4. Risk Management Authority
Risk Practice Course
Due to the impact of COVID-19, the Risk Management Authority (RMA) was unable to deliver face-to-face training to police and social work colleagues on risk assessment and risk management. Work was therefore undertaken to produce a training format suitable to virtual delivery. Thus far 1 event has been delivered to 12 police colleagues with plans to pilot a further 3 events between August and October 2021. The social work course has also been converted into an online course and will be delivered in August 2021 and March 2022.
The RMA also produced an evaluation of the course focused on the period since the requirement for completion of a Risk Management Plan (RMP). This was introduced in October 2019 and means that following attendance at the 3-day course, trainees are required to submit an RMP for evaluation. The RMA evaluate this RMP against the Standards and Guidelines for Risk Management and provide feedback on strengths and developmental points. A conclusion is also provided on whether the RMP meets the standards. In order to complete the course each trainee must produce an RMP that meets the required standard. Trainees have the possibility of a resubmission if the first submission does not meet the standards.
Of the initial 24 trainees, 19 provided RMPs which met the required standard; all of which went through the resubmission process. The reasons for non-completion varied across unsuitable cases, a lack of an identifiable case, and not meeting the standard following resubmission. Overall the quality of RMP's increased substantially from first submission to resubmission. In particular, the quality of risk assessment improved across submissions which impacted on the overall quality of RMPs. Generally the areas of partnership-working and risk management measures – whilst improved in line with risk assessment improvements – were areas of strength.
Internet Offending Assessment Framework
In response to the Joint Thematic Review of MAPPA in Scotland, the RMA completed a literature review in 2018, which examined the risk posed by internet offenders. This informed the development of an assessment framework throughout 2019-20. This aims to support decision-making with regard to the assessment of those convicted of internet offences. A multi-agency working group supported this development process and featured representation from Social Work, Police, Forensic Network, Academia and Scottish Government. This resulted in a framework being produced which will be piloted during 2021-22. The process for the pilot is currently being discussed between the RMA and Scottish Government before being communicated out to local authorities for their consideration and interest. The pilot will involve testing the proposed framework in several local authorities, as well as carrying out research to help understand the long-term suitability of the framework at a national level.
Counter Terrorism & Sentencing Bill
In October 2020, the RMA became involved in the review of the UK Government's Counter-Terrorism and Sentencing Bill. This included providing information to the then Cabinet Secretary for Justice highlighting the implications for the Order for Lifelong Restriction disposal. Having completed rapid reviews of the available evidence, the RMA worked closely with justice partners to scope the wider impact for risk assessment and management. In 2021-2022 the RMA will continue to work with justice partners to support the implementation of evidence-led effective practice in terrorism risk assessment and management, including the use of MAPPA for those convicted of terrorist offences.
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