Safeguarding reviews, audits and training

Expert support on conducting statutory reviews, learning reviews and audits to improve safeguarding practice

SCIE helps organisations to review and learn from safeguarding incidents in a way that supports improvement. We support with statutory case reviews, routine audits and learning reviews across children’s and adults’ services.

SCIE’s reviewing experts:

  • broker access to accredited lead reviewers
  • develop local capacity to review safeguarding cases and practice through training and mentoring
  • train leaders and managers on using a systems approach for effective learning and improvement.

The style and substance of the (SCIE Learning Together) report allowed for a more honest discussion with the Board about learning from the review.

Independent chair, Local Safeguarding Children’s board

Organisations that SCIE supports

We work with organisations in the UK and overseas that have a legal responsibility to protect and safeguard children and adults at risk of abuse or neglect including:

SCIE can help your organisation and partners to learn together and improve safeguarding practice.

SCIE’s Learning Together model

SCIE’s Learning Together model is one of the most developed and tested systems-approach models available. This collaborative methodology aims to gain a deeper understanding of current local practice and cultivate an open, learning culture. Each review is bespoke, designed to fit your needs, the case(s) and circumstances.

Our in-house experts and associates conduct audits and case reviews on a consultancy basis, supported by methodological supervision from SCIE.
More on Learning Together

Become an accredited reviewer

SCIE runs a support programme for lead reviewers accredited in the Learning Together systems model. We welcome both salaried professionals as well as independent consultants. There are two routes to accreditation:

Accredited lead reviewers who work within local agencies benefit from:

Safeguarding reviews and audits - clients

Over 90 organisations have commissioned SCIE and our associates to carry out safeguarding reviews. We have an international reputation.

See a list of all our safeguarding  clients

Church of England

Independent audit of safeguarding arrangements and survivors’ survey
Church of England logo

The Church of England commissioned SCIE to provide an independent audit of diocesan safeguarding arrangements, including a survey of survivors views on what a good response from the Church would look like.

The process began with four audits designed to test the planning, the conduct and output of the audit approach in 2016, which enabled the audit methodology and supporting documents to be amended on the basis of the evaluation of the pilots.

SCIE has now completed 42 independent audits across all dioceses in England. The audits can be accessed via the Church of England website (under Reviews and Reports). SCIE has subsequently been commissioning to conduct audits of the Church of England’s palaces and cathedrals. Interim and final overview reports drew out systemic issues relevant across diocese for the Church to consider.

Downside School and monasteries

Independent audit of safeguarding arrangements
Downside School and monasteries logo

Downside Abbey incorporates a Benedictine monastery and a Catholic boarding school in Somerset.

As part of a commitment to keeping children and young people safe, Downside wanted to gain an understanding of how well the safeguarding of children is practised and promoted within and between the school and the abbey. SCIE was commissioned to carry out a systems-based joint audit of both the abbey and school, testing current arrangements and ways working against models of good practice.

Drawing on SCIE’s Learning Together model, an approach that is collaborative in nature, SCIE and Downside embarked on a review that involved site visits across both the school and abbey to conduct conversations, focus groups and review case material. Engagement took place with not just senior leaders from Downside but also current staff, pupils and parents, past pupils and those that have previously held safeguarding roles.

Department of Health

Learning from safeguarding adults reviews (SARs)

The Department of Health commissioned SCIE and RiPfA to improve the quality and use of safeguarding adults reviews (SARs).

Department of Health and Social Care logo

Hampshire County Council

Safeguarding review
Hampshire County Council logo

Following the June 2018 publication of an independent report into deaths at the Gosport War Memorial Hospital in Hampshire during the 1990s, the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) was commissioned by Hampshire County Council’s Corporate Management Team to determine the degree to which the legislative, management and cultural environment now in place would mitigate such circumstances arising now, or in the future. The work in particular involved a series of interviews and procedural reviews to help determine how well placed the County Council is now to respond to any equivalent levels of concern based on the new architecture of safeguarding oversight, health overview and scrutiny, and broader systems leadership.


Safeguarding review
Mencap logo

Mencap commissioned SCIE to review the effectiveness of its safeguarding arrangements. The aim was to provide a formal and independent assessment to the Board of Trustees.

SCIE worked with Mencap to find out if:

  • governance arrangements provided sufficient oversight for the board to fulfil its responsibilities and obligations
  • roles and responsibilities had been identified and understood
  • national and local safeguarding responsibilities were being carried out appropriately with partners
  • and, crucially, if people being supported by the organisation were safe.

The review also identified how Mencap could incorporate the principles of Making Safeguarding Personal within its person-centred practice framework.

On completion of the review, SCIE recommended that Mencap should consider appointing an independent chair for its internal safeguarding panel. This recommendation was approved by the Board of Trustees and a new independent chair was appointed.


Improvement support on children and young people’s safeguarding in the Jewish community
Reshet logo

SCIE is supporting Reshet with developing and strengthening best practice in child protection and safeguarding for synagogues and communal organisations; and in working with children and young people. Reshet is a specialist team, funded by UJIA and supported by the Jewish Leadership Council, to build capacity and confidence in the provision and delivery of informal education to children and young people across the Jewish community. Informal Jewish Education engages with over 10,000 children and young people engaged on a weekly basis in schools, synagogues, youth centres and home hospitality.

Over the last two years SCIE has provided a range of support including training and advice to organisations in the Jewish community.

SCIE's safeguarding training was extremely well run and sensitive to our specific needs.

Avi Lazarus, CEO, Federation of Synagogues

Royal Chelsea Hospital

Safeguarding training

Having attended one of SCIE’s open courses, staff at Royal Chelsea Hospital commissioned SCIE to deliver a programme of safeguarding training to almost 250 people. Those attending the training ranged from the matron and nurses working in the high dependency unit with an extensive experience of health and social care, through to volunteers and auxiliary staff who were new to the topic. The objective for the training programme was to establish a common and clear understanding of safeguarding under the Care Act 2014, in particular in the context of the Hospital.

Following the conclusion of the training, Royal Chelsea Hospital has appreciated an increased awareness of safeguarding concerns; staff are more confident in identifying safeguarding incidents and sharing information.

Royal Commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse (Australia)

Improving the identification and reporting of child sexual abuse
Royal Commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse (Australia) logo

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in Australia commissioned SCIE and the London School of Economics and Political Science to consider how child sexual abuse can be better identified and reported.

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