Charity Retail Association celebrates launch of new safeguarding scheme

The Charity Retail Association (CRA) is proud to launch the Charity Retail Safeguarding Scheme (CRSS), developed in conjunction with Barnardo’s.

The scheme was set up to encourage charity retailers to follow a consistent set of principles which ensure that the charity shops adhere to best practice when it comes to safeguarding issues in stores. The scheme sets out criteria that the charity shop needs to follow in order to display the certificate, including completing a course of elearning, obtaining DBS checks and signing a Safeguarding code of conduct.

There are over 233,000 volunteers in the charity retail sector, making it one of the largest volunteer movements in the UK. The CRA believes that the scheme will further strengthen confidence in the sector and provide a set of standards for retailers to work towards, despite the size of the chain.

 “We are delighted to be launching this new initiative today, and are very grateful for the support of Barnardo’s in developing it”, Chief Executive of the CRA, Robin Osterley, says.

“This scheme provides an excellent framework within which charity retailers can operate their safeguarding processes, taking a big step towards ensuring there is even more focus on keeping staff, volunteers and customers safe. The scheme can be operated by any charity retailer, whatever its size, and thus offers the possibility of real consistency across the sector in terms of its safeguarding practices.”

Javed Khan, Chief Executive of Barnardo’s added; “Barnardo’s is delighted to have played a part in helping the Charity Retail Association make this scheme available to its 400 or so charity retail members.

“Our Licence to Operate scheme, on which the CRSS is based, has shown that a consistent and methodical approach can work very well in the charity retail sector. We’re not complacent and safeguarding must always be a key priority for all colleagues. I am very pleased that we have been able to help CRA share our learning with the sector as a whole.”

The scheme was officially launched on Thursday 20th at the Barbican in London, with a drinks reception. Speakers included Robin Osterley, Chief Executive of the Charity Retail Association and Javed Khan, Chief Executive of Barnardo’s, inviting charity retailers to take part in the scheme.

You can find out more about the CRSS scheme here.