Procedure for Safeguarding our Members  


This procedure must be read and applied in conjunction with the code of conduct and the policy  and procedures for safeguarding young people.  

This procedure applies to all members of the party.  


“The party”, refers to the Socialist Party.  

“Member(s)” refers to any member of the Socialist Party.  

 The term “authoritative member” is used throughout this document. Members are considered  authoritative by virtue of;  

● Their personal or professional experience and expertise;  

● Their standing within the organisation as defined by the length of their membership, level  of activity and holding, either contemporaneously or historically, elected positions with  the party or trade union movement.  

Members will not be considered “authoritative” in circumstances where any conflict of interest  exists.  

Definitions of official party positions are defined by the Socialist Party constitution. 


Safeguarding our members begins with preventative activity which creates an environment that allows for full participation of all members. The code of conduct is therefore an essential part of  our safeguarding policies. The code of conduct seeks to guide behaviour and ensure  accountability. Any forms of harm or abuse are unacceptable.  

See Appendix 1 for definitions of different types of abuse.  

The Socialist Party’s responsibilities  

The Party has a duty of care towards members and supporters who participate in our  activities and meetings. We will therefore take any potential safeguarding concerns very  seriously. 

Any work or investigation must be conducted in a professional way, including making a record of  the process. Recorded minutes of all meetings in relation to a formal investigation must be kept  and agreed by the involved parties. All processes should be conducted as swiftly as possible.  

The Party has a duty to ensure it complies with this procedure and the policy and procedures on  safeguarding young people , to make all members aware of these documents and their  responsibilities and to ensure the election of Safeguarding Officers as outlined below.  

Responsibilities of members  

All members have a responsibility to act in accordance with the safeguarding policies and  procedures . All members are made aware that failure to act in this way will be taken  seriously by the party and could result in an investigation which could lead to disciplinary action  up to and including expulsion from the party. Members are also made aware that breaches of  this policy may also result in reports being made to relevant state authorities.  

If any member becomes aware of the signs and indicators of abuse, suspects, or is told that a  member is being, has been, or is likely to be abused or harmed, they must report this as  quickly as possible. It is not the responsibility of members to determine whether harm or abuse  has taken place. Concerns should be reported to a Safeguarding Officer. Where this cannot be  done in a timely manner concerns can be reported to:  

● any party branch secretary;  

● any member of the National Committee, National Executive Committee or Regional  Executive Committee;  

● any person who works full time for the party;  

● any of the Safeguarding and Officers.  

If a member has experienced harm or abuse they are encouraged to report this to any of the  individuals named above.  

When safeguarding concerns are brought to the attention of any of the above mentioned  authoritative members they must make it clear at the start that they cannot guarantee  confidentiality as they have a responsibility to share the information with the Safeguarding and  Officers.  

Once concerns are received by any of the above mentioned individuals they must pass the  information on to one of the Safeguarding and Officers immediately. Should none of the  Safeguarding and Officers be contactable, the NEC should be informed. Any of the above  mentioned individuals who receives a safeguarding concern must ensure this is passed on to a  Safeguarding Officer within 24 hours.  

It is the responsibility of all members to engage in safeguarding investigations if asked to do so  by SGOs who are directly elected by conference for this role. Members are also asked to not  engage in discussions about ongoing safeguarding investigations if they become aware of them  in the interests of confidentiality and to ensure SGOs can complete investigations unhindered. 

The Party recognises that these issues can be complex and difficult. It is understandable if  individuals who engage with this process at any level including as a potential witness may  require emotional or other support. SGOs can be contacted for such support at any point and  can offer resources, advice and information as required.  

Safeguarding and Officers  

Safeguarding Officers will be elected by the national conference from a slate of candidates  approved by the National Committee to ensure those elected are authoritative members; include  at least one based in each region and be balanced in terms of gender and age. Any member is  free to submit their name for consideration as a Safeguarding Officer. However only those  members who have successfully completed relevant training can be appointed. Where required  the party will seek out opportunities for members to receive relevant training. Safeguarding  Officers have a responsibility for raising awareness of safeguarding within the party and dealing  with safeguarding concerns that are raised in the first instance.  

In order to fill temporary or permanent vacancies or to assist in the work of the Safeguarding  Officers, the National Conference may elect a panel of alternate Safeguarding Officers. In  electing these alternates the National Conference shall apply the same criteria as applied for the  election of Safeguarding Officers. These alternates shall be deemed to have the same  responsibilities and obligations as non-alternate Safeguarding Officers.  

Procedure for Handling Complaints or Disclosures  

All safeguarding concerns should be raised with a Safeguarding Officer, either directly by the  person making the complaint or disclosure or indirectly, by the person to whom the complaint or  disclosure was made.  

Where a complaint or disclosure is made  

Safeguarding Officers are responsible for determining how to respond to complaints or  disclosures. They may proceed by;  

– Immediate referral of the matter to the relevant authorities in serious cases;  – Investigation of the matter further by convening an Investigation Panel as outlined below.  

Investigating a complaint  

Where Safeguarding Officers deem further investigation is warranted they will inform the NEC of  the complaint or disclosure and request an Investigation Panel is convened. The investigation  panel will be comprised of the Safeguarding Officers. Where a panel can not be formed the  Safeguarding Officers in conjunction with the NEC shall appoint additional members to join an  Investigation Team. These additional appointments to the Investigation Panel shall be made up  from among alternate Safeguarding Officers elected by the National Conference. Should the  investigation not be able to be completed using alternate Safeguarding Officers it shall be completed by coopting any member who is deemed appropriate by the Safeguarding Officers  and NEC.  

If a complaint being investigated involves the behaviour of a member of the NEC, there cannot  be a majority of NEC members on the Investigation Team and it may be appropriate that the  Investigation Team involve at least one authoritative member from another section within the  International Socialist Alternative.  

Concluding reports by SGOs and significant proposals linked to safeguarding matters should be  provided to comrades at least 7 days prior to decisions being made in order to allow for  consideration and informed decision-making. This will generally relate to NEC and NC  decisions.  

Possible actions and outcomes:  

Depending on circumstances, there is a wide range of possible outcomes. This could range  from concerns not being substantiated to the risk of significant harm or evidence of such harm  having occurred being established.  

If an investigation is required, the Safeguarding Officers in conjunction with the NEC should  decide on the most appropriate response once they have been able to consider the report and  recommendations from the investigation. This may range from educational measures to  disciplinary action being taken against individuals. The NEC in conjunction with the  Safeguarding Officers reserves the right to at any point throughout an investigation take  measures up to and including the suspension of individuals from membership pending an  investigation if deemed necessary in the interest of safety of the individual; complainant(s);  members; the conduct of the investigation or the party as a whole. SGOs may request such  measures at any stage after receiving a complaint.  

The Party reserves the right to, at any stage; immediately on receipt of serious concerns, during  an investigation or its conclusion, report concerns to social services or the police. Where  individuals are reported to the appropriate authorities they will be informed of this unless doing  so risks the welfare of others. 

Appendix 1:  

Definitions of types of Abuse  

 Anybody can be a victim or perpetrator of abuse or neglect, no matter their age, gender or  race. The following are types and definitions of different types of harm;  

Bullying – Bullying is behaviour that hurts someone else. It includes name calling, hitting,  pushing, spreading rumours, threatening or undermining someone. It can happen anywhere  Bullying might be a regular pattern of behaviour or a one-off incident. It can cause physical or  emotional harm to someone  

 Domestic Abuse – Domestic abuse is any type of controlling, bullying, threatening or violent  behaviour between people in a relationship It’s important to remember domestic abuse:  

– can happen inside and outside the home;  

– can happen over the phone, on the internet and on social networking sites;  – can happen in any relationship and can continue even after the relationship has ended;  – both men and women can be abused or abusers.  

Emotional abuse – Emotional abuse is a pattern of behavior in which the perpetrator insults,  humiliates, and generally instills fear in an individual in order to control them. The individual’s  reality may become distorted as they internalize the abuse as their own failings. It’s sometimes  called psychological abuse.  

Emotional abuse is often a part of other kinds of abuse, which means it can be difficult to spot  the signs or tell the difference, though it can also happen on its own.  

Emotional abuse includes:  

– humiliating or constantly criticising;  

– threatening, shouting or name calling ;  

– blaming and scapegoating;  

– gaslighting  

– persistently ignoring;  

– manipulating  

 Physical abuse – Physical abuse is when someone hurts or harms another person  on purpose. It includes:  

– hitting with hands or objects;  

– slapping and punching;  

– Kicking;  

– Shaking;  

– Throwing;  

– Poisoning;  

– burning and scalding;  

– biting and scratching;  

– breaking bones;  

– drowning.  

It is important to remember that physical abuse is any way of intentionally causing physical  harm to a person  

Sexual abuse – when someone is forced, pressured or tricked into taking part in any kind of  sexual activity with another person. It could be online or in person, and it can happen to anyone.  Sexual abuse can include: being pressured or forced to do something sexual or have sex.  

Someone doesn’t consent to sex or other sexual activity if they:  

– say ‘no’  

– seem unsure or upset, stay quiet, move away or don’t respond  

– are asleep, unconscious, drunk, drugged or on drugs  

– are pressured, manipulated, tricked or scared into saying ‘yes’  

– are too young or vulnerable to have the freedom and capacity to make that choice    


Exploitation happens when a person uses any power or advantage they have over someone else to get what they want. People can be exploited for money and material possessions,  favours, sex acts and image and many other things.

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