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OU launches package of free FCDO approved Safeguarding Leadership courses

The Open University (OU) has launched the first module in a package of free Safeguarding Leadership Training courses, aimed at those working in the international development sector. The three courses will help those working in development and humanitarian organisations to better understand the causes of harm, abuse, and exploitation and how to effectively prevent and respond to incidents. Funded and approved by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), the first course in the package is available to start studying now on leading social learning platform,

Developed as part of the UK’s Strategy on Safeguarding Against Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, and Sexual Harassment (SEAH) within the Aid Sector, the courses aim to promote safeguarding best practice and strengthen organisational capacity and capability of those working in international development. The OU was enlisted because of its capabilities of delivering training remotely and on a global scale.

OU academics, Jan Webb and Professor Giles Mohan have been involved in creating the courses.

Jan Webb, Associate Head of School, Professional Programmes at the OU, commented: “We are delighted to be working with the FCDO to provide this much needed training. The course will contribute to improving outcomes for children and vulnerable adults within the aid sector and will support the career pathways for aid workers looking at becoming a safeguarding specialist.”

The course content includes:

Introduction to Safeguarding – focusses on the key principles of safeguarding, specifically for aid organisations, and is designed to support learners to develop the skills to implement safeguarding policies and practice relevant to their organisation. This course is relevant to anyone working in the sector to ensure complete organisational adoption of safeguarding practice. Available to start studying now.

Implementing Safeguarding in the Aid Sector – will support learners to deal with challenging situations relevant to the specific aid sub-sectors they are working in, such as education, health, and humanitarian. Available from November 2021.

Safeguarding Leadership in Action – explores the relationship between leadership and safeguarding, both within and across organisations and sectors. This course will help pull all learning together through critical reflection on personal leadership skills and leadership frameworks to develop advanced safeguarding practice, including policy and training aspects. Available from June 2022.


To begin studying Introduction to Safeguarding in the International Aid Sector, please visit: /courses/introduction-to-safeguarding-in-the-international-aid-sector

About The Open University: The Open University (OU) is the largest academic institution in the UK and a world leader in flexible distance learning. Since it began in 1969, the OU has taught more than two million students worldwide and has over 170,000 current students, including more than 7,000 overseas. Over 76% of students are in full-time or part-time employment, and three out of five FTSE 100 companies have sponsored staff to take OU courses.

Regarded as the UK’s major e-learning institution, the OU is a world leader in developing technology to increase access to education on a global scale. Its vast ‘open content portfolio’ includes free study units, as well as games, videos and academic articles, which have reached over 36 million people.

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For more information about the UK Government’s work to tackle sexual exploitation and abuse and sexual harassment linked to international development please visit

About FutureLearn 

At FutureLearn, our purpose is to transform learning for a better future. As the UK’s number one social learning platform and marketplace, we deliver life changing learning through online, on-demand, and social courses across a wide range of subjects from education to healthcare, climate action and public policy.

Since being founded in 2012 by The Open University, FutureLearn has hosted over 3,000 online courses, attracting over 15 million learners from every country in the world, and more than 250 partners including leading global brands, government departments, and over a quarter of the world’s top universities.

FutureLearn’s community-based social learning approach brings together educators and learners from around the world to harness the power of connection, while our celebrated digital platform ensures learners have a seamless experience and get the most from their learning in order to develop skills and achieve their personal and professional goals throughout their lives.

Currently, The Open University and The SEEK Group are joint-investors in FutureLearn.

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