Updated Standards and Guidelines for Risk Management published
The revised publication of Standards and Guidelines for Risk Management (2016) contains a number of minor amendments to clarify guidance and replaces the 2013 version.
The Criminal Justice Scotland Act 2003 requires Lead Authorities to report annually to the RMA regarding their implementation of the Risk Management Plan (RMP). The primary change in the 2016 publication relates to the preparation of the Annual Implementation Report (AIR). The provision of the AIR ensures that the plan is regularly reviewed and that progress and change is identified and monitored.
The development of this iteration has been informed by a review of the previous publication with feedback from Order for Lifelong Restriction (OLR) Case Managers and the RMA Delivery Team. Feedback from OLR Case Managers indicated that the process of preparing an AIR was onerous and time consuming. Hence, in order to streamline this process we have amended the AIR template.
What remains is the progress record which allows case managers to track progress against the risk and protective factors which were identified in the plan. It also captures whether there has been any change to the level of risk in general terms, or in response to the implementation of the plan. This will provide an on-going record, and over time, will contribute to a chronology of progress and implementation. Submitting this alongside the current RMP ensures that the RMP remains a dynamic document.
We propose that to satisfy the requirements of the annual report that case managers submit the current version of the RMP (incorporating any relevant updates) along with the completed progress record and a covering statement of assurance. Within the revised Standards and Guidelines (Chapter 3) we have provided the progress record template and some brief guidance on its completion. The revised AIR process can be implemented at the Lead Authority’s earliest convenience.
The document is available on the RMA website and can be accessed via the Standards and Guidelines page.
To provide additional support we have also created a secure section on our web-site for OLR Case Managers (the login details have already been circulated). This contains resources such as downloadable versions of the RMP and AIR templates and annotated versions thereof which provide specific guidance about how to complete the various aspects of the forms in practice. We have also developed sample RMPs and AIRs to demonstrate what a completed version might look like. The Lead Authority statement of assurance is also available within the templates section.
I hope that these resources will prove to be helpful to you and your staff. However, if you require any further assistance, please feel free to contact the RMA Delivery Team.
Implications for practice
The Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 2003 makes provisions for the risk management of those subject to an OLR and places responsibilities on a number of organisations:
The RMA is to prepare and issue guidelines as to the assessment and management of risk, and to set and publish standards according to which measures taken in respect of the assessment and management of risk are to be judged.
Lead Authority Agencies (Criminal Justice Social Work, Prison and Health Services) have statutory responsibility for the preparation, implementation and review of a risk management plan in respect of an individual who is subject to an OLR, and must have regard to the standards and guidelines set out by the RMA.
Partner Agencies and Individuals: A RMP can make provision for any person who might reasonably be expected to assist in the minimisation of risk to have functions in relation to the implementation of the plan. This includes, but is not limited to Local Authorities, police, health, prison services and voluntary organisations. Any person who has functions in relation to the risk assessment and management of an individual subject to an OLR is to have regard to the standards and guidelines set out by the RMA.