Featured Job: Independent Accredited Risk Assessors
The Risk Management Authority (RMA) are seeking experienced, confident risk assessors from psychology and psychiatry disciplines to become RMA Accredited Assessors. The RMA exists to reduce the risk of serious harm by setting the standard for risk assessment and risk management; work includes specific responsibilities in relation to the Order for Lifelong Restriction sentence.
The OLR sentence was developed following recommendations from the MacLean committee consultation on the management of serious violent and sexual offenders in Scotland. An OLR provides for the lifelong management of the individual. Given the lifelong nature of the sentence, it is imperative that decisions around sentencing are well informed. This is achieved through the completion of a risk assessment report.
Accredited Assessors provide the High Court with a high quality risk assessment report which clearly outlines conclusions and recommendations relating to risk presented by the individual. These reports are used to inform the sentencing judge about the risk an individual presents, and support an informed decision over whether an individual should be sentenced to an OLR. The Accredited Assessor plays a vital role in contributing to defensible decision making in Scotland’s criminal justice system, supporting public safety.
Rachel Roper (Accredited Assessor) says: ‘Being an independent practitioner provides many opportunities for a diverse range of work and being an Accredited Assessor is one of the most fulfilling of them all. Assessors rarely get cases that are not complex in nature and this leads to many opportunities to work with a variety of professionals as well as enhancing my own development.
The duty of care towards the public and to the individual being assessed is pivotal and it is rewarding to know that the assessment helps the offender and a variety of professionals to understand the complexities of the case. It is satisfying to know this can then be used to offer support and employ risk management strategies to keep the public safe. There is loads of support available from the RMA, which I have found invaluable on my journey and anyone who enjoys undertaking risk assessments and formulating complex presentations would be thoroughly suited to this role.’
Accreditation by the RMA supports practitioners’ reputational standing as it is an indication of competency and can be a pathway for professional progression. Assessors are not employed by the RMA: rather they are accredited by the RMA, and engaged and remunerated by the court. The court rate is currently set at £100 per hour for work done in assembling information, interviewing and preparing the RAR, as well as necessary travel time and expenses.
Only those who meet the initial eligibility criteria will be invited to apply to become an Accredited Assessor. Interested parties can complete and submit an eligibility questionnaire to progress to application. For more information see: www.rma.scot/order-for-lifelong-restriction/accreditation/info-for-applicants/
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