UK firm to assess NZ safeguarding


A company based in the United Kingdom has been appointed to conduct the assessment of the implementation of safeguarding culture standards for the Catholic Church in Aotearoa New Zealand.

GCPS Consulting has been appointed and entrusted with the assessment, announced Te Rōpū Tautoko on November 20 in a newsletter.

Te Rōpū Tautoko is the group coordinating Catholic engagement with the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse in Care.

The newsletter stated that Te Rōpū Tautoko (TRT) sought proposals from suitably qualified and experienced assessors, to assess the implementation of the Safeguarding Culture Standards of the Catholic Church in Aotearoa New Zealand. The purpose of this assessment is to evaluate compliance, effectiveness, and appropriateness of the standards, as well as identify areas for improvement.

A robust and independent assessment was sought.

The newsletter stated that GCPS Consulting “is a consulting firm that specialises in helping organisations ensure the safety of children and adults, and improve their systems for preventing and reporting/responding to allegations of abuse”.

“GCPS deals with the identification of risks and issues, and has extensive international experience and expertise in policy development, training, review, evaluation, investigations, as well as inquiries.”

The newsletter noted that, in the Catholic context, the work of GCPS includes a safeguarding audit of the Missions Etrangères de Paris, a French missionary society, focusing on the Asia-Pacific region; the inquiry into historical abuse allegations into the founder of L’Arche International; and the inquiry into historical child abuse allegations in the Focolare Movement in France.

Among other work done by GCPS is the conducting of an Independent Assurance Review on behalf of the UK charities regulator UK Charity Commission – to assess Oxfam GB’s compliance; participating in an evaluative review of safeguarding measures across UNHCR, with a particular focus on investigations of sexual misconduct cases; and  conducting a review of the Australian government department’s child protection policy for the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

The output of the assessment by GCPS will be a report provided to Te Rōpū Tautoko, to be considered by the Mixed Commission and the National Safeguarding and Professional Standards Committee. It is the Mixed Commission that will determine the response to conclusions and recommendations arising from the report. A summary of the final assessment report will be made publicly available on the Te Rōpū Tautoko website.

As the assessment process and methodology is finalised, further details and contact points for interested parties to share information will be provided on the assessment page of the TRT website at

The newsletter stated that the assessment is expected to start in November, 2023, and be complete, through the publication of the summary assessment report, by June, 2024.









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