CPSL is now reviewing feedback on the draft National Catholic Safeguarding Standards, Edition Two.

Read the draft second edition of the National Catholic Safeguarding Standards

Read the draft second edition here – Draft National Catholic Safeguarding Standards, Edition Two

This second edition of the National Catholic Safeguarding Standards expands the established framework for the safeguarding of children to include safeguarding requirements and practices for the protection of adults at risk.

Edition One of the Standards (May 2019) takes into account the guidance of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse and the National Statement of Principles for Child Safe Organisations (National Principles) from the Australian Human Rights Commission (formally adopted by COAG in February 2019).  The draft second edition builds on this guidance and includes learnings from an extensive review of literature from within the Catholic Church, Commonwealth and state/territory governments, international regulatory and legislative frameworks and research.

The development of the draft second edition of the National Catholic Safeguarding Standards began in November 2019 and has been guided by a National Reference Group comprising members with experience from within and external to the Catholic Church and expertise across various sectors and groups, such as: aged care; disability; mental health; child, adult and family welfare; health & community Services; Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Communities; refugee support; survivor support & complaints handling; human rights; Catholic dioceses; and female and male Religious Institutes.

Feedback on the draft second edition of the Standards is now being compiled

CPSL is now reviewing feedback on the draft second edition of the National Catholic Safeguarding Standards.

The end of August 2020 saw the consultation phase of the Vulnerable Adults project formally conclude.

During July and August 2020, CPSL conducted facilitated consultations with the following stakeholder groups:

  • Australian Catholic Bishops Conference (ACBC) and Catholic Religious Australia (CRA) representatives
  • Catholic ministries and organisations working with adults
  • Adults with lived experience of vulnerability
  • Government regulators at state and federal level

 Targeted small-group consultations heard from 128 representatives spanning diverse elements of the Catholic Church in Australia. Facilitated sessions with survivors of sexual abuse and their advocates were also conducted. In addition to the facilitated consultation sessions, CPSL received specific feedback from many Catholic entities and representatives through written submissions.

Feedback on the Standards was also gathered through an online survey (now closed) which received 107 responses (59% being individuals and 41% providing a submission on behalf of an organisation).  Responses were received from representatives from every state and territory in Australia. The survey submissions represented ACBC and CRA Member organisations, organisations and ministries delivering services to adults at risk, those with a lived experience, government regulators and other NGO’s, and the general Catholic Community. 

CPSL would like to thank all individuals and organisations who provided feedback on the Standards. 

This feedback is now being reviewed and consolidated to inform the development of the final draft of the National Catholic Safeguarding Standards, Edition Two. The National Reference Group will reconvene to review the input provided and advise on further amendments. 
A complete report on the input and recommendations from the consultation phase will be published in the coming months. 

Implementation and review (NCSS Edition One)

The draft National Catholic Safeguarding Standards Edition One were released in April 2018 followed by nation-wide consultation. A wide range of stakeholders provided feedback. A second draft was released in November 2018.

The first edition of the Standards was released in May 2019. The first edition is the result of more than 12 months of development, consultation, feedback and testing.

The National Catholic Safeguarding Standards apply to all Catholic entities from May 2019 and will remain in force until December 2021.

Resources/good practice examples

A significant and growing pool of tools, resources and good practice examples sit alongside the Standards and their indicators on the CPSL website.

CPSL invites you to share examples of good practice examples, tools and other resources including templates and examples that could be helpful to others in building robust systems to support a culture of safeguarding children.

If you’d like to share something with us, please send us an email at

Consultation report NCSS Edition One

Over a four week period during June and July 2018, CPSL hosted consultations in cities around Australia to gather feedback on the National Catholic Safeguarding Standards and associated audit program. Consultations were hosted in two different formats:

  1. General Stakeholder Consultations were held in each capital city with representatives from Catholic organisations.  Approximately 350 people attended the seven sessions providing feedback on the audit approach, training required and key challenges facing their organisations when implementing the Standards.
  2. Survivor, Family and Advocate Consultations were held in capital cities as well as two regional centres where institutional abuse was especially prominent. These sessions were publicised through a range of support and advocacy groups and advertised in local papers.  Approximately 60 people attended the seven sessions providing feedback on the Standards and the ‘child-friendly version’ of the Standards, as well as discussing barriers and opportunities for change, including changing church culture, effective complaints handling and creating safe spaces.