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Threshold E-guidance

About this form

This guidance assists professionals in assessing the seriousness and level of risk associated with a safeguarding concern involving an adults. It supports the decision making around how to report these concerns.

Swindon Safeguarding Partnership partners have agreed this guidance and it will form part of safeguarding training and decision making across all agencies.

Understanding of reporting thresholds will increase the consistency of responses concerning adult safeguarding and enable the Swindon Safeguarding Partnership to manage different levels of safeguarding concerns proportionately and effectively.

This guide contains lists of examples to support professionals in their decision-making on the best course of action. The lists are not exhaustive and the guidance does not replace professional judgement.

Referring agencies need to consider:

  • the risk and immediate safety of the adult who the concern relates to
  • the views of the adult on raising the concern and on desired outcomes
  • their rationale for sharing information about the concern

Referring agencies should develop robust internal processes to prevent concerns escalating to a crisis point requiring a multi-agency safeguarding response coordinated by Swindon Borough Council (SBC) as lead agency.

For concerns that are not reported to SBC, the referring agency must keep a record of the concern and the actions taken. This record must enable the agency to recognise where a low-level concern has developed into a critical and reportable concern based on, for example, a repeat occurrence of incidents. The report should be available for scrutiny by Swindon Safeguarding Partnership.

Before raising a concern:

The Care Act 2014 does not distinguish between reportable and not reportable concerns, but legal frameworks such as the Human Rights Act 1998, the Care Act 2014, the Mental Capacity Act 2005, and ADASS guidance on Safeguarding decision making highlight the importance of self-determination and proportionality when interfering in individuals’ lives.


With thanks to Oxfordshire and West Sussex Safeguarding Adults Boards, on whose work this form is based, and to all agencies in the Swindon Safeguarding Partnership who contributed to the review.