7.11 Commissioning Standards
Best Practice Guide to Safeguarding Commissioning Standards
Section 11 (s11) of the Children Act 2004 places duties on a range of organisations and individuals to ensure their functions, and any services that they contract out to others, are discharged having regard to the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of children. As such, all organisations that commission or use sub-contracted services should ensure that these services are compliant with their duties under S11 and specify the need for such compliance prior to their engagement.
The HIPS Local Safeguarding Children Partnerships have developed this best practice guide to provide clarity to both commissioners and contractors of services as to what should be considered when engaging external services. Additional requirements may be necessary and suitable for some services dependent up on the nature of the service provided and to which users.
The guidance applies to all organisations that commission external services provided to children across Pan-Hampshire, and all contracts and specifications which are developed for this purpose. The commissioning organisation should request evidence of these standards from the provider organisation as part of the tendering process.
All organisations which are contracting or sub-contracting should as a minimum:
1. have a standard safeguarding clause within the contract that includes:
a. an explicit reference to safeguarding children;
b. an explicit reference to the overarching legislation including;
I. (Children Act 1989 and 2004
II. Working Together to Safeguarding Children (2018)
III. the HIPS LSCP Child Protection Procedures IV. Disclosure, Vetting & Barring Guidance
V. Criminal record checks etc.;
c. a requirement for safeguarding, whistle blowing policies and standards to include areas shown in Appendix A which are updated at regular intervals;
d. an expectation of appropriate and proportionate training in relation to safeguarding;
f. the role of the provider in complying with multi-agency safeguarding systems to report, and respond to safeguarding concerns and co-operate with safeguarding investigations;
g. the role of the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) and expectations around referrals.
3. Evidence adherence to the above standards through robust performance management and a good quality assurance framework of commissioned services on a regular basis.
Areas to be covered by Providers’ Safeguarding Policies:
1. A commitment to comply with national and local guidance and single and multi-agency policies and procedures to safeguard and promote the welfare of children including:
- Children Act 1989 & 2004
- Working Together to Safeguarding Children (2018)
- HIPS LSCP Child Protection Procedures
- Disclosure, Vetting & Barring Guidance Criminal record checks: guidance for employers
- Local Safeguarding Partnership guidance
2. A clear line of accountability for safeguarding all children 0-18 years which is properly reflected within governance arrangements and senior management commitment to the importance of safeguarding and promoting children’s welfare.
- The chief executive of any provider organisation takes ultimate responsibility for safeguarding within the organisation.
- Appropriate to the organisations size, providers will need to ensure there is a senior lead within the Board / Committee structures to take leadership responsibility for organisation's safeguarding arrangements. This person can demonstrate a sound working knowledge of safeguarding legislation and policy and their role is defined within organisation’s governance structure including job description.
- A clear declaration of the provider’s responsibility to protect from harm and abuse without exception, all children regardless of gender, sexuality, disability, ethnicity, faith or cultural background.
- The declaration towards safeguarding children is visible to all staff, volunteers and the public.
4. Systems and processes for safe recruitment in line with national guidance and the managing of allegations against staff and volunteers that may pose a risk of harm to children (including a description of the role of the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) and contact details).
5. An effective training strategy for all staff and volunteers that takes into account current safeguarding themes.
Glossary and Reference List
Section 11 (s11) of the Children Act 2004:
Working Together 2018 - Chapter Two:
The HIPS Local Safeguarding Children Partnership training programmes:
The HIPS LSCP Child Protection Procedure:
HIPS LSCP escalation policy:
Children Act 1989 and 2004:
Disclosure Vetting and Barring:
Hampshire Children’s Services: 0300 555 1384
Isle of Wight Children’s Services: 0300 300 0117
Portsmouth Children’s Services: 0845 671 0271
Southampton Children’s Services: 023 8083 2300
Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) for concerns relating to someone working with children:
Hampshire: 01962 876364
Southampton: 023 8091 5535
Portsmouth: 023 9288 2500