Adult Support and Protection (Scotland) Act 2007: guidance for Adult Protection Committees

Revised guidance to reflect the developments in policy, practice and legislation both in the overall context of adult support and protection and in day-to-day activity. It provides information and detail to support practical application of the 2007 Act for Adult Protection Committees.


The first edition of this guidance was issued by the Scottish Government, effective from October 2008, when the Adult Support & Protection (Scotland) Act 2007 ("The Act") was implemented. It focused on elaborating upon the expectations relating to the duties and workings of Adult Protection Committees as outlined in the Act.

Since then, there has been the integration of health and social care; changes introduced in terms of the governance of public protection at a local level; refinement of the expectations of the Scottish Government in relation to Child Protection processes and practice (which has implications for adult protection); and the issuing of new guidance relating to Learning Review procedures and process.

Practice and practice expectations have also developed significantly over the past 12 years, with there now being a much greater appreciation of the breadth of work that can fall within the provisions of the Act, and of the implications this has for the work of Adult Protection Committees.

The Adult Support and Protection National Strategic Forum, chaired by the Minister for Mental Wellbeing and Social Care, has recognised the changed landscape within which Adult Support and Protection now operates. It therefore proposed that this was an appropriate time to undertake a review of the Adult Support and Protection Code of Practice. It further proposed that similar work will be undertaken to revise the guidance for APCs. These proposals were then agreed by the Minister.

Note: The Act and the original guidance make frequent references to Councils and their officers. The Act was passed and enacted prior to Health and Social Care integration. In this guidance references to Councils should therefore be taken to include bodies and partnerships* that have delegated social work functions.

The Act and the original guidance also refer to other statutory bodies who have since be reorganised and renamed. In this guidance reference is therefore made to their current titles, for example Police Scotland and the Care Inspectorate.

*By "partnerships" we mean the group of partners who work together – operationally and strategically—to:

  • receive all intimations of adult protect concerns;
  • determine which concerns require investigation and investigate them;
  • determine actions required to make sure that adults at risk of harm are safe, protected, supported, involved, and consulted;
  • and are responsible and accountable for the implementation of these actions.



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