Catholic Professional Standards Ltd has published its 2018-19 annual report, marking three years of operation for the organisation.
CPSL was formed in response to the findings of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. It has been tasked with developing robust safeguarding standards to effectively safeguard children and vulnerable adults who come into contact with the Catholic Church in Australia and auditing the compliance of Church entities in Australia with these safeguarding standards.
In May, CPSL published the first edition of the National Catholic Safeguarding Standards (NCSS).
CPSL chief executive officer Sheree Limbrick said this year had been a “big year of milestones” for the organisation.
“Publishing the NCSS, developing and rolling out a national training and development program for Church personnel to support implementation of the NCSS, and commencing safeguarding audits of Church entities against the NCSS has made this a huge year for us,” Ms Limbrick said.
CPSL has so far published two safeguarding audit reports of Church entities in 2019 – the Presentation Sisters Wagga Wagga and the Ballarat Diocese – and anticipates publishing a further two audit reports before the end of the year.
“As of the end of November 2019, 54 per cent of identified Catholic entities in Australia (141 out of 262) – dioceses, eparchies, religious institutes, ministerial public juridic persons, associations of Christ’s faithful and other Catholic organisations – have formally engaged with CPSL,” Ms Limbrick said.
“When the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference (ACBC) and Catholic Religious Australia (CRA) approved the Standards in May this year, they indicated an expectation that all Catholic entities across Australia are expected to implement the standards, in line with community expectations that all institutions across Australia implement the National Principles for Child Safe Organisations.
“Safeguarding and upholding and celebrating the dignity and rights of all children are now rightfully becoming integral to the governance and operations of all types of organisations across the Church,” Ms Limbrick said.
A full list of Catholic entities in Australia who have engaged with CPSL in 2019 is now available in a Church Entity Engagement report on CPSL’s website.