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FCDO Safeguarding - Advanced Safeguarding Leadership Training for Safeguarding Leads in the International Aid Sector

Status: Current

Safeguarding is key for all organisations working with and for children, young people and vulnerable adults and has been identified as an area that needs strengthening and an improvement of practices across a number of sectors, including international aid (hereafter referred to as the aid sector). Over recent decades victims of abuse in the aid sector have started to have their voices heard and responded to. Over the same period, many aid stakeholders have started to put in place systems and structures to reduce safeguarding risks. These strengthening measures, including capacity development, have been further enhanced since 2018, when allegations of major safeguarding incidents involving various large aid INGOs were brought forcibly to the public’s attention.

The Open University in partnership with the UK Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) is now launching a collection of three supported online training courses focused on Safeguarding for the International Aid Sector.

The projects objective is to develop, with and for the aid sector, a certified, advanced level, high quality Safeguarding Leadership Training Package for Safeguarding Leads at regional, national and local levels that will significantly contribute to building a cohort of trained safeguarding professionals and to the professionalisation of safeguarding.

The training will be delivered online, through Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), thus allowing vast reach globally. It will encourage learners to adapt and apply in their own work aided by support and tuition from safeguarding learning facilitators. The study of core safeguarding principles coupled with sector-specific content and development of practical experience will build wider and improved safeguarding practice within the aid sector and strengthen the on-going community of practice and action amongst Safeguarding Leads.


The first course Introduction to Safeguarding in the International Aid Sectorwill provide learners with an understanding of the causes of harm, abuse and exploitation and how to strengthen organisational approaches to safeguarding.

The courses will each:

  • Contain 24 hours of learning
  • Be hosted on the FutureLearn platform, with a forum moderated by trained safeguarding practitioners
  • Enable learners to engage with global peers through a world leading social learning platform

Why choose these courses?

  • Co-created using The Open University's expertise in Open and Distance Learning together with safeguarding practitioners from the international development sector.
  • Free for learners - allowing anyone with a responsibility for safeguarding to access the practical training they need to make safeguarding an integral part of their work.

MOOC Course 2

Riding on the success of Course 1: Introduction to Safeguarding in the International Aid Sector, we are happy to be launching the second course, ‘Implementing Safeguarding in the International Aid Sector’ which is also delivered online and free to learners.  Delivered by the Open University, Course 2 will provide learners in the international aid sector with an understanding of how to implement safeguarding throughout their organisation.


Download MOOC 1 Launch Webinar Powerpoint


Download MOOC 2 Launch Webinar Powerpoint




FCDO Safeguarding - Advanced Safeguarding Leadership Training for Safeguarding Leads in the International Aid Sector