By Safeguarding - June 19th, 2024 | Posted in News, Safeguarding No comments

In the first audit of its safeguarding practice, the Catholic Diocese of Portsmouth has received an overall assessment of ‘Results Being Achieved’ from the Catholic Safeguarding Standards Agency (CSSA).

‍In March 2024, the Diocese was the focus of a planned Safeguarding Baseline Audit, in accordance with our status as a Regulated Affiliate of the CSSA and following the national review of safeguarding structures in England and Wales, published in September 2020.

Bishop Philip and the Trustees welcome the outcome of the audit and would like to thank the Catholic Safeguarding Standards Agency (CSSA) and all those in the Diocese who contributed by submitting evidence to the audit team, undertaking surveys, or attending meetings.

The CSSA awarded the Diocese an overall grading of Results being Achieved. This is an encouraging overall rating and reflective of the leadership in safeguarding across the Diocese, the professionalism of the Safeguarding team, calibre of the Safeguarding Committee who provide oversight and the collective commitment of our clergy, staff and volunteers.

Practice was assessed against the eight Safeguarding standards adopted by the Catholic Church in England and Wales and graded in accordance with the CSSA Maturity Matrix for Dioceses. Three of these Standards received a higher rating of Comprehensive Assurance, with the remainder being assessed as Results Being Achieved.

The audit recognised a number of safeguarding strengths including the provision of training for clergy and Parish Safeguarding Ministers, dissemination of the Charter for the Care of Victims and Survivors and the effective management of allegations and concerns. The expertise of the Safeguarding team, culture of continuous improvement and establishment of safeguarding as a leadership priority were also commended.

The Audit also returned valuable recommendations including the integration of safeguarding into the Diocese’s Ten-Year Mission Plan, completion of a training needs analysis, and a mechanism for succession planning for key safeguarding roles.

The Diocese’s Safeguarding Team is grateful for the insight provided by the CSSA’s Audit and is working with purpose to ensure its recommendations are actioned in the coming months.

Receiving the CSSA Audit Report, Bishop Philip Egan remarked:

“The responsibility of safeguarding in our Diocese of Portsmouth does not rest with a single department. It lies at the very heart of all that we do and relies on every member of our working and worshipping communities playing their part. The work of safeguarding is never complete, but the audit findings are most encouraging and serve to strengthen our resolve and commitment to uphold the dignity and protect the welfare of everyone within our Church and to do all that we can to help victims in their journey towards healing.”

You can read the CSSA’s Executive Summary of the Audit Report for the Diocese here: Portsmouth-Diocese-Executive-Summary.docx (