How an audit system can help facilitate best practice and a shared knowledge pool that will lead to more collaborative working partnerships
As well as being a compliance tool, an audit system can help promote best practice and a shared knowledge pool by providing a framework for monitoring and reporting on performance, which is invaluable to public sector organisations.
It enables staff to learn from each other and adopt successful methods quickly, leading to increased efficiency and effectiveness in service delivery. For example, if a particular department has implemented a new process that has led to significant improvements, this knowledge can be shared with other departments and monitored on its success via an audit.
An integral part of an audit is the action plan, which provides a snapshot of how an organisation is performing at that given moment. It can become a collaborative tool which is used to drive organisations forward with a clear snapshot of where they are right now, so that the decisions made become much more informed and target specific areas for improvement.
Jon Needham, Director of Safeguarding at Oasis Community Learning, explained: “The action plan is a real bonus. Our school download it as an Excel document to refer to and we hold regular meetings with safeguarding teams to see how the action plan is being used and whether the necessary actions are being carried out. It’s also a valuable tool to present to the Local Authorities when required.”
In addition, an audit system can help to ensure that public sector organisations are meeting their statutory and regulatory obligations. For example, Section 175 of the 2002 Education Act requires local authorities and schools to have regard for the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of children. An audit system can help to ensure that these obligations are being met by monitoring and reporting on performance in this area.
The Phew Audit System aids best practice and shared knowledge that leads to more collaborative working partnerships. By providing a comprehensive and automated audit process and detailed reports on performance, the system encourages staff members to identify areas for improvement and take action to address them quickly.
Using Phew’s online audit tool, Dudley Safeguarding People Partnership are able to monitor the effectiveness of local safeguarding arrangements from a single agency and a multi-agency perspective. They can also promote high standards of safeguarding work and foster a culture of continuous learning, improvement, and opportunity for challenge process across the partnership.
Sam Anderson, Safeguarding Partnership Business Manager at Dudley Safeguarding People Partnership, told us that: “Our close working relationship with Phew has now extended into our Section 175 and other audits that we’d previously always struggled to collect.
“Although their tools allow us to do everything we need to, the team are always there to support and advise us, and the key to that is sharing both regional and national best practice.”