Framework Requirement 4 – Annual reporting
Under Requirement 4 of the Commonwealth Child Safe Framework (the Framework), Commonwealth entities are required to publish an annual statement of compliance with the Framework including an overview of the entity’s child safety risk assessment.
It is important that entities regularly review and monitor their compliance with the Framework, and openly communicate the outcomes of this compliance. Annual public reporting on compliance demonstrates leadership, a clear commitment to child safety and builds a culture of transparency and accountability. It also indicates an openness to learning from mistakes and helps to identify opportunities for improvement.
Entities across the Commonwealth vary widely in the nature of their operations. This requirement is designed to be flexible, supporting entities to develop and produce annual statements of compliance that suit their particular context.
Note: This requirement does not apply to Commonwealth funded non-government organisations. For information on statements of compliance that may be required for funded third parties, see Application to funded third parties.
Publishing the annual statement of compliance
Entities are required to publish their annual statement of compliance by 31 October each year (commencing 2021). The statement should outline the entity’s commitment to child safety, the outcome of the entity’s annual child safety risk assessment (completed as part of Requirement 1 of the Framework), and compliance with the Framework in the preceding financial year.
It is up to each entity to decide how they want to publish their statement of compliance, provided that it is publicly available and the entity provides a copy of the statement to the National Office for Child Safety, also by 31 October each year and via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For example, statements could be published on an entity’s website, or included as part of its annual report.
Content of the annual statement of compliance
The content and complexity of the statement will vary depending on the level of interaction with children. For entities with minimal or no interaction with children, the statement may be a brief summary of each of the topics outlined below. Entities with regular and ongoing interaction with, or responsibility for, children should provide more detailed information.
Topics that should, at a minimum, be included in the statement and guidance on what each topic may look like is detailed below.
Topics to be included in a Commonwealth entity’s statement of compliance and guidance on what these may cover
The entity’s commitment to child safety
- A clear declaration or charter of the entity’s commitment to keeping children safe. The Charter of Commitment to Children and Young People tool provides guidance that may be useful for entities with more direct involvement with children
- Entities with minimal interaction with children may have a simple, high‑level statement of commitment
A description of the entity’s interaction with children as part of its operations
- A list of the entity’s activities that directly involve children
- A brief description of the nature of interaction with children (e.g. online, in person, case management, guided tours, etc.)
- If relevant, information about third party providers funded to deliver services to children
The outcome of the entity’s child safety risk assessment (completed under Requirement 1) and actions taken to mitigate these risks
- Detail the entity’s overarching (or other organisational level) risk rating (e.g. high, medium, low)
- A brief summary of the key risks to child safety, if any, identified in the entity’s annual risk assessment
- A brief description of any actions, activities, initiatives or proactive steps the entity has taken to address these risks (e.g. additional child safety training for staff or application of child safety clauses to funded third parties)
Information on whether the entity is compliant with the Framework and any measures to improve compliance going forward
- A declaration on whether the entity is compliant with each of the four requirements of the Framework
- Where the entity is not compliant with a requirement or the overall Framework, include a brief description of why, and an outline any future child safety measures or activities that will improve compliance with the Framework
- Note: even if an entity is compliant with the Framework, it may still be implementing child safety measures to further improve compliance and alignment with the Framework
An outline of any child safety initiatives undertaken in the reporting year
- Any child safety training in the entity
- A high-level description of any child safety communications or consultations
- Reviews or updates to child safety‑related policies or procedures
- Any other relevant activities
- Note: this may overlap or be merged with the previous topic as ‘measures to improve compliance’
To allow for flexibility across different Commonwealth entities, there is no mandatory template or format for the statement of compliance. However, it is recommended that the content be presented in a way that the topics mentioned above are easy to identify.
Only unclassified information suitable for the public should be included in an entity’s annual statement of compliance.