Catholic Professional Standards Limited has released learnings from four pilot audits conducted in 2018 to test the CPSL audit approach and methodology.  

The pilots also sought to identify gaps between the evolving NCSS indicators and criteria and their practical application on the ground.

Four Church Authorities, representing a cross section of Church activities, participated in the pilot audits: the Archdiocese of Adelaide, Sisters of the Good Samaritan, Diocese of Sale, and Marist Brothers Australia.

CPSL CEO, Sheree Limbrick said that whilst the pilot audits did not constitute a full audit of all criteria and indicators within the draft Standards, the audit procedures became more detailed with each successive pilot, as CPSL’s knowledge and understanding of existing safeguarding practices grew and as feedback was received regarding the application of the Standards within the various settings.

“Overall, the results show there is a strong commitment to child safeguarding,” Ms Limbrick said.

“However, each of the four entities will need to do more work on the three standards which focus on the voice of the child, the inclusion of the family and community in decision making, and the consideration of diversity and equity when implementing safeguarding practices.

“In addition, Church Authorities will need to be ready to apply the Standards to their overseas ministries.

“And while initiatives to achieve compliance with the Standards are already underway, some of the work is being done in an ad-hoc way, but the Safeguarding Implementation Plan should provide a helpful framework to ensure all elements of the Standards are considered and addressed.

“We hope that all Church entities find this Report helpful as they continue their own work ensuring safe environments for children and begin preparing for audit activity in the coming months,” Ms Limbrick said.

The report outlines the audit approach and overall observations, key learnings and feedback from participants.

Key learnings from the pilots have ensured that CPSL’s audit methodology takes into account the diverse and complex nature of Catholic entities.  The CPSL approach has a strong emphasis on information gathering as early as possible in the process to clarify with each individual entity the appropriate application of both the Standards and the audit process.  

Pilot audit reports will not be made public, but the reports of future audits will be made publicly available, once the formal audit program is rolled out this year.

The publication of this Report coincides with CPSL releasing more information and resources to support Catholic entities to prepare for audit against the National Catholic Safeguarding Standards – go to the CPSL website to find out more – www.cpsltd.org.au/audit-framework

The Pilot Audit Summary Report is available on CPSL’s website.

Catholic Professional Standards Ltd is a not-for-profit public company, limited by guarantee. It was established by the leadership of the Catholic Church during the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse to develop national safeguarding standards, to audit the compliance of Church Authorities with those standards and to publicly report the results. CPSL is functionally independent of the Church.

Contact: Judith Tokley +61 408 824 306