Glossary and acronyms


Adult at risk 

Adult at risk is a person aged 18 or over who is in need of care and support regardless of whether they are receiving them, and because of those needs are unable to protect themselves against abuse or neglect.

Adult safeguarding 

Adult safeguarding means protecting a person’s right to live in safety, free from abuse and neglect.

Adult safeguarding lead 

Adult safeguarding lead is the title given to the member of staff in an organisation who is given the lead for Safeguarding Adults.


Advocacy means taking action to help people who experience substantial difficulty contributing to the safeguarding process to say what they want, secure their rights, represent their interests and obtain the services they need.

Appropriate Adult 

Appropriate Adult is a specific role prescribed under the Police & Criminal Evidence Act 1984. The role of an appropriate adult is confined to instances where a police officer has any suspicion, or is told in good faith, that a person of any age may be mentally disordered or otherwise mentally vulnerable, in the absence of clear evidence to dispel that suspicion, the person shall be treated as a vulnerable adult and supported by an ‘Appropriate Adult’.

Best Interest 

The Mental Capacity Act 2005 (MCA) states that if a person lacks mental capacity to make a particular decision then whoever is making that decision or taking any action on that person’s behalf must do so in the person’s best interest. This is one of the principles of the MCA.

Appropriate individual 

Within this document an ‘appropriate individual’ is a person who supports an adult at risk typically but not exclusively in an advocacy role, and is separate to an Appropriate Adult as described above.

Care setting 

This is where a person receives care and support from health and social care organisations. This includes hospitals, hospices, respite units, nursing homes, residential care homes, and day opportunities arrangements.


Throughout these policy and procedures refers to Family/Friend Carers as distinct from paid carers who are referred throughout as Support Workers. The Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) define a carer as someone who ‘spends a significant proportion of their time providing unpaid support to a family member, partner or friend who is ill, frail, disabled or has mental health or substance misuse problems’.


Commissioning is the cyclical activity to assess the needs of local populations for care and support services, determining what element of this, needs to be arranged by the respective organisations, then designing, delivering, monitoring and evaluating those services.

Community Safety Partnerships 

Community Safety Partnerships operate in every area in Berkshire and are multi-agency partnerships working to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour.


Concern is the term used to describe when there is or might be an incident of abuse or neglect and it replaces the previously use term of ‘alert’.


Contracting is the means by which a process is made legally binding. Contract management is the process that then ensures that services continue to be delivered to the agreed quality standards.

Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) 

DBS helps employers make safer recruitment decisions and prevent unsuitable people from working with vulnerable groups. It replaces the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA).


An Enquiry establishes whether any action needs to be taken to stop or prevent abuse or neglect, and if so, what action and by whom the action is taken. Previously this may have been called a ‘referral’

Enquiry Lead 

Enquiry Lead is the agency who leads the enquiry described above.

Equality Act 2010 

The Equality Act 2010 legally protects people from discrimination in the workplace and in wider society. It replaced previous anti-discrimination laws with a single Act, making the law easier to understand and strengthening protection in some situations. It sets out the different ways in which it is unlawful to treat someone

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a legal framework that sets guidelines for the collection and processing of personal information of individuals within the European Union (EU). The GDPR sets out the principles for data management and the rights of the individual, while also imposing fines that can be revenue-based. The GDPR came into effect across the EU on May 25, 2018 and its requirements are part of English law under the Data Protection Act 2018.

Independent Domestic Violence Advisor 

Adults who are the subject of domestic violence may be supported by an Independent Domestic Violence  Advisor (IDVA). IDVA’s provide practical and emotional support to people who are at the highest levels of risk. Practitioners should consult with the adult at risk to consider if the IDVA is the most appropriate person to support them and ensure their eligibility for the service.

IMCA (independent mental capacity advocate) 

Established by the Mental Capacity Act (MCA) 2005, IMCAs are mainly instructed to represent people where there is no one independent of services, such as family or friend, who is able to represent them. IMCAs are a legal safeguard for people who lack the mental capacity to make specific important decisions about where they live, serious medical treatment options, care reviews or adult safeguarding concerns.

Independent Mental Health Advocate 

Under the Mental Health Act 1983 certain people known as ‘qualifying patients’ are entitled to the help and support from an Independent Mental Health Advocate. If there is a safeguarding matter whilst the IMHA is working with the adult at risk, consideration for that person to be supported by the same advocate should be given.

Independent Sexual Violence Advocate (ISVA) 

Independent Sexual Violence Advocate (ISVA) is trained to provide support to people in rape or sexual assault cases. They help victims to understand how the criminal justice process works and explain processes, for example, what will happen following a report to the police and the importance of forensic DNA retrieval.

LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) 

LGBT is an acronym used to refer collectively to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

Making Safeguarding Personal (MSP)

MSP is about person centered and outcome focused practice. It is how professionals are assured by adults at risk that they have made a difference to people by taking action on what matters to people, and is personal and meaningful to them.

MAPPA (Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements)

MAPPA (Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements) are a set of arrangements to manage the risk posed by the most serious sexual and violent offenders (MAPPA-eligible offenders) under the provisions of sections 325 to 327B of the Criminal Justice Act 2003.

Natural justice 

Natural Justice refers to the principles and procedures that govern the adjudication of an issue, which should be unbiased, without prejudice, and there is equal right to being heard.

Person/organisation alleged to have caused harm 

This is the person/organisation suspected to be the source of risk to an adult at risk.

Position of trust 

Position of trust refers to a situation where one person holds a position of authority and uses that position to his or her advantage to commit a crime or to intentionally abuse or neglect someone who is vulnerable and unable to protect him or herself.


Procurement is the specific function to buy or acquire services which commissioners have duties to arrange to meet people’s needs, to agreed quality standards, providing value for money to the public purse.

Public interest 

Public interest is a decision about what is in the public interest needs to be made by balancing the rights of the individual to privacy with the rights of others to protection.

Registered Intermediaries (RI) 

Registered intermediaries play an important role in improving understanding of the justice process for people who have communication difficulties. They help people to understand the questions that are put to them and to have their answers understood, enabling them to achieve best evidence for the police and the courts.

Regulated Provider 

A regulated provider is an individual, organisation or partnership that carries on activities that are specified in Schedule 1 of the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014.

Safeguarding Adults Manager 

The Safeguarding Adults Manager is the person who manages, makes decisions, provides guidance and has oversight of safeguarding concerns that are raised to the Local Authority.

Strategic Executive Information System (StEIS)

Strategic Executive Information System (StEIS) reporting a Serious Incident must be done by recording the incident on this system, which facilitates the reporting of Serious Incidents and the monitoring of investigations between NHS providers and commissioners. More information is available here.  

Victim Support

Victim Support is a national charity, which provides support for victims and witnesses of crime in England and Wales. It provides free and confidential help to family, friends and anyone else affected by crime, which includes information, emotional and practical support. Help can be accessed either directly from local branches or through the Victim Support helpline.


Vital interest 

Vital interest is a term used in the Data Protection Act (DPA) 1998 to permit sharing of information where it is critical to prevent serious harm or distress, or in life-threatening situations.