safeguarding structure

The following structures in place to support the Diocesan safeguarding mission

The Catholic Safeguarding Standards Agency (CSSA)


In October 2019, an independent review of the safeguarding structures and arrangements within the Catholic Church in England and Wales was commenced. The need for change was fuelled by the awareness of those who had suffered due to the failings in existent structures and the desire to prevent future hurt. The review led by Ian Elliott, sought in particular to listen and learn from those who had experienced abuse leading to a series of proposals and recommendations to address these failings and to reshape the safeguarding provision in the Catholic Church going forward. The recommendations of this report, along with those made by the separate Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) were wholly accepted by the Bishops conference in November of 2020.

Central to these recommendations was the replacement of the then existent national safeguarding bodies: the National Catholic Safeguarding Commission (NCSC) and Catholic Safeguarding Advisory Service (CSAS) with three newly constituted entities:


  1. The Catholic Safeguarding Standards Agency: A new professional standards body with regulatory powers.
  2. A dedicated entity regarding safeguarding for Religious Life Groups, which are more formally defined as Religious Life Safeguarding Services (RLSS) covering religious orders and congregations.
  3. A National Tribunal to address the canonical matters connected to clergy discipline and canonical offences.


The new model is built on a ‘One Church’ strategy to safeguarding – a commitment across all the dioceses and Religious Life Groups to be One Church when it comes to safeguarding, with all organisations working to a common standards-based approach and transparency and accountability in the fulfilment and upholding of these standards. Further information relating to the new 8 safeguarding standards can be found here Further information relating to the Church’s national safeguarding policies, to which this diocese adheres, can be found here


Previous national reports regarding the safeguarding structure and arrangements within the Catholic Church between 1996 and 2020 can be accessed here

Survivor Reference Panel for the CSSA –

As part of the Catholic Safeguarding Standards Agency’s commitment to working with those who report having been harmed by abuse, a new national Survivor Reference Panel has been created. Applications are sought from those who have experienced church related abuse, or who have been harmed by their contact with the Church to join the Panel, presenting an opportunity to use your lived experience to inform, encourage and influence, with the potential to make a real difference to the safeguarding arrangements and practices within the Catholic Church. The existence of the Panel aims to bring together survivor representatives in a way that ensures the voice of victims and survivors is heard and learnt from. Panel members will have a range of skills and experience but above all will be committed to the protection of children and adults who may be vulnerable, to helping the Catholic Church fulfil its safeguarding mission, and to making a positive contribution to, and informing and influencing, the work of the CSSA.

Northampton Safeguarding Subcommittee

Safeguarding Subcommittee was established in 2021, as part of the revised safeguarding structures within the Catholic Church. The purpose of this Subcommittee of Trustees is to support, assist and advise the Diocesan Trustees in discharging their duties in safeguarding, in accordance with the trustees legal and regulatory duties, Trust Deed, Canon Law of the Catholic Church, Charity Commission guidance, and operating within the standards, policies and procedures of the Catholic Safeguarding Standards agency. The Subcommittee will make a regular report to be shared at each meeting of Trustees. Appointment of members is made by Bishop and the Subcommittee meet, as a minimum, on a quarterly basis. Terms of reference for the Subcommittee are available.


Committee members

  • Chair: Fr. Brendan Killeen
  • Deacon Crispin Walkling-Lea
  • Margaret Cripps


Attendees include

  • Diocesan COO
  • Safeguarding Coordinator
  • Chair of the Northampton Safeguarding Advisory Board


Survivor Advisory Panel for the NCSC –

The role of the Survivor Advisory Panel (SAP) is to ensure that the National Catholic Safeguarding Commission (NCSC) receives appropriate and timely information and advice from a survivor perspective. This informs the work of the Commission regarding safeguarding policies, procedures and practices within the Catholic Church of England and Wales.

The SAP provides the NCSC with:

  • Advice and recommendations on matters relevant to victims/survivors
  • Knowledge and insight into experience of abuse
  • A positive contribution to improve responses regarding victim disclosures and church support
  • Expertise to inform and influence work by highlighting previously unidentified areas/topics for attention
  • Input on NCSC media and communications strategy

The Catholic Safeguarding Advisory Service (CSAS) –

CSAS has been established to be responsible for driving and supporting improvements in practice. Its primary role is one of co-ordination, advice and support in respect of the wider job of safeguarding children, young people and vulnerable adults. CSAS is responsible for producing the policies, procedures, and guidance to ensure the one church approach. A Registered Body of the Disclosure & Barring Service on behalf of the Catholic Church of England & Wales.

Download the NCSC and CSAS brochure – ‘A Guide for Professionals – Safeguarding structures within the Catholic Church in England and Wales.’

Northampton Safeguarding Advisory Board

The Safeguarding Advisory Board (SAB) was also established in 2021, as part of the revised safeguarding structures within the Catholic Church and provides independent and professional advice and expertise to the Diocesan safeguarding department and the Safeguarding Subcommittee. Membership includes the Safeguarding Coordinator and professionals who have relevant knowledge and expertise, such as from the police, social care and health, to enable the board to fulfil its purpose, demonstrating competency, equality, justice and transparency. The primary role of the SAB is to offer advice and guidance in relation to the management of safeguarding concerns, safeguarding plans and the management of risk, and safeguarding training and development. The SAB is accountable to the Safeguarding Subcommittee and meets, as a minimum, on a quarterly basis.


Board members

  • Chair: Hugh Williams
  • Vice Chair: Kathy Franklin (Parish Safeguarding Representative)
  • Andrew Smith (Local Authority Designated Officer representative)
  • Michelle Wright (Adult Safeguarding representative)
  • Charlotte Gunn (Voice Northants – victim and survivor representative)
  • Richard Tilling (T/DCI Bedfordshire police representative)
  • Neil Roseman (Diocesan Director of Communications)
  • Glen Bowen
  • Andrew Behrens (Clergy Advisor for Safeguarding)
  • Brendan Killeen (Chair of the Safeguarding Subcommittee and Canon Law advisor)
  • Anne Morris (Religious representative)
  • Deacon Peter Collins (Clergy representative and Chair of the Healing and Reconciliation group)
  • Danielle Dixon (Safeguarding Coordinator)


Recruitment of members

If you have current expertise of working in a safeguarding capacity relating to children and/or adults, or in a professional capacity supporting people who have lived experience of abuse, then you would be an ideal candidate to join our Board. We are particularly keen to recruit a new member with experience working within the criminal justice system. Members are appointed by the Bishop for a term of 3 years and are eligible for re-appointment for up to three terms. If you are interested in learning more about joining the board, please contact Danielle Dixon, the Diocesan Safeguarding Coordinator. Terms of reference for the SAB are available.


Future Safeguarding Advisory Board meetings

  • March 2023
  • June 2023
  • September 2023
  • December 2023 (attended by the Bishop)