Safeguarding resources

This page provides information on what safeguarding is and how it applies to the sector, as well as the guidance, resources, and tools to help improve your safeguarding policies and practices.

What is safeguarding?

Safeguarding is the responsibility of organisations to make sure their staff, operations, and programmes do no harm to children and adults at-risk nor expose them to abuse or exploitation. It is becoming good practice to think about how we safeguard everyone in our organisations at all times, including protecting staff from harm and inappropriate behaviour such as bullying and harassment. 

Who does it apply to?

Everyone connected to your organisation should know how to keep children, adults at-risk, and staff safe. There should be learning opportunities to consistently develop and maintain the necessary measures, attitudes, skills, and knowledge amongst staff, partners, and all those that contribute to your organisation’s work. The communities you work with should understand your commitments to safeguarding and what to do if concerns arise.

Our commitment to change in safeguarding

Our commitment to change in safeguarding demonstrates how the NGO sector is driving forwards consistency and leadership on safeguarding so we all reach the same standards and work together to protect people from sexual exploitation, abuse and harassment.

The 12 commitments and 34 related actions are divided between “strategic shifts” which are survivor support and enhanced accountability, minimum standards, cultural change, organisational capacity and capability.

Survivor support and enhanced accountability

Minimum standards

Cultural change

Organisational capacity and capability

Survivor-support and accountability

Supporting survivors, victims and whistleblowers, enhancing accountability and transparency, strengthening reporting and tackling impunity.

Raising a concern

Your employer should have policies and procedures for those who wish to report wrongdoing, but you can report a concern to them even if they don’t. If you don’t want to tell your employer, you are protected by UK law and can report a concern anonymously or confidentially to the Charity Commission directly.

In-country safeguarding and survivor support services 

Bond is working with Safeguarding Group members to collate and signpost guidance and resources on in-country safeguarding and survivor-support services on a dedicated webpage. If you are a Bond member and would like access to this, please contact Bond on [email protected].


The 20 core elements of a safeguarding report-handling mechanism for organisations.

A list of definitions of safeguarding terms used for safeguarding reporting.

This set of case studies should be used to support safeguarding learning.

Best practice principles for developing an accountable feedback mechanism.

Six ways that trustees can take the lead on safeguarding.

Quick reference to handle and prevent sexual exploitation and abuse.

A complete quick reference guide to implementing measures.

Child protection toolkits and resources developed by ChildHope and their partners.

Gender reviews, survivor support and sexual harassment.

Guidance on reporting as a worker or citizen from the Charity Commission.

Help and guidance for any employee working in the UK who have chosen to whistleblow.

Your rights and guidance for dealing with workplace bullying and harassment.

Guidance for employers from Department for Business, Innovations and Skill.

Guidelines for trustees regarding handling safeguarding complaints.

Young people can play an important role in safeguarding their communities.

Changing cultures and having the right mechanisms helps with under-reporting.

Board members need to play their part in driving up safeguarding standards.

Library with a range of guidance, tools and training on safeguarding.

Minimum standards

Agreeing minimum standards and ensuring we and our partners meet them. We’ve developed policy templates which you can download, edit and use to develop your own policies. These look at safeguarding, the code of conduct, handling reports and complaints, and disclosing organisational malpractice (whistleblowing).

Regulators’ requirements for safeguarding

Find out more about the safeguarding requirements set by the Charity Commission and DFID’s guidance on enhanced due diligence.


This is a suite of core policies that can be used to strengthen your safeguarding framework.

Guidelines from Inter-Agency Standing Committee for safeguarding policy.

For the protection from sexual exploitation and abuse from own personnel.

Improve the quality and effectiveness of the assistance you provide.

The full ratified and adopted UN resolution.

The full ratified and adopted UN resolution.

Cultural change

Incentivising cultural change through strong leadership, organisational accountability and better human resource processes. 


A discussion-based safeguarding tool for leaders

A tool to help organisations understand safeguarding culture.

Webinar to explain how leaders can use the safeguarding leadership tool.

A look at the challenges international NGOs face in staff diversity and inclusion.

A conceptual framework for transformative capacity building in your organisation.

Conceptual framework toolkit for transformative capacity building in your organisation.

A look at the positive benefits of embracing feminist leadership.

A look at what has improved, and what hasn’t a year on from scandal.

Recommendations and analysis from the GADN’s year long study into safeguarding practice.

Gender-based violence and sexual abuse at the centre of the struggle for women’s rights.

Support to survivors of violence, sexual harassment and safeguarding

The Gender at Work Framework highlights the interrelationship between gender and organizational change.

Organisational capacity and capability

Strengthening organisational capacity and capability, including building the capability of implementing partners to meet the minimum standards.

Specialist training providers for safeguarding

Find out what training and consultancy support is available for addressing safeguarding and sexual exploitation and abuse in the development and humanitarian sectors. 


Our commitment to changing the way safeguarding works in partnerships.

This course equips you to manage investigations into safeguarding concerns.

This bespoke workshop equips boards of trustees to meet their responsibilities for safeguarding.

How collective concerns and challenges can start to be overcome.

An online space for members to share ideas, resources and good practice around safeguarding issues.

A range of safeguarding courses, both on and offline from a respected platform.

A range of safeguarding courses, both on and offline from a respected platform.

A collation of over a thousand courses and resources from global NGOs, including for Safeguarding.

Toolkit and course resources for free and downloadable.

Prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse training for the UN.

A collection of safeguarding resources from Scotland’s International Development Alliance.

Resources, training and advice on safeguarding from NCVO.

Resources and guidance for safeguarding children from NSPCC.

Safeguarding advice for people building movements and campaigns.

This course will equip you to develop a robust approach to safeguarding in your organisation.

Latest safeguarding blogs from Bond

Agreeing a common approach to tackle sexual exploitation, abuse and harassment

Recently, a public, online consultation sought views on the proposed ‘Common approach to protection from sexual exploitation, sexual abuse and sexual harassment (CAPSEAH)’. In this blog, we discuss the findings and how they are helping to improve CAPSEAH and a brief refresh on what CAPSEAH actually is.

Safeguarding training at World Jewish Relief.
Four steps all humanitarian actors must take to turn the tide on Gender-Based Violence

Why is gender-based violence so endemic within humanitarian settings? Poorly planned distributions can create the perfect conditions for exploitation from strangers, abusive intimate partners, or by aid workers themselves. But there are steps humanitarian actors can take to help prevent it. Laura Hendy from World Jewish Relief tells us more.

Mental wellbeing
Mental health and psychosocial support: Seven elements for effective programmes in peacebuilding

Done right, integrated mental health support can demonstrably lead to stronger, more inclusive and peaceful communities, resulting in people feeling more positive and hopeful for the future. Ruth Simpson of International Alert tells us about their work on integrated mental health in peacebuilding.

Wateraid Global Safeguarding Team. Credit: Wateraid
and others
The benefits of investing in Safeguarding Champions

In October 2023, WaterAid held their first ever Participatory Safeguarding Workshop, bringing together 43 safeguarding champions from 29 countries. Nicci Morgan and Renae Davies share their takeaways, and what they learned from holding the event.

Image depicting safeguarding
Why is no one talking about safeguarding anymore?

We fear that safeguarding in our sector will be forgotten, and the last thing we want is another crisis to remind us of its importance. To avoid future scandals, five years on, it is time for organisations to take stock of their safeguarding practices and continue to make improvements.

and others
How could a common approach to preventing sexual exploitation, abuse and harassment support NGOs?

The Common Approach to Sexual Exploitation, Abuse and Harassment (CAPSEAH) sets out a collective vision for action, common principles and minimum recommended actions to underpin sexual exploitation, abuse and harassment work. We need your help to shape it.

Illustration of different people encouraging us to stop and check we are meeting safeguarding standards.
How Bond is supporting organisations with safeguarding due diligence for implementing and local partners

Implementing safeguarding due diligence comes with its challenges. Bond has compiled a set of case studies to support organisations in their safeguarding practices and procedures.

Row of wooden figurines with one gold figurine on yellow background
Understanding the challenges that small organisations face in relation to safeguarding is the first step to finding solutions

Bond has been working with small organisations to identify the challenges they face in relation to safeguarding. Here’s what we’ve learnt so far and what we are doing to help.

Cropped image of hands covering paper team on wooden table
and others
The Safeguard-Me pilot project: helping the sector to overcome safe recruitment challenges

How is the ‘Safeguard-Me’ pilot project supporting organisations in the international development and humanitarian sector to overcome safe recruitment challenges?

8 things we’re proud of in 2022

At Bond and across the sector, we had a very busy year. Thanks to you, our working groups and many of our allies across the sector and beyond we achieved lots of things this year that we’re proud of. Here are a few of them.

Woman in her bedroom
We need to talk: Overcoming the culture of silence around sexual violence in humanitarian operations

The stigma surrounding sexual violence means it is chronically under-reported and under-addressed within humanitarian teams. This silence perpetuates the stigma and increases the risk to aid workers, from both inside and outside their organisation.

A life preserver at sea
Safe organisational cultures only thrive under committed leadership

A healthy safeguarding culture has to be everybody’s responsibility, but it will only succeed when leaders step up to the challenge and lead by example.

Why INGOs need to put power analysis at the heart of governance

Power analysis seeks to identify and understand overt, hidden, and invisible power dynamics that can perpetuate inequality and lead to staff not speaking up.

Elderly people in Mozambique
Older people are being left behind in humanitarian action

The Covid-19 pandemic has put into sharp focus how older people can be disproportionately impacted by crises, be it a health crisis, environmental disasters or armed conflict.

Graphic depicting bullying
Silenced by unethical gag orders or protected by confidentiality agreements: Should the charity sector use NDAs?

Recent whistle-blower allegations suggest charities have been using NDAs to prevent staff from speaking out on bullying and harassment in the workplace. Is it right for organisations to use them?

NGOs have improved safeguarding, but the aid sector needs systemic change to be safer

Our recent safeguarding survey highlights NGOs’ progress and challenges in safeguarding, as well as what we still need for sector-wide transformation.

women from Maasai tribe carrying water, Kenya, East Africa
How do we build an aid worker register to prevent sexual abuse?

A worker registration scheme would help stop perpetrators of sexual exploitation and abuse moving around the aid sector, but could also fundamentally impact how organisations operate if not properly implemented.

Comforting hands
Keeping mental health at the forefront of development, during Covid-19 and beyond

Improved mental health may be a critical factor in achieving key development outcomes around the world, and is crucial to any future development plans.

Whistleblower Employee
Whistleblowing matters: why charities need to strengthen their whistleblowing culture

An exploration of how the charity sector can facilitate whistleblowers to come forward when they see something that isn’t right.

People at a safeguarding conference
5 takeaways from our Safeguarding for Development Conference

Over 200 members came together to address progress and challenges in safeguarding, from structures of power and context to changing organisational cultures.

Comforting person
Complaint or concern? Why you need to define and apply safeguarding in your own terms

How can we encourage whistleblowers to come forward? Changing cultures and having the right mechanisms helps with under-reporting.