A quick guide for registered managers of care homes

Safeguarding adults means everyone working together to prevent abuse and neglect, while taking into account each person’s views, wishes, feelings and beliefs. Training is one way of making sure this happens.

Reflective safeguarding training is the ‘golden thread’ that links together all aspects of keeping people safe in residential settings.
Registered manager, Island Healthcare
A trainer and staff member standing at a whiteboard on which is written the words: training, induction, team meetings, handovers, reflective practice, safeguarding adults reviews, case studies, supervison and appraisal

Everyone working in the care home should:

  • Read and understand the home’s safeguarding policy and procedure during their induction.
  • Complete mandatory safeguarding training as soon as possible, and within 6 weeks of joining the team.
  • Have enough protected time for their induction and training, allowing them to read and understand the materials, and improve their knowledge and confidence about safeguarding.

Role of the registered manager

The manager has an important role in improving safeguarding through training:

  • Ensuring any agency staff are appropriately trained and understand the local safeguarding policy and procedure.
  • Checking staff understanding of safeguarding after their induction and training, and identifying areas where further support is needed.
  • Helping staff understand the indicators of abuse and neglect so that they can identify safeguarding concerns more accurately.
  • Helping staff increase their confidence in managing safeguarding concerns.

Delivering training

Provide mandatory training, face-to-face wherever possible - which can include using video conferencing - and make sure it is interactive.

Check that the training:

  • Applies to the day-to-day role and responsibilities of the person being trained, and the care and support needs of the people they are working with.
  • Reflects individual safeguarding responsibilities, with more comprehensive training provided where appropriate (for example, to line managers and safeguarding champions).

All learning opportunities, including training, team meetings, supervision and handovers, should make use of:

  • Case studies, reflective practice and problem-solving.
  • Examples to illustrate how safeguarding relates to personalised care and human rights.
  • Recommendations and learning from any relevant Safeguarding Adults Reviews (SARs) which should be available from the local Safeguarding Adults Board.


E-learning (self-directed by staff) should only be used when face-to-face training (including via video conferencing) led by a trainer is not possible.

  • Check that staff literacy levels and IT skills mean they can use it effectively.
  • Consider how to address the lack of opportunity for discussion and asking questions, and the difficulty of checking that training has been understood.

What to cover in mandatory training

Mandatory safeguarding training should cover a range of topics to ensure staff understand key principles as well as what they need to do in practice. Training should be fully accessible and easy to understand, with a clear explanation of concepts and terminology.

As a minimum, mandatory training should include:

  • Safeguarding and legal principles under the Care Act 2014 and supporting statutory guidance.
  • The 6 core principles of safeguarding and the Making Safeguarding Personal framework.
  • Being open and honest when things go wrong (duty of candour).
  • Specific safeguarding responsibilities and accountabilities for all staff in the care home.
  • The different forms of abuse and neglect (including organisational abuse).
  • The differences between poor practice and abuse and neglect.
  • The care home’s whistleblowing policy and procedure, including the support and information available.
  • Acting on and reporting suspected abuse or neglect.
  • Dealing with and preserving evidence.
  • Raising safeguarding concerns in the care home and what response to expect.
  • Escalating concerns if staff are not satisfied with the response, or if the concern is about the actions of the manager.
  • Confidentiality and data protection.
  • Duties under the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998.

Further training

Training should be ongoing, building on content covered in the mandatory course. It could cover:

  • Using risk assessments in safeguarding.
  • Asking about abuse and neglect sensitively and in a non-judgemental manner.
  • The wide range of situations and circumstances in which abuse and neglect can occur.
  • Less obvious indicators and more complex safeguarding concerns.
  • Supporting a resident through an enquiry.

Evaluating impact

Training needs to make a difference to the understanding, confidence and competence of staff. Assess what changes it has prompted through regular supervision sessions as well as annually during appraisals. Arrange refresher training if the annual check indicates this is needed.

Together with safeguarding leads (where this is not the registered manager), make sure that care staff are learning from each training opportunity by:

Checking that training is completed in an agreed timescale.

Talking to staff about the training course and how to apply their learning in practice.

Checking regularly that safeguarding procedures are being applied in practice.

Support line managers to encourage staff to apply their learning through supervision and appraisals, acknowledging where staff have shown:

  • Changes in attitudes and behaviours.
  • New skills and competences.

Further information

Safeguarding adults in care homes  NICE guideline covering various aspects including immediate actions if abuse or neglect is considered or suspected, supporting staff and residents, and learning from concerns and enquiries. Supporting documents also include indicators of individual abuse and neglect (PDF) and indicators of organisational abuse and neglect (PDF).

Decision-making and mental capacity  NICE guideline and quality standard.

Making Safeguarding Personal: what might ‘good’ look like for health and social care commissioners and providers?   Local Government Association with ADASS.

Care and support statutory guidance  Department of Health and Social Care.

Safeguarding adults  Social Care Institute for Excellence.

Adult Safeguarding: Roles and Competencies for Health Care Staff – Royal College of Nursing.

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Good practice in safeguarding training (PDF)

This content has been co-produced by NICE and SCIE and is based on NICE’s guideline on safeguarding adults in care homes.

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