Scrutton Bland Charity+ Insight

Professional advice for the charity, third and voluntary sector

There should be a high degree of awareness among staff and volunteers of safeguarding issues and their own roles within the organisation for protecting people from harm.

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The importance of safe guarding In light of recent allegations of sexual abuse and misconduct which have been levelled against high profile charity and not-for-profit organisations over the last year, never has it been so important for organisations, of all sizes, to review their safeguarding policies and procedures.

What can charities, businesses and organisations do to protect their clients and themselves? Any organisation working with children, young people or adults at-risk should have a safeguarding policy and procedure in place and should review this regularly. Training and awareness amongst staff and volunteers can be the key to successful safeguarding. Not only will this help by clearly outlining what is and isn’t acceptable behaviour but it can also act as an early warning signal where staff see and report incidents before they arise. There should be a high degree of awareness among staff and volunteers of safeguarding issues and their own roles within the organisation for protecting people from harm. The Charity Commission advises that safeguarding should be a priority for all charities, not just those working with groups traditionally considered at risk. There are a wealth of sources to help charities and organisations identify and create a safeguarding policy. Successful policies should be clear, to- the-point and be a set of guidelines which everyone in your organisation can adhere to, this will give your policy integrity and most importantly could help in ensuring the safety of anyone who could be the subject of abuse. The Anne Craft Trust have some great advice on their website for drawing up a safeguarding policy: Empowerment People are supported and encouraged to make their own decisions and informs consent. Prevention It is better to take action before harm occurs. Proportionality The least intrusive response appropriate to the risk presented.

The Charity Commission recently announced the findings of it’s Task Force. The Task Force was set up in February 2018 “to explore the nature of incidents reported and the type of charity making the report, in order to inform our understanding of risks facing charities, and in turn our approach to individual case work and the provision of guidance to charities.” The findings of the report were that “Reports of serious safeguarding incidents were not always made sufficiently quickly; our guidance requires charities to report a serious incident promptly.” With the Task Force citing that they “have serious concerns about continued underreporting of serious incidents in charities.” In response, the British Government stated that it intended to support a global register of sex predators with the aim of protecting vulnerable people both in the UK and overseas. Not only is this international crisis devastating for victims, both those who are known and those who go unreported but is having an impact on charities themselves. Shirley Greer, Charity Insurance Specialist at Scrutton Bland reflects on what charities and not-for-profit organisations should be considering in order to protect themselves and their clients. Safeguarding refers to the measures and processes in place which protect the health, well-being and human rights of individuals. Safeguarding is a term which is often used in regard to children, young people and vulnerable adults who need protecting against harm and or abuse. Why is it so important to have a robust safeguarding policy? Anyone who has a position of responsibility or works with children or vulnerable adults has a duty of care to protect them. For organisations who rely on volunteers or operate with temporary or transient staff - such as charities who run overseas operations - ensuring that safeguarding procedures are being followed, can be challenging. It is an unfortunate statistic that the number of people suffering from mental health issues often associated with poverty or homelessness is rising, and therefore so are the numbers of people who can be considered vulnerable. Whilst the Charity Commission has already reported a significant increase in the number of safeguarding incidents post the Oxfam scandal, the Commission still believes that there are a large number of safeguarding incidents which are going unreported.    The rise in movements such as ‘Me Too’ and other victim empowerment and support groups has inevitably led to an increase in the number of reports of abuse, many of them historical. Whilst support for victims speaking out is something which can only be positive for society, for organisations who may have unknowingly employed or worked with the abusers, the cost of legal action and damages can be catastrophic. The Government’s report is all around ‘safeguarding’, what is safeguarding? 

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Its only a second chance if you actually stand a chance Our Charity Insurance team explain  how the charity sector can support ex-offenders. The poet Alexander Pope once said that “To err is human”. Or to put it more simply: we all make mistakes. It is part of the human condition to make mistakes from time to time, and is one of the many ways in which we learn and develop. Some of us however make graver mistakes than others, and the cold reality is that it’s not difficult to end up on the wrong side of the law if circumstances mount up against us. However it could be fair to say that western societies often don’t do as much as we could to help and support those ex-offenders who are trying to turn their lives around. On average around 42% of juvenile offenders in the UK will re-offend within 12 months of their release, which could be interpreted as meaning that almost half of convicted juveniles are actually career criminals in the making. Or could it mean that society actually puts up barrier after barrier to prevent reintegration into society? We all know that finding employment can be a challenge for ex- offenders. It can be difficult for those looking to make a fresh start to find accommodation, many ex-offenders don’t have family that they can return to, and landlords are reluctant to take them on as tenants. But the problems don’t just stop there. Financial support is negligent. And the local community can be less than welcoming. In very many ways reintegration is a constant uphill battle, so is it any wonder that many ex-offenders succumb to the temptation of drugs, or the ease of slipping back into the criminal lifestyle they know? Media reports all say that the UK criminal justice system is at financial breaking point, our prisons are overcrowded and living conditions can be poor. But investing time into helping ex-offenders would help relieve the strain, reduce crime rates, help improve local communities and most importantly help people become a valuable member of our society.

Protection Support and representation for those in greatest need. Partnership Services offer local solutions through working closely with their communities. Communities have a part to play in preventing, detecting and reporting neglect and abuse. So, once you have a solid safeguarding policy, trained your staff and put reporting procedures in place what should you consider next? According to Shirley, under insurance is a big issue in the third sector and particularly for Abuse Insurance Cover. Insurance against the impact of Abuse Cover can provide protection against the costs resulting from legal defence fees and compensation payments in the event of an abuse allegation or claim of negligence. However, like all polices there can be restrictions and conditions such as ensuring that you have a robust safeguarding policy in place and that it is reviewed annually. Shirley’s advice is to consult with a specialist insurance and risk management adviser if you are looking to find protection for your organisation. Scrutton Bland have over a decade in providing leading cover for charities and organisations operating in the third sector. To find out more contact our specialist third sector team by calling 0330 058 6559 or emailing Accountability Accountability and transparency in delivering safeguarding.

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Misunderstood and Undervalued? Health and Safety from an Internal Audit Perspective

How can charities help? There are some charities whose mandate is to give ex-offenders a second chance. But many other charities can do their part by taking them on as employees or even as unpaid volunteers. A charity can give an ex-offender work experience and be the first link in the employment chain, and a positive reference provided by that charity could provide the opportunity for their next employer to take that leap of faith. More than that, if you invest time with ex-offenders and help them to believe in themselves, you may find them to be more hard working and determined than any other member of staff. After all they have more to prove and you’re giving them the incentive to do it… But what about the risk? Putting faith in anyone can present a risk, regardless of whether they’re an ex-offender or not. By carrying out risk assessments and putting a robust safeguarding policy in place you can ensure your charity is risk adverse and may prevent certain problems from occurring. If you need any advice about making sure you have an adequate safeguarding policy, or on any aspect of charity or not-for-profit insurance, please get in touch with one of Scrutton Bland’s charity executives who have extensive experience and knowledge of this sector. Do you talk about fraud? Here are 10 questions all charity trustees & managers should ask  Do we: Know about our responsibility to protect funds? Have a fraud, bribery and corruption policy? Understand our financial systems and the data we hold? Have regular and frank conversations about fraud? Take appropriate steps to know our staff, donors and partners? Regularly review and test our financial safeguards? Promote fraud awareness and understanding? Encourage staff and volunteers to raise concerns? Have a plan to respond to fraud? Know who to tell if a fraud is discovered? Scrutton Bland supported Charity Fraud Awareness Week 2018

Often the butt of office humour, Health and Safety is not a topic which many people rush to discuss.  Frequently, there is a misconception that it is a business prevention tool used to make life difficult for businesses and organisations, which can mean that Health and Safety and the people who are responsible for it are sometimes given a bad press. However, according to Carl Bullen, Senior Risk and Assurance Auditor, with the right leadership and a pro-active approach, organisations of all kinds can positively embrace Health and Safety as a simple but effective business tool.  The Internal Audit team at Scrutton Bland have completed several Health and Safety audit assignments over past 12 months which have resulted in an unusually high number of recommendations. Some common themes have emerged with regard to how organisations can improve their Health & Safety policies:

Fire evacuations and drills  Around one quarter of the recommendations made by the Scrutton Bland team this year relate to an insufficient number of fire drills being carried out. In any risk assessment we would expect a minimum of two fire drills to be carried

out each year. Simple measures like ensuring that an appropriate number of fire marshals and wardens are trained and that the training is kept up- to-date not only keeps an organisation compliant, but could save lives. All too often we are seeing insufficient fire testing, record keeping and reporting on related fire activities. In light of some of the high profile fires which have occurred in both private and local authority owned buildings, it is imperative to ensure that you have an appointed person who understands and accepts their remit for ensuring compliance around record keeping and reporting.

Completion of risk assessments This is another area where our team have been making a significant number of recommendations this year. A large proportion of our findings have related to out-of-date or

inaccessible risk assessments, inappropriate sign off and oversight of completed risk assessments. All too often a lack of appropriate record keeping can leave the organisation open to liability, and its staff and clients potentially exposed to harm. Even where good discipline is maintained around record keeping, ensuring that assessments are regularly and appropriately reviewed is equally as important in order to avoid any assessments or recommendations becoming outdated.

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Cyber-attacks – are you prepared?

Health and Safety Training It can be common in many organisations that the responsibility for Health and Safety training is passed between departments, with no one area really wanting to accept responsibility.

Shirley Greer, an insurance executive at Scrutton Bland, who specialises in insurance for the charity and not-for- profit sector, explains how organisations can help protect themselves against the costs of cyber-attacks. Online cyber-attacks can take many forms, including malicious hacking where criminals illegally access a business or organisation’s data, and only release it when a ransom is paid. But what if it is the data you hold which relates to information about your customer or client that has been breached? With new regulations in place around how personal data should be kept, the financial and reputational implications of a claim against you in the event of data loss could be catastrophic. It is pretty certain that in 1989 when Sir Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web, he had no idea that his digital system, which has allowed people all over the world to connect and share information, could actually be the very thing which destroys life as we know it. Sounds dramatic? Earlier this year a number of military and security agencies identified cyberwar as being more of a threat to global democracy than terrorism. The facility to control power sources, close down supply chains and leave countries without a functioning financial system are all possibilities and are already seen as credible threats to many nations. Whilst such devastation may seem like a distant threat, the potential financial and human impact of a cyber-attack is a very real. As the ransomware attack on the NHS last year illustrated, cyber-attacks can strike anywhere, can quickly disable complex networks, and are not always financially motivated. A report in The Times stated that in 2017 every UK firm with an internet connection experienced an average of 633 attempts each day to breach their firewalls, with most attacks targeted at devices such as building control systems and networked security cameras. And it is estimated by some that just under half of those attacks were successful.

Indeed almost 20% of our recommendations in 2018 have been related to achieving best practice in creating and maintaining a process for the completion of appropriate health and safety training due to a significant number of cases of poor or incorrect record keeping.  These best practice standards should include evidencing that the training has been received by all staff and, or, volunteers and that a regular review or process for any additional or top-up training is in place. So whilst it can be easy to level the blame for unsatisfactory Health and Safety at individual departments or individuals, in fact the responsibility ultimately lies with leadership teams. Insufficient management oversight and poor communication are two of the greatest causes which the Scrutton Bland Internal Audit team most commonly identify as the cause of Health and Safety failures.   The approach from the top of any organisation needs to be that Health and Safety is embedded within an organisation and is seen as a high priority at both senior management and board level. Aside from the obvious statutory requirements to comply with Health and Safety legislation, an organisation who can show that they consistently and correctly record their Health and Safety responsibilities and who can evidence appropriate reporting and oversight will always be an organisation who has the wellbeing of its staff and customers firmly embedded within all of its  departments and areas.

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about us Professional advice designed to help you operate more efficiently and ensure your risks are covered. The Charity and Not For Profit sector is both large and complex in terms of the regulatory and governance frameworks which organisations are expected to adhere to. Whether you are looking to appoint an auditor, maximise on tax efficiencies or need specialist insurance cover, we have a wealth of expertise and experience in the Charity sector. Our Charity and Not for Profit team is made up of experienced professionals who have been handpicked from within our business for their expertise in their specialists fields. We understand how important it is for charities to get it right, particularly as the sector remains under the media spotlight. From supporting Trustees as they deal with regulatory requirements, to providing assurances that your organisation is operating as it should be, through an Internal Audit, we have advisory teams who can help you in your role and help you to manage and mitigate risks. Our Insurance Scheme for the Third Sector was specifically created to meet the needs of charities and groups operating in the charitable and not-for-profit sector. Offering market leading insurance, underwritten by one of the UK’s leading, A-rated insurers, not only can you have peace of mind that your insurance needs will be covered, but you can benefit from our specially negotiated rates. Our specialist team of charity insurance advisers will always take the time to go through all the cover available to you, and will work with you to identify the specific risks facing your individual charity or operation and will be by your side, ready to help from the moment you take out a policy, through to working on your behalf through any claims you may need to make.

For not-for-profit organisations, the impact of a cyber-attack could be catastrophic. Firstly, the impact of a ransom-style attack where data is locked down and only released when a ransom is paid could leave many voluntary organisations in a serious financial state, or worse, leave them with a significant data loss where the ransom simply cannot be met. And what about a malicious data breach? Releasing personal and confidential data relating to an individual into the public arena or selling it on the dark web is not only hugely devastating for the individual whose data is being shared, but devastating for the brand who is seen to have allowed this to happen. This is particularly pertinent for any organisation working with individuals who have been through the criminal justice system and for whom the security of their personal records can be crucially important, since it may have a having potentially devastating impact on their rehabilitation and future lives. Whilst the threat of cyber-attack appears to be growing, there is some relief. The insurance industry has had to take the risk of cyber threat as an increasingly prominent concern from businesses and organisations. Consequently, there is now a wide range of insurance covers out there which can help with the costs of anything from employing an ethical hacker to stress test your system before an event happens, to IT consultants who can step in to recover data, through to policies which provide professional PR support to help manage reputational damage in the event of a cyber-attack. Cyber insurance is something which every organisation, no matter what their size or purpose, needs to take seriously, and won’t always cost as much as you might think. Indeed, we are seeing many insurers already including some cyber covers as standard in their policies. If you don’t yet have cybercrime cover or would like to find out more about how you can protect your charity of not-for-profit organisation against the impact of a cybercrime, contact Shirley Greer who specialises in advising organisations in the third sector on all aspects of insurance cover by emailing charityinsurance@

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Scrutton Bland Financial Services Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. 0310/11/2019/MTKG

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