Guidance: Online working and online Safeguarding

Guidance: Online working and online Safeguarding

By Arts Marketing Association (AMA)
64 Million Artists
Culture, Health & Wellbeing Alliance
Real Ideas Organisation


 This guidance has been compiled in partnership between the Culture, Health & Wellbeing Alliance, Arts Marketing Association, 64million Artists, and Real Ideas. It is designed to support anyone working online. It covers two areas: a general guide to meeting online, and how to make the space as welcoming and safe as possible; and online safeguarding if you are working with vulnerable participants or groups.  Please note that this is informal guidance, not a code of conduct or a policy, and should not be used in place of any Safeguarding Policies provided by your organisation or people who may be commissioning you to undertake work. 

Covid-19 has brought about a surge of interest in delivering activities online that would normally take place in physical proximity. These activities might include work meetings with colleagues, training, live streaming, or facilitated activities. Those of us running these sessions have varying degrees of experience and confidence in relation to online work. 

We recognise that while online is an important space during a time of social isolation, 7% of households have no internet access, and many people – often those with existing vulnerabilities – are unable to access or are unfamiliar with digital technologies. 

We also recognise that social media in particular has positive and negative effects on mental health. The 2017 report #StatusofMind (RSPH and Young Health Movement), for example, identified increased rates of anxiety, depression and poor sleep, cyber bullying, but also improved access to information and emotional support.

We would encourage you to consider whether you need to meet online, how and how often you want to do this, and how online work might connect with ‘real world’ activity and relationships. Please read the guidance below before moving your normal working practices online and remember to consider other options. 

The guidance includes sections on:

  • Choosing the right technology
  • Protecting data and privacy
  • Hosting and Participating in Online Meetings
  • Safeguarding and your duty of care
  • Working with Vulnerable People
  • Safeguarding and Disclosure

It also gives advice for specific groups and a wide range of useful links to other resources

Download the guidance

This is a developing document intended to adapt as practice, guidelines and resources emerge. 

We welcome any comments and feedback to inform its development. 

This version was completed on 24 April 2020. 

Resource type: Guide/tools | Published: 2020