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  • Safe Church Resources

    The BUV aims to empower churches with resources and advice that will help them to make their church a safe place for all.

    These resources are designed to assist churches to provide a safe, loving and ethical environment in which to run their ministries, and to provide support for churches in the event of allegations or incidents within their church.

    Please browse through the resources available below, or contact our Administration department on 03 9880 6111 for advice on specific issues relating to your church.

    Click on the tab below to learn more about the topic.

    • Codes of Conduct

      A code of conduct is an agreed commitment to uphold policies, procedures and
      practices within the church and its ministries.

      It includes what behaviours are encouraged and expected, as well as those behaviours that are not condoned.

      See below for samples you can use at your church.

    • Elder Abuse

      Elder Abuse is the mistreatment or exploitation of an older person by someone they know and trust such as a family member or friend.

      It can include financial abuse, psychological abuse, physical abuse, sexual abuse, social abuse, or neglect.

      For information on Elder Abuse, please see the following links:

      Seniors Rights Victoria provides information, support, advice and education to help prevent elder abuse and safeguard the rights, dignity and independence of older people.

      The Victorian State Government provide online training for people working with older people and anyone interested in learning more about elder abuse prevention. Learn more at the e-learning portal or contact the Department of Health & Human Services.

      Carers Australia - short-term counselling and emotional and psychological support services for carers and their families in each state and territory.

    • Family Violence

      Family and domestic violence is any violent, threatening, coercive or controlling behaviour that occurs in current or past family, domestic or intimate relationships. This includes not only physical injury but direct or indirect threats, sexual assault, emotional and psychological torment, economic control, damage to property, social isolation and any behaviour which causes a person to live in fear.

      If you need help there are a number of telephone numbers you can call 24 hours a day, seven days a week, or services you can visit:

      If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, call the Police on 000.

      1800 Respect: National counselling helpline, information and support 24/7

      Department of Health & Human Services: provides resources in a variety of languages.

      MensLine Australia: a professional telephone and online support and information service for Australian men.

      For Baptist churches looking learn more about how we as a church can support and respond to the issue of Family Violence, please see the public issues page of our website. You will find discussion papers and other resources including the White Ribbon e-learing module on Family Violence.

    • Food Safety

      Hospitality and fellowship involving food is commonplace in churches.

      Often it is simply a cuppa and a biscuit after church or the serving of communion.

      At other times churches hold sausage sizzles, pot luck lunches, formal dinners, casual meals at bible study groups, run cake stalls, serve meals to the wider community, sell food as a fundraiser, or run a food bank for those in need.

      Safe food handling practices are required at all times.

      If your church is selling food in any capacity, please be aware that the the Food Act 1984 provides the regulatory framework you must follow to ensure that food sold in Victoria is safe, suitable and correctly labelled.

      For more information, please see the resources below, contact your local municipal council or go to

      Food Preparation and Storage Practices
      Food Safety Rules A4 Poster

    • National Police Record Check

      The BUV recommends churches to do a National Police Record Check (aka a Police Check) for all leaders prior to commencing in their role and periodically thereafter. This includes those leaders who also have a Working With Children Check.

      The Victorian Police fees (effective from 1 July 2015) are:
      · $44.90 for a National Name Check
      · $16.90 for a National Name Check for a volunteer for an authorised organisation

      It is well worth your church becoming an ’authorised organisation’ so that your volunteers can pay the reduced rate! Please note that the BUV no longer provides this service and we request each church to obtain its own CVF number. To sign up for a Community Volunteer Fee number or for more information on National Police Record Checks please visit the Victoria Police website at or view the following links:

      • Click here for the Online Application for Police Record Check
      • Click here to obtain a Community Volunteer Fee Number (CVF No.) Application Form
      • Click here to find out how a Police Check is different to a Working With Children Check

      If you have any questions regarding the National Police Record Check, please contact the Victoria Police:

      Public Enquiry Service
      GPO Box 919
      Melbourne Vic 3001
      Office hours are from 8am to 4pm, Monday to Friday.
      Phone: 1300 881 596

    • Privacy

      From 12 March 2014 the Privacy Act includes 13 Australian Privacy Principles (APPs) that outline how APP entities (i.e. churches) must handle, use and manage personal information.

      Personal information is information or an opinion that identifies or could reasonably identify an individual. Some examples include name, address, telephone number, date of birth, gender, medical records, bank account details, and commentary or opinion about a person.

      Every church should have an up to date Privacy Policy that meets the APPs. Your Privacy Policy should be on your website (if you have one) and made available at no cost over email or hard copy on demand.

      You can use the sample Privacy Policy contained in this guide to get you started.

      For help with your church Privacy Policy, please call the BUV Admin Dept on 03 9880 6111 or email

      Australian Privacy Principles Factsheet

      BUV Church Sample Privacy Policy

    • Ratios

      The recommended adult/child ratio is:

      • 0-2 years old = 1:3
      • 2-3 years old = 1:4
      • 3-5 years old = 1:8
      • 5-12 years old (primary school) = 1:8
      • 12-18 years old (high school) = 1:15

      Minimum Staff: Have at least 2 adults with children to allow for an emergency - one with suitable experience and at least one person over 18 years.

    • Redbook

      The Redbook is a free self-auditing system for Victorian and Tasmanian Baptist churches, which covers Building Code compliance, Work Health Safety and Safe Church practices.

      Each Redbook is tailored to your church property and ministries, and is designed specifically for use by laypeople acting as:

      • An Instruction Manual – tells you what you need to do
      • A Diary System – tells you when you need to do it
      • A Filing System – gives you a place to record what you have done

      It is provided as a hard copy binder but is also available as a pdf for easy circulation amongst your leadership team. A new edition is provided each year by the BUV. Whilst this is primarily a self-auditing resource, the BUV does require a copy of the Annual Essential Safety Measures Report or completed Schedule each year for insurance purposes.

      If you would like further information about the Redbook, Building Code Compliance issues, or Safe Church Practices, check out our online resources or call the BUV Administration Dept on 03 9880 6111.

      If the person responsible for looking after the Redbook at your church has changed, please advise the BUV office as soon as possible. Please use our Details & Consent Form for Church Leaders.(insert link to document)

      For more information on Redbooks in your State:


      Redbook Victoria - Frequently Asked Questions (174.56 kB)
      Sample Redbook - Victoria (247.76 kB)
      Redbook Cabinet Brochure (185.96 kB)


      Redbook Tasmania - Frequently Asked Questions (109.49 kB)
      Sample Redbook - Tasmania (245.83 kB)

      If you would like further information about the Redbook or any Duty of Care or Building Code Compliance issues, check out our online resources or call the BUV Administration Dept on 03 9880 6111.

    • Risk Management

      Risk is the exposure to the possibility of such things as economic or financial loss or gain, physical damage, injury or delay, as a consequence of pursuing or not pursuing a particular course of action. In any church community the variety of activities and participants exposes the church to risk.

      Risk Management is the process by which risks are identified, evaluated and controlled.

      Outlined below are the elements of the Risk Management process (derived from Australian Standard AS/NZS ISO 31000:2009 Risk management – Principles and guidelines):

      • Identify Risks – identify where, when, why and how events could prevent, degrade, delay, or enhance the achievement of organisational goals.
      • Analyse Risks – identify and evaluate existing controls. Determine consequences and likelihood and hence the level of risk. This analysis should consider the range of potential consequences and how these could occur
      • Evaluate Risks – compare estimated level of risk against the pre-established criteria and consider the balance between potential benefits and adverse outcomes. This enables decisions to be made about the extent and nature of treatments required and about priorities.
      • Control Risks – develop and implement cost-effective strategies and action plans for increasing potential benefits and reducing potential costs
      • Monitor and Review – monitor the effectiveness of all steps of the risk management process and provision of feedback for improvement of the process.

      Please refer to the Baptist Insurance Services website for more information around Risk Management plus some helpful tools for assessing and registering risk at your church:

      For more assistance with risk management at your church, please call BIS on 03 9880 6166.

      You may also find the resources below helpful.

      Anaphylaxis - What is Anaphylaxis?

      Anaphylaxis - EpiPen Action plan general

      Anaphylaxis - EpiPen Action plan personal

      Camp Registration and Indemnity Form

      Churches Activity Risk Assessment Tool

      Churches Risk Management

      Churches Risk Register Tool

      Electronic Communication Guidelines

      First Aid Attendants and Emergency Numbers - Sample Sign

      Guide for churches - smoke-free policy

      Guide to Churches conducting Working Bees 2010

      Guide to Fire Safety & Emergency Management Plans at Church

      Hall Hire Licence Agreement generic year

      Housekeeping Checklist

      If You Are Injured Poster

      Incident or Injury Reporting Form 2014

      Ladder Use Policy

      Risk Assessment Action Plan - template

      Safe Church Policy June 2015

      Sample Baptist Church Safety Rules

      Tasmanian Workers Rehab and Compensation Act 1988 Summary Poster

      Volunteer Driver Information Form

      Work Health and Safety Policy - sample

    • Safe Church Awareness Workshop Resources

      The following resources are available to churches to have participated in Safe Church Awareness Workshops.

      More resources can be found at the National Council of Churches, Safe Church Training Agreement website

    • Victorian Child Safe Standards

      Increasingly our community’s care for children is being expressed in Government regulations designed to enhance and enforce the safeguarding of children.

      From 1 January 2017, the new Child Safe Standards will be mandatory for all organisations working with children, including churches.

      Below you will find resources to assist you in understanding what the 7 Victorian Child Safe Standards are and some samples you might like to use as the basis for creating appropriate polices and procedures at your church.

      Please note that the Safe Church Awareness Workshops are in line with the new standards, and churches who are participating in this training and implementing its recommendations are well on their way to being compliant.

      For more information on the standards and online training resources for faith organisations please go to:

      If you have any questions specific to your local Baptist Church, please contact Brenda Williams (BUV Professional Standards Consultant) via or 9880 6103 or Kylie Kendall (BUV Safe Church Coordinator) via or 9880 6113.

      Child Safe Standards self audit (358.86 kB)

      Sample Child Safe Policy

      Sample Child Safe Statement

      Child Protection Toolkit - Moores

      CCYP Creating a Childsafe Organisation Guide (1.03 MB)

      CCYP Tipsheet - Safety of children from CALD backgrounds (228.95 kB)

      CCYP Tipsheet - Empowerment and participation of children (265.44 kB)

      CCYP Tipsheet - Cultural safety for Aboriginal children (435.09 kB)

      CCYP Tipsheet - What to look for in a child safe organisation (320.5 kB)

      CCYP - Creating a Childsafe Organisation Guide (1.03 MB)

      CCYP Tipsheet - Safety of children with a disability (248.73 kB)

    • Working With Children Checks

      The Working with Children Check (WWCC) helps protect children from physical and sexual harm. It does this by screening people’s criminal records and professional conduct history and preventing those who pose an unjustifiable risk to children from working with or caring for them.

      If you are doing or intending to do child-related work and do not qualify for an exemption, you need a WWCC.

      Churches need to:

      • determine which paid and volunteer workers require a WWCC
      • ensure workers have a valid WWCC, and
      • ensure new starters apply for a WWCC before commencing child-related work.

      The WWCC is just a starting point. It screens a person’s criminal records and any reports about professional conduct. The WWCC does not assess a person’s suitability to work with or care for children in a particular role. It is the responsibility of your church to assess if a worker is suitable to work with children and continue monitoring their behaviour around children.

      For more information on the Working With Children Check please see the resources below or visit their website at

      WWCC Guide for Baptist Churches in Victoria

      WWCC Sample Register

      WWCC General Info Guide - Jan 2015

      WWCC Info for Ministers of Religion

      WWCC Changes to Legislation Guide 2014

    Baptists On Mission Blog