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Independent Safeguarding Audit



8th April 2019

Safeguarding at Canterbury Cathedral

The Church of England has commissioned an independent audit of cathedral arrangements for keeping people safe from harm and abuse. These mandatory audits follow those carried out at diocesan level over the last two years. Canterbury Cathedral was pleased to volunteer as first among all the cathedrals in England and Wales to be audited.

The Chapter believes that the audit allowed us to benefit from external scrutiny by measuring ourselves against current best practice in this vital area, demonstrating our own good practice, and then learning and developing as a result.

Leading improvement agency the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) is conducting the audits, and visited the Cathedral for three days in November 2018. As well as looking at safeguarding files, policies and training, they met with safeguarding professionals, key members of Chapter, including the Dean, and a wide variety of others from across the Cathedral community.

The Chapter would like to thank all the colleagues who gave their time, views and expertise to contribute to this in-depth process, since at the heart of the audit was a series of conversations and focus groups with people in significant roles at the Cathedral relevant to safeguarding.

We are pleased that the report concludes that Canterbury Cathedral’s safeguarding is good, with many areas of strength. The auditors also pose a number of challenges.

Below you will find the conclusions, the full report and a document detailing questions, challenges and responses. This document will remain live and will be updated as actions are completed and changes embedded into our processes.

Anyone who is affected by any safeguarding issue can speak in confidence to the Cathedral Safeguarding Advisers in the first instance, who will ensure support is provided. (Contact details available here).

If you have any queries, comments or concerns regarding the report, our responses or safeguarding in general, please direct these to

Martin Atherton - Receiver General

Independent safeguarding audit – final report (pdf)

Questions and answers for the Cathedral to consider (pdf)


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