Serious Case Review Quality Markers Supporting dialogue about the principles of good practice and how to achieve them
Serious case reviews (SCRs) aim to provide learning about how to improve practice around safeguarding. Multi-agency safeguarding work is complex and there is limited guidance for local safeguarding children boards (LSCBs) and reviewers around setting up and carrying out reviews.
18 Quality Markers have been developed to help support commissioners and reviewers to commission and conduct high quality reviews. They provide a consistent and robust approach to SCRs by covering the whole process from setting up to running the review, to looking at outputs and outcomes from the review.
Authors: NSPCC and Social Care Institute of Excellence (SCIE)
Quality Markers online tool
Use our online tool for quick access to the questions to help you meet the quality markers.
What the Quality Markers are
The Quality Markers are designed to pose questions, stimulate discussion and support informed judgements. They can be used to
- clarify and make transparent what the review should be looking at
- support practical planning and preparation for the review
- manage and quality assure the process
- support retrospective reflection on the review and identify improvements for future case reviews.
The Quality Markers were developed by the LiPP project, working with experienced lead reviewers, LSCB Chairs and Board Managers. They are based on research evidence, practice experience and statutory requirements.
Download the Quality Markers
Setting up the review
- Referral (PDF)
- Decision-making (PDF)
- Advising board members (PDF)
- Informing the family (PDF)
- Clarity of purpose (PDF)
Running the review
- Commissioning (PDF)
- Governance (PDF)
- SCR management (PDF)
- Parallel processes (PDF)
- Assembling information (PDF)
- Practitioner Involvement (PDF)
- Family involvement (PDF)
- Analysis (PDF)
Outputs and outcomes from the review
Download the full set of Quality Markers
Please cite as: NSPCC/SCIE (2016) Serious case review quality markers. London: NSPCC/SCIE.
Improving the quality and use of serious case reviews
From April 2015 to March 2016 we worked with the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) on a Department for Education (DfE) funded Learning into Practice project, piloting ways to improve the quality and use of serious case reviews (SCRs).
The project focused on
- adding practitioner knowledge to an analysis of SCRs to identify practice issues relating to "inter-professional communication and decision making"
- creating an Alliance of professional and leadership bodies to drive forwards improvements in practice
- developing a set of quality markers to help support commissioners and reviewers through the SCR process
- developing master classes for lead reviewers to build on their experience and knowledge around specific skills relevant to undertaking SCRs.
Inter-professional communication and decision making
Learning from case reviews
Local Safeguarding Children Boards: learning and improvement processes
Support for professionals
Our Current Awareness Service for Practice, Policy And Research delivers free weekly email alerts to keep you up-to-date with all the latest safeguarding and child protection news.
Sign up to Case reviews update
Get online safeguarding training
Learn how children use the internet and how you can keep them safe from abuse.
How safe are our children? Growing up online
Our annual flagship conference is for everyone working in child protection.
Follow us on Twitter and keep up-to-date with all the latest news in child protection.
We hold the UK's largest collection of child protection resources and the only UK database specialising in published material on child protection, child abuse and child neglect.
New in the Library
A free weekly email listing all of the new child protection publications added to our library collection.
Helping you keep children safe
Read our guide for professionals on what we do and the ways we can work with you to protect children and prevent abuse and neglect.
Impact and evidence
Find out how we evaluate and research the impact we’re making in protecting children, get tips and tools for researchers and access resources.
Training and consultancy
Sharing knowledge to keep children safe
Read our guide to the NSPCC Knowledge and Information Service to find out how we can help you with child protection queries, support your research, and help you learn and develop.