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.


This glossary is for illustrative purposes only and is not intended to be prescriptive. Full statutory definitions of many of the terms are contained in Section 53 of the Act, and it is those that should be used in any process or situation where precise definition is required.


An individual aged 16 years or over

Adult at risk

"Adults at risk" are adults who -

a) are unable to safeguard their own well-being, property, rights or other interests;

b) are at risk from harm, and,

c) because they are affected by disability, mental disorder, illness or physical or mental infirmity, are more vulnerable to being harmed than adults who are not so affected.

Adult Protection Committee

A committee established by a council to safeguard adults at risk in its area.

Assessment Order

An order granted by a sheriff to help the council decide whether the person is an adult at risk and, if so, whether it needs to do anything to protect the person from harm.


A continuing attorney or welfare attorney.

Banning/Temporary Banning order

Order granted by a sheriff to ban a person from being in a specified place or area. The order may have specified conditions attached.


Includes neglect and other failures to act.

Council Officer

An individual appointed by a council to perform certain specified function under the terms of the Act.

General Practices

(a) A person providing primary medical services under a general medical services contract (within the meaning of the National Health Service (Scotland) Act 1978)

(b) A person providing primary medical services under arrangements made under Section 17c of that Act.

Health Professional

In terms of the Act, this refers to a doctor, nurse, midwife or any other type of individual prescribed by Scottish Ministers.


The overarching process, as per section 4, to gather information to establish whether or not an adult is at risk of harm (as per the three-point criteria of the Act); conduct risk assessment; develop risk management plans; determine what, if any, action is required to be taken to safeguard that adult.

Investigative powers (investigation activity)

Powers under the Act that enable or assist councils to determine whether or not an adult is at risk of harm and to determine whether it needs to do anything to protect an adult at risk of harm (for example medical examinations under section 9 or the examination of records under section 10).

Primary Carer

The individual who provides all or most of the care and support for the person concerned. This could be a relative or friend, but does not include any person paid to care for the person.

Removal order

A council may apply to a sheriff for an order which authorises –

a) A council officer, or any council nominee, to move a specified person to a specified place within 72 hours of the order being made and;

b) The council to take such reasonable steps as it thinks fit for the purpose of protecting the moved person from harm.

Warrant for entry

A "warrant for entry" is a warrant which authorises –

a) A council officer to visit any specified place under section 7 or 16 of the act with a constable and;

b) a constable who so accompanies a council officer to do anything, using reasonable force where necessary, which the constable considers to be reasonably required in order to fulfil the objective of the visit.



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