Welcome to the page of the Provincial Office for the Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults.

This is the place to get information and access resources on how to we protect vulnerable people in the Scottish Episcopal Church.

My name is Donald Urquhart and I am the Provincial Officer for the Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults.   It is my responsibility to assist congregations to make the Church and the Church communities safe places for everyone but, in particular, for those who are vulnerable.   I make decisions on the suitability of people to work with those who are vulnerable in the Church and ensure that we all comply with the various legal requirements that relate to protecting the vulnerable with a particular focus on the Protection of Vulnerable Groups (PVG) Scheme and PVG related issues.   I also prepare and deliver training on these issues.

I am supported in this work by Daphne Audsley, the Assistant Provincial Officer, and an Administrative Officer, based here at the General Synod Office.   I am also supported by the seven Diocesan Protection Officers, the various local co-ordinators working in the churches throughout the SEC, and the members of the Provincial Committee for the Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults.

However, it is important to remember that it is everyone’s responsibility to protect the vulnerable and everyone working in and attending services in the SEC has an important part to play in developing a safe and supportive culture within the Church that protects everyone, regardless of the nature of their vulnerability.   Together we can ensure that the SEC is a safe place for people to come and worship and, when concerns are identified, they are dealt with properly and promptly.

The three of us based in the Provincial Office at the General Synod Office in Edinburgh, are here to assist and support you in protecting the vulnerable and if you need to contact us, our details are listed below.

Donald Urquhart, Provincial Officer – Tel – 0131-225-6357/07702-793553

E-mail –

Daphne Audsley, Assistant Provincial Officer – Tel – 0131-225-6357

The Provincial Office for the Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults,

General Synod Office, Forbes House, 21 Grosvenor Crescent, Edinburgh, EH12 5EE


Ministry to children, young people and vulnerable adults is a cherished and important part of the work of the Scottish Episcopal Church.   Every week, substantial numbers of vulnerable people visit church premises for worship or for social and recreational activities.   Much of the Church’s ministry to them is only possible because of the dedication of the large numbers of volunteers who place their time and talents at the service of the Church.

We cannot ignore that there are some individuals in our society who represent a threat to the vulnerable.   To recognise that the Church is not exempt from that threat is not to scaremonger, nor is it to suggest that those involved in a paid or voluntary capacity with such work are under suspicion.   Rather, it reflects our desire to provide as safe and as happy an environment as we can in which the vulnerable can enjoy and explore Christian commitment.

The policies, codes of practice, information and advice in these pages are intended to assist in implementing the Church’s policies on promoting a safe environment for all who access the Church’s services but, in particular, those in our Church communities who are most vulnerable.

The Policy Statements and Codes of Good Practice recognise the special status of children, young people and vulnerable adults and the duties that are required of the Church in respect of them.   Implementation of the Codes of Good Practice is intended to give vulnerable people the care and protection they deserve and it should give those with the day to day responsibility of caring for the vulnerable the reassurance that all individuals are safe and protected in the Church’s groups and activities.   It will also help safeguard the Church’s staff and volunteers from false allegations that might arise out of misunderstandings and it should reduce the risk of the Church being found liable for circumstances of abuse.

SEC Publications

Safeguarding Policy (2020)

Safeguarding Handbook

Child Protection Training

Protecting Vulnerable Adults

A to Z of PVG

Guidance on Social Media

Summary of Good Practice Cards

Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults

Safeguarding Children

Safer Recruitment


PVG Co-Ordinator

Code of Good Practice for Working with Children


Silverline, Zillah

Silverline, Jack

Hard copies of all of the above are available to Vestries free of charge from the General Synod Office.

Guidance Notes

Appointing a PVG Co-Ordinator for your Congegation

Reference Request for a PVG Co-Ordinator

Role of your Diocesan Safeguarding Officer

SEC Policy on the Recruitment of Ex-Offenders

SEC Review Procedure

SEC Appeal Procedure

Annual safeguarding report template

Use of Church Premises 

Guidance on the Pastoral Care for Survivors of Sexual Abuse

Safer Recruitment

Application form template

Job Description Template – Working with Children 

Job Description Template – Working with Vulnerable Adults

Reference Request pro forma – Working with Children

Reference Request pro forma – Working with Vulnerable Adults

Consent Forms

Consent Form for Children’s Activities

Consent Form for use of photographic images (children)

Consent Form for use of photographic images (adults)

Consent Form – Verbal