Demystifying audit – Step 2 - Executing the Service Agreement
CPSL's Director of Compliance, Tania Stegemann, helps you to prepare for a safeguarding audit with CPSL in a new monthly column.
This month's focus is on Step 2 of the audit process: executing the Service Agreement.
Friday, 24 April 2020
What is the Service Agreement?
The Service Agreement is the formal document executed between CPSL and a Church Authority which sets out the terms and conditions related to the audit process. It is the document which initiates the audit process and formally places the audit of the Church Authority into the CPSL audit program and schedule. Entities may already be planning for an audit, but it is the signing of the Service Agreement which puts in motion the detailed planning process, including estimation of the audit cost, audit timeline, the expected duration of the audit and other audit criteria.
How do I get the Service Agreement?
Tips for completing the Service Agreement
There is no additional information required from the Church Authority for completing the Service Agreement – information is used from the Schedule 2 document sent earlier by the Church Authority as well as the cost estimate prepared by CPSL and any subsequent discussions regarding the audit.
The cost of the audit is dependent on the type of Church Authority and the complexity of its ministries and activities, including the extent to which the Church Authority has ministries or activities that involve working with children. The audit for a Category 1 entity – that is, a Church Authority which is working directly with children - will be longer and more complex, and hence more costly, than an audit for a Category 2 entity, which only has incidental contact with children.
The audit for every Church Authority is costed separately and is based on its unique characteristics, size, numbers of locations, the nature of its ministries, and the number of parishes/members etc. This is why the scoping activities of the audit process are so important – we want to ensure that an accurate estimate is provided to the Church Authority regarding the time and effort required for the safeguarding audit.
We encourage Church Authorities to get their Service Agreements executed as soon as possible, even where the audit is not anticipated until 2021, as this puts them into the CPSL audit schedule. This allows CPSL to provide the Church Authority with a firm cost and time estimate which can be used for the Church Authority’s planning and budgeting purposes.
What happens after the service agreement is signed?
Once the Service Agreement is signed, the Church Authority is formally placed into the CPSL audit schedule. CPSL then prepares an audit timeline for the Church Authority which shows the key dates and milestones in the audit process. The CPSL audit team stays in contact with the Church Authority and provides support or assistance for any NCSS implementation queries or audit preparation enquiries leading up to the audit.
To begin discussing a safeguarding audit with CPSL and to obtain a copy of the Schedule 2, please contact Tania Stegemann, Director of Compliance – firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1300 603 411.