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Keeping our apprentices safe.

At Teesside University we take our responsibility to ensure the safety of our students very seriously.

We treat everyone with respect, will not tolerate sexual misconduct, violence, or abuse and we will take all reasonable steps to keep our campus and community safe. This also extends to our students who have chosen to study at the University as part of an apprenticeship programme.

We are committed to working together to create a fantastic learning experience for our apprentices, and to ensure the highest levels of safety and wellbeing.

Our approach

The University has a clear commitment to safeguarding, which is overseen by the Lead Safeguarding Officer (LSO). Their role is to promote and implement the Safeguarding Policy, ensuring that it is reviewed regularly and acted upon. Additionally, all members of University staff undertake mandatory Safeguarding and Prevent training and have access to additional information, advice and training when appropriate.

Each School and Department has at least one nominated Designated Safeguarding Officer (DSO), who undertakes enhanced mandatory training. The University includes information on safeguarding in apprentice inductions to ensure learners have the knowledge and advice on how to deal with Safeguarding and Prevent concerns, including details of our policy and procedures.

Employers' duty

Employers have a duty to comply with all current and future UK legislation and statutory responsibilities. There is a particular expectation that an employer should take responsibility for an apprentice's welfare in the workplace and to also seek appropriate advice when they feel an apprentice may be at risk in their personal lives.

We appreciate that for many organisations, this can be a confusing and complex area. Please refer to the following pages, which explains the University support provided and some of the ways you may wish to incorporate information into your current internal procedures.


Safeguarding is the overarching term used to describe the protection of the health, wellbeing, and human rights of individuals. Under legislation, all parties involved in an apprenticeship must take reasonable action to minimise risks to apprentices. This includes aspects of the apprentice's experience, both in and outside of the workplace, as well as during any attendance at university. Many areas are considered to fall under the definition of safeguarding, including:

  • Abuse (emotional and physical)
  • Bullying (including online)
  • Discrimination
  • Forced marriage
  • Mental health
  • Neglect and self-harm
  • Radicalisation and extremism.

Role of the University

  • Ensure that employers are aware of their safeguarding obligations.
  • Ensure apprentices have an awareness of safeguarding and understand how to access University support services.
  • Provide safeguarding training for all University employees working with apprentices.
  • Ensure University staff working with apprentices are subject to an enhanced Disclosure and Barring service check.
  • Maintain open channels of communication with each employer. Apprentices may act very differently depending on their environment and may feel more comfortable discussing sensitive issues with different people.

Role of the employer

  • Familiarise themselves with relevant government legislation and understand their obligations as outlined in the Apprenticeship Funding and Delivery Agreement.
  • Take appropriate steps to understand what safeguarding means in practice at their organisation, in the context of the responsibilities they have for the people they employ.
  • Ensure that any staff working with apprentices in a position of trust are appropriate for the role and do not present any danger or threat.
  • Ensure that any people working with young or vulnerable people have had an appropriate check completed with the Disclosure and Barring service.
  • If possible, identify a person to coordinate safeguarding across an organisation.

Prevent Duty - definition and key threats

As part of the Counterterrorism and Security Act (CTSA) 2015, universities are required to pay 'due regard to the need to prevent individuals from being drawn into terrorism'.

There is no single way of identifying a person who may be vulnerable to extremist ideology, and it is often the culmination of a number of influences. These can include family, friends, or relationships they have made online. Extremism can also include non-violent action.

The University is committed to engaging with its students in relation to the Prevent Duty requirements and works with Teesside University Students' Union in this regard. This engagement includes collaboration and consultation on Prevent Duty policy requirements, as developed and delivered by the University, representation of Student Union Officers and Management on the Prevent & Safeguarding Executive and Working Groups, and ongoing dialogue to ensure that the arrangements between both parties are joined up and effective.

Role of the University

  • Provide relevant training for University staff so they understand the obligations the University has under Prevent Duty and how to manage risks and concerns.
  • Have clear procedures in place so that any concerns can immediately be brought to specialist attention.
  • Provide a forum for apprentices to explore these matters.
  • Provide a contact for any further information regarding the Prevent Duty.
  • Ensure apprentices can express views in non-extremist ways and create an environment that encourages respectful free speech.

Role of the employer

  • Demonstrate a commitment to British values.
  • Adhere to the requirements of the Equality Act 2010.

Safeguarding in practice - advice for employers

If you find that you need help managing a particular set of circumstances with an apprentice, please don't hesitate to get in touch. We are here to support you.

An apprentice may feel comfortable talking to some people about an issue and not others. The University will endeavour to be as transparent as possible with employers, while respecting the apprentice's trust.

Although a lot of safeguarding activity is reactive, we encourage you to have regular meetings and supervisory sessions with your apprentice so that you can act on any concerns that arise.

An apprentice may not seek help, but there are common signs which can help you to recognise when things are wrong:

  • Absence - missing work or study
  • Appearance - physical injuries or self-neglect
  • Behaviour - becoming uncharacteristically aggressive or withdrawn
  • Emotional health - crying, anxiety, or low mood
  • Risky behaviour - excessive alcohol consumption or use of drugs.

If the apprentice or someone else is at immediate risk of harm please do not hesitate, call the emergency services.

Requirements for individuals

New apprentices

All new apprentices will complete, or will have completed, a one hour Safeguarding Essentials Training Package session as part of their induction activities as a pilot group.

Apprentices currently completing modules

Apprentices already enrolled, attending the University, and actively completing modules between now and September 2023 will be advised during progress review meetings with their Apprentice Quality Coach as to when and how this training will need to be completed.

Apprentice returner sessions from September 2023

Apprentices already enrolled and returning to their programme in the new academic year will receive a specific one-hour briefing and complete the Safeguarding Essentials Training Package.

Apprentices Beyond Gateway

Apprentices who have entered gateway are not required to complete this learning.

Completions will be monitored monthly and managed with apprentices and line managers through progress review meetings.

We have a duty of care in respect of children, young people and adults at risk - and this training has been introduced to ensure we deliver on our aim to adopt high standards to ensure their safety.

Key safeguarding contacts

In the first instance initial referrals to
Apprenticeship Safeguarding Contact
Nadine Baister
Senior Quality and Compliance Manager

Designated safeguarding officers

Teesside University International Business School
Richard Atkinson
School Manager

School of Social Sciences, Humanities & Law
James Walker
School Registrar

School of Health & Life Sciences
Michelle Dickson
School Registrar

School of Computing, Engineering & Digital Technologies
Caroline Laverick
School Registrar

School of Arts & Creative Industries
Jill Grimwood
School Registrar

Lead Safeguarding Officer
Helen Cutting
University Secretary and Executive Director of Legal and Governance Services

Safeguarding Co-ordinator
Victoria Dixon
Acting Deputy Director of Legal and Governance Services

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