NQSW resource - Outcome statement 8. Recording and sharing information

In this section:

Recording and sharing information: Introduction

Record practice and share information in line with statutory requirements.

Using your organisational systems and procedures to record accurate information will safeguard both service users and yourself. You should record in a way that distinguishes fact from opinion, is transparent and respects the views of those with whom you are working. Your records should be evidence-based, accessible and understandable to others. Poor case recording is often cited in cases where there have been poor outcomes.

Recording and sharing information: Key practice points

  • Safeguarding adults: lessons from the murder of Steven Hoskin (Social care TV) highlights the importance of sharing information.
  • Your organisational systems should be used to record the views of individuals, their families and carers, as well as your own.
  • Familiarise yourself with your local policies and procedures, as well as useful national guidance about when and how you can share information. You need to show evidence of this throughout your practice.
  • The frameworks, codes of practice and policy guidance are meant to support your decision-making rather than hinder it.
  • It is good practice to be open with people about what information you are sharing and why, and to gain consent.
  • Take the time to record the reasons for your decisions, making reference to any areas of conflict or dilemma. Be prepared to provide evidence to substantiate your decisions, using the facts you have recorded.
  • Useful guidance can be found in HM Governments' Pocket guide on information sharing.
  • Collaboration with others will provide evidence of your ability to work effectively with complexity to improve outcomes.

Practitioners often struggle with trying to write records that serve a variety of readerships – people who use services, colleagues, other professionals, resource allocation panels and service providers. 'It's all in the record: meeting the challenge of open recording' (O'Rourke and Grant, 2005)is a manual exploring these challenges. Additionally, the Department of Health's Social care information governance is a national guide specifically for adult social care. It incorporates a range of governance including data protection, codes of confidentiality and the Freedom of Information Act 2000. It aims to promote the effective and appropriate use of information, prevent duplication and enable more efficient use of resources.


We hope you will find this material helpful in your first year as a social worker. However, we recognise that this will not provide you with all the answers. You will need to discuss your practice with your supervisor, raise any ethical dilemmas and be reflective in your work. Use the Portfolio (Word file) document to record your reflection on this outcome statement.