.co.uk, or using the live chat feature on our website.

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