National Standards


2018 standards1

NAAN National Standards (2018)

The national standards for the development and provision of appropriate adult schemes in England and Wales. Developed by the National Appropriate Adult Network and approved by:


2018 standards logos

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Frequently asked questions

Here are some of the key things you might want to know about the revised standards. Use the button above to download the standards for more detailed information.

What is the purpose of the standards?

The standards aim to support everyone who has a role in ensuring effective, organised appropriate adult (AA) provision. They provide clear benchmarks against which funders, commissioners, managers, coordinators, appropriate adults and monitors can assess current arrangements and develop plans. Organisations that hold NAAN membership have access to a National Standards Self Assessment Tool to help them do this. 

What is the status of the standards?

Whilst the standards are non-statutory, they have been developed in consultation with the Home Office and approved by the Youth Justice Board, Association of Directors of Adult Social Services and Association of Police and Crime Commissioners. Strategic standard 14 of the National Standards for Youth Justice Services require provision of appropriate adults to be in line with NAAN standards.

How were the standards developed?

The national standards are developed and published by the charity The National Appropriate Adult Network (NAAN) which is funded by its membership and via a grant from the Home Office. The 2018 revisions involved a wide consultation both within the NAAN membership and with other interested parties (e.g.policing, social care, youth justice, health, legal, academic, service users).

This is the fourth version of the national standards which were first published in 2005. In this substantially revised version, the standards draw together various sources, including legislation, case law, codes of practice, research, inspectorate reports and operational guidance. The revised standards are based on five principles:

  1. Focused on outcomes
  2. Taking a 'whole systems' approach
  3. Evidence based
  4. Aiming for quality
  5. Relevant to the frontline
  6. Supporting accountability

Which sections are relevant for me?

There are now six sections to the standards:

  1. Scheme development
  2. Recruitment and selection
  3. Initial training
  4. Managing, supporting and developing AAs
  5. Service provision
  6. Effective practice

Depending on your reasons for using the standards, different sections will be relevant. For example:

  • Appropriate adult practitioners may wish to focus on section six
  • Strategic leaders may focus on section one
  • AA scheme coordinators will likely find all sections relevant.

Where can I find a copy of the old version?

If you'd like to compare how the standards of changed, you can still read the NAAN National Standards 2013

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