SAR 3b chronology template

SAR 3b: Chronology guidance and template 

Guidance on compiling a chronology

What is a Chronology?

The chronology provides a succinct summary and sequential overview of significant events in the adult’s life. It contributes to an emerging picture where current information is understood in the context of previous information, informing professional assessment. A chronology should be used as an analytical tool to help understand the immediate and cumulative impact of events.

Not only are they a means of organising and merging information, they also enable practitioners to gain a more accurate picture of the whole case and highlight any gaps and missing details that may require further assessment.  They:

  • Provide a mechanism through which information can be systematically shared and merged
  • Enable agencies to identify the history
  • Provide invaluable information about an adult’s experience
  • Can reveal risks, concerns, patterns and themes, strengths and weaknesses
  • Identify previous periods of professional involvement/support and the effectiveness of these interventions
  • Inform assessment, decision making and analysis

General Principles

  • The chronology must be completed on the template provided.  It may be helpful to supplement a chronology with a report that draws out key themes and messages
  • Information recorded in a chronology should be relevant – whilst professional judgement is required to decide on the relevance of particular events all should be included if there is any doubt
  • The relevance and/or significance of an event can change over time - an historical event which appeared insignificant or irrelevant may become relevant and significant in the light of further information of more recent origin
  • Where there is no agency contact for periods during the timescale of the review this should be made clear in the chronology
  • Where abbreviations are used a glossary must be provided
  • The chronology must be approved by a senior officer/manager prior to submission

Significant Events

A significant event is an incident that impacts on the adult’s safety and welfare, circumstances or living environment. This will inevitably involve a professional decision and/or judgement based upon their individual circumstances.

The following are examples of core incidents pertaining to the adult, household members and significant other people that should be included on a chronology. This is not an exhaustive list and it is essential that practitioners use their professional judgement in identifying pertinent information;

  • Views and wishes of the adult and/or their representative
  • Contacts or referrals including self referrals and any referrals to other agencies/teams
  • Assessments undertaken
  • Strategy discussions, meetings and conferences
  • Events showing capacity and/or willingness to work in partnership and engage with professionals
  • Specific support/guidance requested and/or offered
  • Appointments kept or missed
  • Any event deemed to have a significant impact on the adult such as separation from the main carer
  • Significant injury or neglect events
  • Self-harm, attempted suicide or overdose
  • Absconding behaviour and/or missing episodes
  • Environmental factors such as moving residence or changes in household composition, e.g. births, deaths, individuals moving into or out of the household, living conditions, employment
  • Financial arrangements
  • Family and social relationships
  • Frequent presence of unknown individuals
  • Access denied
  • Health issues including attendance at or admission to hospital
  • Change in GP
  • Police logs detailing relevant incidents such as concerns for safety, mental health issues, domestic abuse, anti-social behaviour, drug and/or alcohol misuse
  • Criminal or civil proceedings and outcomes
  • Changes in legal status

There may be core incidents involving professionals that could be significant depending on the circumstances:

  • Communications between professionals within an agency and/or between agencies
  • Supervision of staff
  • Training of staff
  • Turnover of staff

If there is additional information regarding the adult which fall outside the scoping period, please include this if it is felt to be relevant.