Cappella Caeciliana safeguarding policy

This policy applies to all members, freelances engaged by the choir, volunteers and anyone else working on behalf of Cappella Caeciliana or taking part in its activities. 

The purpose of this policy is to provide members and other relevant people with the overarching principles that guide our approach to the protection of all vulnerable people. 

In Northern Ireland the relevant legislation is: 

- Children (Northern Ireland) Order 1995 
- Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups (Northern Ireland) Order 2007 

supplemented by the following best practice documents: 

- Co-operating to Safeguard Children and Young People in Northern Ireland 2017 
- Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults, A Shared Responsibility 2010/2012 

The above legislation requires any organisation involving young people and vulnerable adults to take all reasonable measures to ensure that the risk of harm to their welfare is minimised and, where there are concerns, to share them with other agencies, as appropriate. 

Cappella Caeciliana recognises that it is not the role of our organisation to decide whether a child or vulnerable adult has been abused or not. This is the role of Social Services who have legal responsibility or the NSPCC who have powers to investigate child protection concerns under relevant legislation. 

For the purposes of this policy, anyone up to the age of 19 is a child and anyone over 18 years who is or may be unable to take care of themselves or unable to protect themselves against significant harm or exploitation is a vulnerable adult. 

Cappella Caeciliana does not admit persons aged under 18 or who are still at school to its membership and hence generally comprises members who are independent adults. However, occasionally we may be joined by children, and possibly vulnerable adults, who may rehearse and/or perform with us. We recognise the need to safeguard any young and vulnerable members and the Trustees have therefore adopted the following Safeguarding Policy. 

The choir’s committee shall designate a committee member or other co-opted choir member to be the Designated Safeguarding Officer (“DSO”). There shall also be a deputy DSO. The DSO and deputy DSO shall undertake (or already have undertaken) appropriate training and be AccessNI vetted, and will be identified as the principal persons people should turn to if they have any concerns or queries. 

Contact details for the DSO shall also be given as part of the choir’s induction process and on the website, currently the DSO is David Stewart and the deputy DSO is Sarah Alcorn. They can be contacted by emailing In situations where children are participating with the choir in rehearsals and/or performances, the DSO and his/her contact details will be identified to participating children as the principal person they should turn to if they have any concerns or queries. 

The DSO has responsibility for all safeguarding issues. All queries and concerns relating to safeguarding should be referred to the DSO in the first instance (unless unavailable in which case the deputy DSO should be contacted). 

On any occasion when children or vulnerable adults are required to rehearse and/or perform with Cappella Caeciliana there shall be at least two adults appointed who shall remain responsible for them throughout rehearsals. During performances, parents will be responsible for their children. 

There should be no need for a member of the choir to be alone with a child or vulnerable adult. Any concern regarding a child, vulnerable adult, adult choir member, or any other adult associated with the choir must immediately be reported to the DSO (or in his or her absence deputy DSO) who will take the lead on responding to information that may constitute a safeguarding concern. 

This includes: 

receiving and recording the information from the person expressing the concern; 
assessing and clarifying the information; 
consulting with and informing the Chair of the choir; 
making referrals to statutory organisations (e.g. the relevant child protection services, the PSNI, etc.) as appropriate; 
storing and retaining records according to legal requirements; and 
maintaining confidentiality, subject to the principle of the welfare of the child being paramount which means that information may have to be shared (but only with people who need to know about it). 
If in any doubt as to what to do, the DSO, deputy DSO or other person acting shall seek advice from NSPCC Helpline by calling 0808 800 5000 or emailing 

The DSO and deputy DSO are required to have undertaken AccessNI checks, which the choir will fund. 

If an existing or potential new member, freelancer or volunteer will be working with children or vulnerable people as part of Cappella Caeciliana activities the appropriate level of AccessNI check against that person will be requested before that work is undertaken. 

Any projects, events or other activities that will involve children or vulnerable people must be planned with the involvement of the DSO and in line with documented best practice. (In addition any activity taking place outside Northern Ireland must be specifically checked against potentially different legislative requirements.) For all such events a main contact for safeguarding on the day must be designated in advance - this will be an individual who has been AccessNI checked. 

This policy will be reviewed and amended (if necessary) on an annual basis by the Committee. It will also be reviewed in response to changes in relevant legislation, good practice, or in response to an identified failing in its effectiveness. 

This policy was formally adopted by the Trustees of Cappella Caeciliana on 6th November 2022.