Standard 10 of the Care Certificate explores the protection and safeguarding of vulnerable adults.
It looks at the types of abuse and how to respond to suspicions of abuse as well as looking at ways that you and your organisation can reduce the likelihood of abuse occurring.
Finally, it looks at the various legislation and agencies, both local and national, that help to protect vulnerable adults from abuse.
The information on this page has been updated and quality assured for 2023.
On this page
Learning Outcomes & Assessment Criteria
- 10.1 Understand the principles of Safeguarding adults
- 10.1a Explain the term safeguarding adults
- 10.1b Explain their own role and responsibilities in safeguarding individuals
- 10.1c List the main types of abuse
- 10.1d Describe what constitutes harm
- 10.1e Explain why an individual may be vulnerable to harm or abuse
- 10.1f Describe what constitutes restrictive practices
- 10.1g List the possible indicators of abuse
- 10.1h Describe the nature and scope of harm to and abuse of adults at risk
- 10.1i List a range of factors which have featured in adult abuse and neglect
- 10.1j Demonstrate the importance of ensuring individuals are treated with dignity and respect when providing health and care services
- 10.1k Describe where to get information and advice about their role and responsibilities in preventing and protecting individuals from harm and abuse
- 10.2 Reduce the likelihood of abuse
- 10.2a Describe how care environments can promote or undermine people’s dignity and rights
- 10.2b Explain the importance of individualised, person centred care
- 10.2c Explain how to apply the basic principles of helping people to keep themselves safe
- 10.2d Explain the local arrangements for the implementation of multi-agency Safeguarding Adult’s policies and procedures
- 10.2e List ways in which the likelihood of abuse can be reduced by managing risk and focusing on prevention
- 10.2f Explain how a clear complaints procedure reduces the likelihood of abuse
- 10.3 Respond to suspected or disclosed abuse
- 10.4 Protect people from harm and abuse – locally and nationally
NOTE: Many of the assessment criteria here are similar to assessment criteria from the Level 2 Diploma unit on Safeguarding so, to avoid duplication, some of the links go to this section
Care Certificate Standard 10 Workbook Answers
This page contains exemplary answers for all the questions in the workbook for standard 10 of The Care Certificate – Safeguarding Adults.
The blank workbook for standard 10 can be downloaded from the Skills for Care website (PDF format)
Activity 10.1a & 10.1b
Complete the boxes below to explain the term safeguarding adults and also to explain your own role and responsibilities in safeguarding adults.
Safeguarding adults means protecting vulnerable individuals from harm, abuse and neglect and reducing the likelihood of it occurring.
My own role and responsibilities are to work with a person-centred approach to promote the rights and choices of the individuals I support and report any concerns or suspicions of abuse to my manager in line with my employer’s safeguarding policy. If my concerns are not dealt with satisfactorily then I should escalate them to senior management or whistleblow to the local safeguarding team, the Care Quality Commission or the police. I must ensure that my actions or inaction do not adversely affect an individual’s well-being and that I protect them from abuse and neglect as far as is reasonably possible.
Activity 10.1c & 10.1g
Complete the table below to make a list of the ten main types of abuse and their indicators (signs).
|Type of abuse
|Physical harm to an individual's body from, for example, hitting, restrictive practices and medication
|Untreated or unexplained injuries including cut, bruises, burns, bites, hair loss etc.
|Threats, violence and abuse between individuals that are family members or in an intimate relationship.
|Domestic abuse can be recognised by the signs of one or more of the other types of abuse or neglect.
|Sexual relationships or activities that an individual does not or cannot consent to.
|Pain or bruising around the inner thigh, anal or breast areas.
Pain/discomfort when walking or sitting.
|Threats, humiliation, controlling behaviour, blaming, verbal abuse, harassment, intimidation.
|Anxiety, depression, lack of sleep, poor self esteem and self confidence
|Use of an individual's money or possessions without permission. Includes theft, fraud, scamming, coercion, self-serving involvement in an individual's financial affairs.
|Not having enough money for bills or food.
Expenditure appearing unusually high.
Missing possessions or monies.
Poor living conditions.
|Individuals being forced into a life of slavery, human trafficking, domestic servitude or forced labour.
|Signs of other abuse (e.g. physical, psychological etc.)
Unable or unwilling to interact with others.
Seemingly always in the company of others.
Appearing to not know their surroundings.
Having no (or very few) personal possessions.
|Individuals being treated differently due to personal traits such as age, gender, race, sexual orientation etc.
|Verbal abuse or harassment
Lack of person centred approaches
|When an organisation's needs are put above an individual's needs e.g. telling an individual that they have to go to bed at a certain time
Poor staff knowledge and training
Non person-centred approaches
|An individual being unable to see to their own basic needs, such as nutrition or hygiene
Taking medication incorrectly
|Neglect by others
|People responsible for an individual not seeing to their basic needs such as nutrition or hygiene either deliberately or inadvertently.
Taking medication incorrectly
Using your knowledge of the definition of harm, complete the sentence below
The term ‘harm’ means to damage or injure a person physically or mentally, usually deliberately, but can be unintentional.
Activity 10.1e & 10.1h
Part i) Why might an individual who requires care and support be more vulnerable to abuse and neglect than others?
Individuals that require care and support would usually be more vulnerable because they are unable to care for themselves and often have reduced capabilities, independence or understanding. This means that there is a greater likelihood of them being taken advantage of by others. They may also have difficulty understanding their rights or being able to communicate their concerns.
Part ii) For each of the examples below, describe why it may increase the likelihood of the individual experiencing abuse or neglect.
Being cared for in their own home
Abuse could occur ‘behind closed doors’ so it could be hidden from the outside world.
Being in residential or institutional care
Institutional abuse could occur whereby care is centred around what is best for the care provider rather than what is best for the individual (e.g. set mealtimes, lights out at a certain time etc.) Staff may be poorly trained and not work to standards and best practices.
Experiencing a mental health issue
The individual may be confused and not realise they are being taken advantage of or not remember what has happened. They may have difficulty distinguishing what is real. They may also be afraid of raising concerns.
Experiencing difficulties with communication
The individual may not be able to report abuse or provide any details.
Complete the boxes below to describe what is meant by restrictive practice and when it may be used.
Restrictive practice means physically restraining an individual to limit their freedom of movement. This could be performed by another person or people, physical devices such as straps or belts, medication or seclusion.
It may be used when there is a risk of serious harm to the individual or others that can only be managed with restraint. It must legally and ethically justifiable and the least restrictive option should always be used. Restrictive practice should only be used as a last resort.
Complete the diagram to list factors that have featured in cases of adult abuse and neglect. An example has been provided for you.
Factors that have featured in cases of adult abuse and neglect:
- A failure to identify signs of abuse
- Poorly trained staff
- Poor management from managers and owners
- Inappropriate workplace culture
- Inadequate communication between healthcare organisations
- Lack of clear policies for safeguarding and whistleblowing
As you have only just started your new job you might be unsure as to what your exact role and responsibilities are in relation to safeguarding adults. Describe where you could get information and advice on your role and responsibilities in safeguarding individuals and preventing abuse or neglect.
Sources of information about safeguarding:
- Manager – my manager will be able to advise me on safeguarding and associated policies and answer any questions I have.
- Employer’s agreed ways of working (policies and procedures) – by reading the agreed ways of working I will know how to formally and correctly raise any concerns or suspicions of abuse I have.
- Formal training- my employer offers safeguarding training provided by an external training agency.
- Internet research – I can find out more about safeguarding by conducting my own research on the web.
Care environments can either promote or undermine people’s dignity and rights. Provide an example of how a care environment can promote an individual’s dignity and rights and an example of how a care environment can undermine an individual’s dignity and rights:
A care environment that promotes an individual’s dignity and rights will ensure that individuals are free to make their own decisions and have support to get the factual information they need to make those decisions. They will work with a person-centred approach and have robust policies and procedures in place for safeguarding, whistleblowing, complaints and grievances. They will promote the best interests and well-being of the individual and protect them from harm abuse and neglect.
A care environment that undermines an individual’s dignity and rights will do what is best for the organisation rather than what is best for the individual and not work with standards and best practices in mind. Staff will be poorly trained and will not be well-led.
Activity 10.2b & 10.2c
You can help to keep individuals safe by: Providing individualised, person-centred concern support, Encouraging active participation, and Promoting choice and rights. Explain how to apply the above principles to help individuals to keep themselves safe.
Person-centred support and care
Care provision is centred around the needs, wishes and preferences of the individual that is being cared for and staff will promote their dignity, rights and independence whilst respecting their decisions about how they choose to live their lives. This will encourage the individual to speak up if they feel something is wrong and staff will be well-trained to notice possible signs of abuse which will reduce the likelihood of it occurring.
Active participation encourages individuals to take an active role in decisions about their care provision rather than simply being passive receivers of care. This means that they will have an important role in deciding how their care is provided and will know if their care is being provided incorrectly.
Choice and rights
Individuals are encouraged to make their own life choices and staff will uphold their rights. This gives the individual control of how their care is delivered and knowledge of when it is not being performed correctly. By having regular dialogues with individuals about their care, for example, when reviewing their care plan, they will have a platform to raise any concerns they have.
Find out the local arrangements for the implementation of Multi-agency Adult Safeguarding policies and procedures and explain how they link to your workplace policies and procedures for safeguarding adults.
When there are suspicions of abuse or concerns that abuse has occurred, support staff will report it to their manager who will then report it to our organisation’s safeguarding lead. In some cases, I would report it directly to the safeguarding lead myself. The safeguarding lead will then gather evidence and conduct an investigation. They may also pass this information on to the safeguarding board of the local authority.
The local authority safeguarding board has the responsibility to decide what to do next and may involve other agencies such as social services or the police.
NOTE: The Care Act 2014 puts the onus on local authorities to take responsibility for any safeguarding issues in their region, however, the way they implement it varies, so you will need to look into how your own local safeguarding board operates.
Fill in the box below to list the ways in which the likelihood of abuse can be reduced by managing risk and focusing on prevention.
Managing risk and focusing on prevention could reduce the likelihood of abuse or neglect in the following ways.
Individuals receiving care are free to make their own life choices, however, staff should try to ensure that individuals are well-informed of the potential benefits and repercussions of the decisions that they make so that they have an understanding of the risks that are involved. This can be performed by completing a risk assessment with the individual and part of the process will be to look at ways that any risks can be reduced or eliminated completely.
By managing risk in this way, the individual will be able to make an informed choice and have the knowledge they need to keep themselves as safe as possible.
It is very important that complaints are dealt with as quickly as possible and the procedures are easily available to individuals – for example, available in Braille or alternative languages or formats. How can a clear complaints procedure reduce the likelihood of abuse or neglect?
If the complaints procedure is clear, simple and accessible, individuals receiving care and their families are far more likely to use it and report their concerns. The complaints policy should always be a swift process with specific timescales for each stage so that complaints can be dealt with quickly and practice adjusted if necessary before any further harm can occur.
When complaints are dealt with positively there will be more confidence in the process for everyone that uses it, concerns about possible abuse are much more likely to be reported and the likelihood of abuse will decrease.
Obtain a copy of your workplace policies and procedures on safeguarding and whistleblowing and explain in your own words what you should do when abuse or neglect of an adult is suspected. Include ways in which you are expected to raise concerns through whistleblowing.
According to my employer’s Whistleblowing policy, if I witness malpractice or inappropriate behaviour in the workplace, I must in the first instance report this to my line manager. If this proves to be ineffective, I am to escalate it to the registered manager, and if I still feel that it is not being dealt with appropriately I should report it to CQC.
My employer’s Safeguarding Policy explains that if I have suspicions of abuse or neglect, I should first raise them with my line manager and then escalate them to our Safeguarding Lead or (in their absence) the Registered Manager.
Complete the diagram to list relevant legislation as well as local and national policies and procedures which relate to adult safeguarding.
Relevant legislation, policies and procedures relating to safeguarding include:
- The Care Act 2014
- The Human Rights Act 1998
- The Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006
- The Equality Act 2010
- The Mental Capacity Act 2005
- Local Authority Safeguarding Policy and Procedure
- Department of Health (DOH) Statement of Policy on Adult Safeguarding
- Employer policies and procedures
When safeguarding adults it is essential to share information with relevant teams. Explain why it is important to share information with relevant key people and agencies.
Sharing information with relevant key people and agencies on a ‘need-to-know’ basis is essential when safeguarding adults because it means that individuals can be protected from harm, can get the information and support they need and their safety and well-being are promoted.
It is your duty of care to report any suspicions or concerns you might have that an adult is being abused or is suffering from neglect. What could you do if your concerns were not taken seriously or not passed on to other agencies? Describe 2 options.
If I reported suspicions of abuse to my manager and felt that they were not taken seriously or not being dealt with then I would escalate my concerns to our Safeguarding Lead or Registered Manager.
If my concerns were still not dealt with to my satisfaction or not passed onto other agencies, I would be forced to pass my concerns on to CQC, the local safeguarding team or the police in accordance with my organisation’s whistleblowing policy.