Certification and audit

Keeping Children Safe’s certification scheme, based on the ICS Standards, is for all organisations and provides assurance of your organisation’s commitment to protecting children from harm.

Why certification?

Benefits of certification include:

  • External verification by experts that child safeguarding measures are ‘fit for purpose’
  • Award of the internationally recognised KCS kitemark, a visible symbol of quality performance in child safeguarding
  • Demonstrating to donors, partners and the public, commitment and competence in the area of child safeguarding
  • Support and standards that will increase the quality, effectiveness and accountability of other areas of the organisation.


There are two levels of certification:

Level 1 Certification

Provides assurance that your organisation has an effective child safeguarding framework in place.

Level 2 Certification

Provides assurance that your organisation is implementing its child safeguarding measures. 

The certification process

The certification process is made up of the following steps and the certificate itself is valid for three years:

  1. Application and eligibility: KCS will assess whether your organisation is eligible and, if successful, an auditor will be assigned to support/guide you through the process. KCS will evaluate the scope of the work, sends a proposal with costs, activities and timescale, and sign an agreement with you to progress the project.
  2. Self-assessment: you will be asked to complete an assessment document based on KCS’s ICS Standards.
  3. Evidence check: KCS will review your self-assessment and request supporting evidence, as well as interviews (conducted remotely) with relevant personnel.
  4. Level 1 Certification: will be awarded by KCS if the organisation meets the ICS Standards. You will be sent a detailed report on your organisation’s strengths and any gaps, as well as recommendations on achieving Level 2 Certification if required. If your organisation does not yet meet the ICS Standards for Level 1 Certification, KCS will draft an improvement plan to help prepare your organisation for re-submission. 
  5. Application for Level 2 Certification: the process is similar to applying for Level 1 Certification.
  6. Assessment of improvements made: KCS assesses what improvements have been made to the organisation’s safeguarding measures since Level 1 Certification was awarded. All recommendations made by KCS must be addressed before the Level 2 Certification process can continue.
  7. Audit visit: We conduct audit visit/s to your head office and sub-offices if needed, after which we produce a detailed report and recommendation to a Certification assessment panel. 
  8. Certification panel assessment: This will determine whether your organisation’s headquarters and other locations assessed should be awarded full Level 2 Certification.
  9. Level 2 Certification: The recommendation is reviewed by our Independent Review Committee. If approved, Level 2 Certification is awarded. If the
  10. If the ICS Standards of Level 2 Certification are not met, KCS will work with you to develop an improvement plan based on the outcomes and recommendations of the audit.

Cost of certification

Level 1 Certification

To certify your organisation’s headquarters, the cost is £15,000.

Additional locations cost £1,875 each.

Level 2 Certification

To certify a single location, the cost is £25,000.

Additional locations cost £3,000 each.

Audit your child safeguarding

Implementing child safeguarding measures has implications for all aspects of an organisation’s work. The larger and more complex an organisation, the more difficult it may be to integrate child safeguarding across all functions, especially if there are regional and country offices.

As the only provider in the world of high-quality audit services based on the International Child Safeguarding Standards, we have extensive knowledge and experience in conducting audits in all types of organisations and have developed sector-specific audit procedures that are tailored to meet your organisation’s needs. 

We are here to help

To find out if your organisation is doing all it can to keep children safe, start by using our free self-assessment tool that will help you to discover your strengths and weaknesses.

Or, for more advice and information on how we can help you, please do get in touch with our team today.

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