About the Independent Safeguarding Audits

In August 2023 INEQE Safeguarding Group was appointed by the Archbishops’ Council to carry out the next round of independent external audits of Church of England dioceses and cathedrals. The purpose of these audits is to make sure dioceses cathedrals and palaces are doing all they can to create environments where everyone feels safe, valued and respected.

The Independent Audit programme will run for 5 years from 2023 to 2028, with Audits commencing in January 2024. Audits will be carried out in the diocese and cathedral at the same time (previously this was done separately).

To ensure the most productive use of time, INEQE’s approach during the independent Safeguarding Audits will be to analyse all available information in advance of site visits.

This information will be collected using INEQE’s 360° Online Safeguarding Audit Tool.

Each Church body, with the exception of those being audited in early 2024, will receive their briefing pack, which will include INEQE’s 360° Safeguarding Audit Tool, at a minimum of three months in advance of their audit site visit.

Once published, INEQE’s Independent Safeguarding Audit reports will be made available on the website.

Find the information for your region

Click on the button below to visit the page that is relevant to your region. Each page contains the links to your surveys, the privacy notice for the Safeguarding Audit, a form by which you can contact the Audit Team and signposting to support if you need someone to talk to.

Audit Dates – 2024

  • MARCH – Bristol
  • APRIL – Truro

  • MAY – Newcastle

  • JUNE – Oxford

  • JULY – Worcester
  • SEPTEMBER – Exeter and Chichester

  • OCTOBER – Birmingham

  • NOVEMBER – Lincoln

Read the Published Reports

Contact the Safeguarding Audit Team

Any individuals who wish to contact the Audit team can do so using the audit’s confidential contact form below.

Submissions via the confidential contact form are received by the Independent Safeguarding Audit team at INEQE Safeguarding Group. Please note: these submissions are not monitored 24/7.

Meet the Independent Audit Review Team

Click their names for more information

Jim is a former Chief Police Officer and was the founding Chief Executive of the Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre. He is currently the CEO of the INEQE Safeguarding Group and the Independent Child Safeguarding Commissioner of the City and Hackney and the Independent Chair of Bromley Safeguarding Children Partnership.

A former UK Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) lead for child abuse investigations, internet safety and countering child trafficking. He was a co-author on the UK’s first Domestic Homicide Review and in 2010 was appointed by the then Home Secretary to lead the initial scoping review of the investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.

More recently, he led a wide-ranging safeguarding review of an NHS Trust, Oxfam GB and an international faith-based organisation at the request of the Charity Commission.

He has also commissioned and overseen a number of contemporary Serious Case and Practice Learning Reviews, including the recent Child Q.

Jim has been called to given evidence to the UK Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) and has appeared before numerous Parliamentary Committees.

Having graduated from the UK College of Policing Senior Command Course, he completed a Post-Graduate Diploma in Criminology and Criminal Justice Management at Cambridge University.

Rory is a qualified social worker with over thirty years of experience in children’s services. He holds an in-depth knowledge across a broad range of services, having held both strategic and operational responsibility for children’s social care, adult safeguarding, youth offending, youth services, early years services, domestic abuse services, LSCBs and LSCPs.

Rory co-designed and delivered the first Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub in the UK and also works as the Senior Professional Advisor (SPA) for the safeguarding partnership in the City of London and Hackney. He was previously the SPA of the City & Hackney Safeguarding Board, the first LSCB in the country to be awarded an outstanding grade by Ofsted in 2016.

Rory has significant experience in coordinating effective safeguarding arrangements that deliver impact and make children safer. He has designed learning & improvement systems, delivered safeguarding training at all levels and has written a number of contemporary practice learning reviews, including co-authoring the Local Child Safeguarding Practice Review and update report into Child Q. He is one of the lead auditors on INEQE’s team.

Hannah is the Director of Operations at INEQE Safeguarding Group. Through working with children in the UK and abroad, Hannah has developed a strong practical insight regarding the context of the risks they face. This is accompanied by the academic studies and research associated with her M.Phil from Trinity College Dublin and an LLM from Queens University Belfast, which focused on human rights and the International Criminal Court.

She has significant practical experience working within the third sector with children and vulnerable young people in the UK, India, Kosovo and Africa. Added to this, she plays a leading role in INEQE’s programme of safeguarding reviews and has been involved in all of INEQE’s recent and ongoing reviews.

Lynne is a Senior Safeguarding Advisor with over 28 years of policing experience having served in leadership roles in Northern Ireland and England. She joined South Yorkshire Police in 2020 as a Superintendent for Operations.

She spent many years as a senior investigating officer in Public Protection roles including child abuse, rape crime and domestic abuse. She is an advocate for victims of domestic abuse and sexual crime and worked closely with the Crown Prosecution Service in England to improve the police response.

Prior to joining INEQE Lynne was the Violence against Women and Girls Engagement (VAWG) Lead with the National Police Chief’s Council and the College of Policing. She holds a BA (Hons) in Public Policy and Management and a Master of Studies in Applied Criminology and Police Management from the University of Cambridge.

Want to talk?
Further Support

Under 19 and Need to Talk?

Call Childline for free on 0800 1111 or get in touch online. You can talk to Childline about anything. No problem is too big or too small. It’s confidential.

Diocesan safeguarding contacts

To locate the contact details of the safeguarding team from the diocese you need to contact please visit:

Safe Spaces

Safe Spaces is a free and independent support service, providing confidential, support to survivors of church related abuse. Call for free on 0300 303 1056.


Samaritans adult helpline is available for whatever you’re going through.

Call for free, anytime on 116 123


Contact the NSPCC Helpline for adults concerned about a child’s safety or wellbeing.

Call for free on 0808 800 5000

Trauma Informed Practice

INEQE take a trauma-informed approach to ensure that the voice of victims and survivors is heard at all levels and measures are adopted to support them at all times before, during and after their engagement with the audit team.

Methods adopted to achieve a positive outcome for victims and survivors include providing choices to participants as to how they can engage with the Audit Team. Whether they feel more comfortable to engage via face-to-face discussions, share their experience via a confidential survey or confidential contact form or if they prefer to speak via an online video call, INEQE will gather their accounts in the method which provides them choice and empowerment.

How we communicate with your community

The Audit team will interact with different groups of staff and volunteers during each Audit through the following means:

1-1 Discussions

Listening to staff and volunteers within the Diocese and Cathedral workforce is a fundamental element of the Audit. Our discussions, whilst informal, will follow a structured framework.  They will be focused on individual roles, day to day responsibilities and their understanding of safeguarding. It may also touch upon their involvement in recent and contemporary safeguarding issues. Everyone who attends will receive a briefing note prior to their discussion taking place which outlines information to be discussed.  This should hopefully alleviate any fears or concerns individuals may have.

Focus Groups

The focus group are designed to be large enough to provide a credible and representative sample of staff and volunteers at differing levels across all audited bodies, but small enough to facilitate in-depth discussions and to ensure that everyone’s voice is heard. Listening to and learning from different communities and groups is an important part of the Audit in order to obtain both depth and breadth of experiences from a range of perspectives. We would encourage audited bodies to promote attendance at focus groups to achieve as wide a reach as possible.


Utilising surveys to glean insights from diverse communities and groups constitutes a vital aspect of the Audit process. It offers an avenue for individuals not directly engaged in discussions or focus groups to express their perspectives on safeguarding. To ensure comprehensive representation from all audited entities, we strongly advocate for the widespread promotion of these surveys. (link to main CoE web page for the surveys)

Immediate Risks

If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, it is important that you quickly get the right help – call the police on 999.