National Catholic Safeguarding Standards

The National Catholic Safeguarding Standards provide a framework for Catholic Church entities to build child-safe cultures.


Draft two (May 2021) of the National Catholic Safeguarding Standards, Edition Two expands the established framework for the safeguarding of children to include safeguarding requirements and practices for the protection of adults at risk. This second draft of the National Catholic Safeguarding Standards Edition Two has been released in May 2021 prior to final adoption by the Catholic Church in Australia for briefing purposes only. Learn more about the updated draft of the National Catholic Safeguarding Standards, Edition Two here.


The National Catholic Safeguarding Standards (NCSS) are designed to be implemented by all Catholic entities, ministries and organisations across Australia.

The Standards constitute a framework which articulates the requirements for Catholic entities to promote the safety of children through the implementation of policies and activities to prevent, respond to and report concerns regarding child abuse.

They are designed to drive cultural and behavioural change and promote accountability and transparency of Catholic Church leaders and their ministries and entities.

The 10 National Catholic Safeguarding Standards are taken directly from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse’s final report, Volume 6.

The Standards work together and ensure each entity, ministry and organisation across the Catholic Church place child safety at the core of how they plan, think and act.

The first phase of development of the Standards focuses on safeguarding practices for the protection of children.  The Standards will subsequently be extended to include safeguarding practices relating to vulnerable adults.

Download the National Catholic Safeguarding Standards Edition 1 2019 

Download the National Catholic Safeguarding Standards Implementation Guide Standards 1 - 10 Edition 1 2019

  1. Standard one

    Committed leadership, governance and culture

    Child safeguarding is embedded in the entity's leadership, governance and culture

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  2. Standard two

    Children are safe, informed and participate

    Children are informed about their rights, participate in decisions affecting them and are taken seriously

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  3. Standard three

    Partnering with families, carers and communities

    Families, carers and communities are informed and involved in promoting child safeguarding

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  4. Standard four

    Equity is promoted and diversity is respected

    Equity is upheld and diverse needs respected in policy and practice

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  5. Standard five

    Robust human resource management

    People working with children are suitable and supported to reflect child safeguarding values in practice

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  6. Standard six

    Effective complaints management

    Processes for raising concerns and complaints are responsive, understood, accessible and used by children, families, carers, communities and personnel

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  7. Standard seven

    Ongoing education and training

    Personnel are equipped with knowledge, skills and awareness to keep children safe through information, ongoing education and training

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  8. Standard eight

    Safe physical and online environments

    Physical and online environments promote safety and contain appropriate safeguards to minimise the opportunity for children to be harmed

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  9. Standard nine

    Continuous improvement

    Entities regularly review and improve implementation of their systems for keeping children safe

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  10. Standard ten

    Policies and procedures support child safety

    Policies and procedures document how the entity is safe for children

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