The Partnership is collectively responsible for the strategic oversight of local safeguarding arrangements. It also has a responsibility to ensure that organisations working with children and families in Portsmouth are compliant with their statutory duties to safeguard and promote the welfare of children, as set out in:
Part of the way in which the PSCP does this is to require all services that work with (or come into contact with) children and families to complete a Compact Audit once every two years.
It does this through using the same 12 standards across variations of this tool, so that comparisons as to the effectiveness of safeguarding in the city across sectors can be made. This is called a Compact Audit.
This tool is designed not only to assist in assuring compliance; but also to provide a multi-agency benchmark through the use of a common language. It is hoped that this will create a more consistent approach to considering safeguarding arrangements across Portsmouth.
For more information please read this One Minute Guide
The tool is based on 12 standards that reflect the safeguarding arrangements that all organisations should have. These standards are:
In recognition of the varying way in which these apply to services and the legislation to which they are working to we now have 3 variations of the tool. Please click on the link appropriate to the setting.
For smaller voluntary & community organisations that are not commissioned to deliver a service by the local authority or the NHS, we have this Safeguarding Children Self-Assessment and Improvement Tool.
Although we formally ask our organisations to submit an audit every two years, the Compact Audit tool can also be used as a self-assessment process that provides organisations with their own assurance that they are meeting statutory duties. We would therefore encourage agencies to consider maintaining your Compact Audit return on an ongoing basis to feed into internal self-evaluation and improvement processes, rather completing it from scratch every two years for submission to the Partnership.
Settings will have a range of information to consider using as an evidence base for the various areas within the audit. The following are examples:
You may also want to consider looking at your safeguarding notice boards and thinking about whether they include all up to date relevant information. You could ask staff on the spot safeguarding questions to test their understanding of policies and procedures.
Each year the Compact Audit returns are reviewed and analysed by members of the PSCP Monitoring, Evaluation & Scrutiny Committee (MESC) and, where appropriate, organisations will be contacted on an individual basis to discuss their assessment and action plan.
Sector specific Learning Reports are intended to be a summary of the learning from the Education and Early Years Settings this year, to highlight some of the areas that settings considered to require improvement with the aim of hoping you all can benefit from this feedback.