Supporting Older People advanced training for ISVAs gets off to an ‘Outstanding’ Start

This week LimeCulture has launched a brand new Elective of the Advanced Development programme (ADP) for accredited ISVAs. Elective 3 is our new 2-day course ‘Supporting Older People’, which aims to equip ISVAs with the confidence and competence to effectively support older people who have experienced sexual violence.

The course has been developed by LimeCulture’s Training Team in partnership with SafeLives (who will be delivering equivalent training to IDVAs) and AgeUK, who provided their expertise around how best to engage and work with older people.


LimeCulture has developed the Advanced Development Programme as continued professional development for ISVAs. The Electives have been developed to be provide additional modules of training allowing ISVAs to gain specific knowledge and skills in supporting specific clients groups.

“The role of an ISVA is challenging” says Bernie Ryan, LimeCulture’s Training and Development Director. “There is so much they need to know and understand in order to support people and perform their role  effectively. Therefore it is vital that they receive appropriate training to become the highly skilled professionals that they need to be”.  Bernie explains that LimeCulture’s core training programme offered to new or untrained ISVAs – the ISVA Development Programme, a 6-modular course comprising of  12 days training, is absolutely key to the role of the ISVA. ‘The training focuses on critical key components of the role such as, understanding the role of the ISVA including responsibilities and relationships with other professionals, boundaries of the role, identification, assessment and management of risk and support needs, safeguarding, criminal and civil justice processes.  All elements of this course are crucial to ensure that ISVAs are equipped to perform their duties and ensure safety of their clients, themselves and their employing organisation ”.

LimeCulture teach their ISVA Development Programme over a 6-month period, with a 2-day module taking place each month. “This allows the ISVAs the time and space to learn and reflect on their practice without being overwhelmed by the intensity of the information that is contained within the course” explains Bernie. The ISVA Development Programme provides ISVAs with the core knowledge and skills they need and to ultimately pass the strict accreditation requirements associated with the LimeCulture ISVA Development Programme.

 In addition to the core programme, LimeCulture offer ongoing training and development opportunities with their Advanced Development Programmes explains Bernie. “We know that clients have individual needs, and therefore ISVAs have the opportunity to gain additional skills and knowledge to support them effectively. For example, an ISVA who supports children and young people must have all the core skills and competencies required to undertake the ISVA role, yet they will also need additional training to work effectively with children and young people in an environment that is significantly different to supporting adults. The same goes for working with sex workers, or supporting people who are suicidal and have ongoing mental health difficulties, or people who have been exploited by gangs, and so on”.

 Bernie explains that LimeCulture developed the Advanced Development Programme as a means of adding important specialist training to the professional toolbox required by ISVAs. “It’s an important principle that ISVA should be accessing ongoing professional training to keep themselves and their practice up to date, so we created the ADP as a means to enhance the skills and knowledge of ISVAs by providing them with a range of electives that are relevant to their professional practice and keep them progressing, learning and developing as professional ISVAs.”

Bernie explains the ADP was created because of ISVAs sharing their concerns with LimeCulture about certain topics or specifically requesting training in key areas. “We are always looking to add new Electives to support ISVAs in  their roles more effectively. So we are absolutely delighted to be able to offer the 3rd ADP Elective which focuses on supporting older people. Older people are a client group who face additional barriers to engagement following sexual assault but also have quite distinct needs when it comes to how best to support them”.

This week in Manchester, LimeCulture’s trainers delivered Elective 3 for the first time to 18 experienced ISVAs. “The LimeCulture Training Team has been developing the course content and material for months now and its been absolutely brilliant to work alongside specialists to ensure that our training really enables ISVAs to engage and support older people in an effective way. We have been so excited about delivering this course and we believe it will really make a difference to how ISVA support is delivered to this client group”. Generally, not much is known about older people in relation to sexual violence. “They are a largely hidden group of people, who don’t routinely come forward to report abuse or access support but we know that they are vulnerable and older people do experience sexual violence, so at LimeCulture we wanted to do more to make ISVA services more accessible to older people and their needs”.

Bernie says she is “absolutely thrilled” with how well the new course went this week, with feedback from the ISVAs far exceeding her expectations. “The feedback has been absolutely brilliant. As it was the 1st delivery of the new course, we specifically asked the ISVAs to really consider their feedback and tell us if anything should be changed or altered, to support its further development and suggest improvement for future delegates. We are delighted by how well the training was received and the engagement of all the ISVAs attending this course in Manchester”.

One ISVA wrote “This elective has been outstanding. I’ve never really considered the needs of older people before, but after this course I can see that it is vital that we recognise supporting them as a key area of specialism – in the same way we do with supporting children”. Another ISVAs wrote “the ADP is a fantastic vehicle for experienced ISVAs to come to LimeCulture, benefit from your trainers awesome knowledge, meet other ISVAs from other areas and different services to grow as a professional. ADP 3 does not disappoint. Another fantastic learning experience”.

Bernie says this kind of feedback is exactly what she aspires to. “LimeCulture continues to be the leading ISVA training provider and we take that position and privilege very seriously indeed. We know that the overwhelming majority of ISVA services choose us to train their staff because of the quality of the training we provide. Our training is continually updated and reviewed to make sure it is up to date and fit for purpose. We also know that ISVAs benefit from being brought together, so we place great weight on the peer relationships created on our training courses”. Bernie explains how, as the leading provider of ISVA training, LimeCulture is able to bring together ISVAs from a range of service providers so that ISVAs can learn from each other and improve their practice by sharing their own experiences, good or bad. “For us, the key to our success is making sure that the ISVAs can gain knowledge and skills from our expert trainers, but also from each other with their different experiences, services and employers. We encourage group interaction and sharing of experiences and that’s what makes our training so rich and our feedback consistently excellent overall.”


LimeCulture is offering 100 LimeCulture trained ISVAs free places on the ADP 3 courses taking place between now and March 2019.

If you have not yet booked a place on one of the courses, please do so via the ADP Elective 3 online booking form.





Click here to book Elective 1: Supporting Clients with Specific Needs

Click here to book Elective 2: Supporting Children and Young people

Members required to join a new Working Group to oversee LimeCulture’s Spreading Excellence Project

LimeCulture is delighted to announce their exciting new project. ‘Spreading Excellence’ is a Home Office funded project that has been created by LimeCulture to support the sexual violence sector to ensure excellent services are available for victims/survivors.

The Spreading Excellence project aims to improve the capacity and capability of the sexual violence sector to make certain that high-quality and effective services are available for all. This will be achieved through the influence and engagement of service users, service providers, commissioners and policy leads working together collaboratively.

We are looking to establish a new national Working Group to oversee the schedule of work for the Spreading Excellence Project. We are keen to ensure members of the Working Group are representative of the sexual violence sector, and that service users, service providers, commissioners and policy leads are equally represented.  The creation of the Working Group presents a real opportunity to ensure that new ideas, thinking and plans are encouraged to flourish and develop to contribute to the spread of excellence throughout the sexual violence sector. As we strive to develop the sexual violence sector, new and emerging voices are actively encouraged to apply to join the Working Group.

To this end, we are looking to recruit Working Group members who are:

  • Passionate about developing the sexual violence sector
  • Committed to working collaboratively to bring about meaningful change
  • Dedicated to promoting and sharing excellent practice to raise sector standards

Working Group members will be expected to attend two meetings in London, which will take place during Autumn 2018 and Spring 2019 (dates to be announced).

Please note: These are voluntary positions and it will not be possible to renumerate members for their time or travel, although a bursary contribution may be accessible for service-users and service providers.

LimeCulture are seeking expressions of interest from individuals who would like to become members of the Spreading Excellence Working Group. If you would like to express an interest, please email by 12 noon Monday 1 October 2018.

Please provide a brief summary of your background and/or experience and why you would like to become a member of the Spreading Excellence Working Group.

If you would like an informal discussion about the Working Group please call 0203 633 0018.