What is Section 11?

Chapter 3 of the ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children’ 2015 states that Local Safeguarding Children Boards (LSCBs) have a statutory duty to assess how well, and to what level, its partners are fulfilling their obligations to safeguard and promote the welfare of children under Section 11 of the Children Act 2004. This requirement is carried out through a regular cycle of auditing partners’ safeguarding effectiveness.

The standards and criteria for this year’s Section 11 audit (S11) have been developed and agreed through Somerset Safeguarding Children Board (SSCB) in collaboration with partner LSCB’s in the region

Which Organisations Does this Affect?

Section 11 places a duty on:

  • Local authorities 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;
  • 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 Probation Service;
  • Governors/Directors of Prisons and Young Offender Institutions;
  • Voluntary and private sector organisations;
  • Early years and child care;
  • Faith organisations;
  • Directors of Secure Training Centres; and
  • Youth Offending Teams/Services

How does it work? – This SSCB S11 audit has been designed within an online audit tool called Enable which is hosted by Virtual College. Enable is designed as a continuous self-improvement tool for organisations to use throughout the year, rather than just as a one-off exercise.

The means a continuous audit trail showing any changes that are made, by whom, when and for what reason, allowing organisations to track their level of compliance against the safeguarding standards, and the progress of action points. Users can log in and out whenever necessary or share the audit between individuals in their organisation, encouraging regular re-assessment and action tracking.

Users and Reviewers within partner organisations that have been pre-authorised by SSCB to use the Enable system are sent an email from the Virtual College inviting them to log in.

The Somerset S11 audit comprises nine categories with a number of standards (questions) within each category.  Within each standard there are grading criteria for the agency to assess against, whereby organisations are required to rate their arrangements and compliance against the following score criteria:

0 – Inadequate

1 – Requires Improvement

2 – Good

3 – Outstanding

Additionally, organisations may provide evidence in the form of narrative and uploaded documents to support their self-assessment. Where the organisation does not fully meet the required criteria, the audit tool enables an Action Plan to be created which details the actions needed, assigned person and progress status.

A number of guidance documents are available to walk you through the process of undertaking the audit. It may help to decide on the scoring and to gather together the evidence that you want to include before working on a particular section within the Enable tool. You can copy and paste information into the Enable tool from other electronic files.

The Enable tool is for you to assess your current compliance and use it to develop an improvement plan.  The SSCB will analyse responses to allow the Board to gain an overview of the general position around Somerset.  It is anticipated that once the overall S11 analysis has taken place for Somerset, some agencies will be selected to attend a quality assurance event hosted by the SSCB.


Registration and Logging In

Once you have registered, the SSCB will need to approve your registration.  Once you’ve been approved you will receive an email from the virtual college which will guide you in how to access the tool and set up login. Please register by following this link 

Once you have registered, you can log in here.

Resources and Guidance 


For queries relating to the Enable tool such as logging in or technical issues please contact:

Contact Virtual College –  LearnerSupport@virtual-college.co.uk or by phone 01943 885095

For queries regarding the content or process of the Section 11, including completing the online audit please contact:

Section 11 Audit Team – Section11Audit@somerset.gov.uk