Delivering circles of support and accountability to protect communities from sexual harm and sexual reoffending


“Circles South West maintains very high standards of provision” Independent Compliance Review 2023

Circles South West is an independent charity providing Circles of Support and Accountability (CoSA) in accordance with Ministry of Justice approved national standards; the Code of Practice for CoSA. Circles UK is the national body through which the Ministry of Justice is assured of the quality of our and other circles’ providers’ services. These national standards give confidence to referrers, funders and the public that our charity is working safely, consistently and effectively to protect communities from sexual harm.

Circles Providers are reviewed bi-annually to by Circles UK to ensure compliance with the Code of Practice for CoSA.  Circles South West has recently undergone a compliance review and we are delighted to report that we scored 95.4%, well within the required minimum of 80% to ensure that our full membership with Circles UK is renewed.

Preparation for the review is a huge task, alongside all the other work being undertaken by our staff, trustees and volunteers. Twelve weeks before the site visits from Circles UK staff, we gather and submit a huge and comprehensive evidence file to demonstrate compliance with a range of requirements for governance and service delivery. The 3-day site visit in June audited 3 Circles in varying locations. Staff, trustees, volunteers, stakeholders and Core Members were interviewed and given the opportunity to talk about their roles and experiences of circles, as well as to answer questions and clarify any issues arising from the submitted evidence.

The resulting Compliance Review Report highlighted areas of good practice, including:

In the words of Riana Taylor, CEO of Circles UK:

“…. (I) am pleased to tell you that a high score of 95.4% was achieved. This is excellent, especially within the context of having to mobilise your M of J Circles contract……….your review clearly shows that, since your last review in 2021, CSW managed to maintain high standards of provision”

For those of us in Circles South West, none of these comments holds surprises but it is good to have them voiced by an independent inspector! Thank you to all those involved in the review and special thanks to our wonderful group of volunteers, across the South West, without whom none of this would be possible.

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