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Explains what the Single Unified Safeguarding Review is and the processes involved.

First published:
3 March 2023
Last updated:


The Single Unified Safeguarding Review (SUSR) is a single review process incorporating all reviews in Wales. This ensures affected families can expect a swift and rigorous review process. The SUSR eliminates the need for families to take part in several reviews. This will reduce the trauma and time in getting a decision. 

The criteria for SUSR needs to meet one of the following: 

  • Adult Practice Review
  • Child Practice Review
  • Domestic Homicide Review
  • Mental Health Homicide Review
  • Offensive Weapons Homicide Review

The SUSR brings agencies and individuals connected to the incident into a safe learning environment to: 

  • build a greater understanding of what happened during an incident and why
  • improves the understanding of the impact of organisations’ actions
  • looks into whether different actions may have resulted in different outcomes for the child or adult at risk
  • identify any learning opportunities for the future
  • provides a clear action plan on how to improve service

 We are currently consulting on the Single Unified Safeguarding Review

SUSR process

The SUSR process involves: 

  • after an incident, referrals go to the relevant Regional Safeguarding Board Business Unit
  • a case review group meeting to discuss the incident
  • the Chair of the Board decides whether a SUSR will occur
  • if appropriate a Chair recommends a Chair and reviewer(s) from the approved list
  • notifying Welsh Government whenever a SUSR takes place
  • involving families of the victim and to meet with reviewers to hear the facts 
  • practitioners who worked with the victim before the incident will hold a learning event. The resulting report will make recommendations and an action plan. The Case Review Group will sign off the action plan
  • the action plan will be placed in  the Wales Safeguarding Repository (WSR) alongside the SUSR report 
  • the details of the WSR report will ensure that practices are as efficient as possible

Single Unified Safeguarding Review report

Action plan

Monitoring of the action plan is by:

  • relevant Regional Safeguarding Board
  • Community Safety Partnerships 
  • Single Unified Safeguarding Review Co-ordination Hub
  • Offensive Weapon Homicide Oversight Board


Dissemination of the recommendations across Wales is by SUSR Co-ordination Hub. This will ensure that they are being implemented to improve practices. The Wales Safeguarding Repository (WSR) holds all reports.

Reports will:

  • inform local, regional and national learning
  • inform delivery of pan-Wales training
  • share information, recommendations, and thematic learning. This will influence policy making and safeguard future generations

Learning event 

The learning event is a critical part of the SUSR as it ensures that:

  • the voice of practitioners contributes to the review
  • practitioners can hear the perspectives of the family during the event. And, with other practitioners who have worked with the child and/or adult at risk, and their family 
  • practitioners are able to reflect on what happened and identify learning for future practice

Following the event, the reviewer(s) liaise with the Regional Safeguarding Board Business Unit. The resulting draft report to include all the learning to date and discussed with the review panel.

How the SUSR process will improve the way that reviews are dealt with in Wales

The outcomes of the SUSR process will have local, regional and national impacts on practices across Wales. These will include:

  • Reduced trauma for the subject of the review, their families and other principal individuals. [link to explanation of what these are]. The process will end the need for families to take part in many reviews. 
  • Enabling the sharing of information, recommendations, and thematic learning to safeguard future generations.
  • Reduced cost to the public sector.
  • Policy makers, academics, local and national government will use the WSR. The SUSR reports will help to improve the evidence base to bring changes to practice. 
  • Improved national oversight for Welsh Government on recommendations identified from reviews. These will apply for both devolved and non-devolved services in Wales. It will identify an improved, evidence backed national intervention service.

The SUSR Ministerial Board

The ministerial board provides political and strategic oversight of Single Unified Safeguarding Reviews. It brings together devolved and non-devolved aspects of safeguarding under one governance model. It considers national issues and provides a pan-Wales response when required.

The Board provides support for legislative changes. It secures necessary resources and implements and shares best practice. The Board also acts as a platform for escalating regional issues that need a national or UK response.

The SUSR Co-ordination Hub

The SUSR Co-ordination Hub supports the creation of reviews to achieve learning. It also ensures implementation of learning to further safeguard communities.

The Co-ordination Hub provides advice and guidance to RSBs. The SUSR reports support good practice and consistency across Wales. The Hub liaises with:

  • Regional Safeguarding Board Business Units
  • Community Safety Partnerships
  • Welsh Government
  • Home Office representatives

They will ensure recommendations and action plans are undertaken.

The Co-ordination Hub updates and publishes the approved Chair and reviewers list. This assists RSBs when selecting a suitable Chair and reviewer. 

Registration to the WSR is via the Co-ordination Hub. This gives practitioners access to the WSR for research purposes. The Hub publishes thematic reports produced by the WSR to aid learning and improve practices. It publishes briefings to ensure practitioners are up to date with SUSR processes.

The Co-ordination Hub co-ordinate learning events. This ensures consistency, so practitioners know what to expect each time. The Co-ordination Hub administers professional training to maintain consistency.

It is also responsible for the SUSR learning and development programme. Its aims are to create a workforce providing a single review process and disseminate review-based learning and training.

The Wales Safeguarding Repository

The Wales Safeguarding Repository (WSR) stores reviews and extracts learning from them. The WSR is a unique system utilising social science and computer science methodologies. It seeks to enhance future safeguarding practice of professionals.


Single Unified Safeguarding Review (SUSR)

One review to encompass all safeguarding reviews in Wales. The aim is to ensure the affected family is at the heart of an expedient and rigorous review process. 

Wales Safeguarding Repository (WSR)

The WSR stores reviews and extracts learning from them.

Regional Safeguarding Board (RSB)

There are 6 regional safeguarding boards across Wales. Under The Safeguarding Boards (Functions and Procedures) (Wales) Regulations 2015, Regional Safeguarding Children/Adult Boards have a statutory responsibility to undertake multi-agency Child and Adult Practice Reviews. The SUSR process meets this responsibility.

Community Safety Partnership (CSP)

CSPs are made up of representatives from the ‘responsible authorities’, which are the:

  • police
  • local authorities
  • fire and rescue authorities
  • probation service
  • health

The responsible authorities work together to protect their local communities and to help people feel safer.

Case Review Group (CRG)

The CRG discuss any SUSR referrals and make a recommendation to the RSB on whether a report needs to be conducted. If a SUSR is appropriate, they recommend a panel Chair and reviewers from the approved list. The CRG sign off the draft report and action plan before they are added to the WSR.

Child Practice Review (CPR)

CPRs occur  in serious incidents of known or suspected abuse or neglect of a child. CPRs should identify improvements for practices to move forward. The learning from reviews is then implemented into current practices.

Adult Practice Review (APR)

APRs occur in suspected cases of abuse or neglect of an ‘adult at risk’ leading to a serious incident. The main purpose is identifying improvements to agencies responsible for protecting adults.

Domestic Homicide Review (DHR)

DHRs are undertaken by a Community Safety Partnership when a person dies as a result of or suspected domestic abuse. It applies to:

  • any person over 16 years old who has, or appears to have died from violence
  • abuse  
  • neglect by a person related to a member of the same household or former/current partners. 

When a domestic homicide has occurred in Wales, it will trigger a SUSR.

Mental Health Homicide Review (MHHR)

Healthcare Inspectorate Wales (HIW) carry out MHHRs. This happens whenever an individual  known to mental health services commits a homicide. HIW considers the care provided to the individual before the incident to make recommendations. This is a part of the SUSR process in Wales.

Offensive Weapons Homicide Review (OWHR)

An OWHR happens when the death of a person aged 18 or over occurs using an offensive weapon. This includes 'any article made or adapted for use to cause injury to the person or intended by the person having it with him for such use by him, or by some other person.' In such cases this will initiate a SUSR.

List of abbreviations

CSP - Community Safety Partnership

PSB - Public Service Board

RPB - Regional Partnership Board

RSB - Regional Safeguarding Board

RSBU - Regional Safeguarding Business Unit

CRG - Case Review Group

CPR - Child Practice Review

APR - Adult Practice Review

DHR - Domestic Homicide Review

OWHR - Offensive Weapons Homicide Review

VAWDASV - Violence Against Women, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence

NISB - National Independent Safeguarding Board

WG - Welsh Government

WLGA - Welsh Local Government Association

HO - Home Office

CU - Cardiff University

ToR - Terms of Reference


See list of safeguarding research which can be used by reviewers to inform future SUSRs:

Single Unified Safeguarding Review: toolkit


Single Unified Safeguarding Review


National Independent Safeguarding Board

Website: Find your regional Board 

Mid and West Wales Regional Safeguarding Board

Website: Mid & West Wales Safeguarding Board 

CYSUR is the Mid and West Wales Regional Safeguarding Children Board.


CWMPAS is the Mid and West Wales Regional Safeguarding Adults Board


North Wales Safeguarding Board Wales Safeguarding Board

Website: North Wales Safeguarding Board 


Tel: 01824 712903

West Glamorgan Safeguarding Board

Website: West Glamorgan Safeguarding Board 


Tel: 01639 763021

Cwm Taf Morgannwg Safeguarding Board

Website: Cwm Taf Morgannwg Safeguarding Board 


Cardiff and Vale of Glamorgan Regional Safeguarding Board

Website: Cardiff and Vale of Glamorgan Regional Safeguarding Board 


Tel: 02922 330880 / 02922 330883

Gwent Safeguarding

Website: Gwent Safeguarding 


Tel: 01443 864373 / 864546 / 864670

Wales Safer Communities Network

Website: Wales Safer Communities Network 

Contact form: