Learn about the person, not the disability – one-page profiles provide an at-a-glance way of knowing what really matters to people, a document that can be taken with them as they move through services and come into contact with people.

A one-page profile captures all the important information about a person on a single sheet of paper under three simple headings:

  • what people appreciate about me
  • what’s important to me
  • how best to support me.

One-page profiles are deceptively simple, and in this simplicity lies their strength.

Helen Sanderson, of Helen Sanderson Associates, first created a one-page profile for her daughter Laura at school. They are now used from birth to end of life, for people in different situations and settings.

The purpose of the one-page profile is to provide a summary of person-centred information that people in the person’s life can use to either get to know them quickly, or ensure they are providing consistent support in the way the person wants.


One-page profiles help us to support people better by:

  • helping us build better relationships by truly understanding what really matters to the person in their life and the way they are supported to live it
  • providing a record that can move with the person as they transition from service to service or use multiple services
  • being regularly updated to reflect people’s changing circumstances and aspirations
  • when staff have one-page profiles, the people being supported feel like they get to know the person, rather than just the job title
  • when used at work, they can contribute to more person-centred teams, where individual strengths are recognised and different ways of working are taken into account

Questions to help fill in ‘what people appreciate about me’

  • What do people thank you for?
  • What have you done that you are proud of?
  • What do you like best about yourself?
  • What are your gifts, talents or strengths?

Important is a heading to describe and list what excites and motivates a person in their day-to-day life. There are questions that can help a person to fill in this section as well.

Questions to help you fill in the ‘important to’

  • What truly matters to you in everyday life as well as for the future?
  • What drives you to DO the things that you do and HOW you do them?
  • What are the things that you must avoid doing?
  • What is important to you at home that should be honoured elsewhere?
  • Are there things/activities/people that you can’t live without?

How best to support me

  • What is helpful to you? What is not?
  • What information do people need to know about or understand so they will know how to support you?
  • Are there places, times or situations where specific supports are needed?
  • What can people do to make the time they are spending at different places more productive? (school, work, home, etc.)

For more information on one-page profiles, click Helen Sanderson Associates or one-page profile templates