PCR2 - summary of recommendations

The table below lists all of the reviewers’ recommendations for the Diocese of Oxford following PCR2, along with observations and actions taken by the diocese. Progress will be regularly reviewed by the independently-chaired Diocese of Oxford Safeguarding Panel (DSAP).

This page is best displayed on a PC or tablet device and should be read in conjunction with the accompanying findings of the independent reviewers.

# Reviewers’ recommendation Diocesan observation Status
1 The diocese to consider adopting a policy or process for dealing with, managing, and recording complaints against clergy and church officers that do not reach the threshold of Clergy Disciplinary Measures (CDM) or when a complainant does not wish to take the complaint to CDM.  

The diocese already has a significantly enhanced and improved website page about how complaints can be made against Clergy and Church officers

There is also a complaints page, Safeguarding Complaints Policy, and a Diocesan Complaints Procedure for complaints that do not reach the Clergy Disciplinary Measures (CDM) threshold. 

Action complete.


(a) The diocese to consider adopting a process of placing a template at the front of each file indicating a safeguarding file is held with the Diocesan Safeguarding Advisor (DSA) or within another diocese. Good practice would be for the template to contain a written synopsis of the safeguarding concerns.  

(b) This process should also be considered for  complaints under the Clergy Disciplinary Measure. This then allows the bishop to inform the necessary authorities or the bishop of another diocese when a request for a Clergy Current Status Letter (CCSL) is received.

(c) Additionally, a separate template recording the movement of a file, name of person accessing with date and reason for doing so.  

Although the files hold the date for DBS renewal and the date of the individuals safeguarding training, this process is currently ad-hoc across the Archdeaconries in that each records the information differently.  

(d) The use of the template would introduce uniformity across the Diocese. The IRs would suggest that it is good practice for Safeguarding Training Certificates to be placed in the clergy blue files.

(a) The Senior Management Group had agreed that this is a sensible thing to do. Going forward the Safeguarding Team will inform the Bishop’s Office within a week if there is a concern regarding Clergy. 
We are undertaking a review of all material on our safeguarding database to ensure that where there is a record concerning a clergy person, there will be a clear signposting to that record held on the clergy file. As a case concludes the safeguarding caseworker will provide the Area office with a Summary Sheet which the respondent will be sent a copy of. 

(b) There is already in place a process for holding details of a CDM on clergy files

(c) A digital record of the movement of files is kept by each area office.

(d) There is now the same template across the four areas which on the front of the file holds the Disclosure and Barring Service reference and date and Safeguarding training and date. The certificate will not be filed as is not necessary. 

Action complete.

3 The diocese to consider a streamlined approach to the clergy blue files, with denoted areas of concern, i.e., safeguarding, CDM, complaints, biographical details.  This process, as previously mentioned, is underway.

We are guided by the House of Bishops Personal Files Relating to Clergy Policy, which ensures that the files are regularly updated.

The removal of unnecessary and duplicated paperwork on the files of licenced clergy has been completed, this took place only after the independent reviews had examined each file. 

Action complete.

4 The IRs would recommend all correspondence should be dated and have details of the author. The reviewer clarified to us that this related to historic correspondence, nonetheless, senior staff and their PA’s have been reminded that when any note is put on file there is to be a name and date included. 

Action complete.


The reviewers would recommend as good practice for a record to be placed within the Permission to Officiate (PTO) file indicating the location of the blue file, whether it be within the Diocese of Oxford or another Diocese. This relates to where a clergy may hold PTO in more than one Diocese or Diocesan area.  The IRs are aware there should be only one blue file, however, did find duplication. 

‘Permission to Officiate file’ refers to the files of clergy presently holding PTO.

Area offices are now ensuring that when a file is removed or taken elsewhere that a note is put in the space indicating where the file currently is. Past practice of giving more than one PTO within the diocese was stopped four years ago. It is rarely necessary for clergy to hold more than one PTO. In a small number of cases where clergy have PTO in more than one diocese, there will be clarity about where the clergy file is held.

Action complete.

6 The IRs would recommend a streamlined approach to ordinand files: only the necessary information retained, filed in alphabetical order, the archived files filed separately in date order of retention.  Files will be retained in alphabetical order and will state a reason for retention and date for information to be shredded.  Only necessary safeguarding information will be retained. A review of policies for candidate and ordinand files will be carried out.

Action complete.

7 The reviewers would recommend the updating of personal data on the diocesan contact management system (CMS). 

We agree that it is important to keep accurate records of Clergy personal data and it is the area offices responsibility to ensure that this is kept up to date. CMS is an ongoing challenge and there is a general point that our management of our CMS needs to be as accurate and timely as it possibly can be. 

We will pay due diligence to keeping CMS up to date, but there are national issues that fall beyond the diocesan remit. 

The safeguarding team will continue to update the CMS.

The diocese to work with parishes to consider a formal process for the recording of safeguarding information held within the parishes.  

The diocese will work with parishes to achieve best practice in relation to recording and storage of safeguarding information held within parishes.

The safeguarding team continues to advise on safe storage.

A best practice guide to be developed by the safeguarding team by December 2022.

9 The DSA and the Parish Safeguarding Officers (PSOs) to establish an agreed referral process, whether this be for minor or serious safeguarding matters.  A referral process is in place. Action complete.
10 The diocese recommend that the national Church review the process of clergy updating Crockfords Clerical Directory. There is no obligation for Clergy to have their information available in Crockfords and therefore it will not be complete hence the initiation of the People System Action complete.
11 The diocese/national Church to consider adopting an information-sharing agreement in relation to Chaplains, giving the appointing body the jurisdiction to inform the licensing diocese of any child or adult safeguarding complaint/investigation made against a Chaplain within their authority.

We are currently putting steps in place for new Chaplains so that they and their employer will sign up to the employer sharing information with us.

We are actively considering what can be done at renewal of Licence for existing Chaplains. 

For serious safeguarding concerns there would be a public interest expectation that this information would be passed on to us even without the consent of the individual. 

The diocese is in the process of considering and approving the information-sharing agreement.

To be agreed by December 2022.

12 The data on the CMS to be updated.

(see recommendation 7 response)


13 All cases are to be managed to a high standard of completion, with standardised recording methods.

Professional standards are set nationally, and we commit to those. There are systems in place to ensure that all cases are managed to a high standard.

This is regularly sampled through our new Quality Assurance and Review Group

The work of the safeguarding team will continue to be quality assessed.
14 Consideration is to be given for the diocese to adopt a policy for the provision of counselling services.

The independent reviewers commented on the thoroughness of our approach to survivors including the provision of counselling services. 

The Head of Safeguarding is reviewing all engagement with and our offer to survivors. Our Survivor Engagement Policy is being expanded to reflect this.

We are working with a survivor group to develop our engagement with and offer to survivors. 

A leaflet explaining our offer will be published soon.


An aide memoir giving direction on the reporting process of all safeguarding related incidents, including domestic abuse, giving clear instruction that it is everyone’s responsibility to refer to the DSA.

The IRs are aware that this information is held on the diocesan website and within diocese handbooks these are not always easily accessible, whereas an aide memoir can be carried around in a pocket etc.

The diocesan website has a clear message about who to contact.

We consider that the website should be the primary information source. 

It is highlighted in the various training modules provided exactly what to do in the event of any incident. 

Action complete.
16 Regular updates of legislation, procedures on newsletters, circulations. The diocese sees the main focus in training, but domestic abuse will also feature in newsletters and other communications to parishes.  Information will continue to be shared by the safeguarding team.
17 Clergy blue files to be reviewed before the arrival of a member of the clergy into the diocese.  This cannot be done because the House of Bishop’s policy does not allow that, however providing the sending diocese has completed the CCSL properly and honestly, this should not be an issue. Action complete.

All incoming clergy blue files to be reviewed by the DSA.  The IRs found that the clergy blue files arrive after the clergy has moved to the Diocese so are not aware of any undisclosed matters until the file is reviewed, as in the example.

Incoming clergy files are checked carefully by area senior staff rather than the DSA. If concerns arise then the DSA is contacted. We follow House of Bishops Policy on the management of Clergy Files.  Action complete.
19 The tracking and monitoring of transient respondents within the Church.  As a result of the PCR2, a high proportion of respondents are within the transient criteria of volunteers, those paid fees or Honoria such as bell ringers, choirmasters (that said respondents are in all walks of the Church and the wider community).  As acknowledged by the reviewer, it is not possible for all risk to be mitigated. For all posts falling within the scope of the Safer Recruitment and People Management Practice Guidance any potential safeguarding concerns are now be identified. Action complete.
20 The requirement of a national safeguarding database.  We agree with a national safeguarding database which is being implemented. The diocese has offered to be part of the phase one pilot.

The Diocese is now part of the national safeguarding database, which is now live.  

Action complete.


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