What is Making Safeguarding Personal?

Making Safeguarding Personal (MSP) is the approach that should be taken to all safeguarding work. The key principle of MSP is to support and empower each adult to make choices and have control about how they want to live their own life. It is a shift in culture and practice in response to what is now known about what makes safeguarding more or less effective from the perspective of the adult being safeguarded.

MSP is about having conversations with people about how responses to safeguarding situations can be made in a way that enhances their involvement, choice and control as well as improving their quality of life, well-being and safety. It is about seeing people as experts in their own lives, and working alongside them to identify the outcomes they want.

MSP focuses on achieving meaningful improvements to people’s lives to prevent abuse and neglect occurring in the future, including ways for them to protect themselves. People are individuals with a variety of different preferences, histories, circumstances and life-styles; so safeguarding arrangements should not prescribe a process that must be followed whenever a concern is raised, but instead take a more personalised approach.

The Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Safeguarding Adults Board makes it clear throughout our policy, procedures, business plans and priorities that the aims of MSP must be embedded throughout all the work we do.

What does MSP look like?

The approaches of agencies and services to adult safeguarding should be person-led and outcome-focused. The Care Act 2014 emphasises a personalised approach to adult safeguarding that is led by the individual, not by the process. It is vital that the adult feels that they are the focus and they have control over the process. Making Safeguarding Personal (MSP) is not simply about gaining an individual’s consent, although that is important, but also about hearing people’s views about what they want as an outcome. This means that people are given opportunities at all stages of the safeguarding process to say what they would like to change; this might be about not having further contact with a person who poses a risk to them, changing an aspect of their care plan, asking that someone who has hurt them apologises, or pursuing the matter through the criminal justice system.

Key Messages

Newcastle Safeguarding Adult Board have developed a short animated video called 8 Principles of Engagement which provides key messages around Making Safeguarding Personal accessible via this link https://youtu.be/pT7YR5k7atk

“Risking Happiness” was created by Reckless Kettle Theatre Company & The Roses Theatre for the Gloucestershire Positive Risk Taking group in 2015. The storyline of the play draws on a range of different people’s experiences to stimulate conversation and promote healthy discussion about our attitude to risk in our daily lives – initially as professionals but ultimately as individuals. The video is available at the following link https://youtu.be/hAh37bBqE9Q

The Local Government Association (LGA) has produced a lot of resources for MSP, intended to support Safeguarding Adults Boards (SABs) and partners in developing and promoting Making Safeguarding Personal (MSP).


The LGA have also published a number of guides on MSP aimed at specific organisations:

What might ‘good’ look like for health and social care commissioners and providers? – https://www.local.gov.uk/making-safeguarding-personal-what-might-good-look-health-and-social-care-commissioners-and

What might ‘good’ look like for those working in the housing sector? – https://www.local.gov.uk/making-safeguarding-personal-what-might-good-look-those-working-housing-sector

What might ‘good’ look like for the police? – https://www.local.gov.uk/making-safeguarding-personal-what-might-good-look-police

What might ‘good’ look like for advocacy? – https://www.local.gov.uk/making-safeguarding-personal-what-might-good-look-advocacy

Other Useful contacts