Professional Curiosity

What is professional curiosity

Professional Curiosity is a combination of looking, listening, asking direct questions, checking out and reflecting on all the information we receive. It means not taking information at face value and triangulating all information from different sources to gain a better understanding of the people and families we support

Professional Curiosity Skills in Practice:

  • Practice respectful uncertainty and feeling confident to challenge
  • Be prepared to think the unthinkable and consider all possibilities
  • Practice in an anti-discriminatory and anti- oppressive way, avoiding any assumptions.

Barriers to Professional Curiosity:

Barriers can include over optimism, making assumptions, lacking confidence to ask challenging questions, unconscious bias, professional deference, changes in practitioners, pressure and complexity of workload and few opportunities to reflect.


Good recording becomes especially critical in complex situations. We should record the decisions and actions that we decide not to take, as well as ones that we did, explaining our rationale. We should also make very clear what is factual information and what is our own opinion or the opinion of other people. Evidencing our thinking process.

How to Remain Professionally Curious:

We can foster professional curiosity through accessing good quality reflective supervision, engaging in ongoing learning to keep up to date with new research and ways of working. We can also access peer support and reflective discussions and committing to challenge our unconscious biases and assumptions.

Reflective Questions:

  • How could you develop your professional curiosity?
  • How might you overcome the barriers to professional curiosity?
  • How could evidence your decision making in your recording?

Useful Links:

Local Safeguarding Adults Reviews (SARs)

For details on local reviews where professional curiosity has been an areas of learning follow the link below:

Wider considerations of risk


An external Coroners report also made a recommendation regarding the importance of considering risks in peoples homes, particularly where there may be dogs present.  The following documents provide some recommendations and information on this area: