At Mercury College we work hard to provide safe and effective services. This includes the need to achieve, maintain and promote a culture of openness, honesty and awareness throughout the organisation and with everyone who is involved with our services. We enable the people we support to speak out if they have concerns, and to be reassured that they will be supported through the process and not victimised.

We seek to take a positive and measured approach to risk management. In so doing, we aim to provide services that enable people to make choices – and to take part in daily living and other activities that extend their life experience in enjoyable and meaningful ways. To support these aims we seek to recognise and properly assess risks as part of a proportionate approach. In other words, we look to balance these risks with our responsibilities to the person themselves and those with whom they have contact – and with requirements for safeguarding young adults, care standards and health and safety legislation, for example.


At Mercury College, and it’s associated residential and supported living services, we are committed to providing safe and effective services that:

  • Prevent harm
  • Identify and manage risk
  • Support people based on their individual needs

The young adults we support may be especially at risk due to a range of factors, for example:

  • Difficulty understanding the possible consequences of their own actions or those of other people
  • Struggling to express feelings of fear or concern
  • Understanding motives
  • Concepts of what constitutes risk

People’s plans are person-centred and our staff are trained and supported to deliver these plans. We provide support to people to enable and empower them to express concerns or fears for example in the form of individual communication plans and safeguarding and complaints tools.

We aim to ensure that all staff are safely recruited and properly trained, supervised and managed, with an active induction that emphasises our ‘zero tolerance’ of abuse and neglect right from the outset.

Each member of staff is provided with written guidance on safeguarding young adults which outlines the types of abuse, why people may be at risk and the signs to look out for. The staff guidance explains exactly what behaviour is expected from all staff and outlines their responsibilities in reporting any issues of concern. It clearly states the consequences for them should they engage in abusive practice or if they do not report suspected abuse.

Training and support is provided to staff right at the outset to observe for signs of poor or abusive practice and report these. We have developed policy and guidance that supports everyone delivering a service to provide safe and effective services.

In the event of poor practice or abuse being suspected staff are expected and supported to report immediately through our Whistleblowing and Safeguarding policies and guidance. Allegations are reported by managers using agreed local safeguarding procedures, which includes informing the regulatory body (CQC) and work positively with multiple agencies as a part of this process.

Key policies and guidance about safeguarding are available on request. Our Quality Team develops policy and best practice guidance and assesses our compliance with national standards, including with respect to keeping people safe.

Risk management

To achieve positive outcomes we aim to use properly designed, effective processes that identify and assess risk; and to evaluate the best and most appropriate measures to reduce the chance of an adverse event occurring. Specifically, we aim for:

  • Managers, practitioners and other staff to be well supported through the provision of guidance, training and practical skills and tools for identifying, assessing and managing risk;
  • Risk assessment and management to be undertaken and regularly reviewed by staff competent and of a level consistent with the nature and scale of risk;
  • The organisation to learn through the timely and effective review of incidents and other relevant information, through clear reporting procedures for example;
  • Clear documentation of information and decisions;
  • Actions to be implemented through procedures outlined in appropriate policies and guidance.

To positively support people, we recognise and accept that there are risks that cannot be avoided but can be minimised through appropriate preparation, including through discussion with the person themselves and those important to that person, such as family, carers, professionals and other staff, from within as well as outside Mercury College and it’s associated residential and supported living services.

There is a considerable body of information about risk management in our Individual Risk Assessment and Management Policy and associated Practice Guidance, which draws together the thinking underpinning our approach in this area.

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