Publication - Advice and guidance

National Guidance for Child Protection Committees for Conducting a Significant Case Review

Published: 31 Mar 2015
Children and Families Directorate
Part of:
Communities and third sector

This guidance has been superseded by the 2021 Learning Review guidance, available at

National Guidance for Child Protection Committees for Conducting a Significant Case Review


The national Audit and Review of Child Protection It's Everyone's Job to Make Sure I'm Alright (2002) recommended that the Scottish Executive 'consult on how child fatality reviews should be introduced in Scotland'. This was taken forward under the Child Protection Reform Programme, and national interim guidance for carrying out significant case reviews was introduced in 2007 (Scottish Executive 2007). This interim guidance aimed to provide a systematic approach to - 'help provide more clarity and consistency on what should be done and how best to act on the lessons learnt from a significant case review, both locally and across Scotland.'

In November 2009 the Scottish Government commissioned an independent short-life working group to consider how to improve the SCR process. The group made 10 recommendations to the Scottish Government. In terms of child protection, these were a priority for the Scottish Government and were signed off by the then Minister for Children and Early Years, Adam Ingram. In January 2012 the Scottish Government commissioned an Audit and Analysis of SCRs (Vincent and Petch 2012). A key finding of this research was that there was still inconsistency in how reviews were being undertaken across Scotland.

The Scottish Government responded to the recommendations of the working group and the Audit and Analysis by setting up a SCR Working Group in 2013 tasked with revising the interim national guidance. This guidance is the product of that work.