Adult Support and Protection (Scotland) Act 2007: Code of Practice

Listen

Chapter 13: Adult Protection Committees

1. The Act creates an obligation on councils to establish multi-agency adult protection committees ( APCs). This chapter covers Sections 42 to 47 of the Act which set out the provisions relating to the establishment, composition and functions of these committees. Section 47 requires APCs and councils to have regard to guidance issued by the Scottish Ministers about their functions under Sections 42 - 46, namely:

  • functions;
  • membership;
  • procedures;
  • information sharing; and
  • reporting.

2. The Act provides a framework for how APCs should operate. The intention is that each committee will evolve its own procedures to reflect local arrangements and Ministers will monitor effectiveness through the biennial reporting system. Consultation on proposed guidance for APCs will be issued separately.

Functions

3. APC functions will include:

  • developing and introducing arrangements and protocols for inter-agency working and auditing and evaluating the effectiveness of these arrangements;
  • developing procedures, policies and strategies for protecting adults at risk and reviewing these;
  • developing and introducing arrangements to monitor, review, disseminate and report activity in relation to the protection of adults at risk. For example this might include gathering key information relating to:
    • numbers of inquiries and investigations;
    • the number of adult protection referrals by age, client group, gender etc;
    • types of abuse;
    • agency involvement;
    • outcome of referrals and recommendations; and number of initial case conferences convened;
  • raising awareness and providing information and advice to the wider community and to professionals;
  • training and development activities;
  • improving local ways of working in light of knowledge gained through local and national experience, case review and research; and
  • undertaking any other functions relating to the safeguarding of individuals as the Scottish Ministers may specify.

Membership

4. Councils will be responsible for appointing a committee convener and committee members with relevant skills and knowledge.

5. The convener must be independent and not be a member or officer of the council.

6. Committee members must be appointed in accordance with the following requirements:

  • The following bodies must nominate a representative with the skills and knowledge relevant to the functions of the APC to be a committee member:
  • the council;
  • the relevant Health Board;
  • the chief constable of the police force maintained in the council's area; and
  • any other public body or office holder specified by the Scottish Ministers (Scottish Ministers have not specified any other bodies at the time of publication);
  • The Care Commission may nominate a representative with the relevant skills and knowledge if it wishes to do so; and
  • The council may appoint such other persons as appear to have skills and knowledge relevant to the Committee. For example, this might include a member of a voluntary group, an independent care provider etc.

Procedures

7. Each Committee will establish and regulate its own procedures, which must allow representatives from the following organisations to attend committee meetings:

  • the Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland;
  • the Public Guardian;
  • the Care Commission, where it is not represented on the committee; and
  • any other public body or office-holder specified by the Scottish Ministers.

Information sharing

8. The following bodies must provide the committee with any information that the committee may reasonable require to enable it to carry out its functions:

  • the council;
  • the Care Commission;
  • the relevant Health Board;
  • the chief constable of the police force maintained in the council's area;
  • the Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland;
  • the Public Guardian; and
  • any other public body or office holder specified by the Scottish Ministers. (Scottish Ministers have not specified any other bodies at the time of publication).

Reporting

9. The convener must produce a report every two years on the exercise of the committee's functions. Following approval by the committee, the report must be forwarded to:

  • to the Scottish Ministers;
  • the council;
  • the Care Commission;
  • the relevant Health Board;
  • the chief constable of the police force maintained in the council's area;
  • the Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland;
  • the Public Guardian; and
  • any other public body or office holder specified by the Scottish Ministers. (Scottish Ministers have not specified any other bodies at the time of publication).