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

Revised guidance to reflect 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 GPs and staff in General Practice.


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 Adult Support and Protection Act, and it is those that should be used in any process or situation where precise definition is required.

Adjacent place

A place near or next to any place where an adult at risk may be, such as a garage, outbuilding etc.


An individual aged 16 years or over

Adult at risk

An adult who meets the criteria in Section 3 (1).

The three-point criteria is:

An adult who is unable to safeguard their own wellbeing, property, rights or other interests; Are at risk of harm, and because they are: affected by disability, disorder, illness and infirmity are more vulnerable to being harmed than adults who are not so affected.

Adult Protection Committee

A committee established by a council under section 42 of the Act to safeguard adults at risk of harm in its area.

Council Officer

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


A fully registered person within the meaning of the Medical Act 1983.

General Practice

(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).


A continuing or welfare attorney, or a guardian under the Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) Act 2000.

Undue Influence

Pressure by which a person is induced to act otherwise than by their own free will or without adequate attention to the consequences.

Undue pressure

Persuasion imposed on an individual by someone in whom the individual has confidence and trust.



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