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Safeguarding Adults Collection 2021 -2022 guidance

The 2021-22 Safeguarding Adults Collection (SAC) records details about safeguarding activity for adults aged 18 and over in England, reported to, or identified by, Councils with Adult Social Services Responsibilities (CASSRs or local authorities). The collection includes demographic information about the adults at risk and details of the incidents that have been alleged.

The SAC is an updated version of the Safeguarding Adults Return (SAR) which collected safeguarding data for the 2013-14 and 2014-15 reporting periods.

Key dates and changes

  • The collection window for SAC submissions will open on the 4 April 2022.
  • Data must be submitted to NHS Digital by 5pm on 8 June 2022.
  • DQ reports will be available to all councils that submitted by the deadline. These will be sent via email to the registered submitter usually within 2 working days.
  • Final deadline for resubmitting data is 6 July 2022
  • There are no new changes to the SAC template for the 2021-22 collection

Section 42 framework

The LGA and ADASS have developed a framework to support local authorities in making decisions on the duty to carry out safeguarding adults enquiries. The flowchart is included in the SAC guidance.

section 42 framework


Final data return

The final data return is only available via the Strategic Data Collection System (SDSC). Data submitters can download and submit the data return.

If pasting responses into the data return, the data needs to be pasted in as values to ensure validations are not affected.

f you have any issues downloading or submitting your data return, contact the data collections team using: [email protected]

Case studies for common queries

Multiple entries per enquiry are permitted in the tables in Section 2: Case Detail Tables

For example, if a concluded enquiry involved an allegation of financial abuse by a family member and an allegation of physical abuse from someone not known to the individual. This would be counted as one in the ‘Financial’ with ‘Other - Known to Individual’ cell and one in the ‘Physical’ with ‘Other – Unknown to Individual’ cell.

If there are multiple incidents of abuse which fall under the same category relating to one safeguarding enquiry, for example two instances of physical abuse by the same stranger, this should only be counted once in the ‘Physical Abuse’ and ‘Other – Unknown to Individual’ cell.

Example data quality report

The data quality report has 4 sections which allow you to compare your submission with your final submitted SAC data for the previous year.

The sections of the report are

  • data submissions summary
  • data proportions
  • completeness and validity
  • conditional checks

Section E can then be used to explain any variances and provide context for your submission if required.


The data collection window will close at 5pm on the mandated deadline day (8th June 2022) and then reopen shortly after.

There is then a validation period during which you will be able to resubmit your data, should you wish to do so. This is not compulsory but may be helpful. This service is available until the close of this validation period. The Final Deadline is 5pm on 6th July 2022.

If you would like to discuss any element of your validation report, data quality or submission please contact us using [email protected]; we are here to help.

The most recent submission received by NHS Digital by the final deadline will be the version used in the SAC publication. No data will be accepted after the final deadline.

Feedback and questions

We welcome any feedback/suggestions on any of our outputs listed below:

If you have any questions about any of the content of these slides, please contact us at [email protected]

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Last edited: 11 May 2022 11:22 am