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QIP Safeguarding Accreditation Program's

QIP Safeguarding Accreditation readies for uptake with highly qualified, sector-experienced assessors

Australia’s Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety; and the ongoing Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability, showed QIP the need to develop a set of independent, nationally consistent safeguarding standards that encompass the protection of vulnerable adults as well as children. 

QIP is pleased to be now piloting the world-leading QIP Standards for Safeguarding Children and Vulnerable Adults (the QIP Safeguarding Standards). The QIP Safeguarding Accreditation Program will play a key role in proactively preventing sexual and other forms of abuse against children and vulnerable adults in organisational contexts.

As the pilot program is entering its final months, we’ve been busy strengthening capacity to ensure we’re ready to support organisations of all sizes and types to take up this important accreditation program.

A cohort of already highly qualified, sector-experienced QIP Assessors recently convened in Sydney for a deep dive into the Safeguarding Standards.

This two-day intensive training session garnered tremendous feedback from the group – each of whom looks forward to being part of the only safeguarding framework in Australia to provide independent, third-party assessment of an organisation’s safeguarding commitments.

While we know that the vast majority of people who work with children and vulnerable adults do so with the very best of intentions, it is a mistake to believe that the abuse and exploitation has stopped and will not continue in the future.

The Royal Commissions continue to make known that whether it be within a community service organisation, sporting club, residential care facility, school, church, or another organisation altogether, it cannot be assumed that all stakeholders always act in the best interests of the children and vulnerable adults they serve.

Organisations have many moving parts and failures can unfortunately occur in one or more of those parts, leaving the whole compromised.

This is where the QIP Safeguarding Accreditation Program comes into its own. The QIP Safeguarding Standards give organisations a practical pathway to create and sustain safe environments via systems, structures, and processes covering the Board through to the frontline workers, and a business-as-usual approach to identifying and dealing with harmful actions.

The backbone of the program is seven robust standards that reference various state-based and international child-safe guidelines, and – most importantly – completely encompass the 10 National Principles for Child Safe Organisations as recommended by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

Beyond the standards themselves, the key to achieving a genuine stamp of ‘accreditation’ is the independent, third-party assessment part of the process.

Internal reviews cannot offer proper assurance or real change. This is particularly pertinent for safeguarding, which has sometimes been ignored or avoided by some organisations that have prioritised reputation over care and accountability.

QIP Safeguarding Assessors are highly qualified, independent assessors. We select sector-experienced professionals to ensure they understand the context of organisations that work with children and vulnerable adults, and who are comfortable interacting with Boards and senior management. Each QIP Safeguarding Assessor is dedicated to personal professional development, and safety, quality and continuous improvement within organisations.

Further, when it comes to establishing or rebuilding public trust, the gold standard of accountability for organisations is achieving external accreditation provided by a ‘certified’ accreditation agency.

QIP is an ‘accredited accreditor’. We undergo two separate but equally rigorous external assessments every three years. One by the International Society for Quality in Healthcare (ISQua) and the other by the Joint Accreditation System of Australia and New Zealand (JAS-ANZ). QIP is represented on ISQua’s Accreditation Federation Council and actively drives innovation in accreditation services within Australia and internationally.

As the QIP Safeguarding Standards pilot program draws to a close, QIP looks forward to enacting systemic improvements to ensure children and vulnerable adults feel safe and protected by the organisations and people who care for and educate them.

For more information or to register your interest in the accreditation program, visit the QIP Safeguarding Standards webpage.