Enhancing Safeguarding Compliance in IPAS Centres: Protect Your Residents

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Safeguarding has been identified as a major area on non-compliance within recently published HIQA inspection reports of International Protection Accommodation Services centres. This finding is critical and requires immediate attention.


In recent HIQA Inspection Reports, safeguarding has emerged as a significant area of non-compliance within International Protection Accommodation Services (IPAS) centres. With the oversight responsibilities now under HIQA, it’s crucial for IPAS providers to prioritise a review and enhancement of their safeguarding measures.

This article outlines some of the non-compliant issues identified by HIQA in relation to safeguarding and details the lines of enquiry that IPAS providers must be cognisant of to ensure they are meeting the requirements set out in the National Standards for accommodation offered to people in the protection process (2019).

Summary of Findings in Relation to Theme 8: Safeguarding and Protection

HIQA identified the below non-compliant issues in its recent inspections of IPAS centres:

HIQA Lines of Enquiry for Safeguarding and Protection in IPAS Centres

Below are the lines of enquiry and types of information HIQA considers when accessing an IPAS centre’s compliance with Theme 8: Safeguarding and Protection. IPAS centres should review and consider these areas when self-assessing their compliance:

Standard 8.1 The service provider protects residents from abuse and neglect and promotes their safety and welfare:

Standard 8.2 The service provider takes all reasonable steps to protect each child from abuse and neglect and children’s safety and welfare is promoted.

Standard 8.3 The service provider manages and reviews adverse events and incidents in a timely manner and outcomes inform practice at all levels.


As noted, the HIQA IPAS inspection reports have highlighted major concerns in IPAS centres around safeguarding. To move towards compliance, IPAS providers must review their practices immediately. Consider undertaking an audit of your safeguarding practices in line with the National Standards, regulations and guidance to identify gaps in policies, training, and incident and complaint management. It is essential that all staff are aware of the types of abuse, how to recognise safeguarding issues and what to do if they have any concerns. As such, training programs must be established to ensure staff are fully aware of their duties in protecting vulnerable adults and children. Additionally, it is crucial to establish effective incident reporting and management system for reporting, tracking, and mitigating safeguarding issues.

As an industry leader in healthcare quality, safety, and regulatory compliance, HCI can be invaluable in supporting your IPAS centre to review and enhance your safeguarding practices. By leveraging HCI’s comprehensive quality and safety professional services, your IPAS centre can develop robust safeguarding policies, ensure thorough staff training, and implement an effective incident management system. These measures not only address the immediate non-compliance issues but also foster a safer environment for residents by promoting continuous quality improvement and adherence to the National Standards.

For more information on how HCI’s safeguarding support services for IPAS centres, please contact us at info@hci.care or call 01 629 2559.


Department of Justice & Equality (2019). National Standards for accommodation offered to people in the protection process.

Health Information and Quality Authority (2024). Assessment-Judgment Framework for the Monitoring of International Protection Accommodation Service Centres.

Contact Us

For more information contact info@hci.care or Phone +353 (0)1 6292559.