Protecting children and young people: The responsibilities of all doctors

Training and development

Key points - chapter 8

  • Know what to do if you are concerned that a child or young person is at risk of, or is suffering, abuse or neglect.
  • Maintain the knowledge and skills to protect children and young people at a level that is appropriate to your role.

Maintaining your knowledge and skills


You must develop and maintain the knowledge and skills to protect children and young people at a level that is appropriate to your role. Information about the level of child protection training that is needed for different roles, and how often doctors should receive that training, is provided in Safeguarding children and young people: roles and competences for health care staff.29 You should also take part in training on how to communicate effectively with a wide range of groups of parents, children and young people.


If you work with children and young people, you should reflect regularly on your own performance in protecting children and young people, and your contributions to any teams in which you work. You should ask for, and be prepared to act on, feedback through audit, case discussion, peer review and supervision. You should contact your named or designated professional or lead clinician for advice about opportunities to discuss and learn from child protection cases in your local area.


If you work with adults, you should make sure you are able to identify risk factors in their environment that might raise concerns about abuse or neglect and whether patients pose a risk to children or young people close to them.

Learning from others


If opportunities are available, you should learn from other colleagues and professionals – for example, by taking part in multidisciplinary training or by sharing best practice and skills. You should also try to develop your knowledge and understanding of issues facing certain groups of people, such as the communication needs of different groups of disabled people.


If you are a named or designated doctor, a lead clinician or a medical director in a primary care trust, clinical commissioning group or other setting, you should support your colleagues in identifying training and development opportunities.