When recruiting any role, parishes should make sure they are meeting safeguarding standards.

The responsibility for this can be given to whoever the PCC appoints (normally the Parish Safeguarding Officer).


The ‘Safer Recruitment and People Management’ course is available on the Church of England training portal. The aim of this course is to equip participants with an understanding of safer recruitment, and the skills and practices necessary to promote positive safeguarding behaviour, and detect safeguarding risk, once a person is in role.

It should be completed by:

  • Anyone involved in the recruitment of Church Officers, employees, elected members and volunteers
  • Those with responsibility for administering DBS
  • Safeguarding Officers

The course is online and takes around 1 1/2 to 2 hours to complete.

Checks for visiting preachers

Current practice in the Diocese of London is that checks are required for all Church of England clergy from outside of the Diocese who are invited to officiate (including preaching) within the Diocese.

Visit the Parish Practicalities section for more information

  • A DBS check should be carried out, where applicable, once a candidate has been offered a role but before starting in that role. More information is available on our DBS pages.
  • Foreign applicants: If a candidate for a position that is eligible for a DBS check is coming from overseas, the person making the appointment should request an additional check and ask the applicant to obtain criminality information (also known as a certificate of good conduct/character) from his/her relevant embassy/high commission (or police force). See the House of Bishops’ Safer Recruitment Practice Guidance at paragraph 2.10 and Overseas DBS.
  • Applicants who have lived or worked outside the UK for 6 months or more in the last 5 years need to undergo the same checks as all other staff applicants. As much information as possible should be obtained in the form of references (e.g. from any relevant overseas employer(s)) including verification by telephone as part of the decision making process about whether to use applicants who have lived abroad.
  • Probationary/settling in period, supervision and regular review can be made part of the process. See the House of Bishops’ Safer Recruitment Practice Guidance at paragraphs 2.13 and 2.14).
  • The Church of England has put together some safer recruitment and people management guidance.

Permission to officiate in the Church of England needs to be obtained from the Diocesan Bishop and the Archbishop of Canterbury if the member of clergy was ordained overseas (this does not  include the Scottish Episcopal Church, the Church of Ireland, or the Church in Wales, whose ministry is already recognized).

To minister without having obtained the Archbishop’s Permission, even for one service, is an ecclesiastical offence for which proceedings may be taken under the Clergy Discipline Measure 2003. Applications are made under the Overseas and Other Clergy (Ministry and Ordination) Measure 1967. Further details, including how to apply, can be found here.