Online Safety: Free CPD-Certified training for school staff


Updated for the academic year 2021-22

The OSA online safety CPD training for school staff is a CPD-Certified course ensuring those working with children have an up to date knowledge of the statutory requirements they must meet, the threats to children online, how to reduce these risks, and guidance on ensuring staff use of digital technology is safe and responsible.

The course has been completed by staff in schools across the UK, with around fourteen thousand individuals fully completing courses over the past two academic years. In evaluations, over 97% of participants have indicated that they would recommend this course to others working in schools.


Quotes from staff who have recently completed the course:

• “A thorough overview of the issues surrounding online communication for young people and all those working for a school”

• “Excellent course – packed with knowledge, great examples and easy to understand”

• “Such an enlightening, interesting but worrying course. E-safety is so important for young people and their mental health”

• “I believe this course has reinforced the notion that online safety is probably the biggest challenge to students nowadays and that we, as teachers, have a primary role in keeping our students safe”

• “I have learned far more than I expected on a whole host of differing topics. This has proved particularly relevant given the current lockdown circumstances”


Course summary:

CPD training OSA
  • It is a statutory requirement that schools provide safeguarding training to their staff once a year as a minimum.
  • The DfE clarified guidance on the expectations of online safety education in schools in June 2019. These have been further strengthened by changes to KCSIE for 2021.
  • In the academic year 2020-21, the DfE and Ofsted raised issues around sexual harassment in schools and colleges, and increased risks relating to cyber-security. Substantial, new modules have been created for the 2021-22 course to cover both of these topics.
  • Schools can work towards meeting these expectations with the OSA’s online safety training for staff.
  • The course provides tangible data and evidence that your staff have received and understood training on this important topic.

Updated for the 2021-22 academic year

Our CPD updated training takes into account the latest issues, news and DFE guidance. Staff must successfully complete each of the following units to gain the certificate:

  • Module One: Introduction
    • Statutory requirements, including Keeping Children Safe in Education (KCSIE 2021);
    • Procedures and policies for reporting safeguarding concerns;
    • Summary of DFE guidance on online teaching;
    • Summary of UK-GDPR responsibilities for school staff.
    • Consideration of statutory requirements for Relationships Education (primary settings) and Relationships and Sex Education (secondary settings).
  • Module Two: Nudes, pornography and sexual harassment
    • DfE and Ofsted reviews and guidance;
    • Legal aspects;
    • Youth-produced sexual imagery;
    • Impacts of online sexualised behaviours;
    • Managing disclosures;
    • Issues relating to pornography;
    • Online sexual harassment.
  • Module Three: Further online risks to children
    • Social media management for pupils;
    • Online bullying;
    • Physical and mental health issues;
    • Grooming including radicalisation;
    • Live streaming;
    • Digital footprint management.
  • Module Four: Supporting children
    • Educating pupils;
    • Internal and external support channels.
  • Module Five: Staff use of digital technologies
    • Awareness of school policies and expectations;
    • Staff management of personal social media accounts;
    • Cybersecurity issues within schools;
    • Managing communication with pupils and parents;
    • Teacher Regulation Agency case studies of staff charged for inappropriate use of technology.

Course delivery

The course is delivered entirely online. Training is provided through high-quality presentations incorporating interactive activities, recent case studies, videos, extended reading opportunities and opportunities for reflection. Greater levels of interaction have been included than in the previous version of this course, with knowledge checks built into all resources.

Interactive activities

Course duration

As with all online training, the time to complete the course will vary a great deal from person to person. Some will be keen to complete quickly whereas others will spend longer reflecting on the learning provided and will explore additional links more thoroughly. The chart below shows evaluation feedback from several hundred school staff who have completed the course for the academic year 2019-2020.


Participant feedback

Feedback from participants on the OSA CPD certification has been overwhelmingly positive, as shown by the evaluation data and testimonials shown below.


Gain access to OSA Certification courses

Individual Staff CPD Standard Access Individual Staff CPD Premium Access School CPD Package Premium Package
Course enrolment using Google/Microsoft accounts YesYesYes Yes
Full access to all training materials Yes Yes Yes Yes
Access to all module assessments Yes Yes Yes Yes
Downloadable accredited certification on CPD course completion YesYesYes
School administrator account to monitor participant progress towards certification   Yes Yes
Course enrolment using bespoke accounts  Yes Yes
Whole-school participation certificate   Yes Yes
Full access to online safety certification for KS3-KS5*     Yes
Full access to online safety training for parents*     Yes
Cost Free £4.99 £59£299
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* For details of our popular courses for pupils and parents visit www.onlinesafetyalliance.org/osa-certificate/