Principles of Advocacy
“Advocacy has two main themes:
- Safeguarding individuals who are in situations where they are vulnerable
- Speaking up for and with people who are not being heard, helping them to express their
own views and make their own decisions.”
Advocacy: A Guide for Commissioners, Scottish Executive, Jan 2001
Advocacy Service Aberdeen is an independent Voluntary Organisation.
These Principles form the foundation of our work.
1. An advocate aims to help clients to express their needs and wishes. An advocate accepts
that clients are, whenever possible, always in control of the advocacy process.
2. If the client has difficulty expressing their needs and wishes in detail, the advocate has
a responsibility to promote the client’s legal rights and what ASA believes to be in their
3. An advocate will inform him/herself about clients’ legal and other rights. They will
understand the systems operating in health, local authority or in other agencies.  An
advocate seeks support and advice when they need it and is permitted to give information
to clients, but does not give legal advice.
4. An advocate aims to provide objective information and will not intentionally raise
clients’ expectations about what they can achieve.
5. An advocate keeps all information about clients confidential, other than in exceptional
6. An advocate will always check directly with clients before acting on their behalf,
other than in exceptional circumstances.*
7. If clients want the advocate to speak on their behalf, the advocate makes sure that they
understand what clients wish to say.
8. An advocate is completely loyal to clients. An advocate is independent of other services.
The advocate is not swayed by those who are more powerful or influential than they are.
9. If asked to speak for clients, the advocate does so without becoming angry or aggressive.
10. The advocate does not insist clients give any information that they do not want to give.
11. An advocate does not act if he or she has a conflict of interest, even if the client
wants them to.
12. An advocate is always honest with clients.
13. An advocate will use language that is jargon free.
* Exceptional circumstances refer to one or a combination of the following:
If you tell us something (or we are made aware of something) that:
would cause serious harm or potential serious harm to you and
the law requires us to take action to protect you
would be seriously harmful or potentially seriously harmful to
someone else and the law requires us to take action to protect them
relates to activity that is or is likely to be unlawful.