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Probation

Circular

SEX OFFENDER PROGRAMMES – REFERENCE NO:


MANAGEMENT UPDATE 85/2005

PURPOSE ISSUE DATE:


To inform Areas of changes to: 17 November 2005
• selection of staff and training requirements
• offender assessments IMPLEMENTATION DATE:
• movement between prison and community treatment November 2005
• programme additions following Change Control Board 2005
EXPIRY DATE:
ACTION November 2007
Implementation by ACO with responsibility for sex offender treatment
programmes in relation to staff selection, training and use of Sex Offender TO:
Psychometric Scoring System (SOPSSys).
Chairs of Probation Boards
Chief Officers of Probation
Implementation by C-SOGP, TV-SOGP and N-SOGP Programme and
Treatment Managers of the programmes’ changes. Note proposed dates for Secretaries of Probation Boards
Change Control Workshops in March 2006 and the proposed National
Implementation Seminar for i-SOTP in February 2006. CC:
Board Treasurers
Regional Managers to review opportunities for collaboration between Areas Regional Managers
for the delivery of the sex offender programmes.
AUTHORISED BY:
SUMMARY: John Scott, Head of Public
National implementation of community sex offender programmes has been Protection & Licensed Release
achieved. During the maintenance of these programmes, changes will be Unit
communicated to Areas after consideration by the Change Control Board and
by the National Programme Managers. This PC contains a number of ATTACHED:
changes which will impact on the delivery of programmes, with the effect of N/A
building on implementation experience, increasing flexibility and consistency
between custody and community programmes and some revision of both
assessment and programme materials.

RELEVANT PREVIOUS PROBATION CIRCULARS


PC20/2005; PC10/2005; PC05/2005; PC14/2003; PC56/2002; PC104/2001;
PC88/01; PC46/2001

CONTACT FOR ENQUIRIES


David.Middleton2@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk, Head of Sex Offender Strategy &
Programmes
Elizabeth.Hayes6@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk, National Sex Offender
Programme Manager

National Probation Directorate


Horseferry House, Dean Ryle Street, London, SW1P 2AW
Accredited Sex Offender Programmes - Management Update

Selection of Staff

1. Both NPD and HMPS wish to remove barriers which prevent flexible resourcing of sex offender treatment programmes.
In particular, NPS Regional Managers are encouraged to consider whether there are opportunities for regionalisation of
programmes and whether there are opportunities for co-working between prison and community based staff.

2. To assist in this aim and to encourage greater flexibility in the movement of staff from one setting to another,
recognition has been given to the comparability of the Assessment Centres run by both HMPS and NPS. Consequently,
there should be a requirement for staff to complete only one Assessment Centre. Therefore, if staff have successfully
completed the Assessment Centre in relation to the Prison SOTP, then there is no need for them to repeat the
Assessment Centre in order to work on community SOTPs. Similarly, there is no need for staff who have successfully
completed the Assessment Centre for community SOTPs to undergo a further Assessment Centre should be they move
to work on a prison based SOTP.

Training of Staff

3. Training is another area in which we are seeking to both remove barriers to flexibility and harmonise arrangements for
the delivery of programmes in custody and community. The current project to redesign the Accredited Programmes
training strategy will shortly produce, in modular form, a core generic skills package designed to equip tutors/facilitators
with the core skills required to deliver an accredited programme. There may then follow programme type training and
programme specific training in the relevant programme to be delivered, this training will reflect the levels of knowledge,
skills and competence required by that programme. We intend to map the core skills required of sex offender
programmes with competence levels so that programme training can be integrated into this framework. However until this
work is completed the route for community-based Facilitators and Treatment Managers will be as follows:
• Attendance on a 3 day course (which Offender Managers are also to attend) covering: dealing with denial,
motivational work, support the offender through the programme, building a therapeutic relationship through
structured exercises and understanding and monitoring dynamic risk factors in relation to sexual offending. This
course will be delivered by Regional Trainers and will not include assessment of participant performance.
• Attendance on a revised 5 day Fundamental Skills for Working with Sex Offenders course. This course will focus
on developing questioning and group facilitation skills, introduce key exercises which are common to the
programmes and relate them to both the model of change and dynamic risk factors targeted by the programmes.
Both Probation and Prison treatment staff will attend this course and will be assessed.
• Attendance on a 5 day programme-specific course which will deal with the key exercises specific to either the C-
SOGP, TV-SOGP or N-SOGP. This will be assessed and delivered by Regional trainers.
• Following 100 hours of programme delivery, Facilitators and Treatment Managers will attend a 3 day Advanced
Training for Sex Offender Groupwork course. This will be an opportunity to further develop skills and share in a
workshop format issues which have arisen from programme delivery and the writing of post treatment reports.
This course will not be assessed. From the start of 2006, the Advanced Training will be held six times per year,
and each event will be open to facilitators from all three programmes. The general content will not be programme-
specific. However, there will be a slot for programme-specific issues, updates and training).

Accreditation of treatment staff

4. The existing system of accreditation has served well during the initial implementation of sex offender programmes in
the community. The NPS has moved rapidly in developing the skills of Treatment Managers and Facilitators to a
consistently high standard.

However, NPS has now reached a relatively mature stage of programme implementation in which the process of
accreditation can be devolved to Area level. This will remove the requirement for staff to be assessed during the
advanced training course. Instead, Areas will be responsible for developing staff from the provisional accreditation stage
(level three - assessed on the 5 Day Fundamental Skills and Programme Specific training courses), to full accreditation
(level four) which will be assessed by the Treatment Manager in Areas.

There are now two required elements for final accreditation: Three-day Advanced Training and Video Observation to
assess for final accreditation (level four standard). These elements can be completed in either order. In practice, most
facilitators will probably opt to do the three-day advanced training first, in order to optimise their level of skill and
knowledge before requesting tapes of their practice to be considered for final accreditation assessment. This would be

PC85/2005 – Sex Offender Programmes – Management Update 2


the recommended, although not mandatory, pathway to final accreditation. Nevertheless, both elements must be
completed before final accreditation can be achieved.

Three day Advanced Training. Facilitators will be able to attend this training after completing 100 hours of supervised
delivery under audit-standard conditions- e.g. video monitoring in place; Treatment Manager facilitating ongoing
monitoring, development and appraisal; Appropriate liaison between group workers and case managers / offender
managers; Appropriate use of psychometric testing; All facilitators involved are provisionally or fully SOGP accredited.
Audit-standard practice also requires that independent, confidential counselling be in place and in use by facilitators. They
will not be required, however, to have attained the standard of having 50% of their videotapes scored at level four or
higher in order to attend this training. After attending this course, the hope would be that they will be able to incorporate
the advanced training into their practice, which would help them to achieve the 50% / level four standard.

Video Observation will be done by a Treatment Manager from the relevant SOGP. This could be the facilitator’s own
Treatment Manager. However, if this Treatment Manager is also a co-facilitator with the facilitator being considered for full
accreditation, another Treatment Manager (either within or outside the Probation Area) should be asked to review and
score at least one videotape in order to provide an objective reference. Furthermore, if for any reason the Treatment
Manager and / or the Facilitator feels they wish to have an external / objective assessment made, they should ask
another SOGP Treatment Manager in their own or a neighbouring area to carry out such a review. The video observation
towards final accreditation should be viewed as a Probation Area responsibility and not just the responsibility of an
individual Treatment Manager. However only Treatment Managers who have attended a two day video monitoring
training event and scored within .5 reliability are able to grant final accreditation through video observation to facilitators.

Facilitators will be able to have their tapes considered for final accreditation assessment after they have completed 100
hours of supervised delivery of their SOGP under audit-standard conditions, with at least 50% of their monitored videos
scored at level 4 or higher by their Treatment Manager. By mutual agreement, the Treatment Manager and the candidate
will select two videotapes for consideration for final accreditation. These should be tapes that are representative of the
candidate’s general practice, and where the candidate is in the lead worker role for significant periods. (These may or
may not be tapes that the Treatment Manager has previously monitored and scored.)

The Treatment Manager will complete a one page pro-forma report (to be circulated separately) and give his/her decision
as to whether the candidate has evidenced the required standard or not. This report should be forwarded to the Midlands
Training & Development Consortium and the local regional EPTM. Both the candidate and the Treatment Manager should
also keep a copy of this report. Where candidates have not evidenced the required standard, further tapes may be
reviewed by the same, or a different Treatment Manager. If a Treatment Manager does not ‘pass’ a candidate for the
second time, the matter will be referred to the Lead National Trainers for the SOGPs. They will review the observed tapes
and the Treatment Manager’s reports and make recommendations which could include recommendations for full
accreditation or for additional training.

Time period between provisional and full accreditation


After a practitioner has successfully completed the ten-day facilitator training and become provisionally accredited, he or
she should, unless there are unavoidable delays, begin facilitating the respective SOGP within six months. Provisionally,
accredited practitioners must complete their 100 hours and attend the three-day advanced training event within three
years after gaining provisional accreditation (for people trained from 2005 onwards, this will reduce to 2 years). They
should also become fully accredited through video monitoring during this same time period. If they do not attend an
advanced training event and receive full accreditation through video monitoring within this time period, their provisional
accreditation will expire and they may need to repeat the foundation and programme-specific training (or its future
equivalent) in order to again become provisionally accredited. The exact requirements will be at the discretion of the
Treatment Manager who will be able to assess the skills and experience of the Facilitator in coming to a decision.
Treatment Managers will be expected to manage the treatment of at least one group through an equivalent period of time,
but will not be required to facilitate groups.
Required practice after obtaining full accreditation
After obtaining full accreditation, SOGP practitioners will be required to co-run at least 100 hours of SOGP group work
under audit-standard conditions in any two year period in order to maintain their accreditation. If accredited practitioners
fail to maintain this minimum number of hours, their status as accredited facilitators will lapse subject to assessment by
the Treatment Manager. The Treatment Manager may also consider whether completion of either the Fundamental Skills
and/or Programme Specific training is required. They will then need to demonstrate Level 4 practice on this event.

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However, if the Facilitator is assessed as completing successfully the training but at below Level 4 competence, they will
once again be provisionally accredited and be required to proceed toward full accreditation in the normal route.
In addition, all accredited SOGP facilitators will be subject to regular appraisal as outlined in the National Probation
Service’s Performance Standards Manual for the Delivery of Accredited Groupwork Programmes (HMIP / NPS / JAP
2002), section B5.2 (“Staff Appraisal”). That section outlines how criteria for appraisal will be met and checked. As would
be expected, in order to maintain treatment integrity, all facilitators will be subject to ongoing appraisal, and may be asked
to re-train if their performance falls below that required by level three as described above. Where a facilitator’s
performance needs improvement, there will normally be a standard progression of further training required:
• Initial support and guidance by local area Treatment Manager;
• Where possible, consultation and specific training from National SOGP Trainers or Regional SOGP Trainers
• Re-take all or part of the facilitator training, with assessed practice. If successful, proceed in normal way towards re-
accreditation.

The intention of all the above is to make explicit what is required for Facilitators and Treatment Managers, and to give
much more flexibility and discretion at the Area level to determine accreditation issues.

Assessment of Offenders - Use of RM 2000 – Internet Offenders


5. Earlier this year the Correctional Services Accreditation Panel drew attention to the fact that the use of Risk Matrix
2000 to assess the risk of reconviction, for offenders convicted of internet related offences, is problematic in that internet
offenders were not included in the RM 2000 validation study. Following further review with the Dr. Thornton, who
designed the RM 2000, it has been agreed that the RM 2000 can be used to assess internet offenders providing the
aggravating factor of “non-contact offence” is omitted. It is this element which may raise the risk assessment and it is
based on the observed increased frequency of reconviction for non-contact offenders (e.g. indecent exposure). However
at the present time there is insufficient evidence to determine if internet offenders also reconvict with increased frequency
than “contact” offenders. It is anticipated that the CSAP will endorse this revision to the guidance on use of RM 2000 in
December 2005. It should be remembered that RM 2000 only assesses risk of reconviction, and not for example the risk
of escalation in offending behaviour.
Staff should also use dynamic risk factors to assess the risk posed by any individual offender. The use of psychometric
assessment should continue and offenders should be required to undertake the longer version of programmes if they are
assessed as “High Deviance” on SOPSSys, and the lower dosage pathway if Low Deviance.

A validation study will be conducted and further notice of this study will be given in due course. Please note that this
amendment only applies to internet related offences and that the RM 2000 should continue to be used in full for all other
sexual offences.

Mandatory Use of SOPSSys

6. Many Areas have appreciated the benefits from using the electronic scoring process (SOPSSys) in conjunction with the
sex offender psychometric assessment battery. SOPSSys reduces the time to score these measures from over 3 hours to
15 - 20 minutes. The use of the system also allows for the collection of data in a consistent and accessible format whilst
also facilitating analysis of the data set a national level. This analysis will enable an evaluation of programme treatment
outcomes by programme, Region and Area. Every Area should now be using SOPSSys and returning the data on pre
and post psychometrics to rebbeca.mandeville-norden@devon-cornwall.probation.gsx gov.uk. Areas not currently using
this system should be aware that this is now a mandatory requirement and contact Rebecca for training and supply of the
system.

Changes to Psychometrics - Use of SARN

7. The common form of sex offender assessment to be used in both custody and community is the Structured
Assessment of Risk and Need (SARN). Staff who have been on training in relation to post-treatment reports, including the
3 day Advanced training, will be familiar with the structuring of the reports around the four risk domains (Sexual Interests,
Distorted Attitudes, Socio-affective functioning and Self-management). The SARN format is also based on these domains
and will provide the basis of the post-treatment report for community programmes, including recommendations for
MAPPA and continuing risk management. The SARN training is being revised to become a course attended by both
Prison and Probation staff and the new course will commence in 2006. Further course details will be notified.

Treatment Pathways and counting completions


8. We have continued to receive a number of enquiries asking if a completion can be counted in Areas once an offender
has completed a module of a SOGP treatment programme. It is argued that some sex offender programme modules are

PC85/2005 – Sex Offender Programmes – Management Update 4


longer than the total of some of the other offending behaviour programmes and therefore there is an inequitable
approach. However, this may be a misunderstanding of what a completion actually means. A completion is counted when
the offender has finished all work related to treatment needs identified by the Treatment Manager. Therefore for some
offenders they will have a number of treatment needs identified which are addressed through attendance on a number of
different modules. Only when all needs have been addressed will the case be counted as a completion. In practice, the
number of completions in any one Area is likely to be only a small part of the overall target for offending behaviour
programmes. The resourcing of sex offender programmes rests on the fulfilment of the duty towards public protection.

Movement from prison to community entry points

9. When an offender has completed treatment during custody, the present practice has been to follow the longer term
pathway in full, where there are outstanding treatment needs for high risk offenders. This reflected the need for a cautious
approach during the implementation phase. However it is considered that the proper targeting of needs for treatment may
be assisted by greater flexibility. Treatment Managers may therefore use discretion in the assessment of the most
appropriate pathway. For example, if an offender has completed treatment in custody and has outstanding needs only in
terms of self management or life skills, then the Treatment Manager may decide that these needs can be met by
attendance on these particular modules, or combination of modules, rather than the whole programme. This will avoid the
unnecessary repetition of work.

Change Control - Sex Offender Treatment Programmes

10. This section contains the guidance issued in relation to the programmes following discussion at the Change Control
Board this year. The appendices referred to in the report have been issued with the full CC Report covering all offending
behaviour programmes. If Areas experience difficulty in obtaining the appendices please contact NPD.

Following last year’s Change Control Board, three national one day workshops were convened, one for each of the
accredited community S.O.T.P.s. The workshops comprised predominantly treatment managers and facilitators plus a
programme manager and a RWWM. All workshops were chaired by a member of NPD Sex Offender Team. Workshops
were convened to improve communication and collaboration and with the purpose of working on the agenda of the
Change Control Board findings 2004, to progress the items the Board had approved for taking forward. Findings along
with further research from Sex Offender Team have contributed to Change Control findings below. The workshops were
very well received and it was requested that they be repeated for future Change Control Cycles. This was approved by
the Board. Dates for these Workshops will be 1st March (TV-SOGP) and 2nd March (C-SOGP) both in London. The N-
SOGP Workshop will be in York on 8th March.

N-SOGP

Issue1
Significant problems were reported with the Sexual Knowledge Quiz. The content was felt to be poorly based and likely to
provoke unhelpful argument.

Guidance
How other regions receive the Sexual Knowledge Quiz had been reviewed. Some N-SOGP areas had made their own
improvements to it, in terms of content and language, e.g. ‘name three signs of a woman being sexually aroused’ to ‘what
are the signs that a woman is consenting to sex’, plus produced a crib sheet for facilitators to refer to for evidence of
correct answers. Alternative improved provision was available in the C-SOGP programme manual which some of the N-
SOGP Areas had accessed. The Board approved the need for improved information on sexual matters for N-SOGP and
confirmed the C-SOGP version of sexual knowledge quiz, both as a group discussion or use of the Board Game, plus
accompanying guidance notes to be issued (issued as Appendix G in the CC Report 2005). These have now been printed
and will be distributed from the Midlands Training & Development Consortium to N-SOGP Areas.

Issue 2
A number of Areas reported a lack of thematic exercises and requested that more be developed to avoid repetition; a
bigger pool of exercises on intimacy and attachment were particularly requested. In addition, the Relationships Matrix
exercise was thought not to be written well enough, with too little explanation and insufficient focus on abusive
relationships.
Guidance

PC85/2005 – Sex Offender Programmes – Management Update 5


Themed Exercises: the Board recommended referral to the C-SOGP Programme Manual for an improved range of
themed exercises. Specifically, see module Three ‘Relationship and Attachment Styles’; recommend session 1 exercise
3.1.1 “Introduction to Attachment Styles” and see module Four ‘Self-Management and Interpersonal Skills’; recommend
session 5 exercise 4.5–11.1 “To identify skills needed for building and maintaining intimacy in relationships” and session
6 to 11 exercise 4.5-11.2 “To practise the development of intimacy skills”. These exercises are to be used in N-SOGP
Core Programme Manual Section 4.5 ‘Relationship Skills’ in any of the four blocks and in the revised Relapse Prevention
block (currently under revision), as an alternative to hypothetical risky situation, where desired. The Board also
recommended psychometric results be reviewed to check for efficacy of Themed exercises.

Relationship Matrix: one area had identified an improved earlier version of the same exercise; the Board recommended
this be substituted for the less helpful current version (a copy of the improved exercises issued as Appendix H to CC
Report 2005).

Issue 3
A request was made for Video Materials to assist facilitator skills development.

Guidance
The Board advised that video materials are presently in development; a DVD on accredited programmes’ role-play is
currently being produced as an aid for improving programme facilitator skills. Estimated completion date for this product is
late 2005. This is a general resource rather than specific to S.O.T.P.s. To complement this, a video to demonstrate best
practice in delivery of key S.O.T.P. specific exercises is to be produced, for which proposals are currently being sought
from likely providers. This product should be available in 2006.

Issue 4
In relation to the Risk Swamp Exercise, there was a very mixed reception from areas and facilitators, ranging from
enthusiasm to concern. Concerns related to the negativity of the swamp analogy and potential for confusion re more
recent interpretations of risk, e.g. in OASys.

Guidance
The Board approved additional guidance notes produced by staff in one area to assist more effective deployment of the
exercise (issued as Appendix I to CC Report 2005). The Board also recommended psychometric results be reviewed to
check for efficacy of the exercise.

TV-SOGP

Issue 1
Issues were recognised with the diaries within life-skills and RP blocks, in respect of duplication (of coping diaries and
planning diaries) and a too bulky design for offenders to keep about their person for ongoing use in risk management.

Guidance
The Board approved merging and an improvement of design, e.g. to filofax format, for ease of reference for offenders and
for the improved status to the offender of diaries as a risk management resource. NPD will investigate commissioning a
design company. One area has expressed willingness to pilot a new product.

Issue 2
The Referral Form lacks detail.

Guidance
Within one area, a revised form had been developed by programme staff and made available across the region (issued
as Appendix J to CC report 2005). The Board noted its value, at the same time recognising it largely replicated
information gathered under IAPS; the need for its existence is short term with the full introduction of IAPS within the
region concerned.

Issue 3
The Victim Empathy block is too short to accommodate all offenders’ victim empathy role plays.

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Guidance
The Board approved suggestions from Areas for ways forward which involved additional one to one work with the
offender manager on victim empathy, or if group learning was preferred, either borrowing time from subsequent sessions
in the same module or increasing the number of sessions in the same module. One Area had offered information on the
‘borrowing’ option regarding how to revise subsequent sessions without adverse effect. The Board recommended the
further option of not all offenders doing all role-plays in S.O.T.P.s with treatment being differentiated to take account of
individual risk need profiles. The Board drew attention to this being practised to good effect in Prison S.O.T.P.

Issue 4
Denial; Advice on extending programme coverage of denial had been requested by TV-SOGP areas. Interest was
expressed in working with absolute deniers and reference was made to the previously run Middlesex Probation deniers
programme and to Bill Marshall’s recent sex offender treatment groups for deniers. Areas also requested materials for
offender managers to use with deniers currently excluded from this programme.

Guidance
The Board advised that the results of the accredited programmes’ evaluation are due at the end of 2005; it will be
important to check results for the programmes’ capacity to impact on deniers (presently C-SOGP includes absolute
deniers, N-SOGP and TV-SOGP partial deniers). The Board advised that Marshall’s work has not been fully evaluated,
and neither had the former Middlesex Programme.
NPD agreed to consider the development of a one to one programme as a resource for offender managers working with
those deniers excluded from programmes. The Board drew attention to a motivational interventions programme which is
presently being piloted, selectively, in the prison estate, including for sex offender deniers; this may offer a way forward.
There is no intention currently to develop a group programme specifically for sex offender deniers.

C-SOGP

Issue 1
The Relapse Prevention stand-alone module (provision for post prison S.O.T.P. offenders and low risk/low deviance
offenders) is to be reviewed. Current provision was too short to allow for necessary work with offenders, to bring them all
to a similar stage of readiness for treatment. One region was to run an alternative 65 hour closed programme as a pilot
project; to be completed by April ‘05.

Guidance
It was reported to the Board that the pilot programme has now been operating for 12 to 18 months. Treatment manager
feedback is that a closed format has enabled continuity and progress previously lacking and extension of the programme
from 50 to 65 hours has enabled inclusion of work (particularly the ‘footsteps’ exercise) to get all offenders to the same
starting point in terms of readiness for RP focus.
The Board requested, in respect of monitoring, that treatment mangers compare pre and post treatment psychometrics for
50 and 65 hour programmes.

AOB
Relapse Prevention
The Board supported the view that Relapse Prevention provision across all three community S.O.T.P.s requires revision
in respect of:
1] a range and accumulation of delivery issues; and 2] the need to integrate new thinking and research in the RP field,
including particularly treatment imperatives of Pathways [Approach/Avoidant] and Good Lives.
A national working group has been established to produce one RP provision for all three S.O.T.P.s. The group is a
professional user group, under steerage of NPD, made up of representatives from all three programmes (recruited
through RWWMs). The Board welcomed the work in progress and advised that the revised programme should be
submitted to the Correctional Services Accreditation Panel. The group met between May ’05 and October ’05. However it
has become clear that developing a new module common for all programmes will be difficult to achieve and that the
alternative of designing additional material specific to each programme is a preferred option. Therefore NPD staff will
contact a number of Treatment Managers from each of the programmes to develop these materials for the Change
Control Board in June 06.

PC85/2005 – Sex Offender Programmes – Management Update 7