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The key parts of the Children and Vulnerable Adults Safeguarding Policy apply as described below. Please note that the policy does not apply to the Colleges, which are separate legal entities and have their own internal policies and procedures.

Risk assessment process

  • Recruitment to a new or existing post which involves working directly with children and/or vulnerable adults[1];

  • The commencement of new activities or events involving or potentially involving children and or vulnerable adults; and

  • Changes being made to activities or events involving or potentially involving children and or vulnerable adults.

Screening check processes

These apply to those carrying out work for the University which involves direct contact with children and/or vulnerable adults[1] and meets the eligibility criteria for a basic disclosure or Disclosure and Barring Service check.

Procedure for dealing with reported suspicions and allegations

This applies to all University of Cambridge members of staff, workers, volunteers, visitors and students made aware of, or involved in, an allegation or suspicion involving harm to children and/or vulnerable adults.

Appendix B Code of Practice

This applies to all University of Cambridge members of staff, workers, volunteers, visitors and students who come into direct contact with children and vulnerable adults.


A child is any person under the age of 18.

Adults aged 18 and over have the potential to be vulnerable (either temporarily or permanently) for a variety of reasons and in different situations. An adult may be vulnerable if he/she:

·Has a learning or physical disability; or

·Has a physical or mental illness, chronic or otherwise, including an addiction to alcohol or drugs; or

·Has a reduction in physical or mental capacity; or

·Is in the receipt of any form of healthcare; or

·Is detained in custody; or

·Is receiving community services because of age, health or disability; or

·Is living in sheltered or residential care home; or

·Is unable, for any other reason, to protect himself/herself against significant harm or exploitation.

It is recognised that people who meet one or more of the criteria above may not be vulnerable at all, or all of the time. However, until a department/institution has direct contact with people on an individual basis, it may be impossible to identify whether vulnerability exists in relation to an activity or event involving adults that they are planning.

Therefore, in order to support departments/institutions in identifying and managing potential risks of harm to people effectively, and for the purposes of this policy only, a vulnerable adult[1] should be identified (for the purposes of this policy only) as a person aged 18 or over who meets one or more of the criteria listed above.

Examples of University activities involving children and vulnerable adults

University staff or students may encounter children and vulnerable adults[1] in a wide range of situations. These include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • The provision of healthcare or health services;
  • Children’s activities in the Physical Education Department;
  • Certain first degrees, master’s degrees and PhDs (for example, in the fields of education, medicine and veterinary science);
  • Research work, which involves direct physical contact with children and/or vulnerable adults;
  • Work experience students under 18;
  • Widening participation outreach activities with schools and colleges (in Cambridge and external);
  • Student Community Action
  • Cambridge Science Festival (Science week);
  • Childcare provision in the University’s nurseries and playschemes;
  • School and nursery visits;
  • Community sports projects;
  • Photography of children for publication;
  • First aid delivery;
  • Christmas parties for children;
  • Museum sleepovers;
  • Festival of Ideas;
  • Teaching undergraduates who are under 18;
  • Open days;
  • Working with disabled students.

[1] Please note: this policy’s definition of a vulnerable adult does not apply to University employees/workers (except in situations where they receive healthcare from another member of the University). Reasonable adjustments for disabilities and any capability/capacity matters in the workplace are managed outside of this policy. Please contact your HR Business Manager/Adviser for further advice as required.