4.3 Appendix 3 – Terminology and definitions




Replaces (where relevant)


Safeguarding concern


Levels no longer apply.  Nature of concern / risk and outcomes the adult wants to achieve informs what is the most appropriate and proportionate response to the concern eg. causing an enquiry to be made by another organisation / agency.

Three key tests in the Care Act


Three key tests in relation to adults covered by the safeguarding procedures.


The safeguarding duties apply to an adult who:

·         has needs for care and support (whether or not the local authority is meeting any of those needs) and

·         is experiencing, or is at risk of, abuse or neglect, and

·         as a result of those care and support needs is unable to protect themselves from the risk or experience of abuse or neglect.


Once the local authority has reasonable cause to believe an adult meets this test its Section 42 duty is triggered.  The local authority may still decide to undertaken an enquiry where the three tests in the Care Act are not met


NB Carers are also covered by the procedures where they meet the three tests set out above.

Safeguarding enquiry


An ‘enquiry’ is any first action taken in response to a safeguarding concern to establish whether the local authority’s Section 42 duty has been triggered, ie. the three tests in the Care Act have been met.

There is a move away from investigations (except by the police and where disciplinary investigations are undertaken by employers).

Section 42 enquiry


The local authority must make or cause other agencies or organisations to make enquiries when it’s Section 42 duty is triggered, ie. when it has reasonable cause to believe that the three tests in the Care Act have been met.

Initial actions (enquiries)


Any first responses made under the local authority’s Section 42 duty to make enquiries / cause enquiries to be made.


NB A conversation with the adult should always be the first response (or one of the first, responses, if they have not already been spoken with).

Conclusion of an enquiry


The local authority’s Section 42 duty of enquiry continues until it has decided what action is necessary to protect the adult, and by whom, and has ensured that this action has been taken.

Further actions (enquiries)


If the issue cannot be resolved through the actions taken in the initial response to the safeguarding concern the local authority’s duty under Section 42 continues until it decides what action is necessary to protect the adult, and by whom, and ensures itself that this action has been taken.

Enquiry Manager (EM)

Investigation Manager

A suitably trained and experienced practitioner employed by the local authority with responsibility for decision making in relation Section 42 enquiries.

Enquiry Officer (EO)

Investigating Officer

A suitably trained and skilled practitioner undertaking an enquiry or aspects of an enquiry.

Designated Adult Safeguarding Manager (DASM)

N/A (this is a new role)

The local authority and each member of the Safeguarding Adults Board (SAB) should have a DASM responsible for the management and oversight of individual complex cases and coordination where allegations are made or concerns raised about a person, whether an employee, volunteer or student, paid or unpaid, who may have harmed or who may pose a risk to adults.  The DASM provides advice and guidance within their organisation, liaising with other agencies as necessary and monitors the progress of cases to ensure they are dealt with as quickly as possible, consistent with a thorough and fair process.

Safeguarding adults review (SAR)

Serious case reviews

Safeguarding Adults Boards must arrange a SAR when an adult in its area dies as a result of, or has experienced serious abuse or neglect (known or suspected) and there is concern that partner agencies could have worked more effectively together.  The aim of the SAR is to identify and implement learning from this.

The person(s) or service thought to be the cause of risk, or ‘cause of risk’

Person / service alleged responsible

A person, organisation or service who may have some relationship to the cause of risk or issue of concern for the adult.

Types of abuse

Categories of abuse

These are types of abuse identified in the Care Act guidance.  In addition to the existing types of abuse, these now include domestic violence, modern slavery and self-neglect.

Organisational abuse

Institutional abuse

Includes neglect and poor practice within an institution or specific care setting, eg in a hospital or care home or in relation to care provided in a person’s own home.  This may rage from one off incidents to ongoing ill-treatment.  It can be through neglect or poor professional practice as a result of the structure, policies, processes and practices within an organisation.

Modern slavery


Includes slavery, human trafficking, forced labour, and domestic servitude, including inhumane and abusive treatment.

Domestic abuse


Note: safeguarding adults procedures are concerned with people aged 18 and over.  Domestic violence includes young people aged 16 years and over, however young people are covered by Child Protection procedures.



Self-neglect is now included as a type of abuse under the safeguarding adults procedures.  See guidance for working with people who self-neglect.

Safeguarding meeting

Strategy meeting and case conference

Safeguarding adults work and a ‘making safeguarding personal’ (MSP) approach starts from a point that the adult / their representative will always be included in any discussion or meeting that relates to them.


Adult at risk

A person who meets the three key tests set out in the Care Act.



A negative or detrimental impact on an adult’s emotional, physical or mental well-being.

Making Safeguarding Personal



‘Making safeguarding personal’ means it should be person-led and outcomes focused.  It engages the person in a conversation about how best to respond to their safeguarding situation in a way that enhances involvement, choice and control as well as improving quality of life, well-being and safety.  (See MSP Practice Guidance and Toolkit).

Safeguarding plan


Actions / arrangements agreed with the adult to support them in maintaining their safety.  These should be incorporated into the adult’s support / care plan where they have one.  It should include clear information regarding roles and responsibilities of all those involved and the arrangements for monitoring and reviewing the effectiveness of this plan.


Where there are actions that relate to the Local Authority and / or other agencies, rather than the individual adult, these should also be recorded.


While the local authority’s Section 42 duty will be discharged once it has determined that the adult has been protected and / or the actions required have been taken, it must ensure that any actions taken as a result of this process are monitored and kept under review.

The local authority and other organisations must ensure they have arrangements in place for the effective monitoring and review of these actions.


This may include actions for agencies and organisations where the adult does not wish to have a safeguarding plan in place.

Agencies responsible for commissioning / commissioners


The term ‘commissioning’ or ‘commissioners’ refers to any agency, service or team with a responsibility for commissioning care and support service, including social care, health, housing etc.  It includes any commissioning and quality assurance functions, and teams with this function.

Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DOLS)


The Mental Capacity Act  Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DOLS) were created as an amendment to the Mental Capacity Act 2005 (introduced by the Mental Health Act 2007) to provide a legal process to authorise the deprivation of liberty of a person in a hospital or care home who lacks Capacity to consent.

Court of Protection


The specialist Court for all issues relating to people who lack capacity to make specific decisions. The Court of Protection is established under section 45 of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 (MCA).

Care Quality Commission (CQC)


The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is the independent regulator of health and social care in England. They regulate care provided by the NHS, local authorities, private companies and voluntary organisations. They aim to make sure better care is provided for everyone - in hospitals, care homes and people's own homes. They also seek to protect the interests of people whose rights are restricted under the Mental Health Act.



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