Social workers to inspect adult safeguarding services

Selected College of Social Work members will take part in peer reviews of council adult safeguarding services.


Adult safeguarding peer reviews/challenge

The government’s abolition of the annual performance assessment (APA) for councils in 2010 brought to an end the Care Quality Commission’s programme of inspecting councils’ adult safeguarding arrangements.

Since then, councils have been able to request a peer review, otherwise known as a peer challenge, of their adult safeguarding services, organised by the Local Government Association as part of the sector-led improvement system that replaced the APA.

Peer challenges/reviews involve a self-assessment, review of documents and onsite inspections. They are carried out by teams of senior managers, councillors and professionals. The results are summarised in a report, including recommendations for improvement.

Councils are assessed against a number of adult safeguarding standards covering strategy, commissioning, leadership and practice.

Source: Local Government Association



Social workers are to get involved in inspecting councils’ adult safeguarding arrangements as part of a College of Social Work pilot initiative.

A number of College members will be selected to take part in peer reviews, under which a council’s safeguarding arrangements will be examined by a group of professionals, managers and councillors from other authorities.

Peer reviewing social workers should be working at advanced practitioner level in any adult social work service, able to demonstrate skills and knowledge in good safeguarding and in collecting and reviewing information, and have the support of their employer in carrying out the role.

Those selected will be placed on a list of peer reviewers, who would be invited to join peer reviews team as and when opportunities arise.

The College is holding a briefing and accreditation course to take part in peer reviews on Thursday 14 February, and has places for 12 registered members to take part. It will then decide which of these to put forward to be a peer reviewer.

There are 12 places on the course; to apply, email Sonia Malik ( at the College by 31 January. Successful candidates for the course will be contacted by 4 February.

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