SCIE Audit of the Diocese of Exeter

The Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) has been commissioned to undertake an independent audit of the safeguarding arrangements of each diocese of the Church of England.

The aim of these audits is to learn where improvements can be made, to commend good practice and ensure the Church lives up to its commitment to be a safe place for all.

The independent audit of the Diocese of Exeter was carried out in November 2017 and the report was published in February 2018.

It is now available to download in full here: Exeter Final SCIE Report.

Please also see the resulting Action Plan: SCIE Report Action Plan July 2018

After a rigorous process, the auditors concluded they had confidence in the systems and people in place in the Diocese of Exeter Safeguarding Team. They noted the strong leadership of the Bishop of Exeter, and the experience and commitment to safeguarding of the current Bishop of Crediton who exercises a national role in this area.

They concluded that the current Safeguarding Team is well regarded and that the team exercises consistently sound judgement. There is also real evidence that cultural change around safeguarding is beginning to happen in the Diocese, they said.

To further improve the Diocese’s safeguarding activities, auditors noted some areas for development, including a more visible role for Bishops and archdeacons at safeguarding training events, and more proactive initiatives to support parish safeguarding officers.

Welcoming the SCIE report, the Bishop of Exeter, Rt Revd Robert Atwell, said: “This excellent report, coming as it does from independent auditors, is a real encouragement. It highlights the effectiveness and professionalism of the Diocesan Safeguarding Team. Safeguarding is about everything we do as a Church because care of our neighbours is a Gospel imperative.”

The independent chair of the Diocesan Safeguarding Management Group, Steve White, said: “I welcome the content of the SCIE report. The independent process reveals a significant commitment and understanding of the importance of Safeguarding across the Diocese and a clear movement with regard to culture change.

“The report provides a benchmark for the Diocese to develop the work undertaken to date and an opportunity to set a lasting strategic direction.

“As the Independent Chair of the Board I will ensure the areas for improvement are considered and implementation will be monitored by the Board.

“The Safeguarding Team and clergy will continue to strive to undertake their responsibilities in an open and transparent manner to ensure our Churches are safe places to attend for both worship and community-based activities.”

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