Keeping Children Safe’s certification scheme is for all organisations that work with, or come into contact with children. Our certification process, based on the International Child Safeguarding Standards, is the most effective way to demonstrate your organisation’s commitment to protecting children from harm and exploitation.
Certification demonstrates to donors and partners, as well as the public, your organisation’s commitment and competence in the area of child safeguarding.
Among the growing list of organisations awarded KCS Level 1 Certification are SOS Children’s Villages, the Donkey Sanctuary, Mother’s Choice and Tearfund. The higher and much more challenging KCS Level 2 Certification was achieved in 2020 by The American School in Japan.
“Your team was great to work with, putting fresh eyes on what we do, spending time with us, and providing us with a recommendation report that gives us tailored ways we can continue to improve our processes is just as valuable as the certification itself! This felt like a partnership with Keeping Children Safe, and we are grateful for your engagement!”
Megan Kelly, Compassion International
Certification shows your organisation’s commitment to tackling child abuse. The benefits include
- External verification by experts that child safeguarding measures are ‘fit for purpose’
- Award of the internationally recognised KCS kite mark, 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 organisational work
The Certification process
The Certification process is made up of 10 steps, and the certificate itself is valid for three years:
- Application and eligibility: KCS will assess whether your organisation is eligible and, if successful, an auditor is assigned to support/guide you through the process. KCS evaluates the scope of the work, sends a proposal with costs, activities and timescale, and signs an agreement with you to progress the project
- Self-assessment: you are asked to complete a standard form that measures your progress and provides supporting evidence of the steps you have taken against each of the KCS safeguarding standards
- Evidence check: KCS reviews the self-assessment and follows up with comments and interviews (conducted remotely)
- Level 1 Certification: is awarded by KSC to your organisation’s headquarters, other locations assessed and, if unsuccessful, we recommend an improvement plan to prepare your organisation for re-submission. If successful, we share a report with conclusions and recommendations towards achieving Level 2 certification
- Application for Level 2 Certification: follows a similar assessment process as Level 1
- 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 that is presented to the KCS Certification Panel
- Certification panel assessment: will determine whether your organisation’s headquarters and other locations assessed should be awarded full Level 2 certification
- Level 2 Certification met: KCS’s recommendation is reviewed and approved by our Independent Review Panel
- Level 2 Certification not met: KCS works with you to develop an improvement plan based on the outcomes and recommendations of the audit
- Level 2 Certification is awarded
There are two levels of Certification, starting with Level 1, and going up to Level 2.
- Level 1 Certification (online) ensures that your organisation has an effective child safeguarding framework in place.
- Level 2 Certification (site visits) ensures that your organisation is implementing its child safeguarding policy and procedures. This certification is awarded the KCS kitemark
Cost of Certification
Organisations that join the Keeping Children Safe members’ network and are eligible for no-cost membership have the opportunity to go through the certification process free of charge. Standard charges are as listed below.
Level 1 Certification
To certify your organisation’s headquarters for Level 1 Certification, the cost is £15,000. Additional locations cost £1,875 each.
Level 2 Certification
To certify a single location for Level 2 Certification, the cost is £25,000. Additional locations cost £3,000 each.
‘By working together to renew our Level 1 Certification with Keeping Children Safe, we strengthened our collective capacity and expertise, and aligned existing practices. Keeping Children Safe’s recommendations will continue to guide us towards overcoming possible weaknesses in our safeguarding system.‘
Delphine Moralis, Secretary General, Terre Des Hommes
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 your organisation keep children safe, please do get in touch with our team today.