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Information and guidance on the Single Unified Safeguarding Review (SUSR) process.

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 allow learning to be identified and acted upon sooner.

The criteria for conducting an 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
  • improve the understanding of the impact of the actions of organisations
  • look into whether different actions may have resulted in different outcomes for the child or adult at risk
  • identify any learning opportunities for the future
  • provide a clear action plan on how to improve service provision

SUSR statutory guidance

The draft statutory guidance outlines changes to the way safeguarding reviews will be undertaken.

We consulted on the SUSR draft statutory guidance in March 2023 to June 2023.

SUSR process

The SUSR process involves: 

  • After an incident, referrals go to the relevant 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 an approved list (administered by Welsh Government) to undertake the review.
  • A review panel is identified with representation from the different agencies involved in the incident.
  • 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 participate in a learning event. 
  • An SUSR report prepared which 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 WSR will be used to ensure that practices are as efficient as possible.
  • The Welsh Government, working with safeguarding boards, will oversee delivery of the recommendations.

SUSR report

Learning event

The learning event is a critical part of the SUSR. It ensures that:

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

Following the event, the reviewer(s) liaise with the safeguarding board business unit and review panel to prepare the an SUSR report. It will include all the learning to date.

Action plan

Each action plan is monitored by the:

  • relevant safeguarding board
  • community safety partnerships
  • SUSR co-ordination hub, Welsh Government
  • Offensive Weapon Homicide oversight board (where relevant)


The SUSR co-ordination hub disseminates recommendations across Wales in partnership with National Independent Safeguarding Board and the safeguarding boards. This ensures 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, which will influence policy making and safeguard future generations

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

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, including:
    • friends
    • community representatives and support services
    • neighbours
    • colleagues
    • faith and community leaders
    • employers
  • 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.
  • Providing a more effective and efficient process.
  • 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 using the SUSR support network. This will apply for both devolved and non-devolved services.

Support network

The SUSR support network provides national oversight to the SUSR process and includes:

  • the SUSR ministerial board
  • the SUSR strategy group
  • the SUSR victim and family reference group
  • the SUSR co-ordination hub (in liaison with safeguarding boards and community safety partnerships)
  • the WSR

Ministerial board

The SUSR ministerial board provides political and strategic oversight of single unified safeguarding reviews. It brings together devolved and non-devolved aspects of safeguarding under one support network. It considers national issues and provides a pan-Wales response when required.

The board:

  • provides support for legislative changes
  • secures necessary resources and implements and shares good practice
  • acts as a platform for escalating regional issues that need a national or UK response

Strategy group

The role of the SUSR strategy group is to:

  • provide oversight and direction on the SUSR process to the SUSR ministerial board
  • effectively engage with the victim and family reference group

The group will receive reports from the SUSR co-ordination hub every 3 months to inform the breadth of its work and deliver a report to the SUSR ministerial board every 6 months.

The strategy group terms of reference provide a summary of the scope and purpose of the group.

Victim and family reference group

The SUSR victim and family reference group provides a forum for victim and family voice across Wales to inform the delivery of the SUSR. By working closely with the other groups and boards that form part of the SUSR support network, it will ensure that the victim and family voice remains at the heart of the SUSR.

The group will:

  • review WSR thematic reports
  • provide guidance on the SUSR review process, products and training
  • help review recommendations and actions relating to victims and families

The victim and family reference group terms of reference provide a summary of the scope and purpose of the group.

Co-ordination hub

The SUSR co-ordination hub is run by a dedicated team of staff within Welsh Government. It supports the review's process to achieve learning. It also ensures implementation of learning in partnership with safeguarding boards and the National Independent Safeguarding Board to further safeguard communities.

The co-ordination hub provides advice, guidance and support to safeguarding boards to nurture good practice and consistency across Wales. The hub liaises with key partners, including:

  • safeguarding board business units
  • community safety partnerships
  • Welsh Government departments and ministers
  • Home Office representatives

They will monitor recommendations and action plans and assist where difficulties arise with their implementation.

The co-ordination hub administers the approved chair and reviewer’s list. This assists safeguarding boards to select a suitable chair and reviewer.

Registration to the WSR is made via the co-ordination hub. This gives practitioners access to the repository when conducting reviews and for research purposes. The co-ordination hub publishes thematic reports from information produced by the repository to aid learning and improve practices. It publishes briefings to ensure practitioners are up to date with SUSR processes.

The co-ordination hub helps to co-ordinate learning dissemination events. This ensures consistency, so practitioners know what to expect each time. The hub facilitates access to professional training to maintain consistency.

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

Wales safeguarding repository

The WSR is a unique system utilising social science and computer science methodologies. It seeks to enhance the future safeguarding practices of professionals. All completed SUSR reports are stored here, as well as past:

  • Adult Practice Reviews
  • Child Practice Reviews
  • Mental Health Homicide Reviews

The WSR enables researchers and practitioners to extract new learning about violence, abuse, vulnerability and safeguarding with a view to improving practice on a pan-Wales basis, ultimately reducing the risk of reoccurrence and safeguarding future generations.


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, enabling learning to be extracted from it.

Safeguarding boards

There are 6 safeguarding boards across Wales. Under The Safeguarding Boards (Functions and Procedures) (Wales) Regulations 2015, 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 were introduced by section 6 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998. They 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 chair of the safeguarding board on whether a review needs to be conducted. If a SUSR is appropriate, they appoint a review panel chair and reviewers. The CRG sign off the draft report and action plan prior to its presentation to the safeguarding board.

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.

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.

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)

MHHRs occur when a homicide is committed, and the alleged perpetrator has been in contact with primary, secondary, or tertiary mental health services within the last year. "Contact" may include an assessment or intervention. Specific consideration must also be given to the Mental Health (Wales) Measure 2010, which defines the provision of mental health services to patients in specific situations.

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

  • APR: Adult Practice Review
  • CPR: Child Practice Review
  • CRG: case review group
  • CSP: community safety partnership
  • DHR: Domestic Homicide Review
  • HO: Home Office
  • NISB: National Independent Safeguarding Board
  • OWHR: Offensive Weapons Homicide Review
  • PSB: public service board
  • RPB: regional partnership board
  • SB: safeguarding board
  • ToR: terms of reference
  • VAWDASV: violence against women, domestic abuse and sexual violence
  • WG: Welsh Government
  • WLGA: Welsh Local Government Association


The SUSR toolkit provides a selection of templates for practitioners to use to assist the review process.

An SUSR engagement flow chart will also be made available soon.


Single Unified Safeguarding Review


National Independent Safeguarding Board

Website: find your regional board

Mid and West Wales safeguarding board

Website: Mid and West Wales safeguarding board

CYSUR is the Mid and West Wales safeguarding children board.


CWMPAS is the Mid and West Wales safeguarding adults board.


North Wales safeguarding board

Website: North Wales safeguarding board


Telephone: 01824 712903

West Glamorgan safeguarding board

Website: West Glamorgan safeguarding board


Telephone: 01639 763021

Cwm Taf Morgannwg safeguarding board

Website: Cwm Taf Morgannwg safeguarding board


Cardiff and Vale of Glamorgan safeguarding board

Website: Cardiff and Vale of Glamorgan safeguarding board


Telephone: 02922 330880 / 02922 330883

Gwent safeguarding

Website: Gwent safeguarding 


Tel: 01443 864373 / 864546 / 864670

Wales Safer Communities Network

Website: Wales Safer Communities Network