Information on current sex offender programme Moving Forward: Making Changes: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

Information requested


Your requests asked for the following information in regards to the Moving Forward: Making Changes (MF: MC) Treatment Programme for sex offenders:

1.   Are MF: MC Group sessions recorded and if so, why.

2.   What is the ethos of MF: MC.

3.   What qualifications do MF: MC facilitators have.

4.   Can OLR prisoners do groups outside of prison at the end of their tariff or does MFMC have to be done in prison for OLR prisoners.

5.   Do people on MF: MC have to answers questions on their criminal past.

6.   Is it mandatory for people to talk about their sex or sex in general, within MF: MC.

7.   Are facilitators trained to deal with people who have adverse child experiences.

8.   What training do facilitators get to deal with people with mental health issues.

9.   What is MF: MC designed to do.

10.  Is your MF: MC course accredited? If so, how and by whom.




The answer to your questions are listed below:


1.   All group sessions are recorded. This is to make sure that the group workers are delivering the programme to a high standard and meeting the needs of the offenders appropriately. Recordings may be watched by others in the treatment programme team and possibly by a researcher. Research using recordings is very carefully controlled. Recordings also inform staff professional development.


2.   The programme is designed to assist participants to lead a satisfying life that does not involve harming others. 


3.   All facilitators are required to undertake and pass the core national MF: MC training programme in order to deliver the MF: MC Programme.  Formal qualifications vary between facilitators.


4.   MF: MC is available in the community and prison custody. Interventions for individuals serving Order of Lifelong Restriction sentences are determined in their Risk Management Plan.


5.   Group members are not made to answer questions on their criminal past. However, the eligibility of individuals to access the programme when they deny their sexual convictions will be considered on initial assessment of suitability for the course. Group members are expected to actively participate and collaborate with staff in the programme in order to assist them to address their sexual offending behaviour/convictions and support other group members.


6.   This is addressed partly in question 5. There is a mandatory general discussion regarding healthy sexual functioning and it is expected that group members contribute to this discussion.


7.   Facilitators have knowledge of adverse childhood experiences and the impact that these can have on development and offending behaviour. Facilitators are social workers within the community and psychologists within custody, and they routinely work with individuals who have experienced adverse childhood experiences. The impact of adverse child hood experiences is a thread running through the core MF: MC training.


8.   Facilitators have to undertake and pass the core MF: MC training. The core training does include personality disorder and learning disability modules. They also work with individuals who experience mental health issues and liaise with mental health professionals when required.


9.   The programme is designed to assist participants to lead a satisfying life that does not involve harming others.


10.  The Scottish Panel on Offender Rehabilitation (SAPOR) accredited MF: MC in 2013. The programme was formally accredited up until 31st October 2018. A review of MFMC is being undertaken to ensure that it continues to reflect the changing nature of sexual offending. While the new programme is under development the current MF: MC programme will continue to be delivered to to the same robust accreditation standards.


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Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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