Independent Accreditation of ISVA Services – Update!

As we approach the end of the first year of our Independent Accreditation programme for the Quality Standards for Independent Sexual Violence Adviser (ISVA) Services, we’ve been taking a look at the mostly highs and lows (missed travel connections – nothing to do with the standards programme!).  We’ve been working with lots of ISVA services from up and down the country, but in addition to travelling a fair few miles we thought we would share with you some of our thoughts at this time.

At the start of the year we were thrilled to welcome Charlotte Bond to the team as an Accreditation Manager.  Charlotte is an experienced ISVA, and since joining us she has been leading our work on accrediting the ISVA quality standards and is the brains behind the evidence guide, and frequently asked questions.  With the addition of a second Accreditation Manager, and two separate accreditation programmes with over fifty services enrolled at any one time as you can imagine there is some quite complicated programme management, and other logistics and so in the spring Rachel Donald joined the team to take responsibility for all our administration.  Rachel has been keeping us on the straight and narrow ever since.

Over the summer, our lead Accreditation Manager for the Male Quality Standards programme, Tom Leavesley-Matthews, left us for pastures new.  We have been looking for the right person to fill the space he left, and we are delighted to be able to confirm that we have been able to appoint.  Our latest recruit will be joining us to work on the programme soon which also means we will be back to full strength by the end of the year.

We always knew that ISVA services can vary considerably between providers and commissioners, and across geographical areas.  Throughout the process, we have been capturing any learning points identified to keep our published guidance documents up to date and we have also written a Frequently Asked Questions document to address these. (available at

Despite the differences, we have also found some common challenges services experience. Obtaining valuable feedback and wellbeing outcomes are often listed a consistent difficulty, due to the nature of the work and the vulnerabilities of the clients involved.  However, a very positive theme we identify in a lot of services is the commitment to prioritise staff & client welfare.

As you are aware, the process from self-assessment to site visit and accreditation takes around a year to complete.  Our aim for each service is to work with them to ensure that they have realistic action plans and a work programme to achieve accreditation within a year of starting the process.  Some services have been very proactive and have achieved the award well within the year timescale.  They have given us some really positive feedback about the support they have received from the accreditation team, and we are really pleased to have been given permission to share this with you.

‘We have found the experience supportive and beneficial to us as an organisation from start to finish.  It really did feel like you were working alongside us to ensure that we had the best possible service for our clients.’ FreeVA


I would personally like to thank your team for all their support and guidance, they made the process a lot less daunting than expected…thank you!SV2

We are currently accepting applications for the next wave due to commence in January 2020. If you would like to join the programme and be able to promote your ISVA service with the Quality Mark, visit or email for more information.

SVLO LimeLight Awards 2019 – Nominations now open!

LimeCulture are delighted to share with you details of our LimeLight Awards to be presented at our SVLO Conference on 10th December 2019, Woburn House, London.

The LimeLight Awards are being introduced for the first time for qualified Sexual Violence Liaison Officers (Sexual Violence & Misconduct Liaison Officers in Scotland) working in universities and HEIs with the aim of acknowledging the outstanding contributions and achievements of individual SVLOs/SVMLOs, SVLO/SVMLO Teams and SVLO/SVMLO Managers. LimeCulture are keen to celebrate the excellence, dedication and commitment to supporting victims of sexual violence demonstrated by SVLOs and SVMLOs through their work.

There are 3 LimeLight Awards:

  • Award for an individual SVLO/SVMLO
  • Award for a SVLO/SVMLO Team
  • Award for a SVLO/SVMLO Manager

By the end of 2019, we will have supported more than 200 SVLOs and SVMLOs from 44 different universities to complete our accredited SVLO/SVMLO Development Programme and work within their universities to deliver high-quality, independent and professional support services to students reporting sexual violence within universities. We have been delighted to see the increase in the number of universities adopting the SVLO/SVMLO model.  With this increase, we are also seeing universities commit to provision of high-quality, innovative, professional services that meet the complex needs of the people who use the services.

LimeCulture’s view is that SVLOs/SVMLOs and their services deserve to be properly recognised for the important, challenging and professional work they do to support those who have experienced sexual violence.  The LimeLight Awards are intended to be a first step in the direction of professional recognition of SVLOs and SVMLOs and their services.

This year’s LimeLight Awards will be presented at our inaugural SVLO Conference ‘The Sexual Violence Liaison Officer Model: Sharing the Learning and Enabling Progress’ on 10th December 2019 at Woburn House, 20 Tavistock Square, London, WC1H 9HQ.

Why enter?

Winning an award will bring unparalleled recognition for the teams and individuals behind the outstanding achievements.  You or your nominee will benefit from national publicity, recognition for being the best in your field and the chance to share best practice.

If you know a SVLO or SVMLO, a team of SVLOs/SVMLOs or a SVLO/SVMLO manager that you think are deserving of an award, why not nominate them?  Perhaps you have been doing some exciting and innovative work with the people you work with? If so, why not nominate your own team for an award?

How to enter?

The nomination for any LimeLight Award can be submitted between Wednesday 18th September and Friday 1st November 2019

For further information, guidance and nomination forms please visit our LimeLight Awards 2019 page.

Managing Risk Related to Sexual Misconduct in Universities

It seems that hardly a week goes by without a story in the national media about sexual violence within universities. Many of these articles focus on the way in which the university has responded to a report of sexual violence and any processes (such as disciplinary processes) they put in place to respond to and manage this”

Since 2016, when the Changing the Culture Report was published and the subsequent publication of Universities UK and Pinsent Masons Guidance, LimeCulture has been working alongside a range of universities to support them to develop their strategic responses to sexual misconduct, with a focus on the importance of establishing clear lines of accountability, ownership and escalation.

In addition to working with individual universities, by the end of this calendar year LimeCulture will have provided accredited training to over 200 staff from 44 different universities across the UK enabling them to work as Sexual Violence Liaison Officers (Sexual Violence and Misconduct Liaison Officers in Scotland).  We are thrilled that the SVLO (SVMLO) model has been adopted across so many institutions. There is clear evidence that this approach, which involves the identification and up-skilling of specialist staff within the university to act as the key people to manage the response to a reported incident of sexual violence affecting a member of the university community, is successful.

Kim Doyle, LimeCulture’s Joint CEO saidwhere universities adopt and implement the SVLO model within a planned strategic framework to manage sexual misconduct effectively by the university, we have seen that it results in victims/survivors having access to a safe, effective and accessible service to support them following their experience of sexual misconduct. This approach provides an appropriate organisational response to the management of risk and facilitates the provision of appropriate actions under the university’s disciplinary code for students.”

LimeCulture encourage universities to understand and recognise that to be effective, the university response must also involve an understanding of risk and how to manage this effectively. The identification of key personnel within the institution who take responsibility and ownership of specific risks is key, albeit that ownership of different types of risk may well rest in different places across the institution.  These risks are often multiple and complex, and may relate to the individual victim/survivor, the criminal justice process, the university itself or to the wider student community, for example. Therefore, it is absolutely crucial that universities are in a position where they can identify and successfully manage and mitigate such risks. As such, LimeCulture strongly advise that universities should conduct a thorough risk assessment for each case which seeks to identify and assess all risks across the relevant functions of the university – for example: disciplinary processes, human resources, student services, codes of conduct, academics, student and staff contracts, investigations and sanctions including suspensions. Only then will the university be able to properly manage these risks effectively.

We know, however, from our work with university colleagues that, unfortunately there is no single risk assessment or management tool that is used by universities. This undoubtedly makes the consistent identification and management of risks more challenging for universities and has resulted in range of approaches to risk management being adopted- some more successfully than others.  Furthermore, although all institutions are different, it is clear that if there was a common approach across the university sector, then it would strengthen the sector’s response as a whole.

Many of the universities that we have worked with, and indeed Universities UK, have told us they feel that a university-specific risk assessment would support them to respond more appropriately when a student or staff member reports sexual misconduct.  Over the last year or so, LimeCulture has been talking to a number of universities about what such a risk assessment tool should contain in order for it to be effective to support them manage sexual misconduct within their universities. The key things that universities told us is that any tool needs to include a series of domains which allows the university to identify and manage the risk of the:

  • Reporting student (or staff member)
  • Responding student (or staff member)
  • University/organisational considerations
  • Criminal Justice/Disciplinary considerations

The universities also told us that any such tool:

  • Needs to be valid over time (either of a case or for the duration of the relationship between the university and the individual in order to discharge effectively the university’s duty of care)
  • Has to facilitate the appropriate management of confidentiality
  • needs to fit with the work of specialised sexual violence services (as where these are involved, they will be assessing and managing risk)
  • Should provide a framework for support workers to manage their clients
  • Must provide university risk management panels with relevant information
  • Has to be effective for recent and non-recent cases and where anonymous reports are made or the responding person is not known.

Following these discussions about risk, and approaches to LimeCulture from universities specifically requesting support around identification and management of risks, LimeCulture is keen to develop a tool that can be used by the university sector.  LimeCulture is a social enterprise and is set up as a Community Interest Company meaning it is a not-for-profit-making organisation.  As such, we will undertake work where it supports our endeavours to realise our vision and values.  This means we will undertake development projects to support the sectors we work with.  We are delighted to be able to confirm that our Directors have agreed that we will be developing a bespoke risk assessment tool for managing sexual misconduct in universities, with the intention of launching the tool in December at our SVLO Conference

Earlier in the summer, we kicked off this project in earnest and held two consultation workshops in London and Manchester with representatives from universities invited from across the UK. Both events were well attended by staff with a wide range of responsibilities including student services, conduct and discipline, security, HR, complaints, welfare and well-being and immigration.  Importantly, our discussions were with staff from universities that have adopted the SVLO model and universities that have not yet taken this approach.  We would like to convey our thanks once again to all the attendees for giving up their time and sharing their expertise with us.

We had fantastic and informative conversations about all things risk-related including how we use language when we are talking or thinking about risk.  We also asked attendees specific questions to enable us to progress the development work in  way that will benefit universities both operationally and strategically.

These discussions focused on:

  • A potential model of risk management (shown here) including whether this would be effective for non-recent reports, anonymous reports and where a report to the police is made
  • The university’s duty of care to reporting and responding individuals and how this is managed in practice
  • How risk assessment and management in the university links to specialist or expert support either within, or external to, the university
  • The exit points from the risk management process and how this works in practice
  • The role of risk management panels, who sits on them and how they work in different institutions

Needless to say, all of this has given us very useful and interesting feedback and our core team have been pulling together the information gathered from the workshops in order to develop the risk tool over the summer (in between some well-deserved holidays).  Our plan is to consult further with a small number of universities around late October so that we can be sure that the tool that we are developing is fit for purpose and meets the needs of universities in the management of sexual misconduct cases. We’ll also be discussing the development of the tool with some of the professional bodies or associations that students and university staff belong to get their ideas and input. We are committed to launching the tool at our inaugural SVLO Conference on 10 December 2019 in London.

It is our strongly held view that training on the tool is an absolute imperative if it is to be used effectively. Therefore, over the next six months, we are will be thinking about how best the tool could be rolled out to universities who wish to use it.

If you have any thoughts about this or about anything else mentioned in this blog post please share them with us by emailing


Safety and Support (SAS) Assessment Workshops: You asked us…we did it!

The Safety and Support (SAS) Assessment for Independent Sexual Violence Advisers (ISVAs) was launched by LimeCulture back in 2017. Since then, the SAS is now widely used by the majority of ISVA services to identify, monitor and manage the individual risk and needs of clients. It is the foundation for the Support Plans that are put in place by ISVAs to ensure that individual clients are supported effectively. 

Back in 2017, LimeCulture held 12 training workshops, reaching over 100 ISVAs, on the safe use of the SAS Assessment which was developed for ISVAs by LimeCulture with funding from the Home Office. SAS Assessment training is now also included on the LimeCulture ISVA Development Programme for new ISVAs, reaching 75-100 more new ISVAs each year. However, LimeCulture has received numerous requests from ISVA service managers and experienced ISVAs to provide further training sessions on the use of the SAS Assessment to continue to support ISVAs to effectively manage their clients’ support.

In response to these requests, LimeCulture designed a series of dial-in workshops to improve confidence and competence in using the SAS Assessment. This series of dial-in workshops will means that ISVAs are not required to travel to attend training, they can dial-in to have direct access to the LimeCulture Trainers as part of small group of ISVAs, which will allow for meaningful discussion and the opportunity to ask questions about the practical use of the SAS Assessment and how it can be best used to support ISVA service provision.  The cost of the training is £56 + VAT per person. 


If you are interested in attending one of the dial-in workshops in this series, please express an interest by emailing where you will be given further details of the training and the available dates in this series of dial-in training.

5 new funded services join Independent Accreditation Programme for Quality Standards for Services Supporting Male Victims/Survivors of Sexual Violence

Thanks to funding from Lloyds Bank Foundation for England and Wales, the Male Survivors Partnership in conjunction with LimeCulture CIC, are pleased to announce that 5 new services are participating in the Independent Accreditation Programme for the Quality Standards for Services Supporting Male Victims/Survivors of Sexual Violence in 2019 free of charge.

We welcome two Higher Education establishments’ Sexual Violence Liaison Officer (SVLO) services to the Accreditation Programme for the first time, recognising the value and significance of the Quality Standards being applied across all sectors.

The 5 services who submitted successful applications to receive the funding for a place on the programme are:

1. Circles South East Counselling Service for Survivors
2. RASASC North Wales Counselling
3. Renaissance ISVA service
4. London South Bank University SVLO service
5. The University of Sheffield SVLO service

Background information

Since their launch in January 2018, the Quality Standards for Services Supporting Male Victims/Survivors of Sexual Violence have been downloaded hundreds of times, and we already have over forty services that are working towards accreditation.  This means many services are already working to improve consistency, practice and the overall quality of services supporting male victims/survivors.

The Quality Standards and the Implementation Guidance for Commissioners and Service Providers are available online, free of charge:


For more information about joining LimeCulture’s Independent Accreditation Programme, please email

Free ‘Knowledge & Network Event’ for Sexual Violence Service Providers- now open for bookings!

LimeCulture is delighted to be hosting a free Knowledge & Network Event for providers of support services for victims/survivors of sexual violence on Wednesday 17 July 2019 in central London (12noon-6pm).

Places have been funded by the Home Office as part of our Spreading Excellence Project, which aims to improve the capacity of the sexual violence sector, particularly the voluntary sector, through improving knowledge and awareness of local commissioning arrangements.

Local commissioning arrangements are increasingly important for the sustainability of the specialist sexual violence sector and it is vital that service providers recognise – and can respond to – the opportunities that local commissioning arrangements can provide.

This major event will be chaired by Dame Vera Baird, the newly appointed Victims’ Commissioner for England and Wales, and provides a unique opportunity to focus on improving the provision of sexual violence support services through engagement with local commissioning processes.

Attendees will have the opportunity to:

  • Hear from policy leads about the direction of travel for commissioning sexual violence support services,
  • Share expertise with likeminded providers,
  • Learn about how local commissioners operate and the differing roles and responsibilities for the range of local commissioners,
  • Hear from service providers who have been commissioned to deliver vital support services for victim/survivors in their area,
  • Increase the opportunity to positively engage with local commissioners by ensuring the expertise of the specialist sexual violence sector is understood and valued,
  • Identify solutions to improve responses and raise service standards for victim/survivors,
  • Discuss how to improve service delivery through collaboration and partnership working.

This Knowledge & Network Event is suitable for Managers, Senior Leaders and Trustees of (commissioned and un-commissioned) services providing:

  • Counselling and therapy services
  • Independent Sexual Violence Adviser (ISVA) Services
  • Helplines & advisory services
  • Support Groups (such as peer support)
  • Sexual Assault Referral Centres (SARCs)
  • Online support
  • Any other support service for victim/survivors of sexual violence.

This event will also be useful to local commissioners who can learn about how victims/survivors are supported in other areas through the commissioning process.

The Knowledge & Network Event will start at 12noon and finish at 6pm to allow for easier and more cost-effective travel to central London. There will be plenty of opportunity to meet and network with other service providers, commissioners and policy leads, as well as the opportunity to hear and contribute to panel discussions made up of speakers representing service providers, commissioners and policy leads. There will also be interactive group sessions to discuss key themes relevant to service providers wishing to engage with local commissioning processes.

Maximum numbers will apply due to the venue restrictions, so early booking is suggested.

To book your place at the Knowledge & Network Event please complete the booking form here

For further information, please email



LimeCulture Sponsors Safeguarding in Sport Conference in South Africa

Last weekend (25 & 26 May 2019) in Johannesburg, South Africa, the Jose Foundation hosted an international Safeguarding in Sport Conference in partnership with the South African Olympic Committee. LimeCulture was proud to be an official sponsor of this ground breaking event and delighted to attend to showcase the work we are currently doing to improve the safeguarding responses in sport, both within the UK and internationally.

The conference aim was to bring together a range of sport organisations, including national federations from a range of southern African countries, including South Africa, Kenya and Zambia, to help sport federations identify the policy, procedure and cultural requirements to ensure that sport provides a safe environment for participants.

The event was very well attended and had sessions delivered from the International Olympic Committee, Unicef Africa, International Paralympic Committee, Commonwealth Games Federation and many others including the University of Pretoria with an interest in safeguarding in sport.

LimeCulture’s Director of Safeguarding, Phil Doorgachurn, was there to deliver two sessions on behalf of LimeCulture. The first session Phil delivered was to talk about our organisation’s recent work with the International Fencing Federation to develop a safeguarding framework. “It was an honour and privilege to be invited to this fantastic event to talk about the work we have been doing with the International Fencing Federation in relation to safeguarding” says Phil. “Everyone agrees that safeguarding is so very important to embed in sport, yet there it’s not always easy to ensure that the culture of safeguarding is consistently embedded throughout that sport, allowing for robust responses, with policies and procedures in place to make sure that people can be safe when they participate in that sport. When you add the international dimension – different laws, different customs and cultures – it can seem like an unachievable task to ensure consistency of approach to safeguarding across a single sport in all regions, countries and continents’ explains Phil, whose successful career in sport has focused on safeguarding and improving the responses to safeguarding cases. “However, it certainly is achievable with the right level of commitment and drive to make it happen. Our recent work with the International Fencing Federation shows that with the development of shared goals and common ambitions, an international sport can come together to achieve an approach to safeguarding that is consistent, wherever you are in the world”.

Phil’s second delivery focused on how LimeCulture can assist other federations develop and embed a safeguarding culture. “There has been a shift in recent years to acknowledge that sport must be safe for everyone regardless of where in the world you are. It is simply not good enough for an international sport to provide a gold standard to safeguarding in one country, yet ignore safeguarding in another part of the world” explains Phil. ‘International sports are now recognising the importance of making sure that standards of safeguarding are the same everywhere. Of course, this is extremely challenging, but it can be achieved’ says Phil, whose role at LimeCulture has seen him work both nationally and internationally on improving safeguarding in sport. “Sport has the ability to connect to people across the world in a unique and positive way. The international reach of sport should be embraced – as sport has the ability to reach people everywhere and unite them in a common setting that breaks down differences and barriers in a way that very few other things can. With that comes a huge responsibility to make sure that people are safe wherever they are involved in that sport’ Explains Phil ‘At LimeCulture, we have been developing a method of bringing together international sports to focus on how they can achieve consistency in their approach to safeguarding, working with them to identify their ambitions to keeping people safe wherever they are, supporting them to build on their strengths, overcome challenges and find solutions that will ensure that safeguarding is central to the whole sport, in all territories. Its very exciting to be a part of this”.

The conference was attended by a range of organisations and professionals who have an interest in safeguarding children and vulnerable adults. Many of whom expressed concern about the extent of violence against women and children in some part of Africa. “Sport can play a vital role in tackling violence of this kind. From the prevention work that we have seen done so well with young men in sports like football, right through to identifying athletes who may be experiencing or at risk of violence and abuse, and responding to their needs to safeguard them’ explains Phil.

South Africa is in a good position as they are starting their safeguarding in sport journey and LimeCulture is delighted to be able to share their experience and knowledge to support South Africa to build on the good work that has been done elsewhere, and avoid some of the mistakes that have been made in this space.

Following the conference, there has been a general call to action with many attendees pledging to action safeguarding in their organisations. This includes South African Olympic Committee who have already formed a task group to address safeguarding which holds its first meeting today (Friday).


LimeCulture provides a range of consultancy services for sport, including bespoke support, organisational safeguarding reviews, and training & policy development. For further information contact

8 more ISVA Services join Independent Accreditation Programme

Yesterday LimeCulture delivered an accreditation workshop to 8 new ISVA services joining their Independent Accreditation Programme. These ISVA services will begin working towards achieving the Quality Standards for ISVA Services with the aim of being independently accredited and awarded the Quality Mark.


The purpose of the accreditation workshop is to go through in detail with the new services exactly what the Independent Accreditation Programme is, what can be expected as part of the process and how it works” explains Charlotte Bond, one of LimeCulture’s Accreditation Managers.  Charlotte is responsible for working with the services and assessing the evidence submitted by the ISVA services that demonstrates they are achieving the Quality Standards for ISVA Services. “The Accreditation Workshops provides a great opportunity for us to go through each of the quality standards in turn and explain our process for monitoring whether the ISVA service is achieving it’ says Charlotte.

The Accreditation Workshop is structured in a way that allows the ISVA services to consider how they are are going to demonstrate compliance with each of the 20 individual standards that make up the Quality Standards for ISVA Services. “Essentially the workshop allows the ISVA services to focus on each standard, understand the requirements and then create an initial action plan of how they are going to demonstrate that they meet it” explains Charlotte. “It’s also a great forum for ISVA services to discuss how close their services currently are to achieving the Quality Standards or what more they have to do in order to achieve them’.

For some ISVA services, the Quality Standards are already being met and the workshop allows them to focus on what they need to demonstrate compliance. For other ISVA services who need to make changes to the way they deliver the ISVA service in order to meet the Quality Standard, it provides a good opportunity to discuss how they might bring about the required changes operationally. “The benefit of bringing ISVA services together in this way is that they can hear first hand from other ISVA services about how they operate, which is always useful for services who can really benefit from sharing ideas and sense checking solutions with their peers’ .

Attendance at the Accreditation Workshop is the 2nd stage of the 7-stage process that has been developed by LimeCulture’s Independent Accreditation Programme. The next stages require the ISVA service to demonstrate they are meeting the Quality Standards by providing evidence to support each standard and the indicators contained within them. Charlotte explains “Before we will accredit the ISVA service, and award the Quality Mark, ISVA services are required to submit a combination of documentary evidence and observational evidence via a site visit for each of the 20 standards. So it’s a really rigorous process that is kicked off at the accreditation workshop’.

LimeCulture is looking forward to working closely with the 8 ISVA services who have joined the programme. “We’re already working closely with 8 ISVA services –  who joined the programme on our first intake in March – and are already working towards accreditation. Its fantastic to see the enthusiasm there is from ISVA services to meet the Quality Standards for ISVA Services and its been a pleasure to meet the next 8 ISVA services today”.

LimeCulture launched the Quality Standards for ISVA Services at the National ISVA Conference in October 2018 after requests from a range of ISVA service providers and commissioners to develop standards that improve the consistency of ISVA service provision by setting a bench mark to drive standards. LimeCulture’s Independent Accreditation Programme was launched via an application process for ISVA services seeking to achieve the Quality Mark over December 2018 and January 2019. “We could not believe how many ISVA services applied to join the Independent Accrediation Programme, so have developed a model that allows ISVA services to join in scheduled intakes. The first 3 intakes were immediately filled, which demonstrates the importance that is being placed on the Quality Standards for ISVA Services and the independent Quality Mark” explains Charlotte.

Some of the ISVA Services who have joined the Independent Accreditation Programme are there because they want to demonstrate the quality of their ISVA service provision through the independent accreditation process that LimeCulture provides. For other ISVA services, their commissioners have required them to go through the process, while others are getting ahead of the curve in recognition that more commissioners are expecting their providers to achieve accreditation against these Quality Standards for ISVA Services. “At today’s Accreditation Workshop one of the ISVA services attended with their commissioner, which is absolutely fantastic’ says Charlotte “as it demonstrates the commitment of both commissioner and provider to the accreditation process”.

The next intake for ISVA services is now full. However, LimeCulture are now accepting applications from ISVA service who would like to join the  Independent Accreditation Programme for the Quality Standards for ISVA services in September 2019 or at other scheduled intakes throughout 2020. Please contact for further information.



Self-Care Training for professionals: now open for bookings!

LimeCulture is excited to launch our new training course for frontline professionals. Self-Care training is now available to book online on our website.

Over the last year, LimeCulture has received a range of requests for training from organsations who recognise that their staff welfare is of paramount importance. For organisations who employ frontline staff it is crucial that their staff are able to work effectively – particularly where they are working in challenging areas or on difficult cases, or with vulnerable people – and LimeCulture has seen an increase in the number of organisations who now recognise that self-care is a critical factor to enable staff to carry out their roles safely.

In response to this demand, LimeCulture has developed a course specially designed for frontline professionals that supports them to ensure they have the tools and techniques to stay fit and well so that they are in the best position, personally and professionally, to carry out their roles and responsibilities.

The course has been designed for those working in support roles (such as ISVAs, SVLOs, counsellors and therapists, wellbeing officers, support workers, crisis workers) and those who work on or have responsibility for managing challenging cases (such as safeguarding leads, case managers, social workers, disciplinary managers, HR advisers) and focuses on providing staff with the skills and competencies to ensure they are able to look after themselves effectively.

This new course enables staff to consider their own mental health and well-being, which is often such a critical factor in relation to work, but also frequently impacts on them outside of work too” explains Phil Doorgachurn, LimeCulture’s Director of Safeguarding.

LimeCulture’s 1-day Self-Care training is based on the principle that staff are the most important asset for any organisation and consequently, there is a need to make sure that staff are happy and healthy, and actively taking steps to stay that way. The course material has been informed by research into self care practices. LimeCulture has utilised some of the operational practices that have been adopted in Australia to bring to life examples of how self care practices can positively impact on staff wellbeing both inside and outside of the workplace. For employers ensuring staff practice self-care will mean they are more content in their roles, are able to manage their workloads more effectively and are less likely to require sick leave or become burnt out as a result of stress. For the professionals themselves, the benefit of practicing self-care is that they are likely to be more confident in their ability to undertake their roles, are less likely to be dissatisfied with work and are less likely to experience vicarious trauma or burn out.

We have piloted our new self care course with safeguarding leads from a range of Premier League Football Clubs and the feedback was outstanding. These Leads all work in a busy and challenging environment, often working with distressing cases, yet most of them do not give much thought to looking after themselves – their priority is the vulnerable people they support, which is understandable. However, self-care is so important to enable them to do their jobs effectively, it shouldn’t be overlooked’ says Phil who has been responsible for developing this course. “We then delivered the training to our own staff at LimeCulture. We want them to prioritise looking after themselves because we know that they are crucial to our success as an organisation. Now every staff member at LimeCulture has an individual self-care plan that they have developed as a result of that training’.  

‘Most of the staff we have delivered the training to acknowledge that their jobs required them to have resilience but they didn’t all immediately recognise that they can take steps personally to contribute to their own resilience’ says Phil.  ‘Everybody will have different approaches to looking after themselves and on this course we look at the different ways that self-care can be practiced – and whether there is any more that could be done – to protect yourself and your mental and physical health to ensure that you are in – and stay in – a good place ’ explains Phil. ‘There have been a few ‘light bulb moments’ in the training room that’s for sure!’.

LimeCulture’s next available Self-Care training course will take place on 27 June 2019 in London. Maximum number restrictions apply so an early booking is recommended. To book a place please click here. The cost of the training is £165 +VAT per person. 

Self-Care training can be delivered by our staff in-house to teams of professionals. If you would like to discuss this with us, please email




LimeCulture welcomes 1st wave ISVA Services to Independent Accreditation Programme

LimeCulture recently opened their Independent Accreditation Programme to Independent Sexual Violence Adviser (ISVA) Services who wish to be independently accredited again the Quality Standards for ISVA Services. These standards were launched at the National ISVA Conference in November 2018 and were developed by LimeCulture after a year-long period of consultation with ISVA Service providers, commissioners and people who have been supported by ISVA Services.

We have been absolutely overwhelmed by the number of ISVA Services who have applied to join the Independent Accreditation Programme” explains Jo Seward, Director of Operations at LimeCulture. “We knew from the development work that we did with ISVA Service providers and commissioners that there was a lot of support amongst the sector for Quality Standards for ISVA Services”


The rationale for the Quality Standards for ISVA Services are now well understood by ISVA Service Providers and Commissioners. Their purpose is to ensure that:

  • Every victim/survivor should be able to access a high-quality, well managed ISVA service, wherever they are in the country, regardless of their age, gender, race, sexuality or beliefs
  • Ensure that there is consistency in the quality of the support that is being provided by ISVA Services
  • Bench-mark for individual services to monitor their provision against, and also act as a driver to improve quality and consistency across ISVA services collectively
  • For providers, the Quality Standards set out the expectations for the organisational leadership and staff teams, and the client experience
  • For Commissioners, the Quality Standards provide a framework for the development and monitoring of the ISVA services they commission

There is also a huge amount of support for the independent nature of the accreditation against these Quality Standards. “The vast majority of Providers and Commissioners clearly acknowledge that accreditation against the Quality Standards must be from an external organisation that is able to independently validate the quality of the service provision” explains Jo. “In order to ensure that victims/survivors can access high quality ISVA services without a postcode lottery, we must ensure that the Quality Standards are being consistently applied by ISVA Services, regardless of where they are located or who is providing that service”.

LimeCulture ran an application process between December 2018 and January 2019 inviting ISVA Services to join the 1st wave of services joining the Independent Accreditation Programme for the Quality Standards for ISVA Services. “For planning reasons, we limited the number of ISVA Services who could join in the first wave but we were delighted by just how many ISVA Services applied to join the first wave. The good news is that we have adapted our model to allow for more services to join the programme. We’ll now be running a rolling programme of scheduled intakes, which means that ISVA Services can join at set points throughout this year and next”.

The 1st wave of ISVA Services came together for the first time on Wednesday this week in Manchester where they attended the Accreditation Workshop delivered by LimeCulture’s Accreditation Team. The Accreditation workshop sets out the accreditation process, the timeframe and what is expected from ISVA Services in order to demonstrate that they are achieving the Quality Standards. It provided an excellent opportunity to discuss the Quality Standards in detail and exactly what level of evidence LimeCulture’s Accreditation Team will require in order to issue the ISVA Services with our quality mark, the external validation against the Quality Standards for ISVA Services.

“The workshop was a fantastic opportunity for us to meet the wave 1 services and talk through with them exactly what can be expected from the accreditation process” explains Jo. “Our Accreditation Team have the benefit of already working with over 20 services who are working towards the accreditation process for the Male Survivor Partnership’s Quality Standards for Services Supporting Male Victims/Survivors of sexual violence (with further services due to start that process imminently), so we have utilised the experience of those services of going through the accreditation process, to inform these new ISVA Services about how it works“.

LimeCulture expect it to take around 1 year for the ISVA Services to reach independent accreditation, which includes a 7-stage process, but it is clear than some services may well reach accreditation more quickly than this. “It really does depend on how close the ISVA Services is to achieving each of the individual quality standards and how quickly they prioritise any actions that they might have in order to demonstrate that they have achieved the Quality Standards. Yesterday’s Accreditation Workshop was a fantastic opportunity to explore this in detail with the wave 1 ISVA Services, by working with them to identify exactly what they have to do in order to reach the requirements of our independent accreditation” explains Jo.

Due to the huge demand from ISVA Services to join the Independent Accreditation Programme, LimeCulture has been able to extend the programme beyond the 1st wave. “We’re now able to open this programme to more ISVA Services at scheduled intakes, which we are delighted to be able to offer” explains Jo. “We’ve already got other ISVA Services signed up to start in May and July, which is brilliant news and goes to show how important the sector feel these Quality Standards are”

LimeCulture is now taking applications from providers or commissioners of ISVA Services to join the programme throughout this year and next. If you would like to join the Independent Accreditation Programme please contact to discuss which intake you would like to join. Please note, there are a limited number of places for each intake, but we will work with you to identify a suitable intake date.