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Section 11 Audit

Section 11 Self-Assessment Process

What is Section 11?

Section 11 (s.11) of the Children Act (2004) places requirements on certain organisations and individuals (and the services they contract out to others) to ensure that when they go about their day to day business, they do so in a way that takes into account the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of children. Section 11 outlines the safe systems and safe processes that need to be in place; for example by ensuring safe recruitment of staff, by providing appropriate training and by having up to date policies which all staff know how to access.

Who does s.11 apply to?

Compliance with s.11 is a statutory requirement for the following:

  • Local authorities
  • NHS organisations include the NHS England and clinical commissioning groups, NHS Trusts and Foundation Trusts.
  • The Police
  • British Transport Police
  • Probation Service (National Probation Service and Community Rehabilitation Companies)
  • Governors / Directors of Prisons and Young Offender Institutes
  • Directors of Secure Training Centres; and
  • Principles of Secure Colleges; and
  • Youth Offending Services

Organisations that are commissioned to provide a service on behalf of one of the agencies listed above should also be compliant with Section 11.

For organisation’s that are not listed above the SSCB strongly encourages all agencies that work with children and young people to ensure their arrangements reflect the importance of safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people. The SSCB self-assessment tool can be used by agencies to review their own practice.

For voluntary and community organisations please see the Voluntary /Community organisation page.

How does the SSCB know if organisations are fulfilling their statutory obligations under s.11?

Working Together to Safeguard Children (2015) requires Local Safeguarding Children Boards to gather data to assess whether partners are meeting their statutory obligations. In Sheffield compliance with s.11 is monitored every 3 years using a self-assessment toolkit. Following completion of the toolkit organisations produce an action plan outlining those areas where additional work is needed to ensure full compliance with the requirements of s.11 (where needed). Implementation is monitored and reported to the SSCB Executive Board)


The first s.11 self-assessment took place in 2010. Since then the SSCB has monitored progress, implementing action plans to address any weaknesses identified. The next Section 11 self-assessment will be undertaken in the year 2016/17.

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