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
MAPPA Document 7B

MAPPA Document 7B

Risk Management And Contingency Plan

Completion Notes

Identify the Risk(s) to be managed in this plan

Summarise the broad risk(s) to be managed by the plan. There are a number of ways to categorise the risk(s) however, examples might include; Sexual offending; Domestic abuse; General violence; stalking.

Describe the Risks

The purpose of this section is to outline the likely or plausible scenarios in which serious harm might occur. A scenario describes the likely set of circumstances or events in which an offence may occur and draws on the interaction of risk and protective factors highlighted in the risk formulation.

It describes how the various factors interact in a given context and what the likely outcome may be in terms of who may be harmed, how they may be harmed and the potential seriousness of the harm. A scenario is not a prediction and should be based on the available information.

Briefly describe the likely scenarios that relate to the identified risk(s) and consider the following aspects:

  • The context; ( e.g. community based/health setting);
  • what is the risk;
  • who is at risk; ( e.g. known children, known adults, specific groups, public at large, staff, etc);
  • when will the risk occur;
  • how might it occur, and;
  • why would it occur in these circumstances.

Example text: "when in the community ( context ) there is a risk of sexual contact ( what ), against children and young people known to him ( who ) in situations in which he is drinking alcohol ( when ). He may isolate the child or young person, or offer them alcohol ( how ), to engage the child in sexual acts for self-gratification ( why )".

Relevant Factors

The purpose of this section is to clearly identify the individual factors that will be targeted within the plan.

The formulation of risk explores how risk factors function to contribute to an episode of offending, whilst the identified scenarios indicate how those factors are likely to manifest themselves.

Based on the formulation of risk and the identified scenario(s), detail the relevant factors that will be targeted by the plan under the following headings:

Predisposing Factors: are often identified through the application of risk assessment tools as factors which are associated with offending, and are noted to be present as criminogenic needs. Within a risk formulation, it is important to consider which factors render this individual likely to commit a certain type of offence and why. These factors may be amenable to change and should be targeted by supervision and treatment/intervention strategies. Examples might include impulsivity, substance misuse problems, disregard for others, or early and diverse anti-social behaviour.

Precipitating Factors: are related to the timing of offending, and may serve as precipitants or triggers. They may be events that trigger criminogenic needs, or acute dynamic factors which can change rapidly. They should be targeted by monitoring, supervision and victim safety-planning strategies.

Examples might include intoxication, emotional collapse, or a perceived slight or rejection.

Perpetuating Factors: These may be long term issues, responsivity factors or vulnerabilities which are likely to perpetuate rather than ameliorate the risk of offending. They may function by maintaining predisposing factors, or they may act as obstacles to successful intervention. Targeting these factors may increase the efficacy of other interventions; however the factors may merit interventions or treatment in their own right.

Examples might include cognitive impairment, a learning disability or a history of trauma.

Protective Factors: are circumstances, relationships or characteristics that have a mitigating effect on the individual's risk of serious harm. When present, they act to prevent, reduce or interrupt the occurrence of an episode of seriously harmful behaviour. As such, they have an important role in risk management, however it is important to note that these are individualised factors and that what proves protective for one person may not be protective for another.

Examples might include family or intimate relationships, medication or motivation to engage in supervision and requirements under a civil order.

Measures of Change

It is important to identify behaviours or events which might indicate that risk is increasing, or that the protective factors or measures which manage the risk are weakening or breaking down.

It is also important to consider what emerging behaviours might indicate that interventions are working or that the level of risk is reducing.

Early warning signs /behaviours to monitor: Identify the signs or behaviours which might indicate that offending is imminent, the risk management strategies are breaking down, or that the plan requires review;

Indicators of positive change: Identify the events, behaviours or circumstances which might indicate that the plan is working or that the risk is diminishing.

Risk Management Strategy

Supervision: is a means by which a relationship is established with the individual. The purpose is to ensure that the individual is engaged through dialogue in a process of change and compliance. Supervision may also involve oversight or administration of a Court order or sentence to ensure that any requirements or conditions are being appropriately applied and that compliance with such requirements is being monitored.

Monitoring: involves a number of observational activities intended to identify progress or deterioration or draw attention to areas where the RMP needs to be changed.

Intervention or Treatment: is a specific programme, activity or technique focused on encouraging change in a particular behaviour or providing treatment for a particular problem.

Victim Safety Planning: is a risk management activity by which attention is drawn to the safety of specific individuals or groups who may potentially be victimised, with a view to devising preventative or contingency strategies.

Relevant Factors

Within the table identify the factor(s) to be addressed. Depending on the purpose and scope of the activity, you can opt to develop plans in relation to an individual risk or protective factor, a general offence type ( e.g. violent offending), or all of the risk factors as a whole.


Identify the activity which will be delivered in order to manage the risk factor(s).


Relates to the risk priority rating. Within the 'Priority' column assign one of the following ratings to each risk management activity:

Immediate priority;

Moderate priority;

Low priority;

Not Applicable - where the risk management activity is no longer needed or applicable.

Date for Completion or Review

Identify a date by which the activity will be completed or progress will be reviewed.

Responsible Agency/Individual

Identify which agency or individual is responsible for delivering each activity.


To support transitional planning, indicate whether the identified activity is relevant to managing risk within a secure setting, a community setting, or both.

Limitations of Strategy

No plan can completely eliminate risk therefore it is important to consider the limitations present in the strategy and activities agreed. Use this section to highlight gaps or weaknesses in the plan and give consideration to the following:

  • Areas of uncertainty;
  • Interdependencies between risk management activities ( i.e. one activity is reliant on the successful application of another);
  • Where the success of the plan requires engagement of the offender;
  • Reliance on availability of programmes;
  • Gaps in knowledge;
  • Impact of the presence of personality disorder.


This section must be completed and used to document the measures to be taken in response to:

  • the appearance of early warning signs;
  • the weakening or breakdown of protective factors; and
  • the weakening or breakdown of the risk management strategies set out in the preventive action section.

Early Warning Signs/Behaviour to Monitor

Early Warning Signs are those noticeable behaviours, events and other indicators that highlight to those working with the offender that offending may be imminent.

Immediacy/Degree of Alert

Identify whether the emergence of a particular behaviour requires staff to:

Be Aware - monitor the emerging behaviours closely for any signs of escalation and ensure relevant individuals/agencies are informed about the potential situation.

Be Prepared - ensure that precautionary measures are taken and that staff are alert to the possible situation.

Take Immediate Action - intervene now to deliver identified contingency activities.

Agreed Actions

Identify the agreed actions to be taken in the event that the early warning signs emerge or the identified behaviours change. The actions should clearly state what is to be done to manage/minimise the risk, and in what timescale.

Responsible Authority/Individual

Identify the agency/person responsible for delivering each agreed action.

Key Contacts

Unforeseen circumstances may arise that are not covered by the agreed contingencies. In such circumstances the key contacts listed should be used to ensure formulation of an appropriate response and on-going accountability.