Caring for one another requires a little effort from us. It's something we need to choose to do. It's love in action. It's what we are called to do as Christians.
The Professional Standards Department was established by the Lutheran Church of Australia (LCA) to assist all those who engage with our church to care for one another. There is a Professional Standards Officer in every district of the LCA, including South Australia and the Northern Territory.
In a nutshell, the Professional Standards Department is:
- coordinating training in a range of areas
- responsible for the management of complaints in a fair and transparent manner, in order to ensure compliance with the biblical principles of reconciliation and the principles of natural justice
- developing further policies, procedures and other resources, which will be readily available online.
SP3 - Safe People, Safe Places, Safe Programs
SP3 is a safety and risk management system, with a focus on keeping children and young people (and the teams of adults that work with them) safe in their programs and activities.
SP3 sets a standard of safety and care for the LCA. It is a requirement that everyone involved in ministry programs for children and young people under the age of 18 is trained in the system.
There are three levels to the SP3 system:
- A Team Member is any adult who supervises a group of children or youth.
- A Team Leader is appointed by the congregation to supervise a group of team members.
- A Coordinator is appointed by the congregation to oversee the safety and training of all teams within the congregation.
SP3 is part of a prevention process and also informs of the actions that will be taken by the LCA to support individuals and programs when things go wrong.
SP3 ensures that teams consider all safety possibilities when designing programs and also increases the awareness of all current and potential team members to their duty of care responsibilities. These responsibilities are grounded in our moral obligations, as children of God and also in government legislation, to ensure that all organisations working with children provide environments that are safe from danger and abuse.
Professional Standards and SP3 Training
To become a qualified SP3 Team Member, individuals must complete the full Professional Standards Workshop (PSW) or provide evidence of appropriate RPL in this area.
SP3 Team Member training is required to be refreshed every three years. This can be done by completing a Professional Standards Workshop in full and then through an online refresher which will be available from 2020. Please note, if you have not completed a Professional Standards Workshop in 2017, 2018 or 2019, you will be required to attend one before you can update your training though the online refresher.
The higher levels of SP3 Team Leader and SP3 Coordinator can be completed through the SP3 Safety Management for Leaders webinar.
To view full details on this training, scheduled workshops and registrations, click here.
Anyone in the church who previously held a police clearance for their role is now required to hold a valid DHS (Department of Human Services) clearance. This has come about as a result of the changes recommended in the recent Royal Commission.
This new rule applies to:
- All pastors
- All employees of the LCANZ
- All church council members
- Anyone in your congregation who works with children or vulnerable people
- Anyone who might be in a decision making position where the outcome could affect children or vulnerable people
The DHS clearance is free to volunteers. Congregations are asked to sponsor their pastor or employees to cover the cost of their check.
Safety Management Online
Safety Management Online (SMO) is the online records keeping tool used by the LCA to ensure all records, including background clearances and training, are maintained appropriately. This program can be used to maintain records for all members, including those not necessarily working with children.
All members who have completed training have access to their own records on SMO, while Team Leaders and Coordinator have further access to allow them to create and manage their teams and programs.
To log in to SMO, please click here.
Each member is provided with log in details when they are first added to SMO. If you require any assistance with SMO, including new log in details, please contact the SA-NT District Office.