Health care staff involved in adult safeguarding will have three years to meet new professional standards as outlined in Adult Safeguarding: Roles and Competencies for Health Care Staff.
The RCN, asked by NHS England, led on the development of the guidance on behalf of over 30 Royal Colleges.
It aims to counter both emerging and common forms of abuse, such as "cuckooing", where unscrupulous people move in and take over someone's home, possessions and finances, and people trafficking and modern slavery. It also incorporates domestic abuse and internet abuse.
Dawne Garrett, RCN Professional Lead for Older People and Dementia Care and the guidance’s lead author, said: "Following a plethora of abuse scandals involving adults at risk, health care staff now have a set of competencies they need to meet to help them safeguard people from harm.
“Until now, there hasn't been an equivalent. This is an ambitious document that will help keep safe many adults with differing types of care needs across the UK."