Police officer speaking to a mother and daughter


Identifying and responding to child sexual abuse – for policing professionals

A one-day course providing policing professionals with a comprehensive overview to confidently respond to child sexual abuse, and work with victims, survivors and familie


6 to 25




Online / in-person


£1400 / £56pp plus VAT

The CSA Centre estimates that half a million children are sexually abused each year, but only a small fraction come to the attention of statutory authorities.

As well as working to identify and disrupt child sexual abuse, police professionals have a key role role to play supporting victims, families and survivors in recovery. However, evidence shows that police officers receive minimal dedicated training on child sexual abuse. Such training is often delivered as part of broader inputs on children protection, and in the context of emotional abuse and neglect.

Police professionals must be supported so they have an understanding of their responsibilities and powers to work with children, their families and those they suspect of abuse. Identifying and responding to child sexual abuse – for policing professionals is a one-day online course providing professionals with an in-depth, comprehensive overview of the knowledge officers need to respond to concerns of child sexual abuse effectively and confidently.

Who is this course for?

This course is for all policing professionals working with children, young people and/or their parents and carers. This includes frontline roles such as police officers, as well as civilian staff, and is suitable for professionals with any degree of specialism including new recruits, those with long service, and those assigned to specialist units.

Who will run the course?

The course will be led by two former police officers, both with extensive experience as senior officers in public protection roles.

What can you expect to gain?

When surveyed, 90% of professionals in our police training pilots said they would use what they had learned in in their professional role.

Following the course, you can expect to have a better understanding of:

  • The scale and nature of child sexual abuse, and why it is so important for police officers to have both knowledge of child sexual abuse and the confidence to apply professional curiosity to every situation/incident they attend.
  • How children communicate their experiences of sexual abuse, and the police role in helping them do this.
  • How the impact and trauma of child sexual abuse presents in children/young people and in the wider family.
  • The barriers that children and families face in coming to terms with the abuse and engaging with the police, and why so little child sexual abuse is reported straight away.
  • Medical examinations for children – what happens at a sexual assault referral centre (SARC), and the purposes and benefits of a medical examination over and above the opportunity it presents to obtain forensic evidence.
  • The potential signs and indicators of sexual abuse and sexually abusive behaviour – an opportunity for officers to understand how they can contribute to the police investigation of child sexual abuse.
  • Priorities around investigation and safeguarding when you have concerns about of child sexual abuse.
  • Police powers – a reminder of the powers that can be used in potential cases of child sexual abuse, and the necessity test to be applied when dealing with people suspected of such abuse.

Rarely do I see a training session keep people’s attention for the whole day … This is a real boon to new officers and a tremendous reassurance to more experienced officers who have never had validation for their methods.


Detective Sergeant – Force training co-ordinator