How to Choose the Best Training Courses for Your Ministry
If you’re responsible for selecting and approving safe ministry training providers for your church or ministry, we feel for you! There are a number of options out there these days, and working out what’s important can feel overwhelming.
When Safe Ministry Check launched almost a decade ago, we were pioneering new territory. Coming out of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Abuse, we wanted to provide a simple, cost-effective solution to help churches understand their legal and insurance requirements, while also transforming the culture of Australian churches to make church communities safe for the vulnerable.
Since then, many other courses have been developed, and there are now some great options to choose from. So what are the must-haves, and what can you be looking out for as you weigh up your options?
Here are 3 things that are often overlooked, that we think are critical for effective implementation of safe ministry training.
1. Targeted Training Courses
When you sit down at your computer, coffee in hand, and hit ‘play’ on your Safe Ministry Training course, what do you expect it to cover? Do you expect it to be relevant, practical and applicable to your specific area of ministry?
We sure do! While there are many things that all trainees need to cover, we also believe role-specific training is extremely valuable—even necessary. The reality is, ministry responsibilities vary from group to group. Whether a church member, volunteer or supervisor – each trainee has a different set of responsibilities within their scope of ministry.
If you’re searching for the best training for your church or ministry group, we want to encourage you to ask, “Are there targeted levels of training? Will trainees feel engaged with content that’s relevant for them? Will supervisors get the higher level of training they need, covering their additional responsibilities and requirements?”
If you’re not sure, why not run through a free trial (or ask the provider to set up a demo account for you) to see all content covered, and assess whether the content meets the specific needs of your ministry.
For broader, nationwide ministries, volunteers usually come from a variety of churches. This often means a number of different safe ministry course providers are approved, to lower the incidence of volunteers needing to start from scratch, training under a different provider.
If this is the case for your ministry, make sure you’re familiar with the levels of ministry training offered by each provider. When you approve a particular level of training, you’re ensuring your volunteers will be sufficiently equipped. If volunteers have already completed the training at a lower level, you can simply ask them to complete an extra module, rather than requesting they complete an entirely new course from a different provider.
2. Your Responsibilities Should Be Crystal Clear
Spoiler alert: there is no training course that can meet the national requirements for you. Yes, you read that correctly! Safe ministry training can (and should) equip you with all the tools you need to understand your legal requirements and responsibilities—but those responsibilities need to be met by those carrying out the ministry for churches to be safe communities for vulnerable people.
An example of this is the national requirement that states:
‘Children and young people are informed about all of their rights, including to safety, information, and participation.’
A sound training course will communicate your duties and provide guidance on carrying them out, but can’t actually fulfil your duties for you.
This is another reason why it’s important to specify the level of training you require your volunteers to undertake—understanding individual responsibility matters!
3. Time-Saving Features and Online Accessibility
This one is a no-brainer. Choose a training provider who will make the admin easy for you. With automatic verification of WWCC and a system that syncs with Elvanto, we take time-saving features seriously. Your time is valuable; we want to lighten your administrative load, freeing you up to do more ministry.
Course accessibility is critical for maximum participation, reducing the time you’ll need to spend chasing people. When training is held in person, there will always be a group of people who missed the training. If you want to avoid the constant training, chasing, training loop—consider online courses.
We’ve kept the cost of online training as low as possible—making the highest quality expert training affordable for all churches and ministries. With the convenience of online training, you’ll notice more people in your ministry will complete their training, which has the potential to transform your church culture as the vulnerable are protected and cared for.
If you’d like assistance as you navigate the options available, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our friendly team! We’d love to help find the perfect solution for you.