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Terms of reference for the Single Unified Safeguarding Review (SUSR) strategy group.

First published:
21 June 2024
Last updated:


The development of the Single Unified Safeguarding Review (SUSR) process in Wales has been undertaken to ensure that following a significant event that triggers a review, all aspects are considered across all relevant agencies, devolved and non-devolved, rather than in organisational silos. The SUSR happens in a unique delivery and legislative context. It is essential for all organisations to work in partnership in Wales, to deliver the best possible outcomes for people, and to ensure that relevant lessons are learnt, and the required changes and adjustments made where appropriate locally, regionally, and nationally.

This partnership approach is well-embedded, with strong working relationships and robust governance underpinning innovative work at the strategic and operational level in Wales. Organisations work closely together to deliver effective services, including:

  • Welsh Government
  • Public Health Wales
  • local authorities
  • local health boards
  • His Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service
  • policing in Wales (Chief Constables and Police and Crime Commissioners)
  • National Independent Safeguarding Board
  • Inspectorates and Regulators
  • third sector

To achieve effective partnership working, a support network for the SUSR process has been developed and is incorporated within the Welsh Government SUSR statutory guidance. The framework identified will provide the support required to deliver an effective SUSR process.

The strategy group is a core component of the support network linked to the SUSR process, and sits alongside a:

  • ministerial board
  • victim and family reference group
  • safeguarding boards
  • community safety partnerships

The role of the strategy group is to provide oversight and direction to the SUSR ministerial board, whilst effectively engaging with the victim and family reference group. The support structure for the SUSR is outlined in the diagram.

Image of the Single Unified support network including the ministerial board, strategy group, victim and family reference group, Wales Safeguarding Repository, co-ordination hub, and safeguarding boards and community safety partnerships connected together.

The role of the strategy group

The SUSR strategy group will meet every 3 months. The main roles of the group are outlined below. The SUSR strategy group will deliver a report every 6 months to the SUSR ministerial board in advance of that board’s 6-monthly meetings, and the report will cover the following matters:

  • key issues emerging from reviews and potential changes Welsh Government may have to make in terms of statutory responsibilities linked to legislation, guidance, policy, or resource allocations because of action plans or recommendations emerging from SUSRs
  • Home Office updates
  • emerging good practice and how the learning is being spread across Wales
  • issues from regions within Wales that require a pan-Wales or UK response

The SUSR strategy group will review reports from the co-ordination hub, which will be delivered every 3 months in advance of the strategy group’s 3-monthly meetings. The report will cover the following matters:

  • overview on number of reviews concluded and key recommendations
  • potential policy or operational issues (including funding)
  • thematic learning and training events
  • emerging good practice reports
  • key Home Office updates
  • risk and exception reporting in line with delivery plans

The SUSR strategy group will advise and inform Welsh Government, UK Government (Home Office), the Victim’s Commissioner, Children’s Commissioner, Domestic Abuse Commissioner and representative bodies in local government, policing, health, criminal justice and the third sector on themes and other information linked to the recommendations from reviews in Wales.

The SUSR strategy group will identify, celebrate, and promote good practice and encourage the adoption, upscaling and mainstreaming of initiatives that are proven to be "what works".

In addition, the strategy group will:

  • work with the SUSR victim and family reference group where relevant to ensure their voice is central to the work of the SUSR and Wales Safeguarding Repository
  • ensure the SUSR process in Wales maintains clear linkages between regions and national bodies, while respecting regional variations in arrangements
  • keep all key partners updated on the progress of the SUSR process
  • review strategic issues arising from SUSRs that cannot be resolved at a local level or regional level and provide potential solutions or agree to escalate to the ministerial board

The above points are intended to maximise opportunities to prevent harm and safeguard the communities of Wales.


The strategy group will consist of key strategic players within the safeguarding field to ensure that appropriate knowledge and expertise is available when making key decisions and recommendations. The following organisations and roles will be represented:

  • Welsh Government: Deputy Director Social Services (chair)
  • Welsh Local Government Association: Director of Equalities and Social Justice
  • Cardiff University: Wales Safeguarding Repository representative
  • National Independent Safeguarding Board (NISB): NISB chair
  • Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC): PCC Wales chair
  • Children’s Commissioner for Wales: Children’s Commissioner or an officer
  • Domestic Abuse Commissioner: Domestic Abuse Commissioner or an officer
  • Older Person’s Commissioner for Wales: Older Person’s Commissioner or an officer
  • Police organisation: National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) Wales public protection lead
  • Policing in Wales: Police Liaison Unit representative
  • Probation Service: Deputy Divisional Director
  • Welsh Government: Violence against women, domestic abuse and sexual violence (VAWDASV) lead
  • Welsh Government: National Advisor VAWDASV
  • NHS Wales: safeguarding board representative
  • NHS Wales: mental health representative
  • Public Health Wales: chair
  • NHS Safeguarding Wales: senior safeguarding representative
  • Home Office: domestic homicide reviews lead from the Interpersonal Abuse Unit
  • Home Office: offensive weapons homicide reviews policy lead
  • Welsh Government: head of safeguarding
  • Welsh Government: SUSR strategic engagement lead
  • Crown Prosecution Service Wales: Chief Crown Prosecutor
  • Independent Office for Police Conduct: Director for Wales
  • Local authority: Director of Social Services representative
  • Local authority: Head of Adult Safeguarding representative
  • Local authority: Head of Child Safeguarding representative
  • Health Inspectorate Wales: Chief Executive
  • Care Inspectorate Wales: Chief Executive
  • Third sector: representative to be identified through WCVA
  • SUSR victim and family reference group: representative to be identified through the victim and family reference group and attend as and when relevant matters arise
  • Coroner’s office: Chief Coroner for Wales
  • Safeguarding board: chair representative
  • Safeguarding board: business manager representative
  • Welsh Local Government Association: Director of Social Services and Housing
  • Wales Safer Communities Network: Business and Network Development Manager

At any time, the chair may deem it necessary to invite other individuals to either become members or to attend meetings to provide information or updates.

The group will meet every 3 months where the membership will be continually reviewed.


As a member of the group, you are expected to participate as a representative of the discipline in which you work and give advice and support utilising your experience. It is then requested that you communicate with your colleagues in Wales to test and flex any recommendations to ensure the group is producing the best possible advice to the ministerial board.

The secretariat will be provided by the SUSR co-ordination hub, all papers will be circulated one calendar week before the meeting wherever possible.

Roles and responsibilities

The strategy group is accountable for:

  • fostering collaboration
  • removing obstacles to the successful delivery of reviews undertaken through the SUSR process
  • always maintaining the focus of the strategy group on the agreed scope, outcomes, and benefits
  • monitoring and managing the factors outside the strategy group’s control that are critical to its success

The chair of the strategy group will:

  • set the dates for the meetings to appropriately coincide with the meetings of the ministerial board
  • invite contributions for the agenda from members, and agree the agenda so it and any papers can be circulated 7 days in advance of the meetings
  • represent the strategy group at the ministerial board and external meetings and events as required

The membership of the strategy group will commit to:

  • review, scrutinise and challenge reports received
  • attend all scheduled strategy group meetings
  • champion the SUSR process within and outside of work areas
  • share all communications and information across all strategy group members
  • make timely decisions and actions to not hold up the projects and work programmes
  • notify members of the strategy group, as soon as practical, if any matter arises which may be deemed to affect the SUSR process
  • attend all meetings and if necessary, nominate a proxy
  • maintain open dialogue regarding the work of this group with those you represent
  • maintain confidentiality and compliance with relevant legislation

Members of the strategy group will expect:

  • that each member will be provided with complete, accurate and meaningful information in a timely manner
  • to be given reasonable time to make key decisions
  • to be alerted to potential risks and issues that could impact the SUSR process, as they arise
  • open and honest discussions, respectful of potential for different perspectives
  • ongoing "health checks" to verify the overall status and "health" of the hub

Version control

1Initial draft.Sarah Lamberton
2Draft taken to the inaugural strategy group for comment.Sarah Lamberton
3Final changes made as agreed at the inaugural strategy group (no further changes requested).Sarah Lamberton

Added Older Person’s Commissioner to align with other commissioner representation.

Added OWHR Policy Lead.

Approved by AD 16 May 2024.

Sarah Lamberton