• acnc logo

Safeguarding: A Guide for Charities

Learn about safeguarding, vulnerable people, what your charity must do and gain access to useful resources.

1,782 enrolled on this course

A pair of hands raised with fingers touching to form a cover of protection above a circle of cut out paper dolls.
  • Duration

    2 weeks
  • Weekly study

    1 hour
  • 100% online

    How it works
  • Digital upgrade


Find out what is required by your charity to safeguard the people in its care

Safeguarding ensures that all people who are in some way connected to our charity have their welfare and human rights protected. Failing to safeguard our people can have catastrophic consequences: not just for those who have been personally harmed, but for the charity and the entire charity sector.

This course covers charity legal obligations to safeguarding and how to satisfy them. Not just because it’s the law but because it is the right thing to do.

Through this course, you will: 

  • Find out about safeguarding and your charity’s legal obligations to it.
  • Discover who is considered a ‘vulnerable person’ and discuss the factors that make a person ‘vulnerable’.
  • Learn about safeguarding risks and identify ways to manage them.
  • Locate and apply templates and useful resources to your charity that are relevant to safeguarding.


  • Week 1

    Safeguarding and Vulnerability

    • Welcome and Introduction to Safeguarding for Charities

      Discover the learning outcomes, how to navigate the course effectively, and how quizzes and the assessment work so you can gain a certificate.

    • What is Safeguarding?

      Learn about safeguarding and your charity's legal obligations to it.

    • Who is a Vulnerable Person?

      Find out who vulnerable people are, how to identify people in vulnerable circumstances, and steps your charity can take to ensure it treats people in vulnerable circumstances fairly.

  • Week 2

    Managing Safeguarding Risks

    • Safeguarding Risks and How to Manage Them

      Learn safeguarding risks and their consequences. Discover the seven steps every charity can take to help protect people from harm.

    • Focus Area: Supporting Vulnerable Children Overseas

      Apply your learning by looking at governance practices via two case studies. Topics covered: How to develop policy to protect vulnerable children and transferring money overseas safely.

    • Find and Use Templates Relevant to Safeguarding

      Be introduced to some templates that may assist your charity with its safeguarding obligations.

    • Next Steps

      Want to continue learning but not sure where to turn? Want to get a Certificate for completing this course? This section shows you how.

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and join a global classroom of learners. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

  • Available now

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Describe safeguarding and identify charity legal obligations to safeguarding 
  • Explain who is considered a ‘vulnerable person’ and discuss what makes a person ‘vulnerable’
  • Identify safeguarding risks and demonstrate how to manage them 
  • Find and apply templates to your charity that are relevant to safeguarding

Who is the course for?

This course is for anyone seeking to protect the welfare and human rights of those who are in some way connected to their charity, especially ‘vulnerable people’.

This includes charity leaders, staff, volunteers and sector advisors.

Who will you learn with?

Rachel Gear is the ACNC's Instructional Designer and Lead Educator for the eLearning Program. She's committed to designing and teaching accessible and relevant professional development for adults.

Rachel Smith is the Director of Advice Services, Education and Public Affairs, and is the Director behind the ACNC’s eLearning program. She’s been with the ACNC since it started.

Who developed the course?

Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission

The Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) is the national regulator of charities. We register and regulate Australia’s many charities. We help charities understand and meet their obligations through information, advice and guidance. We help the public understand the work of the charity sector and provide a free searchable register of Australian registered charities.

  • Established

  • Location

    Melbourne, Victoria

What's included?

Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission are offering everyone who joins this course a free digital upgrade, so that you can experience the full benefits of studying online for free. This means that you get:

  • Unlimited access to this course
  • Includes any articles, videos, peer reviews and quizzes
  • Tests to validate your learning
  • A PDF Certificate of Achievement to prove your success when you’re eligible
  • Learning on FutureLearn

    Your learning, your rules

    • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
    • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
    • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

    Join a global classroom

    • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
    • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
    • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

    Map your progress

    • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
    • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
    • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

    Want to know more about learning on FutureLearn? Using FutureLearn

    Learner reviews

    Learner reviews cannot be loaded due to your cookie settings. Please and refresh the page to view this content.

    Get a taste of this course

    Find out what this course is like by previewing some of the course steps before you join:

    Do you know someone who'd love this course? Tell them about it...