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CAFOD Statement on CHS Certification

16 October 2018
Africa - Kenya - HandsOn - Image of holding hands (NB used for Oxfam, safeguarding statement story Feb 2018)

CAFOD has a zero-tolerance approach to misconduct and we are undertaking significant measures to improve our accountability to all of the communities and individuals we serve.

On 4 February 2019 CAFOD received confirmation that our certification against the Core Humanitarian Standard (CHS) framework has been fully reinstated, after a temporary suspension occurred in October 2018.

In October 2018, CAFOD’s certification against the Core Humanitarian Standard framework had been temporarily suspended after an independent audit, requested by CAFOD and conducted by the Humanitarian Quality Assurance Initiative (HQAI), found gaps in CAFOD’s complaints handling systems for the people and communities we work with overseas.

CAFOD has undertaken activities to improve practice in all areas of complaints capturing and recording from the communities and individuals we serve. These include re-contracting CAFOD’s Partner Funding Agreement with partners overseas and clarifying the need for assurance of adequate complaints handling mechanisms and safeguarding policies; the improvement of guidance, tools and systems to better support the assurance process; and internal skills strengthening to better support our partners where required. 

CAFOD remains committed to programme quality, accountability to people and communities, and being transparent in our work. We have championed the need for a quality standard for our sector, which is what led us to sign up to the voluntary Core Humanitarian Standards in 2015. CAFOD was a founding member of the CHS. We applied for the highest standard level of review, with the most robust assessment of our work. 

Alongside the Core Humanitarian Standards, CAFOD is accountable to our Code of Behaviour, Complaints Policy, and Safeguarding Policy, each of which have been updated in recent months, to ensure the safety and security of the communities we support.


  1. The Core Humanitarian Standards framework for international development agencies has 152 members, of which six British NGOs are certified, including CAFOD. For more information on the Core Humanitarian Standard, please visit here

  2. CAFOD is the official aid agency of the Catholic Church in England and Wales, and part of Caritas International. Across the world we bring hope and compassion to poor communities, standing side by side with them to end poverty and injustice. Because we work through the local Church, we can reach people and places that others can’t. 

For further information please contact:   Alan Jones, +44 (0)7771 975716, +44 (0)20 7095 5459,