Detecting and Preventing Radicalisation and Extremism

This procedure forms part of Cambridge Professional Academy’s Safeguarding and Prevent Policy. The Prevent Procedure is communicated to all our staff, employers, sub-contractors and learners, to support them to identify anyone who they think may be at risk of radicalisation and extremism, and to help them to take the appropriate action.


PREVENT is part of the Home Office and the Police counter-terrorism strategy CONTEST and aims to stop people from becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism by working with individuals and communities to address issues before they become a criminal matter to stop people moving from extremism into terrorist-related activity.


People of any age, but in particular young people in the UK, are potentially vulnerable to engagement with extremist ideologies or to targeting by extremist organisations. Learning providers and others who engage with young people, should be aware of these risks and be familiar with the support networks and processes in place to protect vulnerable individuals from becoming radicalised or drawn into terrorism. Cambridge Professional Academy Ltd. works nationally across a variety of dispersed locations, in which the Home Office defined risks of radicalisation vary considerably.  We therefore need a support network in place for staff and learners that includes a central point of access. This is provided by effective communication with the Regional Prevent Coordinator HE/FE, and ongoing links with other regional leads.


We have developed internal support mechanisms for both staff, employers, sub-contractors and learners for safeguarding, and these will also apply for the PREVENT procedure. We outline below who staff, employers, sub-contractors and learners should contact if they have any concerns.  Cambridge Professional Academy Ltd. has developed links with external agencies who can provide support in this area.  If, once internal processes are completed, we consider that additional external support or referral is required then this may be arranged by the Safeguarding Team. External support will normally involve an individual being asked to voluntarily receive tailored support from relevant external individuals or organisations.

Definition of Radicalisation

The Institute of Strategic Dialogue defines radicalisation as ‘the process through which an individual change from passivity or activism, to become more revolutionary, militant or extremist, especially where there is intent towards, or support for, violence’.  Driving factors behind radicalisation can include:

  • Lack of integration and/or polarisation
  • Identity crisis and/or isolation
  • Political and/or democratic disenfranchisement
  • Discrimination
  • Foreign policy and/or international crises or disputes
  • Political movements
  • Ideologies or faiths

Who are we safeguarding?

There is no stereotype for people who hold extremist views. Vulnerability, isolation and personal grievances added to strong political, religious of social views, can result in a person searching for a cause.  People can become vulnerable for many reasons including:

  • Low self-esteem
  • Guilt
  • Loss
  • Isolation
  • Family breakdown
  • Fears
  • Lack of purpose
  • Anger
  • Peer pressure

We are by no means suggesting that one or all of these characteristics or circumstances will drive someone to terrorism. But they often lead to a sense of injustice – be that on a personal or more far-reaching scale. Their vulnerabilities or susceptibilities are then exploited towards crime or terrorism by people who have their own agenda.

There is no typical gender, age, religion or background that extremists will target, but they use a sense of ‘duty’ (belonging to a specific group), ‘status’ (need for reputation), and ‘spiritual rewards’ (test of faith), as a way of drawing them in. 

This raises the question of what those signs of radicalisation will look like: they will look a lot like other troubling behaviour:

  • Emotional: anger, mood swings, a new-found arrogance
  • Verbal: expression of opinions that are at odds with generally-shared values
  • Physical: changes in appearance or routine.

What to do if you believe someone to be at risk of radicalisation

Cambridge Professional Academy Ltd. has adopted the approach of ‘Notice, Check, Share’ where there are concerns that an individual may be vulnerable:

Notice: recognise any changes in behaviour or appearance similar to those outlined above.

Check: speak with someone you trust like a tutor/manager or Safeguarding Team and see what they recommend but trust your instinct if you are still concerned. It might on occasions be useful to speak to the person concerned who may be willing to provide useful context and detail to assist understanding.

Share: speak to one of the named Designated Safeguarding Officers to report your concerns. 

‘Remember to trust your instinct’


  • If you are a learner and you are concerned about another learner, please Check with your tutor in the first instance and together Share with the Designated Safeguarding Officer.
  • If you are a learner and you are concerned about a member of staff, or a person representing Cambridge Professional Academy Ltd., please first Check with the Designated Safeguarding Officer and together Share with the Group Safe and Sound Manager.
  • If you are a member of staff and concerned about a learner, please Check and Share with the Designated Safeguarding Officer.
  • If you are a member of staff and you are concerned about another member of staff, please Check with your line manager and Share with the HR Designated Safeguarding Officer (where the concern is your line manager then Check and Share with the HR Designated Safeguarding Officer)
  • If you are a member of staff and you are concerned about a person external to Cambridge Professional Academy Ltd., please Check and Share with a Manager.

Responsibility for contacting PREVENT support:

The following people are responsible for making the decision to contact the police Prevent Team or the Regional Prevent Coordinator HE/FE if serious concerns are raised about a learner, employer, a member of staff or a person external to Cambridge Professional Academy Ltd.:

No one person will usually make this decision.  The Safeguarding Lead (or Deputy in their absence) must make any decision for referral.  This would be in the first instance through Dave Layton-Scott the East of England Prevent Coordinator HE/FE, through whom we have access to a national network of support.  Advice would be sought, and appropriate action would follow.

PREVENT is designed to make reporting easier and more straightforward.  Cambridge Professional Academy Ltd. will do everything it can to ensure that support and guidance are available to staff, employers, learners and all connected with the company.  If you have any proposals for additional support or advice that you think may help, please share these with a Senior Manager/ Group Safe and Sound Manager.

Please note: as outlined in Keeping Children Safe in Education (April 2014), any individual has the right to refer to their local Safeguarding Children Board if they have concerns about an individual.  Similarly, any individual may report any behaviour that raises a concern that they are at risk of radicalisation, to the police.  However, anyone wishing to report a matter related to a learner, member of staff or other person connected with Cambridge Professional Academy Ltd., should please inform a Senior Manager and the Safeguarding Lead and seek their support before taking any action.