DBS Checks & Criminal Record Checks

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Glossary Of Safeguarding Terminology


Abuse covers every form of ‘abuse’, Including sexual, emotional, psychological, material, financial, physical, discriminatory, organisational abuse and any acts of omission.

ACPO stands for the Association of Chief Police Officers. The ACPO develops and establishes the police policy in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

ADASS is short for the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services. ADASS is the national association for directors of adult social care services in local authorities.

Advocacy is being supportive of people and representing their interests. Advocates help people to secure their rights, say want they want and maintain their rights. Any individual who is the subject of a safeguarding enquiry or review has the right for an independent advocate, which must be arranged by the local authority, Under the Care Act. The advocate then helps the person express their views, wishes, or feelings

An alert is raised by an Alerter. An alert is a concern that an individual is or may be a victim of exploitation, neglect or abuse. Alerts are also raised for people who’re also at risk.

An alerter is the person who highlights a concern that an adult is at, is being, has been at risk of neglect or abuse.

An assessment is a process put in place that identifies the needs of an individual, whether these needs are being met and how their wellbeing and day to day life are being impacted.


Best interests decision
A best interests decision is a decision that has been made in the best interests of an individual. If they have been assessed and it has been determined that they lack the mental capacity to make a specific decision, it is defined by an act. The past and present wishes of a person, lasting power of attorney and advance directive must be taken into consideration when making the best interest decision. A family member, friend, advocate or GP who knows the individual should also be consulted.


Care Act 2014
The Care Act 2014 is a reformed law that related to the support and care for carers and adults. This act came into force in April 2015. Clauses 42-45 of this Act gives the statutory framework for protecting adults from abuse and neglect.

Care and support needs
Care and support needs refer to the support an individual needs so that they can attain key goals and targets in their daily life. This also includes wellbeing, quality of life and safety. A national eligibility threshold for adults was introduced by The Care Act and consists of three criterias – all of which has to be met for an individual to be eligible.

Care settings or services
A care setting or service refers to any service or setting that used or relied on for care services. This includes but is not limited to:

  • Emotional support
  • Emergency housing
  • Housing provided by an employee or organisation for someone
  • Advice services
  • Nursing care
  • Social care

A carer refers to both paid care workers and unpaid adult carers (such as relatives and friends).

CCG stands for Clinical Commissioning Group. The CCG was established on 1 April 2013 and replaced the Primary Care Trusts. The planning and commissioning of local health services for the public are now the CCG’s responsibility.

Central Referral Unit
The Central Referral Unit is where all referrals to the police are received. Every referral is then risk assessed, graded and allocated to the partner agency or police team who have the resource to deal with it.

Clinical Governance
Clinical Governance refers to the framework that the NHS utilises in order to ensure high standards of care and improve the quality of services.

Community safety
Community safety refers to the services and initiatives available that aim to improve safety in the community. This includes but is not limited to:

  • Anti-social behaviour,
  • Safer Neighbourhoods,
  • Hate crime,
  • Domestic abuse,
  • Slavery

Consent refers to the individual’s voluntary and continuing permission for an intervention. The individual must have adequate knowledge of the reason nature, likely consequences and risks of that intervention.

Contemporaneous notes
Contemporaneous notes can be used when giving evidence in legal proceedings. These notes are taken during the time of meetings with individuals. This includes telephone calls, visits to premises during the course of an investigation.

Community Safety Partnership
The Community Safety Partnership is a tactical forum that brings agencies and communities together so that they can tackle crime within their communities. This partnership is comprised of local authorities such as Police and Fire and Rescue.

CPA stands for the Care Programme Approach. This approach was introduced in England in the joint Health and Social Services Circular HC(90)23/LASSL(90)11. This is for individuals with a mental illness who’re referred to specialist psychiatric services, published by the Department of Health in 1990. Specific arrangements must be made by health authorities who work in collaboration with social services departments.

CPS is short for Crown Prosecution Service. This is a government department that’s responsible for prosecuting criminal cases that are investigated by the police in England and Wales.

CQC stands for Care Quality Commission. The CQC is the body responsible for the regulation and registration of health and social care in the UK.


Dash is short for Domestic Abuse, Stalking and Harassment and ‘Honour’ Based Violence.

DBS is the acronym used for the Disclosure and Barring Service. The DBS is a governmental body that was established in 2012 through the Protection of Freedoms Act. It was the merger of two former organisations, the CRB and the ISA.

Defensible decision making
Defensible decision making is when a clear rationale that’s based on legislation, policy and models of practice is used to make an informed decision

Designated Adult Safeguarding Manager
The Designated Adult Safeguarding Manager refers to the individual within an organisation who’s responsible with management and oversight of unique complex cases and coordination where allegations are made or concerns raised about a person.

DOLS stands for Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards and puts measures in place to protect those who lack the mental capacity to make certain decisions for themselves. DOLS came into place in April 2009 and is part of the Mental Capacity Act 2005.

Domestic abuse
Domestic abuse refers to any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over. This also includes those who are or have been intimate partners or family members.

Domestic Homicide Reviews
Domestic Homicide Reviews are statutory reviews that are commissioned as a result of deaths that are a consequence of domestic violence. They are subject to the guidance issued by the Home Office in 2006 under the Domestic Violence Crime and Victims Act 2004.

Duty of Candour
The Duty of Candour is a requirement on all health and adult social care providers registered with the CQC to be open with people when things go wrong.


Enhanced DBS Check
An enhanced DBS check is a form of Disclosure and Barring Service check. Find out about what is covered in an Enhanced DBS check here.


Family Group Conference
A Family Group Conference is a tactic that’s used to try and empower families and people to work out solutions to their own problems. This is done through a trained FGC coordinator who supports the person at risk, and helps their family or wider support network to reach an agreement, alongside the action that needs to be taken and the preventative measures that must be put in place.


GDPR stands for the General Data Protection Regulation. This is an EU regulation and law on data protection and privacy for all individuals within the EU and EEA.


Harm refers to any ill-treatment including sexual abuse and ill-treatment that isn’t physical, the avoidable deterioration and or impairment in physical or mental health. of physical, intellectual, emotional, social or behavioural development.

Hate crime
A hate crime is any crime that is thought to be a crime that’s been committed against someone for racist, homophobic, transphobic reasons. This may also be due to a person’s religion, belief, gender identity or disability.

HealthWatch is an independent consumer champion that was created in order to gather and represent the views of the public. There are two different forms of HealthWatch – local Healthwatch and Healthwatch England.

Health and Wellbeing Board
The Health and Wellbeing Board is a statutory, multi-organisation committee of NHS and local authority commissioners. The board gives tactical leadership across local authority areas for the commissioning of health and social care services.

Human trafficking
Human trafficking refers to the recruitment, transportation, transfer, and harbouring of someone with the intention of threatening them or using force and or other forms of coercion, and abusing the power or of a position of vulnerability, and achieving coerced consent of a person having control over someone else by giving and receiving of payments or benefits, for the purpose of exploitation”.


IMCA stands for Independent mental capacity advocate and was established by the Mental Capacity Act 2005. IMCAs act as a legal safeguard for people who lack the capacity to make specific important decisions, including decisions about where they live and serious medical treatment options. I


LSAB stands for the Local Safeguarding Adults Board, which is a statutory, multi-organisation partnership committee. This committee gives strategic leadership for adult safeguarding and is coordinated by the local authority.

DBS Checks & Criminal Record Checks


MSP is short for Making Safeguarding Personal. This approach to safeguarding work has the intention of moving away from any safeguarding that is process driven, and aims, to place the person at risk at the centre of the process. This, in turn, means that they can work with them to achieve the outcomes they want.

MAPPA is the acronym for Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements. MAPPA is the statutory arrangement for managing sexual and violent offenders.

MARAC is short for Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conference and is a multi-agency forum of organisations. These organisations manage high-risk cases of honour-based violence, stalking and domestic abuse.

MASH stands for Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub. This service is made up of Police, Adult Services, NHS and other organisations. MASH helps agencies to act quickly in a coordinated and consistent way. This means that the person at risk is kept safe.

Mate Crime
Mate crime a form of exploitation where a person is harmed or taken advantage of by person they believed was their friend.

Mental Capacity
Mental capacity is used to describe whether someone has the mental capacity to make a decision or not. The code of practice in The Mental Capacity Act 2005 outlines how someone who lacks the capacity should be supported when they make a decision.


The NHS is the name for the National Healthcare Service. The NHS is the UK’s publicly funded health care service.


Public interest
Public Interest refers to decisions about what is deemed to be in the public interest when it comes to the rights of an individual’s privacy and the rights of others.

PREVENT is a Government strategy that was launched in 2007. This strategy aims to stop people from becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism and is part of the government’s counter-terrorism strategy

Prevention is the term used that describes how the care and support system actively promotes the wellbeing and independence of people. They take prevention rather than cure approach.


Safeguarding is the term used to describe any activity that protects a person’s right to live in safety, free from abuse and neglect.

Self-neglect is the intentional or unintentional the inability to maintain a socially and culturally accepted standard of self-care, that results in serious consequences to the health and well-being of the individual.

Significant Harm
Significant harm refers to any ill-treatment (including sexual abuse and forms of ill-treatment which are not physical), that has resulted in the impairment of physical, intellectual, emotional, social or behavioural development.

SIRI stands for Serious Incident Requiring Investigation. This is the process used by the NHS when they investigate serious incidents that have resulted in serious harm or an unexpected or avoidable death of one or more patients, staff, visitors or the public.


Vital interests
Vital interest permits sharing of information where it is crucial to prevent harm or distress or in life-threatening situations and is used under the Data Protection Act 1998.


Wilful neglect or ill-treatment
Willful neglect or ill-treatment refers to the intentional, deliberate or reckless omission or failure of a person who fails to carry out an act of care for a person who doesn’t have the capacity to care for themselves.

If you are unsure of the level of DBS check required for a role or have uncertainties in what type of check your current and future employees need, we at Care Check will be glad to advise you. For your enquiries, contact us on 0333 777 8575 or email us at info@carecheck.co.uk.

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