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National Standards for Adult Safeguarding

Status: Published on

All adults have a right to be safe and to live a life free from harm. 

Together with the Mental Health Commission (MHC), we have developed National Standards for Adult Safeguarding.

The national standards promote a consistent approach to preventing and responding to harm if it does occur. They support the development of a culture where safeguarding is embedded into practice rather than being viewed as a separate activity. The national standards offer a common language to describe adult safeguarding in health and social care services and help people using services to understand what they should expect from a service that is committed to promoting their rights, health and wellbeing and protecting them from the risk of harm.

HIQA and the Mental Health Commission have developed an online learning course to help front-line staff implement the national standards. Click here to read our press release.

Take the online learning course here.

The course is hosted on HSELanD in the course catalogue ‘Health & Social Care Professionals’. The course is called: National Standards for Adult Safeguarding: Putting the standards into practice.

If you require a certificate of completion you will need to login to HSELanD to complete the course. This is available to all those working in the health and social care sector, and to students in Irish universities or colleges, and there is no charge to set up an account. For further information, please visit HSELanD's help page.

If you have any technical difficulties, please contact HSELanD technical support. If you have any difficulties in locating the course or any content queries, please contact the Standards Team at

Alternatively, you can complete the module here under the tab 'Online Learning Courses', but it will not be possible to receive a certificate of completion.

‘Safeguarding’ means putting measures in place in services to reduce the risk of harm, to promote people’s human rights and their health and wellbeing, and to empower people to protect themselves.

Safeguarding is fundamental to high-quality health and social care. The National Standards provide a framework for best practice in safeguarding adults in health and social care services in Ireland.

Supporting documentation has been developed to assist in the implementation of the National Standards.


Read our Background document detailing the international and national evidence that was used to inform the development of the national standards.

Our Statement of outcomes document outlines the feedback that was received during focus group discussions with people using health and social care services, people supporting and caring for them, as well advocates, and through the public consultation and how this feedback informed the development of the National Standards.

For further information or if you have any questions, you can email the Standards Team at or call 01 814 7400 and ask to speak to a member of the team.