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Budget, insurance and security

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Budget and resources

You must be realistic about the resources you need to operate safely. This is as true in safeguarding as it is in other aspects of a director of operation’s budget planning. The types of budget you need to plan for may be different. 

Remember that you may need to change, or in some cases, stop activities if you can’t do them safely.

Here is a list of some costs that arise from safeguarding that organisations need to plan for.

  • Fees and administrator capacity in carrying out any legally required checks into criminal backgrounds that your staff and volunteers need based on the roles they are carrying out.
  • Meeting legal data protection responsibilities for safeguarding, with the right amount of privacy in all elements of storing and sharing from the right technical solutions.
  • Meeting the right staffing ratios for the groups you are working with.
  • Providing safeguarding training, at least once a year, and appropriate to the role staff and volunteers are taking.
  • Managers time and potentially external advice of supporting staff to deal with the emotional impact of safeguarding through supervision and possibly counselling.
  • Volunteers expenses to make sure they do not suffer financial harm from volunteering.
  • Equipment specific to safeguarding – such as mobile phones for lone workers.

Good safeguarding can also be supported by other budget elements that you will need to have in place anyway. For instance, you may find that you have the following expenses and that these ensure you are operating safely.

  • Recurring costs – such as software licences
  • Premises upkeep – surveyors and maintenance
  • Advisors fees such as solicitors
  • Media costs
  • Fees for membership of professional bodies.
Heathedge Youth Club decide to run an open day. They want to promote all activities and want to find out if there would be take-up for a new session for young people with additional needs. They want to make sure they have enough adults on the day to make it fun and safe. They work out the cost of additional staff time and volunteer expenses to make sure they can cover this.


Part of your responsibility for safeguarding is to make sure that your organisation and its activities are adequately covered by insurance.  

In general most organisations will choose:  

  • public liability insurance
  • employers liability insurance
  • trustee or director indemnity insurance.

You may also have additional insurances depending on the activities you run, whether you own a building, and many other factors. If you do not have the right insurance in place, this can lead to trustees, directors or committee members being personally liable.  

To meet your safeguarding responsibilities when it comes to insurance, you should apply general good principles of insurance.

Tell your insurer:

  • the full range and details of all your activities, including fundraising and transport
  • information about the people you work with, including explaining where people may be particularly at risk through age, disability or other condition
  • when you are going to introduce anything new, including activities or groups.

When you are choosing insurance consider:

  • whether you have the right type of cover and whether it pays out enough to cover claims that could be made
  • what the policy covers, and whether there are exclusions that are a problem for your organisation.

Some specific safeguarding issues to think about.

  • Have you protected trustees from financial harm, through indemnity insurance?
  • Does your public liability cover include abuse suffered within the organisation?
  • Does any injury cover you have include self-harm?

Insurance can become invalid easily, so make sure you:

  • have a system in place for recording accidents, incidents and near misses that records everything expected by your insurer
  • only run activities that are covered by your insurance
  • remind all staff to follow all health and safety procedures, other procedures and law
  • make sure you know who will report any claims and make them in a timely way
  • make sure you see copies of insurance when working with partners
  • appoint someone with specific responsibility for insurance and encourage them to build a good relationship with your account manager at your insurers. 
Hobby Pals is a group for adults with additional needs. They want to do an outbound residential weekend.  As part of the planning, they check their own insurance, which asks them to pay a small premium for the new risk activity of climbing. It also requires that all instructors have qualifications.They contact the residential activity centre and ask to see their insurance and instructors certificates.   

Want to learn more about insurance? Read how to insure your charity (from the Charity Commission).


When you are thinking about the physical security of all premises that you use you must consider safeguarding. You must think about the physical security of all premises that you use. This includes where your office is based, even if you don’t run activities for children or adults at risk there. 

You must take steps to:

  • protect people from harm
  • prevent unauthorised access to personal information about staff, volunteers or those you work with. 

Security of your premises will feature in your risk register and should have a risk assessment of its own at a higher level of detail. This must be done by someone who has the right experience, so consider getting a specialist to advise and support. 

Security elements that relate to safeguarding.

  • Access to children and adults at risk. You must make sure that only people you have recruited or invited can enter the area where children and adults at risk meet during activities. You should have a signing in system for visitors
  • Access to the building. You must know who has keys and when they are allowed to enter the building. All organisations that share a building must respect the safeguarding needs of other organisations in  
  • Physical safety of the building. The building should be sound and in good working order. Consider the structure itself, equipment, furniture, lighting and facilities such as toilets and kitchens
  • Other users of the building. Have systems for escorting visitors and if you share activity space, schedule your activities for days and times to manage any identified risk. 
Marshfell Support Group is for recovering alcoholics. They are looking for a new venue. Before signing the hire agreement for the venue, they check with the caretaker about what other groups use the premises.  They are told that a wine tasters club meets weekly. The group decides that the venue is suitable provided the group meet on different days. The caretaker agrees not to schedule both groups on the same day

Fire safety

You also have a responsibility for the physical safety of any person who may enter the premises you use. In order to prevent fire and keep people safe, you must make sure that:

  • your building meets the required standards 
  • that employees are given adequate fire safety training
  • a fire risk assessment has been carried out by a competent person. If your organisation has more than five employees, this must be written down although it is good practice to write it down anyway.

If you need to know how to comply with the Fire Safety Order you can read about fire safety in the workplace (from

Page last edited Sep 30, 2019

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