The Makaton Safeguarding workshop is designed to support professionals and carers of children and adults with severe communication and learning disabilities. The workshop builds on existing knowledge of signs and symbols and provides instruction for extra signs and symbols specific to this area of need and access to further resources.

Participants are invited to consider differing protocols and practice. Activities of the workshop will enable participants to consider how the vocabulary may be safely applied to promote communication for people who use Makaton within a range of levels and contexts.

This unique workshop provides signs and symbols for a range of vocabulary covering a number of topics:

  • People: family, relationships and people around us
  • Body parts and clothes
  • Places
  • Feelings: feelings, thoughts and behaviours (including bullying and abuse)
  • Sexual behaviour

Learning outcomes

By the end of the workshop you will be able to:

  1. Explain Makaton Approaches to Safeguarding and describe how they link with existing safeguarding practices;
  2. Demonstrate an understanding of the range of people Makaton users could come into contact with at different ages and stages in their lives;
  3. Demonstrate how Makaton can be personalised and used at different levels of complexity to meet individual needs;
  4. Identify vocabulary required by a Makaton user and be able to apply the principles of this analysis to the user’s own setting;
  5. Demonstrate an accurate recall and production of signs and recognition of Makaton symbols;
  6. Demonstrate an understanding of the difference between comments and questions, and an appreciation of how to maintain an interaction with a Makaton user;
  7. Describe strategies or methods appropriate to use with a Makaton user to help them understand and use vocabulary or concepts;
  8. Develop a ‘Safeguarding through Makaton’ plan for implementation in your own setting.


The Makaton Safeguarding Workshop is made up of 4 modules which can be delivered in a number of different ways, for example:

  • over 2 days
  • 4 sessions delivered over a number of weeks

Entry criteria

Prior to attending the Safeguarding workshop you must have attended a Level 1 and a Level 2 workshop.

In preparation for the workshop you will need to make sure you are confident in using the signs and symbols from Stages 1-4 and Additional of the Core Vocabulary.  You may bring your copies of the Core Vocabulary books to refer to during the workshop.

You will also need to bring the following documents to the workshop if your organisation has them:

  • Safeguarding Policy and Guidance
  • Communication Policy
  • Communication assessment/profiles for service users in your organisation

Study materials

You will receive a Safeguarding workshop workbook which includes the signs and symbols that you have learned.  You will also be given a certificate of attendance. 

Please remember to keep your workshop certificate in case you want to attend further Makaton training.


Find a Makaton Safeguarding workshop