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Find out how identifying and managing concerns about safeguarding, conduct or behaviour in the right way helps you safeguard people drawing on care and support.

Having an open culture, where staff and managers are supported and trained to effectively respond to and manage concerns, promotes consistency, transparency and fairness, ensuring everyone feels respected. It helps you to:

  • ensure that all concerns about safeguarding, conduct or behaviour (including low level concerns or ‘nagging doubts’) are identified, shared, and recorded at the earliest possible opportunity
  • safeguard all those who you provide care and support to through reducing the likelihood of and opportunity for harm from those working with them
  • provide appropriate support to all staff and anyone who shares concerns about themselves or others.

Ways to apply a safeguarding mindset

Here's some tips on how to apply a safeguarding mindset when identifying and managing concerns.

  1. Create and stress the importance of an open culture, where the reporting of concerns is encouraged and supported by the most senior leaders.
  2. Put in place policies and procedures around sharing concerns, low level concerns, allegations against staff, and whistleblowing ensuring all staff know how to respond to and report concerns. 
  3. Ensure information about how to identify and raise concerns is available, accessible and easy to understand for people who draw on care and support and encourage them to share concerns.
  4. Implement a disciplinary and grievance policy which complies with the ACAS code of practice and is followed in all formal disciplinaries, grievances and investigations involving conduct and safeguarding concerns.
  5. Train managers in how to carry out effective investigations into allegations and concerns around the conduct of employees, applying a safeguarding mindset.
  6. Identify and train a designated person for safeguarding who advises and supports managers and staff and oversees any investigations and the management of any safeguarding concerns.
  7. Complete relevant, detailed records of concerns raised, investigations carried out and action taken which are kept in a confidential file.
  8. Support and encourage managers and leaders to display courageous leadership in tackling and managing concerns and making employment decisions with a safeguarding mindset.



Here are some resources to support you with an open culture where safeguarding and conduct concerns are shared, and everyone is supported to manage them confidently and effectively.

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Pages 26-29 of this checklist will support you with identifying and managing concerns.


Record keeping

On pages 32-34 of the , you’ll find guidance on how to effectively gather and record conduct information.

On page 32 you’ll also find links to a .


Discipline and grievances at work

Acas have produced to provide good practice advice for dealing with discipline and grievances in the workplace.


Managing underperformance

In the developed by Ƶ and NHS Employers, there is a section that explores a range of scenarios line managers may face and how they can overcome particular challenges around performance.


Open cultures

On page 34 of our 'Positive culture toolkit for adult social care' you'll find information on open cultures.