Audits and inspections

Quality assurance is naturally important to all organisations, but here at the IWF it’s vital. We want to reassure victims of child sexual abuse that the assessments made by our analysts are, and continue to be, world leading. And we also want to continue to maintain the high standards we’ve set across the board. We invite regular and independent audits and inspections by appropriate personnel and authorities.  

  • The work of the Hotline is critical. We have a dedicated team of Quality Assurance Officers who act as ‘critical friends’ to the hotline – they take daily samples of work and review the assessments made by our analysts to ensure accuracy. This helps us to improve our systems and processes.
  • The Hotline is also independently inspected every two years by a team of external law enforcement, forensic and academic professionals led by an esteemed retired High Court Judge. The most recent of these inspections found the IWF to be compliant with best practice standard.
  • As a member of INHOPE we are also subject to their review. Our most recent audit by the INHOPE team was carried out in September 2018 and it was reported that the IWF ‘maintains exceptional standards in all areas and its practices can be recommended to new or existing hotlines wishing to develop or expand their services’.

Our information security management system has been ISO 27001 certified for a number of years. This is further evidence of our commitment to the security of the data and technology we’re harnessing in our fight against online child sexual abuse imagery. We are externally audited every year and follow a schedule of regular internal audits.

As a registered charity, we are committed to ensuring that our policies, strategies and procedures are compliant with company law and charity commission regulations. 

Our financial accounts are audited annually and are published within our Trustees’ Report and Financial Statements – the most recent of which can be found here.

Further reading

Human rights audit

In January 2014, the Internet Watch Foundation published a human rights audit carried out by former Director of Public Prosecutions Lord Ken Macdonald.

Independent report on international notice & takedown system

Independent report: The development of a comprehensive, transferable international internet notice and takedown system