Safeguarding Adults Key Legislation and Government Initiatives

Key government initiatives and legislation

Sexual Offences Act 2003

The Sexual Offences Act introduced a number of new offences concerning adults at risk and children.

See the Sexual Offences Act 2003 Legislation

Mental Capacity Act 2005

Its general principle is that everybody has capacity unless it is proved otherwise, that they should be supported to make their own decisions, that anything done for or on behalf of people without capacity must be in their best interests and should be the least restrictive intervention.

See the Mental Capacity Act 2005

Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006

Introduced the new Vetting and Barring Scheme and the role of the Independent Safeguarding Authority. The Act places a statutory duty on all those working with vulnerable groups to register and undergo an advanced vetting process with criminal sanctions for non-compliance.

See the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006

Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards

Introduced into the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and came into force in April 2009. Designed to provide appropriate safeguards for vulnerable people who have a mental disorder and lack the capacity to consent to the arrangements made or their care or treatment, and who may be deprived of their liberty in their best interests in order to protect them from harm.

See the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards

DoLS will be replaced by Liberty Protection Safeguards.

See the Liberty Protection Safeguards Legislation

Disclosure & Barring Service 2013

Criminal record checks: guidance for employers – How employers or organisations can request criminal records checks on potential employees from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).

See the Disclosure & Barring Service Update Service

The Care Act 2014 – statutory guidance

The Care Act introduces new responsibilities for local authorities. It also has major implications for adult care and support providers, people who use services, carers and advocates. It replaces No Secrets and puts adult safeguarding on a statutory footing.

See the Care and Support Statutory Guidance

Making Safeguarding Personal Guide 2014

This guide is intended to support councils and their partners to develop outcome-focused, person-centred safeguarding practice.

See the Making Safeguarding Personal Guide 2014


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Safeguarding Adults Online Courses

Learn more about safeguarding adults and learn how to recognise the signs of abuse with our introductory safeguarding adults courses.

Safeguarding Adults eLearning Courses