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This page contains information for NAAN members on how to complete a data return. 

Information for publication on the NAAN Map

Click on a heading for instructions on how to complete your data return. 

What are you going to do with this information?

The NAAN Map is a public resource which provides information about AA schemes to assist:

  • prospective volunteers and others to identify their local AA scheme
  • stakeholders to find out whether a scheme is a NAAN Member
  • commissioners to identify local providers

Users click on a local authority area and get access to information. Here's an example:


 It's important that this information remains up to date and accurate. NAAN relies on members to help it achieve a useful resource - which in turn helps you!

The following information will be published on the publically available NAAN Map.

Beneficiary group

A beneficiary group is a combination of (a) a local authority area and (b) a type of person - either adults or children. Even if you only have one contract, you will have more than one beneficiary group if:

  • you cover both adults and children; and/or
  • you cover more than one area.

Operating hours

The hours during which your scheme can provide an AA. Examples include:

  • 09:00 to Midnight / Monday to Friday
  • 24 hours / 7 days a week

Volunteer scheme

This is to help prospective volunteers see which areas might have opportunities.

If the AAs for a beneficiary group are:
  • mainly volunteers, answer yes
  • mainly paid, answer no.
If you occasionally use paid staff or volunteers, you can note this in the ‘additional notes’ if you wish

Web link

The best webpage to which to send prospective volunteers. Often this is a page on your organisation’s website that provides details about the AA scheme – but it might just be the homepage.

First Name and Last Name

The name of the person you would like prospective volunteers to contact. This is often the primary contact on your NAAN account.


The phone number of the person you would like prospective volunteers to contact. This is often the landline number for the primary contact on your NAAN account.


The email address you would like prospective volunteers to use for enquiries. This might be:
  • the email address for the primary contact on your NAAN account; or
  • a dedicated or general email address

Additional notes

Any additional information you would like to be displayed on the NAAN map

Information for NAAN (will not be published on the NAAN Map)

What are you going to do with this information?

The NAAN data request also includes information that is not for use on the map. 

We are seeking to verify and collect information in order to:

  • understand the current level of AA provision across the network
  • understand the current level of demand on AA provision
  • understand the current level of funding for AA provision

This will assist us in our efforts to improve funding and commissioning of AA provision. This includes will helping us to understand how things have changed since the There to Help (2015) report.

We understand that some of the following information may be commercial in confidence. As in the past, information you provide to us under the following headings will not be published or shared without your explicit consent. We will only publish or share information:

  • which is already in the public domain (e.g. on a commissioner’s website)
  • which is anonymised or aggregated so that your scheme cannot be identified


We are seeking to understand where provision to a beneficiary group is part of a larger AA contract.

For example a beneficiary group (spreadsheet row) might have one of the following in the Contract column:

  • Single (it covers either children or adults in one local authority area)

  • Combined (it covers both adults and children in one local authority area)

  • Multi-area (it covers more than one local authority area)

  • Multi-area + combined (it covers both adults and children in more than one LA area)

If you cover both adults and children or cover multiple areas, but these are commissioned under separate contracts, please use the label “Single”.

Where there are combined or multi-area contracts, we need to be able to identify what is bundled together. We can do this by giving them a relevant name. So, examples of what you might enter in the Contract column (for each row) are:

  • Single

  • Combined (Kent)

  • Multi-area (West Mercia)

  • Multi-area + combined (Greater Manchester)

Larger providers may have a mix of different types of contract.

We would also like to know about any provision that is part of a non-AA contract, such as a local advocacy contract.

Funding source

While some organisation’s AA provision is funded by a single source (e.g. the YOT), others have more complicated arrangements.
At a basic level, we’d just like to know which sources are contributing e.g. Local authority, CCG, PCC, police. But ideally, we’d like to understand who is supporting which beneficiaries. So for example:

If you have a combined children and adults scheme in a single area:
  • Children: Local authority (YOT)
  • Adults: Local authority (adult social care)
In a multi-area contract this might be:
  • Area 1 (adults): PCC
  • Area 2 (adults): Local authority (adult social care)

We do understand that some scheme leaders will not be aware of the sources of funding that support their scheme. But if you are able to find out, please let us know.

Funding (annual)

With the increase in commissioning, a lot of AA funding information is now in the public domain on commissioner’s websites and tender portals. However, this does not always relate to how much providers actually get. We want to be able to track how much investment is actually going into the sector.
We appreciate that this may be sensitive information and that some scheme leaders are not party to the finances. We are grateful for whatever information you can provide. However, in an ideal world:
  • If you have a single scheme, beneficiary group and funder, simply provide the total annual budget for the scheme. If it is an in-house scheme, please factor in staff time (including yours).
  • If you have separate funding sources for both adults and children, and you know how much each pays in each year, please enter the amounts separately in the relevant rows.
  • If you have multiple contracts, please detail how much each one is worth each year.

Call outs (annual per beneficiary group)

We want to be able to track trends in AA call outs, both for children and adults.

Many members have previously provided information on the total number of call-outs their organisation does each year. Now we are attempting to find out how those break down into areas and children vs adults.

If you have the data, in the Call outs column, please enter the number of call outs per year for each beneficiary group. For example:

Beneficiary Group


Call outs

Local authority A (Adults)

Combined (A)


Local authority A (Children)

Combined (A)



However, if it easier to report at the contract level, that’s fine. For example:

Beneficiary Group


Call outs

Local authority X (Adults)

Multi-area + combined (XYZ)

1000 (total adults for contract)

Local authority Y (Adults)

Multi-area + combined (XYZ)

1000 (total adults for contract)

Local authority Z (Adults)

Multi-area + combined (XYZ)

1000 (total adults for contract)

Local authority X (Children)

Multi-area + combined (XYZ)

1000 (total children for contract)

Local authority Y (Children)

Multi-area + combined (XYZ)

1000 (total children for contract)

Local authority Z (Children)

Multi-area + combined (XYZ)

1000 (total children for contract)

We know you are busy and this can be complicated for some schemes. Please use whatever data you have to hand and just make a note so that we can see what the numbers relate to.

Latest updates

Thank you for your interest in the consultation on the National Standards Review 2018. Here is our progress report:

  • Member consultation - complete
  • Public consultation - complete 
  • Analysis of submissions - complete 
  • Amendments - complete 
  • Approval by NAAN Board of Trustees - complete 
  • Approval by stakeholders - complete 
  • Pubilcation - complete 

View the latest National Standards.

Consultation feedback

NAAN sought to consult as widely as possible with stakeholders in developing the standards. This included the following actions.

A member workshop: A workshop on the national standards enabled members, working in small groups, to discuss and amend an early draft of the revised standards.

Public consultation: A public consultation was run based on a draft updated in light of the member workshop. Written submissions were received from the following organisations and individuals.

  • Association of Directors of Adult Social Services
  • Association of Youth Offending Team Managers
  • Dr Harriet Pierpoint, Centre for Criminology at University of South Wales
  • Headway, the brain injury association
  • HM Inspectorate of Constabulary, Fire and Rescue Service and HM Inspectorate of Prisons (joint)
  • Home Office
  • Independent Custody Visiting Association
  • Independent Office for Police Conduct
  • National Police Chief’s Council
  • NHS England (Liaison and Diversion)
  • Northumbria AA Scheme
  • Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Cambridgeshire
  • Police Federation of England and Wales
  • Thames Valley Police
  • The Law Society
  • The Youth Justice Board
  • YSS

Service user participation: NAAN commissioned advice from service users on the public consultation version. Our thanks go to:

  • Chris Hilliard, an expert in relation to autism
  • Members of the Working for Justice group (facilitated by KeyRing), experts in relation to learning disability
  • Moira Tombs (Encompassing Health), expert in relation to mental health


Public Consultation

The deadline for responses to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. was March 9th 2018. However, you can still access the consultation information below. 

You can download all consultation files in a Zip file or select from below. 

Please start by reading the introductory letter to the consultation. 

The draft standards are divided into six sections, each focusing on a different area of AA provision.  

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

If you would like to know more about the sources referenced in the draft standards, please read the evidence review compiled by Dr Dehaghani of Cardiff University's School of Law. 

The existing standards are mapped against the draft revised standards in the consultation documents above. However, standalone copies of the existing national standards are also available. 



The National Appropriate Adult Network is working in partnership with the awarding body Gateway Qualifications to provide a simple route to a nationally accredited qualification for appropriate adults at Level 2 on the Qualifications and Credit Framework, equivalent to a GCSE A*-C grade.

As a registered centre for Gateway Qualifications, NAAN is able to work with NAAN member organisations to offer three awards specially created for appropriate adults. There's no need for NAAN member organisations to go through the time and expense of becoming a registered centre. 

Download information

Please note: 

  • This service is for organisations and is not available to individuals
  • If you are an AA currently, please direct your enquiry to your scheme leader
  • Individuals will need to join an AA scheme in order to access the qualification
  • Accessing this service requires an organisation to hold membership of NAAN
  • This service does not include training

The National Appropriate Adult Network (NAAN) welcomes the continued development of Liaison and Diversion services (L&D). This short briefing encourages the development of local partnerships with AA schemes and highlights some the key opportunities.

Clarity over the roles

Both liaison and diversion (L&D) and appropriate adults (AA) services featured in the integrated vision set out in the Bradley report (2009). In order to work effectively, L&D practitioners, AAs and custody officers require an accurate, shared understanding of each other’s role and purpose. This includes understanding and respecting each other’s: 

  • expertise;
  • responsibilities;
  • legal powers;
  • aims (both where they are shared and importantly where they diverge).

Although it may seem simple at first, the appropriate adult role is complex. Summary information can be found on this website. The national operating model for L&D defines target groups, aims and outcomes that clearly complement those of appropriate adult schemes (see table below). 


Contacting an AA for any suspect who meets the criteria is a legal duty on police officers[1]. A person cannot refuse to have an AA if they meet the criteria. The AA must be independent of the police and cannot be under their control, direction or contractual arrangements to them.

Although the law prioritises parents in the AA role, there is a requirement on local authorities to provide for children, which is typically delivered via youth offending teams[2]. For adults, PACE prioritises people who are experienced or trained in their care but there is no statutory duty on local authorities to ensure provision. Adult services are often delivered or commissioned via adult social care but there is significant variation in resourcing and some areas have no organised scheme for adults.


AA schemes support the aim of diverting, whenever appropriate, children and adults with mental ill health or other mental vulnerabilities away from the criminal justice system. As an AA is only required for those being treated as a suspect, this allows resources to be focused efficiently. L&D should be aware that disposals that divert a suspect from court, such as cautions applied by police, require the involvement of an AA.


An AA is required for all people aged under 18. However, research evidence strongly indicates that mental vulnerability is significantly under-identified by police officers, especially where there is no organised AA scheme. Police data indicates that on average only 3.1% of adults detentions involve an AA [3]. This drops to 1% in areas with no AA scheme for adults and rises to 5% where there is full provision. Studies by clinical academics indicate a need in the range of 11%-22%. Many front line practitioners would suggest the true rate of need is even higher.

Furthermore, the legal definitions and thresholds in PACE Code C are not always applied and some mental disorders, such as depression and ADHD, seem to be less likely to trigger police to contact and AA.[4]. L&D provides an opportunity to address this, subject to an awareness of the relevant PACE Codes provisions:

  • By law, if an officer has any suspicion that a person may have any mental disorder or be otherwise mentally vulnerable, then unless there is evidence to dispel their suspicion they must as soon as is practicable ask an AA to attend[5].
  • ‘Mentally vulnerable’ applies if, because of their mental state or capacity, a person may not understand the significance (not just the immediate meaning of the content) of what is said, of questions or of their replies.
  • If an officer refers to L&D due to such a suspicion, then the threshold is met and an AA is required. The request for an AA must not depend on any further assessment.
  • It is the custody officer’s legal duty to decide whether an AA is required and this cannot be delegated to an L&D practitioner. Officers may refer to L&D. If they are provided with evidence that dispels their suspicion, the AA can be stood down.

The potential consequences of failing to identify the need for an AA include subjecting innocent people to miscarriages of justice and rendering evidence against guilty people inadmissible in court. If consulted, in addition to advising on reasonable adjustments, L&D practitioners should advise police that an AA is required based on the PACE definition and threshold. NAAN advises that they should not advise police that no AA is required unless:

  • they are confident that they understand the PACE Code definition and threshold; and
  • they have the necessary professional expertise in relation to the suspected condition(s); and
  • they have carried out an appropriate assessment and this has determined that the person has no mental disorder (as defined by the MHA 1983) or other mental vulnerabilty as defined by PACE.

Sadly, early data from the L&D programme suggested that on 20% of adult suspects who enaged with L&D had the support of an AA. A referral from police to L&D will almost always mean an AA should already be involved. However, an AA is not required for a person who is intoxicated, has accommodation issues or has physcial health conditions, if there is is no suspicion of mental vulnerability in addition.

An AA is not just for interviews

There is an unfortunately common misconception that AAs are only required for interviews. In fact the AA has a role throughout a detention episode, from the explanation of rights and entitlements, all the way through to bail or charge and related actions (such as cautions). AAs must be present for all ID procedures (e.g. DNA swabs, fingerprints, and photographs) as well as for strip searches. They have a right to make representations at reviews of detention. They can insist on legal representation for a suspect. A suspect has a right to consult privately with their AA at any time. 

Research indicates that this does not always happen. If L&D are aware of the extent of the legal rements for AA presence, they can help to make sure people receive the support to which they have a right. 

Voluntary interviews

The trend away from arrests towards voluntary interviews presents a shared challenge for police, L&D and AA schemes. Voluntary interviews are still PACE interviews and carry the same risks and, in theory at least the same safeguards. However there is no custody sergeant to provide oversight and L&D and AA schemes are often structured around custody. Many of the people that L&D and AA services exist to support will, for the best of reasons, be increasingly diverted from custody.  While work is underway at a national level to consider these challenges, local partnerships should be considering how L&D and AA schemes can work with police to ensure mental ill health and other vulnerabilities are identified and supported appropriately outside of police custody.

AA referrals to L&D

Where L&D do not conduct universal screening, AA schemes can be a source of referrals. AA support is required for all children in police custody and AAs can spend significant periods of time with a suspect. All adults for whom an AA is required should have been assessed by L&D and practitioners are encouraged to collaborate to ensure that this is the case.

Training collaboration

Liaison and Diversion services may be able to assist the local AA scheme with training of their volunteers or paid staff, for example on mental health or learning disability issues. This can result in better referrals to L&D and improved support and justice outcomes for the individual.

In turn, AA scheme are well placed to support training of L&D practitioners in relation to the relevant provision of the PACE Codes and the support provided by AAs. This can result in improved identification of need and application of the AA safeguard.

Next steps

  1. Identify what AA provision is available in your local area using the NAAN network map
  2. Make contact with the local AA scheme leader and discuss joint working
  3. Work with the AA scheme, and police lead, to review identification of need for an AA
  4. Consider the potential for the local AA leader to sit on any local L&D advisory or steering group and vice-versa.


Table: comparison of L&D and AA provision


Liaison and diversion

Appropriate adults

Target groups

Children and adults with:

  • mental health problems
  • learning disabilities
  • cognitive disorders
  • substance misuse problems;
  • other vulnerabilities

at police stations and courts.

Any suspect who is detained or attends a voluntary interview and:

  • appears to be aged under 18; or
  • an officer suspects may have any mental disorder (as defined by the MHA 1983 s.1) or may be otherwise mentally vulnerable.


Needs addressed include:

  • High prevalence of health and care needs and poor acces to services within child and adult offender populations
  • Poor experience of justice system processes (e.g. long detention times) and outcomes
  • Need for assurance that people have participated effectively
  • Late identification of need increases likelihood of reaching crisis point
  • Lack of information to inform decisions within justice system

When detained or questioned, some people are at high risk of having difficulty understanding:

  • rights & entitlements
  • implications of procedures
  • the significance of questions/replies

They may be prone to:

  • unintentionally providing unreliable, misleading or self-incriminating information
  • unconsciously accepting or acting on suggestions from others
  • becoming confused or unclear about their position

Aims and outcomes

  • Improved access to health and social care services
  • Improved criminal justice outcomes for individuals and the system
  • Diversion of individuals, where appropriate, out of the criminal justice systems into health or other supportive services.

Children and adults with additional needs experience fair justice outcomes because they are:

  • treated fairly with respect for their rights and welfare
  • able to participate effectively in the process


  • Screening
  • Assessment
  • Give advice regarding reasonable adjustments
  • Make referrals to services
  • May not act as an AA (under National Operating Model paragraph 8.3)
  • Proactively safeguard rights, welfare entitlements and effective participation
  • Observe police actions and person’s condition and understanding
  • Support, advise and assist during any procedure, including supporting communication


  • Cross government initiative
  • Funded via NHS England
  • National operating model
  • No statutory requirement but supported by HM Treasury
  • In the process of roll out with 75% population coverage by April 2018


  • Statutory requirement on police to contact an AA (PACE 1984)
  • Statutory requirement on local authorities to provide for children
  • No statutory duty for adults services but often delivered or commissioned via adult social care
  • National standards published by NAAN

[4] Dehaghani, R. (2016). He’s Just Not That Vulnerable: Exploring the Implementation of the Appropriate Adult Safeguard in Police Custody, The Howard Journal Vol 55 No 4. December 2016

[5] Proposed changes to the definition and threshold test currently subject to consultation (as at December 2017)

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