Charity Retail Association launches safeguarding scheme

21 Feb 2020 News

The Charity Retail Association (CRA) has launched a new safeguarding scheme that will allow its members to certify their charity shops’ approach to safeguarding.

The Charity Retail Safeguarding Scheme is a free member-only resource and is intended to be a framework to help charity retailers develop their own safeguarding policies.

The scheme was developed in partnership with Barnardo’s and based on the charity’s existing Licence to Operate scheme.

A scheme for organisations of all sizes

The Charity Retail Safeguarding Scheme is meant for both small and large charities. Its objectives include providing charity retailers with a fit-for-purpose safeguarding methodology, offering an example of best practice and increasing confidence in the sector.

The scheme lists a number of documents and procedures that applicants have to put in place in order to be able to join. Among these are a safeguarding code of contact, periodic risk assessments, safeguarding procedures when interviewing and inducting new staff, and comprehensive safeguarding training for shop managers.

Once an organisation is confident that it fulfils all the criteria, it can apply for the scheme. Successful organisations’ charity shops that comply with all the procedures can then display the scheme’s certificate, which features CRA’s and Barnardo’s logos together with the charity’s.

The CRA has developed the framework, but it is up to individual charities to run their own schemes. 

The CRA is also launching a free e-learning package on safeguarding to go with the scheme, developed in collaboration with the British Heart Foundation.

‘The stakes are really high’

Robin Osterley, chief executive of the CRA, said: “This scheme provides an excellent framework within which charity retailers can operate their safeguarding processes, taking a big step towards ensuring there is even more focus on keeping staff, volunteers and customers safe.

"The scheme can be operated by any charity retailer, whatever its size, and thus offers the possibility of real consistency across the sector in terms of its safeguarding practices.” 

Speaking at the scheme launch event yesterday, Osterley added: “This scheme does not do safeguarding for you – it just acknowledges the fact that you are doing safeguarding. There is no one-size-fits-all solution to this: your safeguarding system has to be organic, grown up within your organisation.”   

Javed Khan, chief executive of Barnardo’s, said: “I’m really pleased that we are working together and sharing learnings to improve the system, because of how important this topic is for all of us. 

“We’ve got to get it right. The stakes are really high. If you get it wrong, it becomes an automatic headline in a newspaper and none of us can afford that.

“We’ve got to invest in it. It can’t be done on the cheap, it’s not a tick box exercise, it requires a cultural shift to make safeguarding everybody’s business in the organisation.”

The CRA currently has about 400 members, while Barnardo’s runs 710 charity shops.

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