safety wof

We acknowledge the tremendous responsibility churches have for the safety and well-being of children and young people attending their churches and programmes.

On the 11 Dec 2018 The Council Assembly published a Child Protection Policy for the Presbyterian Church, this is a stand-alone Supplementary Provision to the Book of Order.

This Policy must be applied when people in the Church have responsibility for children and young people. Congregations must comply with this policy by the end of 2019.

The warrant of fitness training day focuses on the PCANZ Child Protection Policy and encompasses essential training on youth and children’s code of ethics, health and safety practices, and recognising and reporting abuse. This training is compulsory for all those working with children and young people under the age of 18.

In supporting congregations to comply with the Child Protection Policy, PYM and Kids Friendly are working with Presbyteries to put on 1-day WOF training days in regions in the first half of 2019. PYM and Kids Friendly are also working to convert the Safety WOF training to a video-based training programme that can be run by a congregation with their own people. The training will be ready for congregations to use by 31 Aug 2019.

Due to the sensitive nature of some of the content in the WOF training day the minimum age of a WOF participant is set at 16 years of age.

safety wof components

Safeguarding our children, young people and leaders

Upcoming Safety WOF Training

All training to receive the WOF certificate can be completed at a one-day PCANZ Safety WOF training day.

10 Aug – Auckland
17 Aug – Dunedin
24 Aug – Cromwell

7 Sept – Lumsden
19 Oct – Invercargill


  • pym and kf

    Every week parents and the community at large entrust us with their children and young people. We hear many inspiring stories of local churches rolling up their sleeves and ministering in their communities in very positive ways. Sadly we also occasionally hear of incidents where young people have been harmed or treated inappropriately whilst in our care. Upon investigation we often find that most of these incidents could have easily been avoided, but those involved lacked the necessary training and structure. The church is coming under increased scrutiny and in order to maintain a respected place in the community, we need to work intentionally to maintain high ethical and safety standards.

    To date the church has offered Ethics and Risk Management day courses which ministers are required to attend to stay in “good standing”. However there has been no regular, recommended specific training for those who work with young people.

  • We are committed to:

    The care, nurture of, and respectful pastoral ministry with, all children and young people

    – The safeguarding and protection of all children, young people and adults when they are vulnerable
    – Ensuring all facilities and equipment meets Health and Safety standards
    – The training of all those with any pastoral responsibility for young people, including the use of police vetting
    – The establishing of safe, caring communities which provide a loving environment where there is a culture of ‘informed vigilance’ as to the dangers of abuse

    We acknowledge the limited amount of time and resources available to our parishes and their volunteers and staff, but we also acknowledge the imminent need to have a baseline of training in the areas of ethical practice and risk management. Presbyterian Youth Ministry and Kids Friendly have consulted with experts in the field of ethical practice to develop a simple and affordable Safety Warrant of Fitness (WOF) for PCANZ children’s and youth leaders. We strongly recommend it for all leaders of young people.

  • safety wof continuing education
  • Regional or national training every three years:

    The Youth and Children’s Safety WOF training day would include training on

    1) AraTaiohi Code of Ethics (COE) for Youth and Children’s Work in NZ (this course was developed by Jane Zintl who currently delivers the PCANZ COE training)

    – Values of the COE
    – Youth development framework
    – Application of the COE to practical youth work situations (using scenarios and activities)
    – Specific focus on faith and the COE – with an emphasis on sharing of faith
    – Privacy Act and confidentiality
    – Human Rights Act
    – Health and Safety
    – Accountability to the COE
    – UN Convention on the Rights of the Child

    2) Risk Management Training (2 hours)

    – Help identify and manage risks (physical, psychological, sexual and spiritual)
    – RAMS forms. A RAMS forms now need to be signed off by church leadership, we look at how to read and complete a RAMS form

    3) A police check (this is mandatory under PCANZ policy for all those who work with youth and children and will be incorporated into the WOF)


    In-house refresher annually

    Key leaders are strongly encouraged to:
    – ensure that at least two people in their team have a current first aid training certificate
    – take their children and youth leaders through the church’s health and safety policy
    – ensure any paid staff attend external supervision (recommended monthly-6 weekly for a full-time employee)

    In-house refresher 6 monthly

    Key leaders are strongly encouraged to:
    – take their leaders through two Code of Ethics scenarios (provided by PYM/KF/KF)
    – Review RAM’s protocols for their current activities (review template provided by PYM/KF/KF)

    **Volunteer Helpers are strongly encouraged to:

    – A police check every three years (this is mandatory under PCANZ policy)
    – The annual in-house church health and safety policy refresher
    – The six monthly in-house Ethics and RAM’s refresher 6 monthly

    First aid training

    At every children’s or youth event you organise you want to ensure that you have at least one leader with a first aid qualification. Therefore we recommend that at least two of your leaders are trained as first aiders. We recommend a one-day first aid course as a minimum covering the following:

    – Scene assessment
    – Safety
    – CPR
    – Chest pain (e.g. heart attack)
    – Dislocations
    – How to use an AED (automated external defibrillator)
    – Broken bones
    – Burns
    – Soft tissue injury
    – Asthma
    – Stroke
    – Seizures
    – Bleeding

    These courses are available from:

    The Red Cross
    St Johns
    A1 First Aid

    There are also private accredited first-aid trainers who can also offer group trainings, often these are more economical. Please contact PYM/KF or your regional youth coordinator for more information about those.

    Estimated cost per children’s or youth leader to complete the WOF

    Code of Ethics and Health and Safety training is provided FREE by PCANZ and regional staff, there may be associated catering costs with training events.

    If leaders need to obtain a first aid certificate the cost is approx. $100-160 pp. (We recommend 2 to 3 leaders in the children’s and or youth ministry leadership team to have this qualification)

    Estimated number of hours to complete the WOF

    To get the certification, children’s and youth leaders will spend 5 hours in training, 3 hours on Code of Ethics and 2 hours on Risk Management.

    We highly recommend that leaders spend another 3 hours per year in the following two years as a refresher.

  • Downloads

    WOF Manual

    Committed to Safety Poster

    Template documents.

Definition of Terms:

Young People

For the purposes of this web page the term “young people” covers people ages 0-17. This policy is still relevant for those working with those who are 18-30, but has a specific focus on those under the age of 18.

Volunteer Helper

Someone who helps with the programme, but does not have a leadership or pastoral care role with young people. These people may help with set up, supper, clean up etc.

Children’s and Youth Leader

Someone who is in leadership (paid or voluntary) and pastorally cares for children or youth under the age of 18

Key Leader

The person who takes the lead role in the children’s or youth ministry, this could be a paid or unpaid (volunteer) position.

We also recommend churches invite children’s and youth leaders and interested volunteers to attend the minister’s ethics training days.