16 Apr, 2024

RMA Launch plan to Shape Future of Risk Assessment and Management in Scotland

This year we publish our new Corporate Plan defining our priorities for the next five years. We have continually transformed our approach to make sure we are always learning, developing and delivering effectively and we look forward to what’s next. Protecting the public has always been central to the work that we do.  

We are proud to play a pivotal role in the Scottish Government’s vision for justice, creating a safer and more successful country for everyone.  

Board Convener, Geraldine O’Hare, said:  

Chief Executive, Mark McSherry, added:  

Our work is delivered under four strategic aims:  

Research is the foundation of all that we do at the RMA. Over the next five years we will launch and maintain an online directory of risk management approaches, use evidence from our research to develop and maintain relevant pilot schemes and provide advice to Ministers by researching the responsivity needs of the Order for Lifelong Restriction (OLR) population, to improve tailoring of treatment and progression. We have been compiling and publishing research over the last decade so that Scotland can be confident that our approach is informed by the best available evidence of what works in reducing serious harm, we will continue to invest in our research to keep people safe.  

Our nationally recognised Standards and Guidelines are Scotland’s approach to risk assessment and management. We evaluate implementation and provide support to agencies across the country so that these standards can be consistently met. Over the course of our Corporate Plan, we will work with the Scottish Prison Service to assure standards of risk management are met, and plans are implemented for those on the OLR. We will identify areas of improvement and provide guidance and training to support agencies to develop high quality risk management plans, and we will continue to work with agencies to embed quality assurance to support risk-based decision-making forums such as MAPPA. We have a responsibility to set, uphold and raise standard of risk assessment and management, and with our new Corporate Plan, we make a commitment to continue this work to improve outcomes across the justice sector. 

Learning is one of our core values at the RMA. Both from each other internally and externally, we are committed to a culture of continuous improvement. Since 2015, we have provided our highly acclaimed specialist training course, The Fundamentals of Risk Practice, to hundreds of social workers across the country. Aimed at improving knowledge, skills and confidence for those who work with individuals who pose a risk of serious harm, we are proud that our training provision continues to be highly sought after. Over the next five years we will maintain and grow the support we provide to justice agencies. We will analyse their training needs and develop online resources that can be accessed anywhere, at any time, to support the risk assessment and management of those who pose a risk of serious harm.  We are dedicated to a journey of continuous learning so Scotland can be at the forefront of effective practice in risk assessment and management.  

We provide evidence-based advice and guidance to make sure Scotland can deliver improvements in public protection and how custody is used to work with those who pose a risk of serious harm.  In our new Corporate Plan, we will invest time to work with the Scottish Government to consider the role of risk assessment at pre-sentencing and release from custody, and we will maintain and develop our influence in working groups, conferences and forums. We will also develop a shared approach to consistent, efficient and ethical risk management in custody, working with the Scottish Prison Service, justice social work and justice agencies.  Our contribution is vital to improve outcomes and we will listen and engage with communities to increase public understanding and support continual improvement in the justice sector.  

The RMA Corporate Plan is available to view and download here.  
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