Some changes are planned for the way Safe Church training will be delivered across the church. Live online training will be phased in during 2024.
‘We’ve listened to the feedback from people who have attended our workshops’, Professional Standards Manager Tim Ross said. ‘While there has been overwhelmingly positive support for our trainers and the content of the workshops, some people have told us that the face-to-face workshops are longer than they would like. It’s also hard for some volunteers to get to a physical training location.’
As well as reducing the time and travel burden on volunteers, live online training has the potential to reach more people and thus have a greater impact across the church.
‘All of our Safe Church training has been available online, in a self-paced format, for a number of years’, Tim said. ‘Participants can complete this training at home in their own time. We will be continuing to offer the self-paced training. However, we have found that some people do prefer a live training experience.
‘Live online training will deliver the best of both worlds. Participants will be able to attend an online training session at the scheduled time that best suits them; they will not need to wait for a trainer to visit their region or parish for a workshop. They will still have direct interaction with their online trainer and have their questions answered.’
It is anticipated that face-to-face training will be phased out during 2024 and that training will be conducted exclusively online by the end of the year.
The Safe Church team is confident that live online training will be user-friendly, even for those with little technical know-how or limited connectivity. This form of training will also be suitable for physically gathering together as a local group, if necessary, to connect with the trainer live online.
‘We will be seeking some guidance and assistance from local Safe Church coordinators regarding suitable venues and equipment for group gatherings’, Tim said.
‘In any event, it is clear there is now greater technological literacy, in post-COVID society, with so many services and facilities having moved online. Our Professional Standards Officers (PSOs) will be working hard to ensure that people across the church are supported, as they make the transition to online Safe Church training.’
Information about the rollout of live online training will be available on the Safe Church webpage www.lca.org.au/safechurchtraining and updates and alerts will be provided via LCA eNews (to sign up, go to www.lca.org.au/lcaenews-signmeup)