A new name for a new year… “Safe Ministry Check”

It’s been a huge year, but there’s some huge news… From 1st January 2020, Safe Ministry Training will be owned and operated by a new entity… Safe Ministry Check.

Why the change?
Initially, Safe Ministry Training was a small side project designed to help a few churches with their safeguarding responsibilities. Over the past 12 months, it’s become clear that this type of tool is desperately needed across Australian churches, and it needs a more robust structure with a board of directors and so on. We’ll still have the same staff and development team (we’re even putting on more support to help churches get started), we’ll just be better organised!

Why change the name? Well, there’s a few reasons. It helps distinguish our tool from other tools with similar names. Plus it helps highlight one of the key features that make us different… we help churches check though all the things they MUST DO to be compliant with the law and with their insurance providers.

We’re convinced that safeguarding vulnerable people is much more than compliance! But compliance is an important first step in developing a safeguarding culture. And meeting your compliance requirements can take so much time… so we help you manage your compliance easily, and our training videos are made to help you develop a safeguarding culture.

What does this mean for my church?
Not much! We’re going to keep all the online training courses hosted at the same url (yourchurch.safeministrytraining.com.au) so you won’t have to update anything.

Soon, when you login to your church’s Dashboard you’ll see the Safe Ministry Check logo. And if your church pays via direct transfer, then you’ll need to change the bank account (see those details on your next invoice).

But, there are plans to roll in a new pricing model…

What’s in store in the future?
This year, we’ve already rolled out some big updates…

Different ‘types’ of trainees with different standards to be ‘cleared’

  • Allow people to record when they’ve completed another equivalent course, and just complete the screening
  • Allowed people to set a legal name that’s used for the WWCC
  • Lots and minor improvements and bug fixes (Thanks for all those people who let us know when they found something wrong)

We’re really excited about some of the things in the development pipeline for 2020…

  • We’re going to roll out a more sophisticated referee checking system, where referees will provide their relationship to the applicant and have room for notes.
  • We’re going to introduce an automated portal for Police Criminal Checks, since this is an insurance requirement for all paid staff.
  • We’re going to develop an automated integration with Fluro.
  • And we’re going to make it easier for people to update their details when they change.

The other big change is to the pricing model. We’ve felt for a while that – while other providers still charge more than $20 for people to complete a course – we’d like to make the courses as easy to roll out as possible. So we’re planning to cut the cost of the courses even further. The other thing we wanted to do was remove the annual subscription fee for churches. $259 mightn’t sound like much – but for small churches, it’s a chunk of their budget. And we don’t want them to miss out because of that.

There’ll be more details coming in 2020, but we’re going to move to a model where churches pay a small monthly fee for each of the people who are being constantly checked and verified through the system. This monthly fee will include unlimited access to the online courses – so it doesn’t matter how often people do them.

We really hope this will make it easier for churches to get compliant and establish cultures that really work to safeguard vulnerable people.

Merry Christmas and happy new year from us all here at the new Safe Ministry Check.

(Photo by Danielle MacInnes on Unsplash)