1. General policy statement

  1. Statement of commitment
    1. The Institute for Optimum Nutrition is open to all. This includes children and young people who are under 18 and vulnerable/protected adults and adults at risk. In line with current legislation and guidance in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales (see Appendix A), the Institute recognises that it has a duty of care in creating a safe environment for the above groups for their studies or employment, and, by working with appropriate external agencies, is committed to ensure that they are safeguarded and protected from harm.
  2. Scope and principles
    1. The safety of vulnerable/protected groups (for definitions see Appendix B) is accorded utmost priority and is the shared responsibility of all staff at The Institute for Optimum Nutrition.
    2. Vulnerable/protected groups should be free to work, learn and develop their potential without fear of violence, abuse or exploitation. Within the Institute for Optimum Nutrition environment, irrespective of their age, gender, disability, racial origin, religion, belief and sexual orientation, they will be valued and their rights to protection and safety fully
    3. The Institute for Optimum Nutrition will take all reasonable steps to ensure that staff who have regular and significant contact with vulnerable/protected groups, whether through paid and unpaid work do not have a known history of harmful
    4. All suspicions and allegations of abuse or inappropriate behaviour will be taken seriously by The Institute for Optimum Nutrition and responded to
    5. It is the expectation that all staff should operate in accordance with the Institute’s duty of care.
    6. This Policy will be kept up to date and reviewed at least annually to ensure that any changes in legislation or guidance across the four national jurisdictions of the UK and in Ireland are taken into

2. Reducing risk

  1. All Institute for Optimum Nutrition staff and students will be made aware of the institution’s commitment to the safety of vulnerable/protected groups, and will be directed to the Policy and to relevant codes of conduct, and know what to do if a concern arises. Support and advice will be provided to staff if/when such matters
  2. The Designated Safeguarding Lead will monitor and review processes on a regular basis to ensure that vetting/checking is undertaken for all appropriate members of
  3. All members of Institute for Optimum Nutrition staff will receive information and guidance and training appropriate to their
  4. All Institute for Optimum Nutrition students will be made aware of the institution’s commitment to the safety of vulnerable/protected groups and relevant codes of conduct, and understand that any legitimate suspicions or concerns will be reported to appropriate agencies. Breaches of codes of conduct may lead to disciplinary action under the Code of Conduct for Student Behaviour.
  5. Detailed and accurate written records of referrals/concerns will be kept securely and confidentially if and when concerns arise. Specifically, in the case of students who are under the age of
  6. The parents/guardians/carers of children who are under 18 will be made aware in the admissions process that their child will be studying alongside
  7. All children registering with the Institute and their parents/guardians/carers will be given guidance and reassurance about how to keep safe in all aspects of their studies, including the participation in online conferences, both moderated and unmoderated; external social networking forums, and attendance at face-to-face tutorials/day schools and residential
  8. The Institute for Optimum Nutrition will inform schools and parents/guardians/carers that the organisation is committed to providing a safe environment for their
  9. No images in any format will be circulated or stored involving students under 18 without first gaining explicit written informed consent of those involved and their parents/guardians/carers.

3. Designated staff with responsibility for safeguarding/ protection of vulnerable groups

  1. The Head of Clinics and Clinical Practice Two Module Leader, are the Designated Safeguarding co-Leads for the Institute and will have overall responsibility for the safety of vulnerable groups in accordance with relevant and current legislation in each of the countries of the UK and will be accountable for The Institute for Optimum Nutrition’s
  2. The remit of the Designated Safeguarding Lead will be:
    • to have oversight of all safeguarding matters and issues relating to protection within The Institute for Optimum Nutrition and to assist the Head of Courses and Head of Clinics, in fulfilling the institution’s responsibilities as outlined in this Policy
    • to ensure and quality assure the implementation of this framework
    • to keep standards and policies up to date, taking account of changes in legislation, reviewing the framework and related policies, and ensure the auditing of practice as appropriate
    • to review best practice in the higher education sector as a whole and guidance issued by Government or other agencies
    • to ensure accessibility to and ownership of the framework and relevant policies by all staff across the Institute
    • to ensure that advice is given to staff as requested in order to ensure a consistency of approach
    • to advise on policies, procedures and actions that can lead to a safe culture within The Institute for Optimum Nutrition by sharing learning about best practice and promoting awareness about safeguarding and protecting issues
    • to monitor and oversee matters relating to the safeguarding and protection of vulnerable groups
    • to ensure that clear strategies are developed in respect of safeguarding and protecting, and that they are coordinated and implemented consistently across The Institute for Optimum Nutrition in a way which anticipates and responds to external and internal developments and ensures that The Institute for Optimum Nutrition can be accountable for safeguarding and protecting vulnerable groups
    • to ensure a clear organisation focus on risk management
    • to ensure that appropriate action is taken in respect of identified risks or concerns and to ensure that any learning is shared from matters

4. Recruitment and selection procedures

  1. The Institute for Optimum Nutrition will make all reasonable efforts, through its recruitment procedures, to ensure that all members of Institute for Optimum Nutrition staff, both full-time and part-time, paid and/or unpaid, whose role involves specific activity with vulnerable/protected groups are suitable for the position in line with policy and legislation
  2. Vetting and Barring/Criminal Records Bureau/DBS/Disclosure Scotland checks will be carried out at the appropriate level for all staff in line with policy and legislative requirements when their normal duties involve providing activities which are wholly or mainly for children or vulnerable/protected adults, and for those who have a defined responsibility for decision making in safeguarding.

5. Dealing with disclosures of abuse and procedure for reporting concerns

  1. It is not the place of Institute staff or volunteers to make a judgement about whether abuse has occurred. This is the remit of the statutory agencies and/or the police. However, all have responsibility for reporting any suspicions or concerns of abuse and for ensuring that the child or young person, or vulnerable/protected adult, is being taken
  2. The Institute is committed to cooperating closely with appropriate external agencies.
  3. The Institute has a set of protocols for the reporting of suspicions or concerns which must be
  4. The Institute is under a statutory duty to have regard to the need to prevent people being drawn into terrorism. If there is reason to believe that a student to whom this policy applies may be at risk of being drawn into terrorism, any action taken under this policy will be taken in consultation with the Prevent Co-ordinator.

6. Dealing with allegations of abuse against members of staff

  1. Any allegations of abuse against a member of staff will be taken
  2. Any member of staff who has a concern about abuse by another member of staff will report that concern to an appropriate senior manager, who will follow the Institute’s safeguarding and disciplinary procedures.



Institute for Optimum Nutrition (ION)


Appendix A


This Policy refers to the following legislation:

  • The Children Act 1989, England and Wales
  • The Children (Northern Ireland) Order 1995
  • The Children (Scotland) Act 1995
  • The Children Act 2004
  • The Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006, England and Wales
  • The Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups (Northern Ireland) Order 2007
  • The Protection of Vulnerable Groups (Scotland) Act 2007
  • The Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015



Institute for Optimum Nutrition (ION)


Appendix B


Some definitions of vulnerable adults

a)  in England and Wales

A vulnerable adult is defined by the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006 as a person who is aged 18 years or over and who:

  • is living in residential accommodation, such as a care home or a residential special school
  • is living in sheltered housing
  • is receiving domiciliary care in their own home
  • is receiving any form of healthcare
  • is detained in lawful custody (in a prison, remand centre, young offender institution, secure training centre or attendance centre, or under the powers of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999)
  • is under the supervision of the probation services
  • is receiving a specified welfare service, namely the provision of support, assistance or advice by any person, the purpose of which is to develop an individual’s capacity to live independently in accommodation or support their capacity to do so
  • is receiving a service or participating in an activity for people who have particular needs because of their age or who have any form of disability
  • is an expectant or nursing mother living in residential care
  • is receiving direct payments from a local authority or health and social care trust in lieu of social care services, or
  • requires assistance in the conduct of their own affairs. (Criminal Records Bureau)

b)  in Scotland

A protected adult is defined in Section 94 of the Protection Vulnerable Groups Act (2007) as an individual aged 16 or over who is provided with (and thus receives) a type of care, support or welfare service. Protected adult is therefore a service based definition and avoids labelling adults on the basis of their having a specific condition or disability.

There are four categories of services receipt of any one of which makes an individual a protected adult:

  1. Registered care services
  2. Health services
  3. Community care services, and
  4. Welfare services 

c)  in Northern Ireland

The Regional Adult Protection Forum has adopted the Law Commission for England and Wales (1995) definition of a “vulnerable adult” as:

‘a person aged 18 years or over who is, or may be, in need of community care services or is resident in a continuing care facility by reason of mental or other disability, age or illness or who is, or may be, unable to take care of him or herself or unable to protect him or herself against significant harm or exploitation.


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