Catholic Professional Standards Ltd (CPSL) was established by the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference and Catholic Religious Australia in response to the findings of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
CPSL operates independently from the Church.
CPSL board directors are laypeople with professional expertise in the fields of law, education, human services, safeguarding, and regulation – there are no bishops, priests or religious brothers or sisters on the CPSL Board.
CPSL is committed to fostering a culture of safety and care for children and vulnerable adults by developing National Catholic Safeguarding Standards.
The National Catholic Safeguarding Standards, released in May 2019, comprise 10 standards, providing the framework for Catholic Church entities to build child-safe cultures and to advance the safety of children and vulnerable adults across the Catholic Church in Australia.
The first phase of implementation of the Standards focuses on safeguarding practices for the protection of children, taking into account the guidance of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse and the National Principles for Child Safe Organisations endorsed by the Council of Australian Governments in February 2019.
The Standards will subsequently be extended to include safeguarding practices relating to vulnerable adults.
CPSL will audit compliance with these Standards, holding the leaders and members of Catholic organisations accountable for the safety of children and vulnerable adults who come into contact with the Church and its works. This includes Catholic dioceses, congregations, and institutions providing education, health and aged care, social and community services, pastoral care and other services.