Publication - Advice and guidance

Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA):national guidance 2016

Published: 3 Mar 2016
Safer Communities Directorate
Part of:
Law and order

Ministerial guidance to responsible authorities on the discharge of their obligations under section 10 of the Management of Offenders etc. (Scotland) Act 2005.

Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA):national guidance 2016
11. MAPPA Coordination

11. MAPPA Coordination

11.1 Coordination is a crucial element of the MAPPA and ensures that the relevant functions of the framework operate effectively.

MAPPA Coordinator Responsibility

11.2 The Coordinator's role is a dedicated function undertaken on behalf of the responsible authorities. The Coordinator is accountable to those operating the arrangements through the local MAPPA Strategic Oversight Group ( SOG).

11.3 The post is designed to ensure that multi-agency risk management processes are quickly and efficiently applied to the right people.

11.4 The remit of the MAPPA Coordinator includes the responsibilities listed in Annex 5 and will not extend to responsibility for areas that fall within the remit and responsibility of the individual agencies.

11.5 The Coordinator facilitates the responsible authorities in their statutory responsibility to do the following:

  • Receive details of all offenders who are subject to the Sex Offender Notification Requirements ( SONR), those who are restricted patients for whom a multi-agency risk management plan is necessary in order to manage risk and other risk of serious harm offenders satisfying criteria detailed in chapter 9 of this guidance;
  • Receive referrals of RSOs, other risk of serious harm offenders and restricted patients who pose a risk of serious harm which needs to be managed at either Level 2 or Level 3;
  • Share information relevant to the management of the risk of serious harm with other agencies within MAPPA on the basis that the information will be held securely and used by appropriate personnel within those agencies for public protection purposes only;
  • Help determine if their agency is a core partner in terms of the delivery of risk assessment and risk management plans;
  • Receive the risk management plans and minutes from all relevant Level 2 and Level 3 meetings, showing clearly the status of each offender, the agencies which are delivering components of the plan, timescales, review arrangements and the point at which the offender is due to exit the multi-agency risk management process;
  • Provide a single point of contact for advice on all aspects of MAPPA.

MAPPA Meetings

11.6 The broad aims of a MAPPA Level 2 or 3 meeting are to:

  • bring additional information or assist agencies to assess the relevance of existing information;
  • Review and establish agreement regarding the development and implementation of a Risk Management Plan including;
    • ensuring the analysis of the risk of serious harm has identified the risks.
    • ensuring that the identified risk management strategies and activities are implemented in line with professional role and competence.
    • ensuring that decisions are taken to address any obstacles to the delivery of the Risk Management Plan and uninterrupted service provision.
  • consider whether the MAPPA level should increase or decrease;
  • set a formal review date for the risk management plan.

11.7 Where an offender is subject to the SONR, or being managed under MAPPA under any other category, and is also serving an Order for Lifelong restriction (OLR) sentence the meeting should have regard to the requirements as detailed in the Standards and Guidelines for Risk Management (Risk Management Authority 2013).

11.8 All of the documentation relevant to the MAPPA Level 2 or 3 meeting should be collated and distributed in advance of the meeting to allow the attendees time to pre-read and familiarise themselves with the case. This will allow the discussion at the meeting to focus on risk assessment and formulation of the risk management plan and contingency measures.

11.9 It is important that MAPPA meetings are well organised and that accurate records of them are made and retained. To support this a standard MAPPA minute and risk management plan template is included within the MAPPA document set attached to this guidance. The template is supported by completion notes which provide detail and explanation on each stage of the process.

11.10 The completed minute template and risk management plan should be added to the ViSOR system to provide a consistency of approach to this critical part of MAPPA practice.

MAPPA Minutes

11.11 The sufficient provision of minute takers is a matter for the responsible authorities and the MAPPA SOG, in consultation with the MAPPA Coordinator. It is important that an accurate record of the discussion and the decisions taken at the meeting are made and retained. It is important to record the debate and to evidence the reasoning for or against a particular course of action. The minute should be sufficiently detailed to allow any subsequent inquiry to gauge whether: 'everything that could reasonably have been done to prevent offenders from reoffending was actually done'.

11.12 Completion notes accompany the Minute and Risk Management Plan ( RMP) template within the document set of this guidance, however it is advisable to clarify:

  • that the Minute is a record of a meeting held under the auspices of the MAPPA and therefore that those attending understand the basis upon which the meeting is held - including the confidential nature of the proceedings and the Minutes;
  • who attends the meeting and in what capacity;
  • the identity of the offender and whether the meeting is the initial, or further review of the offender;
  • that discussions relevant to the assessment and the management of risk, including disclosure are captured in the relevant section of the Minute and RMP template;
  • that the rationale for the strategy to manage each identified risk is recorded. Where a particular course of action is considered but not taken, for example third party disclosure, the reasons for not taking that action should also be recorded.

11.13 The identified risks and the strategy for managing the risks will be laid out in the risk management section of the Minute and RMP template contained in the document set to this guidance.

11.14 Where there are changes proposed to the RMP which require an alteration to the offenders existing licence conditions, a report must be submitted by the supervising officer to the Parole Unit of the Criminal Justice and Parole Division of the Scottish Government. This should not be submitted directly to the Parole Board. The responsible authorities cannot change licence conditions. Similarly, if a Sexual Offences Prevention Order ( SOPO) is in place, representation should be made to the police for them to seek to have the SOPO conditions amended.

11.15 The draft Minute and RMP should be produced within five working days and following clearance from the MAPPA Chair, sent securely to relevant representatives. Any comments should be returned without delay to allow production of the final Minute and RMP within a further five working days. This will ensure production of the documents within ten working days.

11.16 The MAPPA Minute and RMP is always 'OFFICIAL' and may be 'OFFICIAL-SENSITIVE' under the terms of the Government Security Classifications. If agencies do not have access to ViSOR, they must determine how they will store the Minutes and RMP securely and in line with the classification requirements. They will outline how other agency personnel can access them in the event of an emergency. Further details on the subject of information storage and security can be found within Annex 2.

11.17 The MAPPA meeting Minute and RMP, will be stored on ViSOR. An agency cannot share these documents widely with its personnel unless this has been agreed by the Chair of the MAPPA meeting.

11.18 To support the production of an accurate Minute and RMP in the highest level meetings, the proceedings may be audio recorded. The recording will be used by the Minute taker to prepare the Minute and RMP. Reference should be made to local procedures in respect of the secure storage of the audio recording which should be regarded as confidential. The audio recordings must be destroyed once the final Minute and RMP has been agreed and produced.

Disclosure of MAPPA Minutes

11.19 The MAPPA meeting Minute and RMP must not be shared or copied without the prior approval of the Chair of the meeting. Where there is a request for a copy of the Minute and RMP from a third party this must be referred to the MAPPA meeting Chair and the MAPPA Coordinator.

11.20 Where a request has been received for a submission to a Mental Health Tribunals the following information may be shared: A MAPPA meeting was held on [date]. MAPPA Level is [ ]. The MAPPA group support the recommendation by the RMO for [unescorted SUS/conditional discharge/revocation of the restriction order].

11.21 For those Mental Health Tribunals considering conditional discharge ( CD), revocation of the compulsion order ( CO), or revocation of the restriction order ( RO), the restricted patient team will e-mail the relevant MAPPA Coordinator to request that a Minute Executive Summary be prepared for lodging at the Mental Health Tribunal (which in turn will be copied to the patient and other parties). A Minute Executive Summary template can be found within the document set attached to this guidance.

11.22 Requests for disclosure of the MAPPA Minute and RMP by an offender or their legal representative should be treated as a Subject Access Request ( SAR) authorised under the Data Protection Act. The Coordinator and the Chair of the meeting will consult with the other agencies that attended the meeting and consider whether the information can be released on the grounds provided by the Data Protection Act. The lead responsible authority should always seek advice from their information security officer/data protection officer before responding to such requests.

11.23 There should rarely be a need to disclose the Minute or RMP in its entirety to anyone not party to the meeting. All formal requests for the disclosure of the Minute must be responded to. All requests and decisions relating to disclosure of the Minute or RMP must be recorded on case management records including the ViSOR system.

11.24 Where the Minute or RMP is to be provided, the MAPPA meeting Chair will complete a Minute executive summary along with a covering letter. A template for both these documents can be found within the MAPPA document set attached to this guidance.

11.25 The Minute and RMP are records made and kept for a specific purpose. They should not be used for any other purpose unless there is a clear and compelling reason to do so and which does not compromise the integrity of professional practice and the law. The Minute and RMP may contain personal information about third parties as well as the offender, including information about members of staff of the agencies involved. There is a requirement for that information to be restricted and not disclosed to third parties.

Offender Involvement

11.26 While the offender will not be involved in the MAPPA meeting there should be a clearly stated mechanism for communicating with the offender both before and after the meeting. This will fall to the lead responsible authority, i.e. the supervising officer or police officer with responsibility for the case. Engaging the offender in the reality of risk management reflects the critical contribution an offender can make to changing their offending behaviour and for taking responsibility for their actions. The offender must be aware that they are being managed through the MAPPA and what the implications of that are.

Review Meetings

11.27 The review meeting will primarily be a review of the risk management plan. Members will verify if the actions have been implemented and assess their effectiveness. The meeting will consider if there is new information that changes the existing risk assessment and the level at which the offender is managed.

11.28 The responsible authorities and DTC agencies have an on-going responsibility to inform the lead agency and the MAPPA Coordinator of any information they receive that indicates a change in the risk of serious harm posed by an offender, in either a positive or negative manner. A meeting must be arranged to review the circumstances.

11.29 The minimum standards in respect of review meetings are as follows;

  • Level 2 - reviewed no less than once every 12 weeks.
  • Level 3 - reviewed no less than once every 6 weeks.

Chairing of MAPPA Meetings

11.30 The Chair of a MAPPA meeting should possess the necessary skill, knowledge and experience required for the role. All Chairs should receive the requisite training and undertake an induction period alongside an experienced Chair.

11.31 The expectation is that Level 2 meetings will be Chaired at a minimum level of police Inspector or social work equivalent. Level 3 meetings will be chaired at a minimum level of Chief Social Work Officer, or a suitably qualified designated person, or by a police Superintendent. A MAPPA meeting can also be chaired by a Scottish Prison Service Governor or a suitably qualified representative, or a suitably qualified health representative.

11.32 The MAPPA Chair is the facilitator, leader and decision-maker, ensuring that the identification of the risks, and the production and appropriate review of the MAPPA Risk Management Plan is conducted in an effective and efficient manner. The role of the Chair is to ensure:

  • The agenda is followed and all items are fully discussed;
  • The meeting is properly recorded and the Minute circulated within the specified timescales;
  • The risk management plan is reviewed;
  • The meeting considers a full analysis of the risk of serious harm;
  • The meeting runs to the time allocated and the time allowed is sufficient to address the issues;
  • The regulations and rules are adhered to; and
  • Where an agency fail to attend a meeting this will be followed up with the respective agency locally. A record of non-attendance should be maintained.
  • Where non-attendance affects the ability of the meeting to fulfil its function, any resultant limitations to the risk assessment and RMP are identified and acknowledged.

11.33 To achieve the above the chair will:

  • Enable appropriate contributions from all participants;
  • Summarise key points;
  • Test for consensus;
  • Note and record areas of disagreement;
  • Decide options for moving forward; and
  • Agree a MAPPA Risk Management Plan.