Vulnerable Adult Protection Policy


If your community group or organisation works with vulnerable adults, agreeing and adopting an Adult Protection policy demonstrates your group’s commitment to ensuring the safety of ‘protected’ adults (as defined in the Protection of Vulnerable Groups (Scotland) Act) and adults who may be at risk of harm. Your Adult Protection policy should outline clear procedures and ensure that everyone is clear about their responsibilities.

What to include

  • start with the aim of the policy - a statement about your group’s commitment to ensuring that vulnerable adults should be protected from abuse

  • include definitions of what is a protected adult; what constitutes abuse or serious harm

  • detail your group’s responsibilities and those of staff working with protected adults and adults at risk

  • include information about the processes and reporting procedures that must be followed in the event of a complaint, allegation, expressions of concern or suspicion that a vulnerable adult is at risk of abuse, exploitation or neglect

  • outline the rights of a ‘protected’ adult

  • state your group’s recruitment and training procedure for staff and volunteers including reference to Protection of Vulnerable Groups (PVG) Scheme Checks

  • add local contacts for police; social services and any other relevant body

  • include reference to any related policies, for example, recruitment and selection policy; recruitment of ex-offenders policy; data protection policy; induction policy; staff training and development policy


Once your policy had been agreed it should be signed and dated on behalf of the management committee, and the next review date noted on the policy. Do not put your policy in a drawer and forget about it – it will only be effective if everyone is aware of what is being asked of them and what they have agreed to do. 


Hold awareness sessions for your staff or volunteers on how to recognise signs of abuse. Remember to evaluate and review your policy annually and to update it when required.