The Children’s Hearings (Scotland) Act 2011 (Safeguarders Panel) Regulations 2012

Closed 9 Oct 2015

Opened 21 Jul 2015

Feedback updated 17 Dec 2015

We asked

Your views on

  • proposed changes to “The Children’s Hearings (Scotland) Act 2011 (Safeguarders Panel) Regulations 2012” to enable Scottish Government to amend current Regulations,
  • to move away from the presumption that safeguarders be reappointed at the end of each term towards a “fitness to be reappointed” test and
  • also suggested that feedback on safeguarder performance could be sought from system partners beyond the children’s panel, Reporters and family members.

You said

We received 37 responses with broad support from respondents that the Scottish Government should revise the current Regulations to reflect the proposed changes. Of the responses received the positive responses were 78.38% or higher.

We did

We analysed the consultation responses and considered the range of views expressed. We have amended the regulations in line with the proposals in the consultation. The regulations are being finalised and Ministerial approval is being sought for the proposed changes before laying the regulations early in 2016.

Results updated 28 Oct 2016

Click here to download a copy of the consultation response analysis

Your browser does not support inline PDF viewing.Please download the PDF.

Published responses

View submitted responses where consent has been given to publish the response.


This paper follows a review of the extant regulations and seeks respondents’ views on a number of questions. We want to ensure that the governing regulations offer the right framework to support the expectations associated with the standards and framework. Experience from the operation of the Safeguarders Panel since June 2013 - and the outputs from the more recent development work - now mean we can be clearer about what will be expected from safeguarders, and in turn what they can expect from the support and monitoring arrangements.

The following background material is intended to help you understand why the changes are being proposed. The form also gathers information to ensure that we know how you wish us to handle your response.  In particular, we wish to know if you are willing for your response to be shared and published. The form provides a simple and consistent way of obtaining information which also allows us to meet Freedom of Information and Data Protection legislation requirements.

The development of national Practice Standards and the Performance Support & Monitoring Framework (PSMF) provide the structure for monitoring and assessing performance of members of the national safeguarders panel.  The practice standards have been co-produced with a working group mainly comprising serving safeguarders, and were consulted on with all safeguarders and hearings system partners in Spring 2015. Following this, the group of safeguarders developed the PSMF. With both documents having received Ministerial approval in June 2015 for implementation, it is now anticipated that the required monitoring arrangements will work through the application of the framework in a staged manner.  The PSMF also establishes arrangements for the training and support of safeguarders, particularly on the standards expected of safeguarders and the means by which performance against those standards can be assessed.

We wish to protect and promote the professionalism and standing of the safeguarder role. Safeguarders are a valued part of the children’s hearings system – we expect that much of the planned activity will centre on recording and promoting existing excellence in safeguarder practice. A rigorous and transparent framework, giving full effect to the expectations set by the Scottish Parliament in passing the 2011 Act and also giving full effect to the expectations of Scottish Ministers, will help to maintain confidence in, and respect for, each member of the national Safeguarders Panel and for the role of the safeguarder itself.

We consider that safeguarders deserve recognition of the importance of their role, and this is an important part of a wider package. We are confident that a continuing commitment from safeguarders to work consistently and transparently will be welcomed by children, families and system partners.

Why your views matter

The purpose of this consultation paper is to seek views on proposed amendments to The Children’s Hearings (Scotland) Act 2011 (Safeguarders Panel) Regulations 2012.

Consultation Document


Your browser does not support inline PDF viewing.Please download the PDF.



  • Children and Families