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Probation

Circular

IMPLEMENTATION OF THE RISK REFERENCE NO:


OF HARM GUIDANCE AND 22/2006

TRAINING RESOURCE PACK ISSUE DATE:


23 May 2006
PURPOSE
This Probation Circular advises Probation Areas that the Risk of Harm IMPLEMENTATION DATE:
Guidance and Training Resource Pack will be launched on 8 June 2006. By 6 June 2006
9 June 2006, areas will have to have completed and submitted an audit of
training needs in relation to risk of harm, so that they will be ready to use the EXPIRY DATE:
Resource Pack as soon as it becomes available. June 2011

ACTION TO:
Chief Officers need to make arrangements: Chairs of Probation Boards
Chief Officers of Probation
• To complete and submit the attached training audit by 9 June 2006. Secretaries of Probation Boards
In so doing, they may wish to consult with their local regional training
consortia and build on existing arrangements for joint delivery of CC:
training events with HMPS. Board Treasurers
• To ensure that the implementation requirements for all operational Regional Managers
staff as outlined in all the sections of paragraphs 3.3, 3.4, 3.5 and 3.6
of this Circular will have been fully met by 31.3.07. AUTHORISED BY:
John Scott
SUMMARY Head of Public Protection and
As detailed at the start of this Circular. Licensed Release Unit

RELEVANT PREVIOUS PROBATION CIRCULARS ATTACHED:


PC10/2005 – Public Protection Framework, Risk of Harm and MAPPA Annex A – Risk Assessment and
PC48/2005 – Offender Assessment System Quality Management Plan Management Training programme
PC49/2005 – Assessment and Management of Risk of Harm Plan Annex B – Probation Area Audit
PC83/2005 – Implications of the Offender Management Model for Service return
Delivery Structures
PC15/2006 – Guidance on the Implementation of Practice Recommendations
Arising from an HMIP Independent Review of a Serious Offence Case,
February 2006.

CONTACT FOR ENQUIRIES


Tessa.Webb7@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk or 0207 217 0935
Hilary.Collyer@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk or 0207 217 8565

National Probation Directorate


Abell House, John Islip Street, London, SW1P 4LH
Summary

The Risk of Harm Guidance and Training Resource Pack has been prepared by De Montfort University on behalf of
NOMS. It replaces the “Management and Assessment of Risk in the Probation Service” document by Hazel Kemshall,
published by the Home Office in June 1997. It will be available on EPIC with additional copies available on CD ROMS.
This is to ensure that regular updating and amendments can be incorporated into the Pack. A maintenance contract is
currently being developed to facilitate this.

The Training Resource Pack will be launched at the NOMS National Risk of Harm Conference which will take place on
8.6.06. Further details about this event are currently being circulated. Some stakeholders might have seen the
demonstration version of the Pack. M ore work has since taken place to complete it and to make sure that it is compliant
with assistive technology.

Improving risk of harm practice is a top priority for the National Probation Service, both at the operational and the
management levels. Areas will therefore need to be ready to make immediate arrangements to implement the Training
Resource Pack. It is for this reason that the probation area training needs audit must be completed in advance of the
formal launch. This audit will inform the Implementation strategy for the pack, which will include a number of regional
dissemination events led by the De Montfort team to share the contents of the pack and to assist local staff developing
local risk training strategies. The intention also is that training for module 1 of the pack will be included within the offender
management training programme, which consists of a series of one day workshops. The Contact point for this is Hilary
Collyer, whose contact details are as given above.

Background

1.0 The Risk of Harm Action Plan was published in June 2005. It outlined 10 key points that were to be taken to
improve performance and confidence. From the outset, the action plan made it clear that long term and sustained
improvement was sought for the management of all offenders, not just those assessed as a high/very high risk of
serious harm.

1.2 On 28.2.06, Andrew Bridges, HM Chief Inspector of Probation published his independent review into the
management of Damien Hanson and Elliot White who murdered John Monckton The report found that there was
a failure to implement required practice.

1.3 The case highlighted the importance of producing an assessment of risk of harm and risk of re-offending which
should inform and determine the level of intervention and management of the offender. Assessment, followed by
planning and management are the core ingredients for robust offender management and applicable to all
offenders under supervision. This has been identified by Andrew Bridges as “doing the job properly” and it is one
of five key recommendations of his report. What this means is that the public is entitled to expect all reasonable
actions to be taken to minimise risk.

1.4 Since this time, there has been considerable, very visible scrutiny of risk of harm work and in particular offenders
being supervised in the community.

1.5 The Home Secretary has made it clear that public protection is the top priority for the National Probation Service
and the public has a right to be protected from dangerous offenders. That is why public protection is at the heart
of the five year Prison and Probation Strategy also published in February 2006 and is the highest priority of the
new National Offender Management Service.

1.6 The Risk of Harm Guidance and Training Resource Pack has been commissioned to support National Offender
Management Service in addressing the improvements in practice which are now required and support a
consistent understanding of terms and definitions across the Prison and Probation Services.

PC22/2006 – Implementation of the Risk of Harm Guidance and Training Resource Pack 2
2. The Risk of Harm Guidance and Training Resource Pack

2.0 Action point six of the Risk of Harm Improvement Harm Plan was to commission a Risk of Harm Guidance and
Training tool. De Montfort University, led by Professor Hazel Kemshall, were commissioned to produce a NOMS
Risk of Harm Training and Guidance Resource Pack. The De Montfort team included Professor Hazel Kemshall,
Professor Gill Mackenzie, Bernadette Wilkinson and John Millar. The pack is to be launched at a national
conference on 8.6.06. An initial, demonstration version may have been seen by some stakeholders during the
consultation process and middle manager risk of harm workshops. A maintenance contract is being developed
into 2006/07 and 2007/08 to ensure the product remains up to speed and linked to current practice, in particular,
the OASys manual re-write and the MAPPA Guidance, which are both being revised.

2.1 The Resource Pack has six modules, the learning outcomes for which are detailed below:

1. Key concepts and definitions

• Explain the meaning of key concepts


• Identify the relevance of those concepts for your own role and responsibilities

2. Basic risk assessment

• Explain key principles of risk assessment and why they are important in practice
• Explain how the OASys assessment tool can be used to support the effective assessment of the likelihood of
re-offending
• Explain the role of the OASys assessment tool in the assessment of risk of harm
• Demonstrate an understanding of key skills in the assessment of risk
• Demonstrate an ability to make judgements about risk based on a comprehensive risk assessment

This module does not replace the need for asll staff to undertake training in completion of OASys

3. Advanced risk assessment

• Review a selection of tools for the assessment of sexual and violent offenders
• Consider how those tools may apply to their role and responsibilities
• Explain the key characteristics of sexual and violent offenders
• Demonstrate how that in-depth knowledge applies to their practice

The module does NOT offer in depth training in each of the risk assessment tools which will continue to be
delivered through the respective licensed training processes.

4. Risk management

• State the key principles of risk management, understand and apply the key strategies for risk management
• Understand the key interventions for effective risk management

5. Working with other agencies

• Know about the key agencies relevant to this work and their links with Prison and Probation Services.
• Understand the processes and structures for promoting the welfare of children
• Learn more about particular types of serious harm; domestic violence, arson.
• Learn more about mental health problems as they can affect offenders, including dangerous and severe
personality disorder
• Understand the role of Multi Agency Public protection Arrangements (MAPPA) and how the system works.

6. Best practice and avoiding errors

Enables staff to identify:

PC22/2006 – Implementation of the Risk of Harm Guidance and Training Resource Pack 3
• Potential sources of error in risk decision making including:
Methodological
Human
Systematic
• How differences between individuals may influence risk decision making
• How they can help reduce the incidence of failures in risk assessment and management

Full guidance is provided within various different sections of the pack regarding the use of static or actuarial risk concepts
and dynamic i.e. changing levels of risk concepts. The role of clinical, i.e. professional judgement is also fully considered.
This is consistent with the announcement made by the Home Secretary on 20.4.06 regarding protecting the public from
dangerous offenders.

The advantage of the Resource Pack is that it can be used in a variety of ways for any individual or staff group in any
situation. Thus, for example, training programmes can be designed using the material in the Pack as a resource or
individuals can be directed to engage with a particular element of the Pack following an identified, individual training need.

3. Implementation

3.0 The Risk of Harm Guidance and Training CD ROM is a resource pack for NOMS. For Probation, it will mainly be
accessed via EPIC. In addition, should any areas require discs of the pack for stand alone use, these will
available from the NOMS Public Protection Unit. It is also planned for inclusion on the Prison Service intranet.

3.1 Assessing and managing risk of harm is an integral part of what Probation does. All staff should be competent in
or have been trained in the contents of module 1 and 2 and/or 4 depending on their roles and responsibilities, and
there is a suggested two day core programme in the Pack (Annexe A). There will initially however, be a need to
prioritise staff as follows:

• PSOs completing OASys risk of harm screenings in any context, especially, the court setting. All such
staff should have completed core risk of harm training on appointment before being asked to undertake
risk of harm screening. Where PSO staff are in post and have not completed basic risk of harm
training this needs to be attended to as a matter of urgency.
• PSO staff who have not previously accessed any specific risk of harm training. This will extend across all
interventions and areas of work including accredited programmes, Unpaid Work, Women’s Safety
Workers and Victim Liaison Officers. PSOs and other supervisory staff in Approved Premises should,
during the course of 2006/06, have access to the risk of harm training specifically designed for that
context.
• Any member of staff, including Probation Officers who, through supervision and appraisal processes,
have had concerns identified about their knowledge of and competencies in risk of harm work
• Support staff, including case administrators, closely linked to operations.
• Any member of staff identified by the Serious Further Offence processes where there are identified
concerns about competency in respect of the assessment and management of risk of harm in relation to
their role.
• Any managers who have identified themselves or been identified through supervision and appraisal as
having concerns/ gaps in understanding about their knowledge and understanding of risk of harm.

There will be regional dissemination events to share the contents of the pack and to assist local staff developing local risk
training strategies. These events will be run by the De Montfort team from July 2006 onwards.

3.2 There will be three main ways in which it is envisaged that the Resource Pack will be implemented by staff:

• Individuals/groups of staff being directed to engage with particular modules receiving mentoring and
guidance as appropriate, delivered by middle managers through individual supervision or team
development.

PC22/2006 – Implementation of the Risk of Harm Guidance and Training Resource Pack 4
• Receiving training from local trainers based on the Pack. Attached at Annex A is a sample programme
which has been developed for local delivery.
• Attending the offender management training programmes as part of which, it is intended to deliver module
1of the Training Pack.

3.3 Mandatory Requirements for Areas

3.3.1 As a minimum, by 31.3.07, all operational staff should be familiar with and have been confirmed as having
achieved competencies in the contents of modules 1, 2 and 4 (where appropriate to their role). All
offender managers (and their relevant managers) should also be familiar with and have been confirmed
as having achieved competencies in the contents of modules 3, 5 and 6 according to the offender
management Tier they are working with. Any offender manager required to work with offenders above
a low risk of harm should be familiar and competent for modules 3, 5 and 6. Where offender
manager’s are probation service officers and have not been trained to assess and manage risk of
harm behaviour for medium/ high / very high risk of harm, it is imperative that they are alert to the
requirement to seek an appropriately trained offender manager to assist in the management of the
case. This is in line with the Offender Management guidelines (PC83/2005 refers).

3.4 In determining training requirements for their staff, the aim is that areas use the Pack to amend/augment existing
training arrangements or to deliver new training to staff. It is not the intention that staff who are already competent
in the content of the pack should be re-trained.

3.5 By 31.3.07, areas will need to confirm that each member of operational staff and their relevant line managers
have:

• Been assessed by their line manager as being competent in risk of harm work and any difficulties clearly
identified.
• Had recorded when they received risk of harm training or when they are due to receive such training
within a period of no greater than six months.
• Been provided with an identified training and development plan if any gaps in their risk of harm
knowledge and competencies have been identified.

3.6 Arrangements will be made by NPD to confirm with areas that these requirements have been met by
31.3.07, the first element of which will be completion and return of the audit required by this Circular.

4. Other Implementation Arrangements.

4.0 Other elements of the National Implementation Plan include:-

• Integration into the existing training programmes for all staff Inductions, TPOs and NVQ programmes and
all other on-going training and development programmes for other grades of staff.
• Planned integration into the long term training arrangements for all probation staff to ensure that the
service has a minimum standard of knowledge and understanding as a foundation block for any
probation staff working with offenders is to be explored.
• Working with the Prison Service to identify how it can be integrated into the training of HMPS staff. This
will commence with the intended incorporation into Offender Management workshops which are to be
delivered across both Prisons and Probation.
• Longer term, there will be exploration of an accreditation process. In the meantime, arrangements will
need to be set up across NOMS to ensure that standards are set for risk of harm and that competencies
against these standards are kept under review through appraisal.

PC22/2006 – Implementation of the Risk of Harm Guidance and Training Resource Pack 5
4.1 It is recognised that in the short term, the NPS and HMIP may have differing timescales and so implementation
across both organisations is likely to differ at the initial stages. However, this should not prevent Probation, which
has the lead responsibility for Offender Management, taking the initial steps to engage.

5. Action now required

Areas are now required to:-

Complete the attached proforma and return it to eric.amoakwa-boadu@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk by 9 June 2006. In so


doing, areas may wish to consult with their local regional training consortia and/or colleagues from HMPS.
Make arrangements to ensure that the requirements for all operational staff as outlined in paragraphs 3.3., 3.4, 3.5 and
3.6 above are met.

In taking this action, areas should take full account of the Offender Management training to be jointly delivered with the
Prison Service from the Summer of this year.

In addition, areas will need to be aware of the rollout programme for C-NOMIS and the implementation arrangements for
the delivery of Custody Plus later this year.

PC22/2006 – Implementation of the Risk of Harm Guidance and Training Resource Pack 6
Annex A

Event Title
Risk Assessment and Management
Learning outcomes
As a result of this training participants should be able to

• Explain the meaning of key concepts and principles of risk assessment and
management
• Identify the relevance of the above for practice and for their own roles and
responsibilities
• Put into practice key skills and strategies of risk assessment and management
• Make judgements about risk based on evidence and on analysis of that evidence

Day One
Time Inputs and exercise
9.30 Risk decisions
Module 1 What is risk
The Two dimensions of risk
Input
Module 1
The two dimensions of risk
What Goes Wrong in Risk Decision Making – defensible decisions
Module 1
Making Defensible Decisions
Structured Clinical and Actuarial Assessments
Module 1
Actuarial and Clinical assessment and Structured holistic risk assessments
Module 6
The values of the assessor
11.00 Break
11.15 Principles of good risk assessment using OASys
Module 2
The assessor and OASys
The process

Actively Involving the Offender


Input
Module 2
Risk Assessment Skills, Walking Through the Offence and Socratic Questions
Module 1
Making Defensible Decisions

1.00 Lunch
1.45 Indicators of Harmful Behaviour
Module 1
What are the main indicators
Module 2
Clinical Assessment of Serious Harm

Imminence
Module 1
Imminence

3.15 Break
3.30 Balanced risk judgements
Input and exercises
Module 1
Making defensible decisions
Module 2
Further thinking about risk of serious harm
Making judgements level of risk
4,30 Day ends

Event Title
Risk Assessment and Management
Learning outcomes
As a result of this training participants should be able to

• Explain the meaning of key concepts and principles of risk assessment and
management
• Identify the relevance of the above for practice and for their own roles and
responsibilities
• Put into practice key skills and strategies of risk assessment and management
• Make judgements about risk based on evidence and analysis of that evidence

Day Two
Time Inputs and exercise
9.30 Learning so far
Module 2
Risk Assessment skills
Gathering and analysing Information
Module 2
Gathering and Analysing Information
Public Protection and balanced judgements
Module 1
Working with Difference and diversity

11.00 Break
11.15 Assessing serious harm
Module 2
Clinical assessment of serious harm

A good risk assessor


Module 2
Risk Assessment skills
Module 2
Clinical assessment of serious harm
1.00 Lunch
1.45 Managing risk
Module 3
Risk management strategies
Setting Objectives
Module 4
Setting objectives

3.00
3.15 Responding to Difficulties
Module 4
Best practice and
Responding to escalation and deterioration

3.45 Reflection and using the learning in practice

4,30 Event ends


Annex B

Risk of Harm Guidance and Training Resource Pack


National Audit of Training Needs

Probation Area Details

Probation Area
Lead Senior Manager for Implementing
the Risk of Harm Training and Resource
Pack:
Name
Email address
Telephone number(s)
Details of staff to attend regional
dissemination and planning workshops
(at least 3 per area)
1.Name
Email address
Telephone number(s)
2. Name
Email address
Telephone number(s)
3.Name
E mail address
Telephone number(s)
Probation Region

Details of other relevant Manager(s)


concerned with the implementation of
the risk of harm training and resource
pack
Name(s)
Email address
Telephone Number
Staff Numbers
Numbers of Offender Managers
Numbers of Offender Supervisors
Numbers of Case Administrators
Numbers of other operational staff
Numbers of managers requiring training
Numbers of all other staff
Total numbers of staff
Numbers of staff requiring module 1
training
Numbers of staff requiring module 1,2
and 4 training
Numbers of staff requiring module 3,
5and 6 training

All completed forms should be sent to


Eric.amoakwa-boadu@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk by 9 June 2006