The National Capability Framework


In Suffolk, we recognise the importance of robust safeguarding practice, both within the public, statutory sector and within private and voluntary organisations.

It has become apparent that services across the Safeguarding Adults Board partnership are taking their safeguarding adults responsibilities seriously, and are reflecting on the ability of their organisations to practice safely. As a result, the Safeguarding Adults Board is often asked for guidance on the most appropriate training for paid staff and volunteers.

The Suffolk Safeguarding Adults Board and Suffolk County Council have sought to clarify the recommended levels of training across the care sector. As a result, they have agreed to follow the National Capability Framework for Safeguarding Adults as a recommended framework within which to ensure training delivered is consistent, effective and measurable. This Capability Framework is being developed in to a Suffolk-centric model by the Suffolk Safeguarding Adults Board that will become a self-audit checklist for organisations training professionals to be aware of safeguarding concerns toward vulnerable adults.

The concept of 'capability' reflects changes in professional developmental pathways. This term encourages an approach that supports all professionals to think independently, critically and creatively. The recent review of 'No Secrets' recommended that the term 'adults at risk of harm' should replace 'vulnerable adults' as it makes a clearer distinction between general vulnerability/need for support or services and actual risk of abuse/neglect.


What is a capability?

Each capability within the framework refers to a combination of skills, knowledge and experience expected of individual staff and this framework aims to ensure that these qualities inform Safeguarding practice in a way that is commensurate with an individuals' occupational role and responsibility. Capability involves being able to demonstrate the ability to be critically reflective and self-aware as you analyse, review and evaluate your skills, knowledge and professional practice, exploring alternative approaches and being open to change.


Who should complete the National Capability Framework for Safeguarding Adults?

All staff should be assessed as capable against the capabilities that are relevant to their occupational role. Whatever their role, all staff should know when and how to report any concern about abuse of and adult at risk of harm. Therefore all staff should be capable in the first five capabilities as described in the framework.

Beyond this it will depend on their occupational role and level responsibilities.

The framework seeks to support a proportionate response to suspected abuse from all those who work with adults and so clearly ties in to one of the Suffolk Safeguarding Adults Board's key priorities, requiring skilled and proportionate responses to allegations of potential abuse and the raising of safeguarding concerns.