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Probation

Circular

NATIONAL STANDARDS (2005) & REFERENCE NO:


NATIONAL OFFENDER 65/2005

MANAGEMENT MODEL: ISSUE DATE:


APPLICATION OF TIERING 18 August 2005

FRAMEWORK IMPLEMENTATION DATE:


Immediate
PURPOSE
To provide areas with guidance on “tiering” arrangements to be used in EXPIRY DATE:
offender management to support compliance with National Standards (2005). August 2006

ACTION TO:
Chief Officers are requested to ensure that this circular, together with the Chairs of Probation Boards
explanatory annexe, is brought to the attention of the lead officer responsible Chief Officers of Probation
for Offender Management within their respective areas. All areas must have
Secretaries of Probation Boards
effective local guidance on tiering. The guidance in this PC must be
implemented unless the area has already introduced its own local
CC:
arrangements and does not wish to introduce change at this time.
Board Treasurers
SUMMARY Regional Managers
National Standards (2005) contain a requirement that each sentenced Regional What Works Managers
offender should be allocated to one of the four Offender Management Regional Offender Managers
approaches as specified under the Tiering Framework in the National
Offender Management Model. The NOMS Offender Management Team has AUTHORISED BY:
worked with key NPS stakeholders to devise a set of national criteria to Roger McGarva, Head of Regions
support the tier allocation process. It is intended that these will provide the and Performance Unit
starting point for the application of professional judgement, complemented by
the tier descriptors included in the National Offender Management Model. ATTACHED:
Each assessment will carried out against a set of four criteria i.e. Resource Annexe A (included in PC file) –
Allocation, Risk of Harm, Likelihood of Re-offending and Complexity. Under Decision Rules for Allocating
the framework cases are assessed against four broad approaches: PUNISH, Cases to Tiers
HELP, CHANGE and CONTROL. Annexe B – PowerPoint
The National Standards Reference Group will review the guidance on presentation
“tiering” arrangements in early December and definitive instructions will be
issued for implementation from January 2006.

RELEVANT PREVIOUS PROBATION CIRCULARS


PC07/2005, PC15/2005, PC18/2005

CONTACT FOR ENQUIRIES


Email: tony.grapes2@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk Tel: 020 7217 8985

National Probation Directorate


Horseferry House, Dean Ryle Street, London, SW1P 2AW
NATIONAL OFFENDER MANAGEMENT MODEL: TIERING FRAMEWORK OVERVIEW

1. Section GS3, SS3.1 of National Standards 2005 requires that:


“Following sentence each case shall be assigned to a tier within the National Offender Management Model, be
recorded as such and shall be allocated to an offender manager. The tiering decision shall be based on an OASys
assessment where available.”
2. The four tiers in the National Offender Management Model describe different case management approaches, and
map against different resource levels and Offender Manager competences. To a limited extent, different Standards
apply to different tiers.
3. The following offender factors indicate which case management approach (tier) is suitable for the offender in
question. They may be used at the pre-sentence stage to support individual proposals, within the boundaries set by
the indication of seriousness:
Suitable
Offender Profile:
Approach:
Low likelihood of re-offending (as indicated by an OGRS score less than 41 or
OASys score less than 50)
AND
Tier 1
a low risk of causing serious harm (as categorised using the OASys 4 point scale)
approach
AND
presents no “manageability problems”* which would require something more than
a minimal, administrative approach.
High or very high risk of harm categorisation
OR
is identified as falling within a local Prolific and Other Priority Offender Scheme
OR
has a very high likelihood of re-offending (OASys score over 141) AND whose Tier 4
needs are such that they either approach

require a cognitive behavioural change programme AND a treatment programme of


such complexity that it needs to be supported by supervision
OR
have more than 5 criminogenic needs which need to be addressed
High likelihood of re-offending (as indicated by an OASys score over 100 or an
OGRS score over 74)
OR
is suitable for an accredited offending behaviour programme other than for DIDS
only
Tier 3
OR
approach
needs a treatment programme of such complexity that it needs to be supported by
supervision
OR
requires mental health treatment for a condition which is associated with their
likelihood of re-offending
Tier 2
An offender who does not fit into any of the above categories is suitable for
approach

PC65/2005 – National Standards (2005) and National Offender Management Model: Application of Tiering Framework 2
Using the above criteria, the resulting assessment provides a starting point for the application of professional
judgement. Sentencing proposals should then be framed in such a way as to enable the approach (tier) indicated by
the above to be delivered.
4. Combinations of requirements which typically map against the four tiers are outlined in accompanying table. It is
not possible to locate the CJA requirements tightly against the tier approach; many of the requirements cover a
wide range of intensity, focus and purpose, and in different combinations might feature against any of the four
tiers. In general terms:

• More requirements equates to higher tiers.


• The inclusion of a Supervision Requirement means that any package could be allocated at Tiers 2, 3 or 4
depending on the offender factors and other requirements.
• Requirements that tackle practical or situational issues, like employment or accommodation, will map into
Tier 2, while those designed to effect personal change will map into Tier 3.

Descriptor of Case Management


Tier Label Typical Sentence Structures (not exclusive)
Approach
Administrative/bureaucratic
Hands-off
Organising and arranging • Stand-alone punitive requirement of any
interventions to satisfy length
1 PUNISH
requirements • Combined punitive requirements
Monitoring compliance and • Stand-alone short DRR or ATR
progress
Enforcement
Brokerage
Organising and arranging
interventions to satisfy
requirements
Referring offenders to
• Punitive requirement and supervision
interventions to help with life
• Supervision and activity requirement to
situations and problems tackle situational or circumstantial issues
2 HELP Providing practical help, e.g. Basic Skills, ETE, Accommodation
motivation and encouragement to • Supervision and DRR
• “Old” ECP (UW and activity requirement
support compliance
for skills-related work)
Monitoring compliance and • Supervision and DIDS
progress
Trouble-shooting early signs of
non-compliance
Enforcement
Integrated
• Punitive requirement and supervision
Focused on attitude and behaviour • Supervision and accredited programme
change) • Supervision and drug or alcohol
3 CHANGE treatment requirement making more
Above (HELP) plus input with complex or intensive demands
offender complementing • Supervision and mental health treatment
structured change programme or requirement
intervention • Approved Premises COR

PC65/2005 – National Standards (2005) and National Offender Management Model: Application of Tiering Framework 3
• Supervision, plus accredited programme
Intensive and/or drug and/or alcohol and/or activity
requirement, probably with additional
As (HELP and CHANGE) plus restrictive requirement…..
framework of controls, restrictions • ….managed under MAPPA, Care
and inter-agency management and Programme, or other inter-agency
4 CONTROL framework with a plan to support or
co-ordination
• ….managed under PPO scheme with
Offender Manager handling intelligence sharing and surveillance to
multiple information streams at support
inter-agency level • “Old” ICCP
• Approved Premises CORs
• amounting to 3 – 5 contacts per week

5. Where the sentence passed directly corresponds with the approach indicated by Table 1 the post sentence tier
allocation will be self-evident. In those cases where the sentence passed falls short of enabling the desired approach,
then the tier must correspond with the sentence. For example, an offender whose offender factors indicate a
CHANGE approach as being desirable, but who is sentenced to a Community Order with a standalone Unpaid Work
Requirement can only be allocated at Tier 1, since the legal framework does not facilitate the delivery of anything other
than a Tier 1 approach.

There are two exceptions to this rule:

• Offenders who are assessed as a HIGH or VERY HIGH risk of harm should be allocated as Tier 4 regardless
of the sentence. The sentence structure may not enable the Offender Manager to make demands upon the
offender beyond his/her compliance with the basic requirements of the sentence, but a higher level of
intensity and investment can be achieved through MAPPA arrangements.
• Locally defined Prolific and Priority Offenders will be the subject of intensive, resource-hungry, inter-agency
arrangements, notwithstanding limitations on the legal authority for requiring a higher level of co-operation
from the offender.

6. Some adjustments to resource allocation can be made in those circumstances where there is a mis-match
between desirable approach and sentence by:

• using the flexibility inherent in the Supervision Requirement, and, to a lesser extent, in the legal powers and
duties of the Responsible Officer (Offender Manager)
• flexible allocation of Offender Managers with different training, qualifications, competences and levels of
organisational accountability across the range of tiers.

PC65/2005 – National Standards (2005) and National Offender Management Model: Application of Tiering Framework 4
ANNEXE A

Decision Rules for Allocating Cases to Tiers in the NOMS Offender Management Model and Related Issues

INTRODUCTION

1. A universal framework for matching different overall approaches to different NOMS cases (the “Tiering
Framework”) was included in Version 1 of the NOMS Offender Management Model published in January 2005. The
framework was the product of extensive consultation.

2. In January 2005 probation areas were asked to self-assess their readiness for implementing Offender
Management, using a self-assessment template, based upon 30 requirements of the model. Requirement 3.A.1 reads
“all cases are assigned appropriately to a tier (using the national tiering framework) at commencement or before”.
Each area was required to prepare an Implementation Action Plan arising from those self-assessments.

3. The 2005 National Standards incorporate elements of the Offender Management Model. Section GS3, SS3.1
requires that:
“Following sentence each case shall be assigned to a tier within the National Offender Management Model, be
recorded as such and shall be allocated to an offender manager. The tiering decision shall be based on an
OASys assessment where available”
To a certain extent, differential standards apply to offenders so allocated.

4. Together, these two requirements mean that the tiering framework, developed as a high level organisational
concept, now has to be refined to apply operationally at the level of each individual offender. It is important that
consistent decision rules are applied to allocation to tiers to avoid the National Standard being subject to an
unacceptably high degree of local variation. This paper provides further guidance on those decision rules.

WHAT IS THE TIERING FRAMEWORK?

5. It is important to start by ensuring that there is a common understanding of what the tiering concept represents.
It was developed as a core element of the NOMS Offender Management Model. Part of the function of the model as a
whole is to provide an overarching, universal conceptual framework for implementing sentences in NOMS, around
which the Prison Service, the Probation Service and their operational partners might coalesce.
It is part of the response to the Carter Report’s exhortation to “break down the silos of prison and probation” and
replace them with “end-to-end Offender Management”. The model aims to promote the idea that NOMS’ main job is
the effective and efficient implementation of sentences, and that it is not helpful to think of “custodial sentences” and
“community sentences” as though they are fundamentally different to one another, requiring different processes and
staff.

6. The Offender Management Model applies a case management approach to the specifics of implementing
sentences. The tiering framework draws upon research on case management more generally from which “a case
management approach” can be seen to be an imprecise term encompassing a wide range of organisation-specific
variations on a central theme. These variations can be understood as being located along a continuum. At one
extreme is an administrative, bureaucratic approach, in which a case manager simply signposts a service user to
resources; at the other is a comprehensive, integrated one in which the face-to-face work of a case manager with the
user and the contribution of specific interventions combine to form an integrated, coherent whole.

PC65/2005 – National Standards (2005) and National Offender Management Model: Application of Tiering Framework 5
7. In consultation it was concluded that different options along this continuum would be suitable for a proportion of
the NOMS offender population. The whole continuum of approaches has been conceptually split into 4 to provide
sufficient differentiation without being unnecessarily complex. Each of the approaches in the model is given a one-
word “label” (PUNISH, HELP, CHANGE and CONTROL), beneath which is a more refined descriptor. The delivery of
the different Offender Management approaches requires different competences, and different resources. The concept
of tiers, rather than levels, models the way in which the different styles and approaches in correctional work layer one
on top of the last. They are rarely mutually exclusive.

8. But the tiering framework is a model. That is, it is a miniaturised, simplified, 2-dimensional image of a complex
real-world process. Part of its value is in providing the “big picture” within which detailed decisions about individual
cases need to be made. It is quite clear from the development consultations that it resonates well with all NOMS staff
at this level. However, consistent application of it to operational practice requires that the decision rules be more
clearly articulated.

USING THE TIERING FRAMEWORK IN OPERATIONAL DECISIONS

The Continuity Principle


9. A core principle of Offender Management is that, as far as can be achieved, the same Offender Manager should
retain overall responsibility for steering an individual offender through any single period of engagement with NOMS
services. This includes pre-sentence assessments, and – in principle at least – remand into custody. This will be
difficult to achieve universally, and, given staff and offender mobility, more so the longer the single period of
engagement. At the very least, though, the design of offender management should avoid routine discontinuity, leaving
unavoidable discontinuity to be better managed.

THE ALLOCATION OF PRE-SENTENCE ASSESSMENTS

10. The Tiering Framework was not initially designed as a structure for the differential allocation of pre-sentence
cases. But the continuity principle requires that pre-sentence assessments are allocated, as far as can be achieved,
to an officer most likely to be an appropriate Offender Manager should a NOMS-managed sentence be the result of
the court hearing for which the assessment is being prepared. This will be easier to achieve if Offender Managers are
organised on the basis of enduring offender characteristics, rather than on the basis of the type of sentence they
happen to be serving at any time, or the stage in the correctional process they happen to be at.

The Continuity Principle and Fast Delivery Reports


11. PC 18/05 creates a national sifting mechanism for dealing with certain report cases on an expedited, short-form
basis (the “Fast Delivery Report”). The cases which fall into this category are those with

ƒ an indication from the court that it considers the case to be low in seriousness, within the community
sentences sentencing band, and
ƒ a low likelihood of re-conviction (as indicated by an OGRS score below 41) and
ƒ an initial indication that the offender does not represent a significant risk of harm (as indicated by
there being no trigger factors requiring a full risk of harm assessment arising from an OASys risk of
harm screening)

12. In the event that a report case initially stood down for a Fast Delivery Report appears to present risks and needs
beyond the Fast Delivery Report criteria, the safeguard facility remains to advise the court that an adjournment for a
Standard Delivery Report is desirable.

PC65/2005 – National Standards (2005) and National Offender Management Model: Application of Tiering Framework 6
13. Most Fast Delivery Reports will be produced on-the-day. In these cases it will be almost impossible to ensure
that the in-court officer who prepares the Fast Delivery Report is also the officer who is suitable to be the Offender
Manager for any resultant NOMS-managed sentence.

14. Most of the cases which fall into this category would, ordinarily, map into a Tier 1 type approach. End-to-end
continuity of Offender Manager is an ideal for all cases, but more important for the more complex and risky cases.
Accordingly, it is recognised that for the time being end-to-end Offender Management will be compromised in these
cases, in the interests of meeting court requirements and resource constraints for speed and cost reduction.

The Continuity Principle and Standard Report Cases


15. The extent to which the principle of end-to-end continuity makes the allocation of Standard Delivery Reports
problematic is determined largely by the offender management structure a probation area has chosen to adopt. If, for
example, offender managers are grouped to focus upon offence type (e.g. sex offenders, violent offenders) or on the
remission of dominant needs (e.g. drug and/or alcohol abusers), then allocation of pre-sentence work to an
appropriate offender manager can be relatively straightforward. Traditional geographical allocation (“patchwork”)
likewise poses no great problems.

16. Where areas have chosen to use the Tiering Framework, or similar pre-existing risk-based structure (e.g. high
risk teams, Public Protection Teams, (so called) “Case Management Teams” etc) then some form of initial indication
of the appropriate tier of offender management will be required to allocate the report appropriately. Specialist report
writing teams, in which staff do not subsequently manage cases upon whom they have undertaken pre-sentence
assessments, of course, frustrate the end-to-end principle.

17. Managers are responsible for allocating Standard Delivery Report cases, or for establishing allocation processes.
In most cases a review of:

• the nature and details of the current offending


• the scale and nature of previous convictions
• previous knowledge of the case
• collateral information from other agencies
• other pre-trial identification and case information
• notes from the adjournment interview

will make the risks and complexities of the case obvious, and a preliminary tier allocation, using the descriptors in the
model, straightforward. Where there is uncertainty, an OGRS score can be quickly calculated from details of previous
convictions. It will be helpful to brief court staff, and in some cases re-structure PSR referral forms, to capture the kind
of information which those allocating Standard Delivery Reports will find helpful in making the allocation decision.

18. The pre-sentence allocation issue is further complicated by the widespread development of PSO grade staff as
Offender Managers. Preserving the principle of end-to-end continuity would require that cases which would be
suitable for a PSO grade Offender Manager to manage post-sentence would need to be allocated to a PSO for the
preparation of a Standard Delivery Report. There is an obvious tension here with the widespread position that
reserves the preparation and drafting of Standard Delivery PSRs to probation officers.

N.B It is accepted that, for the time being, the reservation of the Standard PSR to probation officer grades, and the
preference for 2 grades of Offender Manager, means that the end-to-end principle of the Offender Management Model
will be compromised in those cases sentenced on the basis of a standard PSR, where post sentence allocation is to
be to a PSO grade Offender Manager

PC65/2005 – National Standards (2005) and National Offender Management Model: Application of Tiering Framework 7
USING THE TIERING FRAMEWORK TO SHAPE THE SENTENCE PROPOSAL

19. Beyond report allocation, the tiering framework provides a structure for thinking about which overall Offender
Management approach (but not which specific interventions) from the NOMS “repertoire” represents the “best fit” for
the offender in question. The pre-sentence assessment and reporting process then aims to propose – and secure – a
sentence structure, bespoke to the details of the offender, which enables that “best fit” to be delivered. This is limited
only by seriousness.

The CJ Act and Transparency


20. The traditional post-sentence flexibility is now reduced by the principle of transparency inherent in the CJ Act
2003. In particular this means that anything the Offender Manager is proposing to do, or proposing to require the
offender to co-operate with should, wherever possible, be “captured” in a specific requirement to that effect. The
generality of the duties and powers of the Responsible Officer (for “Responsible Officer” in law, read Offender
Manager in practice) should not be relied upon to secure the offender’s co-operation with any activity which might
ordinarily or otherwise fall under a specific requirement. Likewise, the generality of the Supervision Requirement
should not be relied upon to secure an offender’s co-operation with activity which otherwise and ordinarily would be
defined by a specific requirement.

Offender Factors Indicate the Desirable Approach (Tier)


21. At the pre-sentence stage offender factors alone indicate which approach (tier) would be the best for achieving
the outcomes which are likely to be the most appropriate for the offender in question. The most significant variables
are the risk of harm, the likelihood of re-offending, the scale, nature and complexity of the needs to be addressed and
some issues associated with the manageability of the offender. The interplay between them is too complex to fully
automate the decision. The starting point for the exercise of clinical professional judgement can be illustrated by the
decision tree, an electronic version of which will be sent to areas to use if they find it helpful

22. To summarise:

Table 1
Offender Profile: Suitable
Approach
Low likelihood of re-offending (as indicated by an OGRS score less than 41 or Tier 1
OASys score less than 50) approach
AND
a low risk of causing serious harm (as categorised using the OASys 4 point
scale)
AND
presents no “manageability problems”* which would require something more
than a minimal, administrative approach
High or very high risk of harm categorisation Tier 4
approach
OR
is identified as falling within a local Prolific and Other Priority Offender
Scheme
OR

PC65/2005 – National Standards (2005) and National Offender Management Model: Application of Tiering Framework 8
has a very high likelihood of re-offending (OASys score over 141) AND whose
needs are such that they either
require a cognitive behavioural change programme AND a treatment
programme of such complexity that it needs to be supported by supervision
OR
have more than 5 criminogenic needs which need to be addressed
High likelihood of re-offending (as indicated by an OASys score over 100 or an Tier 3
OGRS score over 74) approach
OR
is suitable for an accredited offending behaviour programme other than for
DIDS only
OR
needs a treatment programme of such complexity that it needs to be
supported by supervision
OR
requires mental health treatment for a condition which is associated with their
likelihood of re-offending
An offender who fall under none of the above profiles. Tier 2
approach

* A minimal, hands-off approach, limited to making arrangements for the delivery of the sentence requirements (Tier 1)
will not usually be appropriate for offenders who present with manageability problems. These will include offenders:

• with a history of non-compliance


• presenting with bizarre and/or challenging and/or demanding behaviours
• who are vulnerable, either to themselves or others
• who present tangential risks, like those living in households where there are children at risk, even
though the offender him/herself does not present the risk to the child(ren)

Turning the Approach Indicated by the Offender Factors a Sentence Proposal


23. The Criminal Justice Act Guidance provides illustrative sentence packages which map well against the 4 tiers.
Broadly speaking the different tiers can typically be delivered with the sentence structures below. It is not
possible to create strict decision rules which link sentence structures and requirements to tiers, since the same
requirement may fulfil different purposes in different cases. Further, beneath the same kind of requirement there
can be substantial variation in focus, content and intensity (an Activity Requirement, for example, could be for the
purpose of rehabilitation, or reparation, or public protection, and could range from a limited commitment to
participate in a specialist assessment, through to a more structured package of work – e.g. a short motivational
programme something akin to a non-accredited programme).

PC65/2005 – National Standards (2005) and National Offender Management Model: Application of Tiering Framework 9
Table 2
Tier Label Descriptor of Case Management Typical Sentence Structures (not exclusive)
Approach
1 PUNISH Administrative/bureaucratic • Stand-alone punitive requirement of any
length
Hands-off • Combined punitive requirements
Organising and arranging • Stand-alone short DRR or ATR
interventions to satisfy
requirements
Monitoring compliance and
progress
Enforcement
2 HELP Brokerage • Punitive requirement and supervision
• Supervision and activity requirement to
Organising and arranging tackle situational or circumstantial
interventions to satisfy issues e.g. basic skills, ETE,
requirements accommodation
• Supervision and DRR for Care Planned
Referring offenders to interventions
Counselling or structured day care
to help with life situations and
• “Old” ECP (UW and activity requirement
problems for skills-related work)
Providing practical help, motivation • Supervision and DIDS
and encouragement to support
compliance
Monitoring compliance and
progress
Trouble-shooting early signs of
non-compliance
Enforcement
3 CHANGE Integrated • Punitive requirement and supervision
• Supervision and accredited programme
/clinical Focused on attitude and • Supervision and drug or alcohol
behaviour change) treatment requirement making more
Above (HELP) plus clinical input complex or intensive demands for
substitute prescribing or residential
with offender complementing
treatment
structured change programme or
• Supervision and mental health treatment
intervention requirement
• Approved Premises COR
4 CONTROL Intensive • Supervision, plus accredited programme
and/or drug and/or alcohol and/or
As (HELP and CHANGE) plus activity requirement, probably with
framework of controls, restrictions additional restrictive requirement…..
and inter-agency management and • ….managed under MAPPA, Care
co-ordination Programme, or other inter-agency
framework with a plan to support or
Offender Manager handling multiple • ….managed under PPO scheme with
information streams at inter-agency intelligence sharing and surveillance to
level support
• “Old” ICCP
• Approved Premises CORs
• amounting to 3 – 5 contacts per week

PC65/2005 – National Standards (2005) and National Offender Management Model: Application of Tiering Framework 10
POST-SENTENCE TIER ALLOCATION

24. Post sentence, the actual allocation to a tier may involve a complex factoring together of the desirable approach,
as indicated by the offender factors in table 1 above, and what is enabled legally permissible within the structure of the
sentence passed. As long as the sentence actually passed provides the scope to implement the approach (tier)
required, then the pre-sentence tier indicated translates direct into the post-sentence tier allocation.

25. There will be circumstances in which the sentence passed does not match with the approach indicated as
desirable by the offender factors. Such circumstances will fall broadly into 2 categories:

(i) High Seriousness / Low Need ”False Positives”


Cases in which a sentence is passed which implies a higher level of rehabilitative investment than the
offender factors would seem to indicate is necessary.
This should be a rare event, since this type of sentence will not normally be made without a PSR
proposing it – these cases should be dealt with by proposing punitive requirements of sufficient weight,
and not using scarce rehabilitative resources.
There is some scope for reducing the unnecessary deployment of resources implied by this scenario by
using the flexibilities inherent in the role of the Offender Manager (in law “Responsible Officer”), the
Supervision Requirement, and the flexibility to allocate a higher tier case to a foundation level Offender
Manager where it is safe to do so

(ii) Low Seriousness / High Need ”False Negatives”


Cases in which the sentence passed does not provide the scope for deployment of the approach which
the offender factors indicate as desirable.
This is most likely to occur when higher risk offenders are sentenced for relatively low seriousness
offences, or where risk information comes to light post-sentence, changing the risk categorisation of the
offender.

26. For high and very high risk of harm offenders, the MAPPA legislation facilitates the delivery of an intensive, inter-
agency tier 4 approach, regardless of the limitations of the sentence, though this places no additional statutory
responsibilities upon the offender. Likewise, a more resource intensive approach may be applied to a small number of
low seriousness/high likelihood of re-offending cases who fall within Prolific and Priority Offender Schemes. In other
cases, provided the sentence includes a Supervision Requirement it may be appropriate to allocate low seriousness,
high likelihood of re-offending, prolific cases to fully trained and qualified OMs and implement the Supervision
Requirement flexibly to compensate for the limitations of the sentence.

27. In general terms, PUNISH and HELP modes are suitable for delivery by an Offender Manager with foundation
level Offender Manager training and good support structures. CHANGE and CONTROL modes are better suited to the
competences, authority and accountability of more extensively trained staff. But beyond a general expectation that
staff are trained and competent for the roles they are asked to discharge, the model itself is not prescriptive about
Offender Manager role boundaries for existing grades of NOMS staff.

28. There are some factors which are not included in the decision rules algorithm, since they will not normally impact
upon the modality of Offender Management, but will need to be taken into account in allocation between differently
trained and qualified Offender Managers.

PC65/2005 – National Standards (2005) and National Offender Management Model: Application of Tiering Framework 11
Table 3
Factor Impact
Motivation Offenders with chronically low motivation, or who present with
manageability problems, or who are vulnerable, will require higher
Manageability
levels of skill even for the delivery of the lower tier modalities;
Vulnerability conversely, the more complex modalities can be more easily delivered
with highly motivated, more mature, compliant offenders
Low likelihood, high It will not usually be appropriate to adjust the modality of approach, in
impact (e.g. post cases with these characteristics, but the allocation between differently
release lifers) or qualified and experienced offender managers will need to take account
notoriety of the possibility that that decision will be subject to a higher level of
scrutiny degree of defensibility than might otherwise be the case

Clinical Professional Judgement Override


29. There are many factors involved in the decision about the most appropriate Offender Management approach (tier)
and only a few are scored and scaled in such a way that make them amenable to a decision rules approach or
automation. The decision rules introduced in this document only provide a starting point for the application of clinical
professional judgement, using the tier descriptors in the National Offender Management Model. Where the results of
that judgement are that the case should be allocated to a tier different to that indicated by a strict application of the
rules, the judgement should override, and the reasons for it should be recorded in the case file.

DYNAMIC FACTORS, TIERING AND CONTINUITY

30. The initial tiering decision is informed by a number of dynamic offender factors; being dynamic, they are liable to
change. OASys scores have an actuarial component and are composed of many different factors. They will change
only gradually as the result of any single change in circumstances or problems. By contrast, risk of harm
categorisations are based upon clinical assessments of imminence and impact and are liable to change as offenders’
circumstances change. This raises questions about the tiering allocations, the appropriate National Standard to apply
and the implications for the continuity of Offender Manager.

The Relationship between the Risk of Harm Category and Tiering


31. The relationship between an offender’s risk of harm categorisation and the appropriate Offender Management
approach is not universally a simple linear one:

ƒ Offender’s representing a high or very high risk of harm always require an intensive tier 4-type approach
regardless of the other risks involved
ƒ Offenders representing a medium risk of harm will normally merit a tier 3 or tier 2 type approach,
depending upon the other risks involved and the requirements of the sentence to be implemented. But a
medium risk (of harm) offender who also represents a very high likelihood of re-offending, or is a locally
identified prolific or other priority offender might be allocated to a tier 4 type approach, while a tier 1 type
approach will be suitable for some medium risk (of harm) offenders subject to a community sentence
composed only of a standalone punitive requirement
ƒ Offenders representing a low risk of harm might merit any of the 4 approaches depending upon the other
risk factors in the case
Changing the Risk of Harm Category.

An offender’s risk of harm category might be expected:

ƒ to fall if the work done with the offender to reduce risks is successful:

PC65/2005 – National Standards (2005) and National Offender Management Model: Application of Tiering Framework 12
¾ Such a re-categorisation should be demonstrably based on either new information or evidenced changes
in risk factors (and not be the result of organisational demands such as resource pressures). It is
important in these circumstances to preserve continuity, since there is evidence from child death inquiries
and Serious Further Offence Reports that discontinuity of worker and poorly managed transfers can
contribute to a weakening of preventive measures in high risk cases.
ƒ to rise or fall if circumstances change or if new information comes to light which was not available at the time
of the last assessment

The Tier Determines the Standard to be Applied


33. Provided the change in risk of harm categorisation is properly evidenced, and recorded at a routine or exceptional
OASys review, the National Standards timescales and deadlines which apply to the case from that point forward
should be in accordance with the tiering allocation. This is unlikely to be challenged when it results in a lessening of
the demands placed upon the offender. If the change results in an increase in demands, there is authority for this in
both the powers and duties of the Responsible Officer, and in the National Standards themselves, as they apply to the
Supervision Requirement.

Changing Risk of Harm Category and/or Tier and Preserving Continuity


34. How any change to the risk of harm categorisation and the tier allocation impacts upon Offender Manager
continuity will vary with the different offender management arrangements made in different areas. In areas where
offender management is arranged into different tiers (or other pre-existing risk based structure) e.g. High Risk or
Public Protection Teams, Low Risk Units, (so called) Case Management Teams, a change of risk of harm
categorisation and/or a change of tier might imply the need to re-allocate the case to a different Offender Manager.

35. Operational arrangements in which mixed groups of Offender Managers, Offender Supervisors and case
administrators, carry corporate responsibility for a single caseload (called variously clusters, Offender Management
Units, “pods” etc) provide a better environment for securing continuity in the face of change of risk of harm category:
But there are no simple, universal rules which can be applied. Rather, managers will have to make case-by-case
decisions about how to balance the competing principles in the particular circumstances of the case, and the area’s
operational arrangements.

ƒ a tier 1 or 2 case, with a PSO grade Offender Manager moves from low or medium risk of harm to high or
very high
¾ the PSO grade Offender Manager might retain some day-to-day responsibilities in the case, acting in the
role of Offender Supervisor, but with oversight (managership) from a PO grade Offender Manager
¾ in such arrangements it is essential that PSO grade Offender Managers are appropriately trained to
monitor risk factors for changes and to know when to consult with the Offender Manager
¾ such arrangements preserve some continuity of relationship with the offender, without that continuity
being with the designated Offender Manager
ƒ a tier 3 or 4 case, with a PO grade Offender Manager, moves from high or very high risk of harm to medium
or low, and there are no other risk or sentence factors requiring a tier 3 or 4 type approach
¾ the PO grade Offender Manager might retain the case, scaling down his/her personal investment in it,
and changing style of approach in accordance with the appropriate tier description; a downward risk-of -
harm categorisation of this kind is unlikely to be appropriate early in a period of supervision
¾ the PO grade Offender Manager might retain overall oversight (managership) of the case, delegating
much or most of the day-to-day supervision to a PSO within a cluster, acting in the role of Offender
Supervisor
Managing Re-Allocation Better

36. Given that changes of worker or poorly managed transfers may, in themselves, be risk factors, where a decision is
reached that a case has to be re-allocated, a managed transfer offers the “second best” option to relationship
continuity. Features of well-managed transfers could be:

PC65/2005 – National Standards (2005) and National Offender Management Model: Application of Tiering Framework 13
ƒ transfer within a small team
ƒ handover periods or meetings, involving the offender
ƒ transfer through review case conference, involving all members of the Offender Management Team, and the
offender where appropriate/possible
ƒ downward transfer explained to the offender as a “reward” for good progress
ƒ continuity prioritised for those who have already experienced a transfer of Offender Manager during the same
period of continuous engagement
ƒ continuity prioritised for those nearer the beginning of a period of engagement than the end

37. It should be noted that the principle of continuity in the model is intended to limit fragmentation, and manage it
better where it has to occur, but not to make it overriding in all circumstances. Nothing about the principle of Offender
Manager continuity should be read to imply that a transfer of Offender Manager should not take place where there are
sound clinical professional reasons for it. The model aims only to reduce discontinuity which is the product of
organisational structure or operational routine. Such reasons may be:

• incompatibility in offender/Offender Manager relationship


• Offender Manager threatened or intimidated
• collusion or loss of objectivity in long term relationships
• loss of momentum; need for a fresh approach

IMPLEMENTATION

38. The decision rules and guidance articulated in this document should be implemented with immediate effect.
Legacy case management systems have already been adjusted to create a field to receive the currently allocated tier.

39. Many probation areas have already developed decision-making tools (decision trees, matrices, checklists) to
assist in making the tiering decision consistent and transparent. It is not the intention at this stage to issue a
mandatory “tool”. Rather areas are required to ensure that existing tools all incorporate the same decision rules.
Further, all those tools, or the format of case records, should be adjusted to ensure that where the tiering decision
departs from the default produced by using the “tool”, the reason for that deviation is clearly recorded, and reviewed at
each regular progress review in the case.

40. In due course the tiering decision rules will be incorporated into the case management IT system (NOMIS),
producing a default tier allocation, capable of being overridden with clinical professional judgement.

41. The operation of the rules and guidance herein will be monitored through the development arrangements for
revising the National Offender Management Model and the National Standards Reference Group, and amended from
time to time as appropriate.
Note: A PowerPoint presentation with the tiering rules presented as a decision tree is attached at Annexe B. It
contains the following:
• Decision Tree matching offender risk and complexity factors with tiers
• Schematic relationship between tiers, seriousness and sentence structures
• Data sources for populating Decision Tree
• Explanatory Notes for Implementation Managers

The decision tree has essentially been developed in order to embed the allocation process into an electronic
case management system. Offender Management Implementation Managers may find it useful in supporting
communication of the rules. For best effect it should be opened in SLIDESHOW mode.

PC65/2005 – National Standards (2005) and National Offender Management Model: Application of Tiering Framework 14
The NOMS Offender Management
Model
Decision Rules for Allocating Cases to
Tiers

Issued
10th August 2005
…always use OASys scores in preference to OGRS scores when available….
Offender
Data
In
Low risk of OASys <100 OASys>141
harm NO OGRS <75 NO OGRS >85 YES
3
6 10
11
OBP
YES YES NO Suitable
1
NO At least
High Risk
of Serious
Harm
Treatment and
less than
41 OGRS 7 Supervision YES YES
Required
4 (<50 NO NO
OASys)

12
NO Treatment and NO YES
NO NO Supervision
Required
DIDS
YES only
9
Prolific
13 and Other 2
8 OBP Priority
suitable YES More than
Offender
Special 5 needs YES
5 manage’t YES
problems?

NO NO YES YES
NO

Tier 1 Tier 2 Tier 3 Tier4


PUNISH MODE HELP MODE CHANGE MODE CONTROL MODE
Tier 1 Tier 2 Tier 3 Tier 4
PUNISH MODE HELP MODE CHANGE MODE CONTROL MODE

Low seriousness
Medium seriousness
High seriousness

Single punitive Specified Activity Supervision plus Supervision plus


requirement Requirement OBP or OBP and
Combination of Short DRR or ATR Specified Activity(s) or Specified Activity(s)
punitive requirements …..with or w/out and
Longer DRR/ATR
Short DRR or ATR Supervision and/or Longer DRR/ATR
Standalone DIDS Mental Health and
Requirement Exclusions and/or
restrictions
Managed via…….
+
NB matching of CJA sentence overall punitive
requirements weight
against
is illustrative only; many of the requirements could be
tiers made up MAPPA inter-agency
with
applied to any tier, subject additional
to their punitive
combination with other requirements management or
requirements and the overall punitive weight required PPO inter-agency
management
Decision Source Data
1 Full OASys or MAPPA identification

2 Identified pre sentence against local criteria through local scheme

3 FDR screening or full OASys

4 FDR OGRS calculation or full OASys


OASys 12.2 (Attitudes to staff); OASys 13.1 (General health); OASys 11.3 or 11.4
5 (Aggression); OASys R.3 (vulnerability); presentation; clinical judgement; previous
experience with same offender
6 Full OASys; OGRS calculation
OASys section 8; OASys section 9; needing or receiving mental health treatment related
7
to risk of offending
8 Full OASys; programme matrices

9 DIDS matrix

10 Full OASys or OGRS calculation

11 Full OASys; programme matrices


OASys section 8; OASys section 9; needing or receiving mental health treatment related
12
to risk of offending
13 Full OASys; more than 5 issues with scores “to the right of the line”
Explanatory Notes for Implementation Managers
1 The Tiering Framework within the National Offender Management Model aims to provide a single, consistent, pan-corrections approach to
turning the “Resources Follow Risk” principle into operational reality. It factors together the main risks associated with Offender
Management and matches these with differential approaches and resource levels. It also provides a consistent framework for matching
cases with staff competences and levels of organisational authority.
2 The Decision Tree included in this document is designed to express the “least resources necessary” principle which must apply to the
deployment of limited resources where there is excess demand. Decision diamonds 1 and 2 express the absolute relationship between
NOMS’ highest order approach (tier 4) and two specific categories offender. For the remainder of the offender population, the process
works by placing them all into the lowest cost approach and arguing them up based upon defined characteristics. So, all cases receive a
tier 1 approach unless they meet the criteria for a tier 2 approach etc.
3 The decision diamonds attempt to “capture” the key resource drivers of risk, need and complexity. The two main risks, each of which is
scored and scaled in OASys, are the risk of causing serious harm and the risk (likelihood) of re-offending. These do not operate in
relation to resources in a neat, linear way.
4 The Decision Tree employs two different approaches to complexity – technical complexity and the complexity of scale. Diamond 5
represents the principle that the most low-cost, hands-off, administrative approach (tier 1) will not usually be suitable for offenders who
present with challenging and difficult behaviours, or are vulnerable, notwithstanding the other risks in the case.(technically complex)
5 An offender’s need for a treatment intervention which needs to be supported by supervision (diamond 7) is used as a proxy for a more
technically complex approach (tier 3). Likewise, his or her suitability for an accredited offending behaviour programme (diamond 8) (other
than DIDS – diamond 9) is used as a proxy for his/her need for a psychological personal change approach; this is also considered to be of
a higher level of complexity than practical and situational needs requiring referral to intervention providers. In both cases the Offender
Manager is expected to personally deliver an element of an integrated intervention, rather than simply refer on. This does not mean that
the offender is actually to participate in such a programme, only that his/her profile and needs are such that such an approach would be
appropriate.
6 The filter created by diamonds 10 – 13 gives effect to the Carter Report expectation that a higher proportion of the prolific and persistent
offender population should become the subject of an intensive, intrusive approach. It skims off that group of offenders with the very
highest risk of re-offending (diamond 10) who have either technically complex needs (treatment + supervision) (diamonds 11 and 12) or
the complexity created by the sheer number of the issues which need addressing (6 or more needs requiring to be addressed
simultaneously – diamond 13). Many of these offenders will already be allocated to tier 4 through the local criteria for the Prolific and
Other Priority Offenders scheme; a few may also represent a high risk of serious harm. Preliminary profiling against OASys scores in
London indicates that this filter does not create an unmanageably large increase in tier 4 cases.
7 There is plainly a broad relationship between the tier approach most suitable for the offender and the competences required by the
offender manager to design and deliver it. The tier descriptors grow in technical and scale complexity from 1 to 4. This plainly maps
broadly against training and grade. However, there are factors which will affect the allocation of Offender Manager which are not reflected
in the decision tree. Higher levels of motivation, maturity and willingness to comply may well mean in certain cases that the higher order
approaches (especially tier 3) can safely and effectively be delivered by an Offender Manager with basic level Offender Manager
competences. Likewise, there may be offenders whose personal characteristics and sentence structure require only a lower order
approach, but in whose cases, for organisational risk reasons, a fully trained and qualified Offender Manager may still be deployed.