NRM & Duty To Notify

What is the National Referral Mechanism?

The National Referral Mechanism (NRM) which is a two stage process, is a framework for identifying victims of human trafficking and ensuring they receive the appropriate protection and support.

All child trafficking victims must be referred into the NRM whether they consent or not and in addition to the care and protection they receive through statutory child safeguarding procedures. Adult victims must give their consent prior to a referral being made.

The referring authority, known as the First Responder will submit referrals to the National Crime Agency Modern Slavery Human Trafficking Unit (formerly known as UKHTC.)

The MSHTU is one of two Competent Authorities, the second being UKVI. In the first instance, all referrals should be submitted to the MSHTU, who will transfer referrals involving all non-EEA nationals to UKVI for case assessment and decision making.

These two Competent Authorities are responsible for decision making in relation to whether a person is deemed to be a victim of modern slavery.

First Responders Include:
  • Police Forces
  • Home Office Immigration & Visas
  • GLAA
  • Poppy Project
  • Medaille Trust
  • Unseen
  • New Pathways
  • Specified NGO’s
  • UK Border Force
  • Local Authorities
  • Salvation Army
  • Migrant Help
  • Barnados
  • Kalayaan
  • Refugee Council

Stage One

The CA has 5 working days to decide whether there are reasonable grounds to believe the individual is a potential victim of modern slavery.

Stage Two

During a 45 day period, information is gathered to ascertain whether the individual is a potential victim of modern slavery. From this, a Conclusive Grounds decision will be made. The first responder and individual will be notified of the decision. What happens after depends on the individual’s wishes.

Making a referral

Completed NRM referrals should be sent by email to: * or by fax to: 0870 496 5534

Telephone enquiries can be made to: 0844 778 2406 (Option 1) 8am-5pm, and between 5pm – 8am the line diverts to the NCA 24/7 Control Centre (0370 496 7622).

In addition, the Salvation Army 24 hour Modern Slavery Helpline number is 0300 303 8151.

Click here for more detailed information on the NRM.

Duty To Notify

From November 2015 specific public authorities have a statutory Duty to Notify the Secretary of State of any individual suspected as a victim of slavery in England and Wales. This duty is set out in Section 52 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015.

For Statutory Guidance on Duty to Notify and the Duty to Notify Form click here.



For NRM Referral Forms for both Adults and Children and accompanying guidance see here.