Section 11 and 175 Audit

What is Section 11/ 175?

The Wirral Safeguarding Children Partnership (WSCP) is the key statutory body for coordinating and ensuring the effectiveness of arrangements to safeguard and promote the welfare of all children in Wirral. It is the duty of the WSCP to hold agencies to account in terms of their safeguarding arrangements and practices.

The WSCP uses a variety of ways to test the strength of safeguarding arrangements across agencies in Wirral but one of the key ways is by the use of an annual safeguarding audit called the Section 11 Audit (for organisations) and a Section 175 Audit (for schools and colleges).

Section 11 was issued under the Children Act (2004) and has been reinforced in Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018. Section 11 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.

Section 11 places a duty on:

  • local authorities and any services they commission, and district councils that provide children’s and other types of services, including children’s and adult social care services, public health, housing, sport, culture and leisure services, licensing authorities and youth services;
  • Schools and colleges (under Sections 175 and 157 of the Education Act 2002).
  • NHS organisations, including the NHS Commissioning Board and clinical commissioning groups, NHS Trusts and NHS Foundation Trusts;
  • the police, including police and crime commissioners and the chief officer of each police force in England and the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime in London;
  • the British Transport Police;
  • The UK Border Agency (and under Section 55 of the Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009)
  • Housing Authorities (and under Part 1 of the Housing Act 2004)
  • the Probation Service;
  • Governors/Directors of Prisons and Young Offender Institutions;
  • Directors of Secure Training Centres; and
  • Youth Offending Teams/Services (and under Section 38 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998).

The advice of the WSCP is if you are delivering services in a position of trust directly or indirectly to children and young people you must complete the Section 11/ 175 safeguarding audit.

Audit model 

The topics for the 2024/25 audit are listed below:

  • Policies, Procedures & Thresholds
  • Early Help & Prevention
  • Multi-agency Training
  • Safe & Confident Workforce
  • Systemic Practice & the Daily Lived Experience of Children
  • Learning & Priorities

Agencies will have the opportunity to upload key documents as evidence and use the findings from the audit to create their own action plan.

The audit is a self-assessment – questions are based around expected safeguarding arrangements/practices. Agencies should use the questions to identify areas of weakness in their own service. For example, ‘does your agency have an up to date safeguarding policy?‘ if the agency answers ‘no‘, this would be a self assessment indicator that this area requires further attention.

Audit Guide

Quality Assurance

The WSCP dip samples audits throughout the year and will provide direct feedback to those agencies selected at random.

Action Plan Template

Agencies can use the template below to record actions highlighted by the Section 11/175 audits. The WSCP dip samples Action Plans on an annual basis to track progress made by agencies.

Findings from audits

Findings from previous Section 11 audits published here.

Completing the audit/Audit Schedule


Topic 1:  Policies, Procedures and Thresholds
(deadline 17th June 2024)

Topic 2: Early Help and Prevention

  • Section 11
  • Section 175 (for schools and colleges only )

Topic 3: Multi-Agency Training

  • Section 11
  • Section 175 (for schools and colleges only )

Topic 4: Safe & Confident Workforce

  • Section 11
  • Section 175 (for schools and colleges only )

Topic 5: Systemic Practice & Daily Lived Experience of Children

  • Section 11
  • Section 175 (for schools and colleges only )

Topic 6: Local Priorities & Learning

  • Section 11
  • Section 175 (for schools and colleges only )
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