Valuing Safe Communities (VSC) is updated every three years and work on an update has just been completed. A new VSC, VSC5, will be available on iLearn for the online modules from the beginning of 2022.
An important change for 2022 is a new definition of bullying which is broader than the previous definition. The previous definition defined bullying as an imbalance of power, however this is not the only cause of bullying. The updated definition, from Safe Work Australia, is that a worker is bullied at work if a person, or group of people, repeatedly act unreasonably towards them, or a group of workers, and the behaviour creates a risk to health and safety.
New information on coercive control, a method of harassment that involves the misuse of power, has now been included. Another new topic is unconscious bias, which, at its most extreme can result in creating a culture that does not accept difference of any kind.
It is important to note that the purpose of VSC is to develop a safe and harmonious workplace. It is the minimum requirement for schools to protect their staff and volunteers in the workplace and schools are encouraged to provide opportunities for staff and volunteers to learn more about workplace safety and to share any concerns.
Please note that staff who have completed VSC4 are not required to complete the initial training for VSC5. They will be notified via email to complete the VSC5 refresher training when their three yearly refresher is due.
Thanks are due to the regional staff who assisted in the update: Rebecca Bray from LEQ; Gary Jewson from LEVNT; Stuart Traeger from LESNW. Additional information was provided by Tim Ross from the LCA Professional Standards Department and Chris Materne from the LCA Church Worker Support Department.
If you have any questions about VSC5, please contact Dianne Eckermann at LEA: Dianne.firstname.lastname@example.org
Director of Leadership
Lutheran Education Australia