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.
The Professional Standards Department:
- coordinates Safe Church Training
- is 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
- develops and maintains policies, procedures and other resources relating to appropriate behaviour and safe ministry environments
SP3 - Safe People, Safe Places, Safe Programs
SP3 is a safety and risk management system, with a focus on keeping children, young people and others in vulnerable circumstances safe in programs and activities run in our church. It also keeps our workers, both paid and volunteers, safe.
SP3 sets a standard of safety and care for the LCA. It is a requirement that key leadership and also everyone involved in ministry programs for children and young people under the age of 18 are 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 safe planning of programs and activities within their ministry group. This includes ensuring their teams are compliant in background screening and training.
SP3 focuses on preventing harm and injury, but 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 our organisations provide environments that are safe from danger and abuse.
Safe Church Training
Safe Church Training has two levels:
Ensuring our leaders are aware of the standards expected, policies, procedures, the SP3 system, and their responsibilities in relation to identifying and reporting abuse. This level provides SP3 Team Member training. The preferred delivery is via a face-to-face workshop, but it is also available as self-paced online learning. Recognition of Prior Learning is available for parts of this level.
Ensuring those who supervise other leaders know how to implement safe systems of work and support those leaders. This level provides both SP3 Team Leader and SP3 Coordinator training. Delivery is via a live webinar and online self-paced validation tasks.
Safe Church Training is required to be refreshed every three years. If you have completed all components of Level 1 Professional Standards Training in 2017, 2018 or 2019, you qualify for Refresher training – an abbreviated version of the full training. This is available via face-to-face delivery or self-paced online learning.
To view full details on this training, scheduled workshops and registrations, click here.
Working with Children Checks
Anyone in the church who previously held a police clearance for their role is now required to hold a valid Working with Children Check. In the District, these clearances are provided by the Department of Human Services. 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 WWCC 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 compliance and training records for 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.