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
18. Strategic Management

18. Strategic Management


18.1 Scotland's eight Community Justice Authorities ( CJAs) provide a coordinated approach to planning and monitoring the delivery of offender services by planning, managing and reporting on the performance by local authorities or groups of local authorities. Their aim is to target services to reduce reoffending and to ensure close cooperation between community and prison services to aid the rehabilitation of offenders.

18.2 In each of the 8 CJAs a MAPPA Strategic Oversight Group ( SOG) has been established. Membership includes the Chief Officer of the CJA and senior representatives from the local responsible authorities.

The role of the SOG

18.3 Section 11 of the 2005 Act requires the responsible authorities to monitor the operation of MAPPA, making changes to improve effectiveness where required. As well as providing local leadership, the SOG is responsible for performance monitoring and quality assurance of MAPPA, and for the coordination and submission of the annual report for their area.

18.4 In terms of local leadership, the SOG is responsible for shaping MAPPA activity in its area. This involves agreeing the role and representation of the different agencies within the SOG and putting in place the necessary protocols and memoranda of understanding which formalise these.

18.5 It is for the responsible authorities to determine between them how the strategic management arrangements for MAPPA will operate and the SOG provides the forum for these discussions. The SOG should also develop a clear understanding of how the local MAPPA group communicates with other relevant local strategic multi-agency arrangements (for example, Child Protection Committees).

18.6 It is important that the role of the SOG is consistent across Scotland and each SOG should:

  • Provide a strategic structure with oversight of the MAPPA area and representation at Chief Officer level.
  • Include key members from the local authority, the police, Scottish Prison Service and Health alongside other representatives, as agreed, to meet local needs.
  • Provide a forum where issues between and among responsible authorities and DTC agencies can be discussed and resolved.

18.7 The SOG should also be responsible for local oversight of the following core areas in relation to MAPPA:

  • Business planning, management and resource allocation
  • The publication of an annual report on the operation of MAPPA in line with the obligations of Section 11 of the Management of Offenders etc. (Scotland) Act 2005
  • Raise public awareness of the management of offenders subject to MAPPA processes
  • Significant Case Review
  • Training
  • Liaison and communication, both within MAPPA and with other local multi-agency structures designed to protect the public.
  • Ensure adherence to National MAPPA Guidance and other relevant National Protocols and standards (including ViSOR and data protection)
  • Identify, implement and share best practice
  • Address any issues around the concentration in particular locations of sex offenders under MAPPA; and
  • Liaise with the Scottish Government Public Protection Unit.

18.8 The SOG should meet quarterly and be supported by one or more operational or steering groups according to local requirements. MAPPA Coordinators play a key role in supporting the SOG.

Principles of Governance

18.9 The strategic management arrangements should reflect a strong understanding of the mechanisms for effective and efficient public services. The Good Governance Standard for Public Services sets out six principles of good governance that are common to all public services:

  • Focusing on the organisation's purpose and outcomes for citizens and service users;
  • Performing effectively in clearly defined functions and roles;
  • Promoting values for the whole organisation and demonstrating the values of good governance through behaviour;
  • Taking informed, transparent decisions and managing risks;
  • Developing the capacity and capability of the governing body to be effective;
  • Engaging stakeholders and making accountability real.

Performance management and quality assurance

18.10 The responsible authorities and the SOG need to be satisfied that the MAPPA in their area are working well and that the risk management arrangements meet the defensibility test. The defensibility test is:

'Was everything that could reasonably have been done to prevent offenders from reoffending actually done?'

18.11 This applies to how each individual agency fulfils their obligations and how the agencies work together in achieving comprehensive risk management. The responsible authorities, through the SOG, need to be able to demonstrate this through monitoring and evaluation of performance.

18.12 The monitoring and evaluation activities of the SOG contribute to the MAPPA annual report, drive the business planning process and provide the means of reviewing the effectiveness of MAPPA.

18.13 This involves the collection and analysis of both quantitative and qualitative data. The MAPPA Coordinator will provide this information for the SOG. Examples of performance and evaluation data are included in Chapter 19.

Annual report

18.14 Under the terms of section 11(2) of 2005 Act, each MAPPA area must publish an annual report as soon as practicable after the end of each period of 12 months beginning with the 1 April. The contents of the reports must recognise the terms of sections 3(10) and 11(3) of the 2005 Act. The SOG is responsible for the coordination and quality assurance of the report for its area, the preparation and publication of which is an important part of the strategic arrangements for the MAPPA. The intention is for each MAPPA area across Scotland to provide a report which raises public awareness and understanding of public protection issues.

18.15 The annual reports are to be published on the website of the CJA. Scottish Ministers will publish an overview report containing the relevant national level statistics on the Scottish Government website with web links to the reports of each CJA.

Intensive Support Packages ( ISP)

18.16 A very small number of offenders are managed in the community through the provision of ISPs. ISPs are intensive sets of monitoring arrangements put in place for high-risk individuals under statutory supervision, including Sexual Offences Prevention Orders ( SOPO), in the community. The level of monitoring is determined on a risk and needs based basis, informed as necessary by the MAPPA process and then notified to the Scottish Government by the relevant CJA. In the majority of cases the monitoring is undertaken by third sector providers such as SACRO. Funding is approved in advance on a three-month basis by the Scottish Government, based on updated risk assessments and cost information. ISPs are provided to manage high-risk individuals in the community and the Scottish Government look for advice on how the risk associated with a particular individual is changing over time when applications for continuation of packages are received.

18.17 Whilst the number of such cases is small, the costs associated with the provision of services can be extremely high. The MAPPA Coordinator will ensure that the SOG is aware of all ISPs in order that the SOG is aware of the costs being incurred. The MAPPA Coordinator will also ensure that the MAPPA meeting has given proper consideration to the continuing need for intensive support in light of the assessment of risk of serious harm.

MAPPA Coordinator

18.18 The MAPPA Coordinator is employed on behalf of all the responsible authorities and plays an essential role in the coordination, support and administration of the strategic functions on behalf of the SOG.