FOLLOWING the Government announcement that places of worship can partially re-open from today, a Bradford-based programme is to deliver special online training to help faith leaders from across the district ensure that their returns are as safe as possible.

Strengthening Faith Institutions (SFI) - a network which aims to bring Bradford's faith leaders and religious communities together - is introducing its COVID-19 Compliance Officer training course, which will be delivered on Zoom.

It comes after the Government said that churches, mosques, gurdwaras, synagogues, temples and other places of worship can re-open for socially-distanced 'private prayers' from 15 June, although they will not open for larger, congregational prayers, weddings, funerals or other services until at least 4 July.

Those participating in the SFI course will receive an overview of the Return to Work Safely Protocol guidance document issued by the Government, and can achieve a Level 2 qualification in Infection Prevention and Control upon completion, says the SFI's national safeguarding consultant, Javed Bashir.

The course has three dates available for people to begin: Monday 22 June at 2pm, Tuesday 23 June at 11am and Thursday 25 June at 8pm, Mr Bashir confirmed.

He added that the course is aimed at anyone who works with any faith institution - irrespective of which faith that may be - and may also be of use to people who work in supplementary schools or in out-of-school settings.

Mr Bashir also said that the course will set out how faith institutions can monitor compliance with social distancing measures, as well as setting out how to help stop the spread of the virus and how to manage suspected cases.

"There are many guidelines and procedures that need to be put in place. Navigating what needs to be done can be challenging, so the Government-backed organisation, Strengthening Faith Institutions, will be working with faith organisations in the district to help them through this process, and create the safest environment for congregation", said Mr Bashir.

"That is why we have introduced the COVID-19 Compliance Officer training course, which will cover a range of things, including hygiene and respiratory arrangements, social distancing, close working, PPE and first aid.

"The SFI has tailor-made the COVID-19 Compliance Officer training course, which has been designed for lead workers, managers and COVID-19 compliance officers who require the knowledge and the skills to design and implement their return to work plans.

"We will also help faith leaders carry out a risk assessment of their place of worship, and tailor this guidance as appropriate for the venue and the practices being carried out. This will be in addition to any risk assessment that it is already in place.

"Learners gaining this qualification will understand common infections, the importance of correct hand washing procedures for infection prevention and control, the principles of PPE, waste management procedures and the associated risk, roles and responsibilities in preventing infection."

To book a place on the course, Mr Bashir can be contacted via email, at, or by mobile, on 07983411008.