National Safeguarding Structure Roles

The Catholic Church in England & Wales has established structures to take forward the work of safeguarding children and vulnerable adults following the recommendations of the Cumberlege Commission Report “Safeguarding with Confidence.”

The National Catholic Safeguarding Commission (NCSC)

The NCSC is responsible for setting the strategic direction of the Church’s safeguarding policy and monitoring compliance. Mandated by the Conference of Bishops and Conference of Religious, it will ensure that standards are met and policies are implemented.

The NCSC comprises an Independent lay chair and vice chair, a Bishop and a member of CoR as vice chairs, representation from the Conference of Bishops, Conference of Religious and Chairs of Commissions, a Parish Priest/Canon Lawyer as well as 4 lay members, recruited for relevant expertise in the field of safeguarding and the criminal justice system.

The Catholic Safeguarding Advisory Service (CSAS)

The CSAS reports to and provides expert advice to the NCSC on safeguarding matters. It oversees and co-ordinates safeguarding training, ensuring that the Church’s policies on safeguarding are kept up to date with good practice and are accessible to people at all levels in the Church. The CSAS is responsible for driving and supporting improvements in safeguarding practice.

The CSAS is the point of liaison with other national stakeholders – both safeguarding units in other Churches and secular organisations concerned with safeguarding children and vulnerable adults, including government.

The CSAS is the registered body for the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).

The CSAS is located within the Department of Christian Responsibility and Citizenship, one of the Departments of the Bishops Conference. An appointed member of CoR is a member of the Department to ensure they can play a full role in delivering a one Church approach.

Being located within this Department provides peer support for the Director of CSAS, encourages cross fertilisation of ideas and work to ensure safeguarding is part of the mainstream activity within the Church.

The CSAS reports and is accountable to the Bishops Conference and Conference of Religious through the NCSC.

Safeguarding Commissions

Each Safeguarding Commission has an Independent lay chair with extensive safeguarding experience in working with children and/or vulnerable adults e.g. social care, police, probation, family law. Exact numbers and experience on the Commission is determined locally but there are sufficient members to ensure appropriate expertise is available.


The Safeguarding Commission is accountable to the Bishop and Trustees of the Diocese for diocesan matters and to the Congregational Leader and Trustees of the Religious Congregations which they serve in respect of matters related to Religious Orders.


CaTEW The Catholic Trust for England & Wales

CoR The Conference of Religious

CBCEW The Catholic Bishops Conference of England & Wales

CSAS The Catholic Safeguarding Advisory Service

NCSC The National Catholic Safeguarding Commission

DBS The Disclosure & Barring Service