LimeCulture are Recruiting! Programme Delivery Manager Vacancy

Programme Delivery Manager

3 days per week – £35,000 pro rata

12 month Fixed-Term Contract (with possibility of extension).

This is an exciting and challenging opportunity for an experienced programme manager (or senior project manager) to work with LimeCulture Community Interest Company to oversee the delivery of a range of high-profile and sensitive projects.

The Programme Delivery Manager will be a crucial role in the delivery of LimeCulture’s range of projects that focus on supporting victims of sexual violence. Due to the increased demand that we are experiencing for our input to a range of different projects, we are looking to appoint a dedicated and dynamic individual to oversee the delivery of some of our more high-profile and challenging projects.

LimeCulture are offering an unusual and exciting opportunity for an outstanding individual to work with us on a part-time basis. It is expected that the successful individual will be required to work approximately 3 days per week on a flexible basis. This opportunity, although challenging, will provide the chance for the successful individual to develop skills and experience, and greatly enhance their CV by being involved in a range of challenging and important projects.  The successful candidiate will predominantly be able to work from home, but the role will require some travel across the UK and some overnight stays will be expected.

The deadline for applications is 12 noon on Friday 10 June 2016. Please submit applications via email to

Please send your application in the form of a CV and a covering letter, outlining how you have the necessary skills and experience to carry out the role as per the job description and how you meet the person specification.

Role Description

The main responsibility of the Programme Delivery Manager will be to oversee the efficient delivery of a range of our projects across the UK.

This will involve co-ordination and delivery of multiple complex projects with significant inter-dependencies. Due to the focus of our work, some of these projects are high profile and sensitive in nature, requiring the successful candidate to maintain a high level of professionalism at all times.  The successful candidate may also be required to undergo security clearance to counter terrorism level.

The Programme Delivery Manager will be responsible for all aspects of managing the end-to-end process of delivery of projects, including:

  • Responsible for the major project deliverables,
  • Maintaining the overall project plans to ensure effective delivery within budget and to the agreed timescales and quality
  • Proactively identify threats to project delivery and general risks, escalating to Director level where necessary, delivery partners and/or Key stakeholders and to instigate recovery action to assure project delivery if required.
  • Promote and embed project management methodologies and governance frameworks.
  • Engage key stakeholders and delivery partners to identify and agree the key project objectives to enable the smooth delivery of the project.
  • Co-ordinate and manage communications ensuring the overall project objectives are clear and visible to colleagues, delivery partners and key stakeholders.
  • Maintain an oversight of all projects once they move through to the delivery phase from the development phase, working with delivery partners and key stakeholders to ensure high-quality provision is delivered and maintained.


Person Specification

The successful candidate will have the following skills and experience:

Essential Competencies

  • Managing complex and/or large or national projects to time, cost, and quality requirements.
  • Consistently demonstrates the project management competency levels required for the role.
  • Excellent organisation, communication, presentation, negotiation, influencing and stakeholder management skills.
  • Project and operational risk management capability.
  • Proven ability to assimilate, understand and manage problem solving in the context of sensitive projects.
  • A track record of successfully delivering a range of complex, high profile projects.
  • Able to identify projects at risk and take appropriate action to recover, often working across professional and organisational boundaries.
  • Experience of delivering at pace in high pressured environments.

Desirable Competencies

  • Qualification (or equivalent experience) in management and/or formal project/programme management qualification.
  • Knowledge and understanding of sexual violence sector, national policy and operational delivery of support to victims/survivors.

The Programme Delivery Manager will be expected to work independently but will be in regular contact with their Manager at LimeCulture.




LimeLight Awards to be introduced at Knowledge & Network Event

LimeCulture CIC is pleased to be hosting the 2nd Knowledge & Network Event for Independent Sexual Violence Advisers (ISVAs) on Wednesday 28 September 2016. This national conference taking place in Manchester will be chaired by Sir Keir Starmer MP, formerly the Director of Public Prosecutions.

ISVAs play an integral role in providing support and responding to those who have been raped or sexually assaulted. Whether our ISVA services are located in the Third Sector, Sexual Assault Referral Centres (SARCs) or Statutory Agencies, ISVAS are part of an important workforce that is increasing in size and recognition. ISVAs have much to share about how to provide the best possible services. This major event will bring together professionals to share knowledge and provide a unique opportunity to network with other members of the ISVA workforce.

As a committed supporter of the ISVA workforce, LimeCulture CIC is keen to ensure that the outstanding contributions and achievements of these professionals who have demonstrated excellence, dedication and commitment to supporting victims of sexual violence through their work as ISVAs is properly recognised. LimeCulture is delighted to announce that they will be introducing new awards, to be known as the LimeLight Awards, to provide professional recognition for the amazing work that is undertaken by ISVAs throughout England and Wales.

We are introducing 4 LimeLight Awards, divided into three categories:

  • Awards for an Individual ISVA (2 separate awards)
  • Award for an ISVA Team
  • Award for an ISVA Manager

Anyone can nominate an individual ISVA, an ISVA Manager or an ISVA Team or Service by simply completing a nomination form- you can also nominate yourself or your own team. Nominations will open on 1 June and close on 31 August 2016. LimeLight Awards will be presented at a special ceremony at Knowledge & Network: An Event for ISVAs on Wednesday 28 Septemeber 2016. More information will be posted here and on our website in the coming weeks about how to make a nomination.


Knowledge & Network will include a topical range of speakers, workshops and designated time to network and meet peers.

The focus of the event will be aimed at improving operational responses and ISVA practices. The event should be viewed as continued professional development.

To book your place please click here

LimeCulture CIC collaborates with Greenwich and Keele to improve the response to sexual violence in HEIs.

In recent years, particularly following some high-profile cases involving celebrities, there has been a substantial increase in the media’s interest in sexual violence. In turn, this appears to have contributed to the public’s decreasing tolerance of sexual offenders. This heightened awareness has undoubtedly contributed to a considerable increase in the number of reports of sexual offences to every police force area across the UK. The upshot is that a wide range of organisations (such as the BBC, Local Authority Children’s Services and the NHS) has begun to evaluate how well they respond to sexual violence.

Sexual violence within universities

Sexual violence occurring within the university environment has not escaped scrutiny. Indeed, a prevalence survey undertaken by the National Union of Students (NUS) identified shocking levels of sexual violence against women, with 1 in 4 reporting having experienced unwanted sexual advances whilst they were at university. This, in addition to a number of well publicised sexual offence cases affecting students in the UK, has lead to an increasing recognition that universities have an important role to play in preventing and protecting their students and staff from sexual violence. The creation of a new government Taskforce to tackle sexual violence against women on university campuses (chaired by Universities UK and introduced by the Department for Business Innovation and Skills) means there has never been more focus on universities to ensure they  respond appropriately to sexual violence involving their students or staff.

As part of this recognition of responsibility, the University of Greenwich and Keele University separately approached LimeCulture Community Interest Company (CIC) with a request to assist them to develop a comprehensive sexual violence strategy for their respective universities.  LimeCulture CIC is a specialist training and development organisation focusing on improving the response to sexual violence. As well as providing training to frontline professionals (such as Doctors, Police, Counsellors, Independent Sexual Violence Advisers) in order to improve their competence and confidence to support victims of sexual violence they also have vast experience of working to support both public organisations and private companies to improve their overall response. LimeCulture CIC, therefore, is well placed to support HEIs to ensure that they can fulfil their duties in the aftermath of a sexual assault – whether it takes place on or off campus, whether or not it is reported to the police, or indeed whether it happened recently or not.

 Supporting HEIs to respond to sexual violence

As part of the strategic work that LimeCulture CIC has undertaken separately with the two Universities to assist them to develop sexual violence strategies, the value of collaboration between universities became clear. Universities, although they might be quite different in their ethos and approach, have exactly the same responsibilities to respond appropriately to any student or staff member who experiences sexual violence. Over and above supporting a victim in relation to their educational needs, all universities also need to consider the wider support needs of a victim following a sexual assault. This might include access to a forensic medical examination, psychological therapies and mental health support or, indeed, sexual health services. It could also include a police investigation and potentially a court case. All universities will need to ensure that they have acted appropriately and their involvement has not done anything to undermine a criminal prosecution or contaminate evidence relating to the sexual offence. Furthermore, staff could potentially be called as witnesses in a trial, so robust record keeping will need to be in place to account for any involvement the university has had in relation to a sexual assault.

In addition to their victim-care responsibilities, all universities will also have to consider their responsibilities for any staff or student member who is accused of committing a sexual assault. This may involve carrying out an investigation internally, it might mean implementing polices and procedures to remove or suspend the accused and could include reviewing whether the university could have done anything to prevent the assault by way of safeguarding.

As part of the work LimeCulture CIC is undertaking to support both the University of Greenwich and Keele University, it has become clear that the responsibilities of a university are significant and extremely complex. Coupled with the current increased focus on tackling sexual violence in universities, the stakes for HEIs to get their responses right could not be higher.

Creating specialism within universities

The developmental work underway in Greenwich and Keele has involved aligning and creating new policies and procedures to ensure their organisational responses to sexual violence are appropriate. Both universities are committed to raising awareness and upskilling their staff in order to implement these sexual violence strategies. However, the work they are doing with LimeCulture CIC has highlighted the complexity surrounding sexual violence, and specifically the need for the universities to consider not just the educational needs, but a response that also includes the health and social care aspects, as well as consideration to the legal implications.  Both universities have realised that in order to respond appropriately and fulfil their responsibilities to either the victim or the accused, there is a need to create a specialism within their workforces. This specialism will be achieved by identifying key staff members whose role it will be to respond on behalf of the university where sexual violence is disclosed, reported or suspected.

Together, LimeCulture CIC, Greenwich and Keele are now developing a new accredited training programme to provide key university staff-members with the appropriate knowledge and skills required in order to ensure the response from the university is appropriate.

Course Content

This new course will provide university staff members with enhanced awareness and understanding of sexual violence, including understanding the impact and needs of victims, how to work in partnership with other agencies involved (including the police) and how and when to make referrals to external support services. The course will also focus on the legal implications of sexual violence and the court process, including internal investigations and what is required from the university. The course will be available to staff-members from all universities and HEIs in the UK.

The course will take place in the autumn (dates and course location will be announced shortly) and will be open for bookings soon. However, if you would like to express an interest in attending the course, please email and a booking form will be sent to you.

For further information about the course please contact LimeCulture CIC via email (, through the website ( or by calling 0203 633 0018






So, just what kind of organisation is LimeCulture???

It has been bought to our attention that some third sector specialist sexual violence organisations are being incorrectly told that LimeCulture CIC is a commercial organisation.  So the purpose of this blog post is to explain exactly what kind of organisation LimeCulture is!

When we established LimeCulture back in the spring of 2011, we thought long and hard about what kind of organisation we wanted our new organisation to be. Because of the type of work that we wanted LimeCulture to do – i.e., support frontline organisations and their organisations to support victims of sexual violence – our initial preference was to become a not-for-profit charitable organisation. However, we were not really certain about the scope of our future work or indeed how far we would be able to go in pursuit of our aims to support professionals and organisation. Because of this, we were advised by many different people to consider a different organisation formation to that of a Charity. We were told that the Charity status is quite rigid, as it has to operate very clearly by a ‘governing document’ (which is the legal document that sets out what the charity will do). At that stage, we weren’t completely sure what LimeCulture might look like, or what work we would be doing so we decided that we might be better suited to an alternative type of organisational structure.

We started to do some digging into organisation formations and came across a type of organisation known as ‘Social Enterprises’.  Social Enterprise UK explain them as being ‘businesses that trade to tackle social problems, improve communities, people’s life chances, or the environment. They make their money from selling goods and services in the open market, but they reinvest their profits back into the business or the local community. And so when they profit, society profits’.

This matched our aims and objectives perfectly! We wanted to create a Social Enterprise! The next step was to work out how to actually go about that! What needed to be done from a legal perspective, and how to go about it! We sought advice from an accountancy firm, who asked us lots of questions about the actual work we wanted to do and how we planned to operate the Social Enterprise. They told us about a new breed of Social Enterprise that was becoming more and more popular across the UK, a legal formation that is known as a Community Interest Company. The Government had recently introduced them and they were growing more and more popular.

We considered this in detail and decided that this was the type of Social Enterprise we wanted to be! In short, a Community Interest Company (or a CIC as they are often known) is an organisations which trade with a social purpose (i.e., social enterprises) or carry on other activities which benefit the community. Tick.

The accountancy firm explained to us the important thing about a CIC is that there is an ‘asset-lock’, which means that any assets or profits made by the organisation must be primarily devoted to the benefit of the community – or in other words, the social purpose of the organisation – and not to line the pockets of the owners or the stakeholders. Tick. This is what we wanted! We wanted to ensure that any money the organisation made would be ploughed straight back into supporting our aims. That is, to continue our goal of supporting frontline professionals and their agencies to respond to victims of sexual violence.

The great benefit of a CIC is that it utilises the familiar structure of shareholders and directors and has an easily understood corporate governance system, which means the people we would have to deal with such as banks, suppliers and advisers would be used to dealing with a company. Tick. When we’d asked around, lots of people were not quite sure what a Social Enterprise was, so told us to be wary of this being a disadvantage to us. We certainly didn’t want the type of organisation that we were to become to have any negative impact on us doing our work. So this was perfect if people understood CICs and they are acceptable to others who we would do business with!

So off we went, thrilled that we had agreed on the type of organisation we wanted LimeCulture to be! However, we hadn’t quite realised how much work actually went into setting up a CIC!  You see, you have to apply to Companies House, and include a ‘community interest statement’, explaining what your business plans to do. Although not as rigid as a Charity’s Governing Document, it still required us to state what our aims and objectives were to be. You also have to create the ‘asset lock’, which essentially involves making a legal promise stating that the company’s assets or any profits will only be used for its social objectives, and setting limits to the money it can pay to shareholders. Once you’ve done all that, you have to get it approved by the Community Interest Company Regulator!

At the same time that we were doing this, we actually started working on LimeCulture and marketing our new organisation! We launched our first ISVA Development Programme and started taking bookings and calls from organisations who wanted to work with us. Brilliant! By the summer of 2011, the work of LimeCulture was well underway, but alarmingly the life of LimeCulture was going faster than we were able to set up a Community Interest Company! Due to the fact we needed to trade quickly, we needed insurance and we needed a bank account, our accountancy firm advised us to set up a Limited Company as a holding position. You can set up a company in the space of a  day! So, we took their advice and created LimeCulture Ltd until our CIC status was agreed by the Regulator. Once that approval came through from the Regulator, we were able to convert to a Community Interest Company and we have been operating as one ever since!

Being a Community Interest Company suits us brilliantly. It is flexible enough that if we want the organisation to move in a slightly different way, we can do that as we are not constrained by a strict Governing Document that we have to abide by. It allows us to trade and work with stakeholders in a way that they are familiar with. Banks and insurance companies understand what a CIC is, as do phone companies and catering firms, and training venues! All the commercial businesses that we need to work with in order to operate our programmes, are willing to work with us.

However, most important to us, is that the services, agencies and organisations that we work with – the many charities, NHS Trusts, Police forces, government departments can work with us safe in the knowledge that the money that we make goes straight back into the work of the organisation. There is no profit to be made from tax payers money or Charity money and nobody in LimeCulture is getting rich as a result of the work we do!

So when we found out that some third sector organisations were being told that we are a commercial organisation, it could not be further from the truth! In fact, we have jumped through hoops to make sure that we can operate as a Social Enterprise and we are regulated to make sure that we meet the criteria to do so!

In addition, we want to make it clear to the third sector specialist sexual violence services who have been given the incorrect information about us, that LimeCulture is also not a frontline service provider. This means that we do not provide services to victims of sexual violence ourselves. Essentially, we are a second tier organisation specialising in professional training and development. We do not employ ISVAs or counsellors and nor do we ever intend to. Crucially, this means that we are not a competitor to the people that we work to support!

LimeCulture CIC is a specialist sexual violence social enterprise specialising in training &  development. Our Advisory Board, chaired by Baroness Gould of Potternewton,  provides the strategic governance & oversight of the organisation. 


ISVA Service Mapping – Frequently Asked Questions

LimeCulture are undertaking a mapping exercise of local Independent Sexual Violence Adviser (ISVA) provision across England and Wales on behalf of the Independent Inquiry for Child Sexual Abuse. The mapping exercise will look at how ISVA services are provided and where, and also at the sort of organisations that are providing them. This is a unique opportunity to build a comprehensive picture of ISVA services and the essential work that they do.

We have pulled together the following information to provide ISVA Services with additional information about the Mapping.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is the mapping for?

LimeCulture are undertaking a mapping exercise of local ISVA provision across England and Wales on behalf of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse. The mapping exercise will look at how ISVA services are provided and where, and also at the sort of organisations that are providing them.

This will ensure information about ISVA services is as up-to-date and comprehensive as possible to support onward referral from the Central Referral Hub. It will also highlight service gaps in geographical coverage or service type to ensure that remote ISVA services can be offered by the Central Referral Hub where necessary.


Q. What information will be shared?

In order to support onward referrals from the Central Referral Hub the following information will be provided to ARCH Northeast

  • Service Name
  • Police Force
  • ISVA service telephone number
  • Area that is covered by service
  • Client Groups or specialisms

On completion of the Central Referral Hub contract ARCH Northeast will delete all the information held from this mapping exercise in accordance with Data Protection rules.


Q. What information will the Inquiry see?

The Inquiry team have commissioned LimeCulture Community Interest Company to undertake this mapping exercise and have seen the questionnaire.

The data received by LimeCulture will be used as part of the mapping exercise. When the mapping is complete, LimeCulture will provide a report to the Inquiry based on information provided by ISVA services which identifies ISVA provision across England and Wales. If necessary, LimeCulture will provide interim reports where information shows that there are geographical gaps in service or capacity issues which may affect the provision of ISVA services to clients.

LimeCulture will also use the information to determine whether ISVA services experience systemic patterns in difficulty with onward referrals and highlight this to the Inquiry.

Any data received by LimeCulture will be held securely in line with our Data Protection Policy and Confidentiality agreement with the Inquiry.


Q. How long will LimeCulture keep the information we provide?

LimeCulture will hold all information provided to it in accordance with its Data Protection policy. This means it will hold it for no longer than is necessary, and will hold the data securely.


Q. Is completion of this service mapping mandatory?

Completion of this questionnaire is not mandatory, however LimeCulture would like to encourage all ISVA services to provide the information. This is a unique opportunity to highlight the essential work of ISVAs, and to gain a better understanding of the ISVA workforce.


The Mapping questionnaire has already been sent to over 100 ISVA services across England and Wales. However, we want to ensure that we include every ISVA service in this important piece of work. If your organisation provides an ISVA Service, and you have not heard from us, please contact us as soon as possible. Please email and we will send you a questionnaire.


LimeCulture is the leading provider of ISVA Training, having trained over 250 ISVAs since 2011. We do not provide ISVA Services, we support them!  LimeCulture CIC is not a commercial organisation, it is a not-for-profit social enterprise. 

LimeCulture are recruiting again! Training Support Coordinator

Freelance Opportunity – Part-time Training Support Coordinator

Rate of £80-£150 per day (depending on experience).


This is an exciting and challenging opportunity for a freelance professional to work with LimeCulture Community Interest Company as a Training Support Coordinator.

The Training Support Coordinator will be a crucial role in the delivery of LimeCulture’s successful range of training programmes to professionals working in support of victims of sexual violence. Due to the increased demand that we are experiencing for our training programmes, we are looking to appoint a dedicated and dynamic individual to support the coordination of our training courses.

LimeCulture are offering an unusual and exciting opportunity for an outstanding individual to work with us on a flexible freelance basis. It is expected that the successful individual will be required to work approximately 12 days per month on a flexible basis. This opportunity, although challenging, will provide the chance for the successful individual to develop skills and experience, and greatly enhance their CV. The role will require some travel across the UK and some overnight stays will be expected.

The deadline for applications is 12 noon on Friday 2 October 2015. Please submit applications via email to

Please send your application in the form of a CV and a covering letter, outlining how you have the necessary skills and experience to carry out the role as per the job description and how you meet the person specification.


Role Description

The main responsibility of the Training Support Coordinator will be to support the efficient delivery of our range of training programmes across the UK.

The Training Support Coordinator will be responsible for all aspects of managing the end-to-end process of delivery of training, including:

  • Managing the booking system for all our training courses,
  • Securing training dates, trainers and venues,
  • Assisting with the marketing and communication of our training programmes,
  • Liaising with potential customers and answering delegate queries,
  • Updating and distributing course materials to delegates,
  • Liaising with venues and caterers to ensure training runs smoothly,
  • Attending at training programmes to provide oversight and support to trainers,
  • Assisting with the management of the assessment processes required for each training programme,
  • Assisting with our accreditation process and the external responsibilities imposed by our independent awarding body, including ensuring certificates of accreditation are sent to delegates promptly,
  • Collecting, compiling and reporting results of evaluation and feedback, attendance and any other related training data,
  • Researching training suppliers and materials as needed – including details, cost comparison, and timelines,
  • Ordering supplies for training and the training department as needed,
  • Performing other related duties as assigned.

The Training Support Coordinator will be expected to work independently but will be in regular contact with their Manager at LimeCulture. This is an important front-facing role and the Training Support Coordinator will be expected to work closely with LimeCulture trainers, external stakeholders and customers.


Person Specification

The successful candidate will have the following skills and experience:


Experience & Skills Desirable Essential Assessment Method
Excellent planning and organisational skills. CV & Covering Letter



Well developed communication (oral and written) and interpersonal skills CV & Covering Letter



Knowledge of Project Management processes. CV & Covering Letter



Display energy, drive and an entrepreneurial attitude to work.


CV & Covering Letter



Have a track record of working independently with limited direction or supervision. CV & Covering Letter



Knowledge of Windows, PowerPoint, Google Drive, Word and Excel or similar programs required. CV & Covering Letter



Strong desire to be a part of a dynamic organisation with an entrepreneurial spirit and a fast-paced, result-oriented culture CV & Covering Letter



Knowledge and understanding of sexual violence support sector CV & Covering Letter



Ability to work flexibly with changing work patterns and demands on time. CV & Covering Letter



Desire to work on a freelance basis CV & Covering Letter



Commitment to UK travel and some overnight stays CV & Covering Letter




Are job titles important?

Today we were approached by the commissioner of a new ISVA Service, who asked for our view on the use of the job title ‘KIDSVA’, for those who are providing ISVA support to children and young people.  We had a long discussion and it set us off thinking about whether or not job titles are important in this area of work.

So just what is in a job title? That’s quite an interesting question, particularly, as job titles seem to range from job to job and employer to employer. However, we came to the conclusion that generally a job title is usually be selected for 1 of 2 reasons. Firstly, and we think most commonly, a job title will be selected to define the person’s role or responsibilities. Secondly, job titles can be used to show where an individual sits in a hierarchy within an organisation. For example, a job that has ‘Manager’ in their job title will usually be somebody whose role it is to either manage people or manage a function.

So are job-titles important? Think about your job title for a moment. Are the words in it really important to you? If you were honest with yourself, we think you would probably say yes. We think we would all want a title that, if possible, identifies our knowledge, expertise and success. For example, we get jobs based on our previous titles and even pay rises because of our titles. People place us on a pedestal because of our job titles too. Colleagues trust us because of our job titles. The combination of words that appear on our business card or email signature can be quite powerful for us as we communicate with others professionally.

So where are we going with this? Following on from our discussions with the Commissioner this morning, we began to think about the professionalism that is communicated by a job title. We asked ourselves would the job-title ‘KIDSVA’ instill confidence in others and satisfy them that the person doing this role is a highly skilled professional? That they have expertise in providing support to people with often very complex needs? That they would be able to identify, assess and manage a whole range of risks? When we reflected, we felt that it may not and we started to become concerned for what the introduction of this job-title could mean for the ISVA workforce and their professional reputation amongst the other professionals who they work along side.

LimeCulture has spent the last four years trying to improve the professionalism of the ISVA workforce. We, along with many ISVAs themselves, have worked hard to try and raise the profile of ISVAs amongst other professionals so that they can see the value in the support they provide to victims of sexual violence. We think we are beginning to see a shift in recognition of ISVAs, as more and more professionals begin to realise the important roles that ISVAs play and the difficult circumstances within which they operate to provide frequently outstanding services. ISVA should not be undervalued nor undermined.

The other day, we had a discussion with a government official about the fact that many ISVAs were also called Advocates (as opposed to the more frequently used Advisor). He had no idea of this and thought Advocates were a completely different workforce. Once explained, he found this quite easy to grip- we think in part it was because the A in Advocate doesn’t actually change the acronym in ISVA! However, if we continue to change the acronym further, it think it might spell trouble for that individual who may not be so easily recognised as being part of a bigger professional network.

Now, to be clear, LimeCulture is not advocating the particular use of any job title for the professionals who work in this field. We don’t have a preference as to whether somebody is called an Advocate or an Advisor. Although, we do have some concern about professionals working with children and young people having the word ‘Independent’ in their job title (as they can never really be independent when it comes to safeguarding children), generally we don’t think it matters, as long as the job-title conveys a) the professionalism that they provide in their service, and b) that it identifies them as part of as wider professional workforce that has clearly defined roles and responsibilities. We believe that because of the work that has gone into raising the profile, and of course the excellent services that are provided by the majority of the workforce, the title of ISVA (regardless of what the A stands for) now does this.

However, we do also have to consider whether a job title has any impact on performance or the ability of the person to do their job well? We don’t think it does. If you don’t have a fancy job title are you less able to undertake the role? Highly unlikely. We don’t think there is any evidence to say that you are only as good as your job title.  In fact, we have worked with some ‘KIDSVAs’, and we know that they are providing some excellent services to children and young people.

So then, why are we worried by the introduction of the title ‘KIDSVA’? In all honesty, we think it’s mainly to do with the perceptions of others about the level of professionalism associated with the role. We are particularly concerned that those working within the criminal justice system simply would not take the job title seriously or at least recognise the importance of the role ‘KIDSVAs’ are providing to some of the most vulnerable children in our society.

There are certain job titles that command respect, due to the level of professionalism that goes along with that role, and LimeCulture would like to see that level of respect extended to ISVAs, whether they are supporting children or adults. Would a doctor who decided instead to use the job title ‘Germ-Killer’ or a police officer who decided to use the job title ‘Crim-Catcher’ appear professional to others? Regardless of how well they do their job? We don’t think so and we think the principle is the same here.

At LimeCulture our concerns about the ISVA workforce have mainly been around inconsistency. We have campaigned tirelessly for the need for ISVA service provision to be more consistently delivered across the country. Why should victims face a postcode lottery when it comes to ISVAs support? They shouldn’t. That’s why we set up our training courses for ISVAs, and that is why we spend so much of our time working alongside ISVA services. Four years on and having now trained over 200 ISVAs, we have begun to see the ISVA role being more consistently interpreted and delivered. We have also seen an increase in the recognition by other professionals of the ISVA role and their willingness to consider the ISVA role as a professional one (although we acknowledge there is still some way to go). We are concerned that by introducing a title like ‘KIDSVA’, there could be a negative impact on the professionals doing that role, and worryingly an impact on the other members of the ISVA workforce. Now more than ever, we need to protect the role, and the professionalism of the workforce, not call it into question.


Lime logo_cmyk-reverseLimeCulture is the leading provider of ISVA Training. Our ISVA Development Programme has been successfully completed by over 160 ISVAs since the course was developed in 2011. The ISVA Development Programme is accredited professional ISVA training that is suitable for practitioner working with child and adult victims of sexual violence. The first of our CPD courses for ISVAs has been developed to over 40 ISVAs since 2014. We are in the process of developing CPD training specifically for ISVAs working with children and young people. It is expected this will be available  (to those who have completed their professional ISVA training) later in the year.

LimeCulture is Recruiting!! Secondment Opportunity – 3 month Fixed Term Appointment


Child and Young Person’s (CYP) ISVA/Advocate Development Manager

This is an exciting and challenging secondment opportunity for an experienced Child and Young Person’s Advocate to work with LimeCulture Community Interest Company.

The Development Manager will be a crucial role in the development and delivery of LimeCulture’s vision to improve the standards of specialist advocacy services across the UK provided to children and young people who have been sexually abused. The Development Manager will be a key enabler in the realisation of that vision.

LimeCulture are offering an unusual and exciting opportunity for an outstanding individual to work with us for 1 day per week over a 3-month period (to a maximum of 12 days). This secondment, although challenging, will provide the opportunity for the successful individual to develop skills and experience, and greatly enhance their cv. The role may require some travel across the UK.

The deadline for applications is 12noon on Friday 8 May 2015. It is anticipated that the secondment opportunity will be 12 days in total and run between the period 1 June and 31 August 2015. Please submit applications via email to

Please send your application in the form of a cv and a covering letter, outlining how you have the necessary skills and experience to carry out the role as per the job description and how you meet the person specification.

Please ensure that your employers are willing to second you, before you apply for this role. Please note, we will also consider offering this position as a fixed-term freelance contract, rather than a secondment opportunity.

Role Description

The Development Manager’s main responsibilities will be two-fold, 1) to develop a comprehensive training programme for specialist Sexual Violence CYP Advocates and 2) to design a delivery plan for the roll out of the specialist training.

The Development Manager will be responsible for the development of a comprehensive training programme that:

  • Improves the confidence and competence of the (Child/Young Person’s Advocate) workforce with the necessary skills and knowledge to carry out their role effectively and safely,
  • Complements the Independent Sexual Violence Adviser (ISVA) Development Programme (and other CPD provision for ISVAs),
  • Meets the necessary quality standards to be recognised and accredited by an independent awarding body.

The Development Manager will also be responsible for the design of a delivery plan for the roll out of the specialist training. This will include:

  • Securing training dates, trainers and venues,
  • Marketing and communication of the training programme
  • Liaising with potential customers and handling bookings.

The Development Manager will be expected to work independently but will be in regular contact with their Manager at LimeCulture. The Development Manager will be expected to work closely with LimeCulture trainers, external stakeholders and customers.

Person Specification

The successful candidate will have the following skills and experience:

Experience & Skills Desirable Essential Assessment Method
2 + years as a Child/YP Advocate (or related role) CV & Covering Letter



2+ years working with children and young people CV & Covering Letter



Successfully completed the ISVA Development Programme CV & Covering Letter


Have well developed organisational, communication and interpersonal skills CV & Covering Letter



Have experience of effectively implementing and managing a project from end to end. CV & Covering Letter



Knowledge of Project Management processes. CV & Covering Letter



Evidence of planning, managing and contributing to meetings CV & Covering Letter



Displays energy, drive and an entrepreneurial attitude to work.


CV & Covering Letter



Track record of working independently with limited direction or supervision. CV & Covering Letter






Why untrained ISVAs compromise the rest of the Workforce

An Audit of Independent Sexual Violence Advisors (ISVAs) in England and Wales published last month by Kings College London and LimeCulture CIC, identified that nearly a  fifth (19%) of the ISVAs that took part in the survey remained untrained. This is extremely concerning.

The ISVA role has evolved significantly in the last few years and there has been a rapid increase in the number of ISVA posts across England and Wales. This is due, in part, to the Home Office providing some funding support to Voluntary and Community Sector organisations and indeed Sexual Assault Referral Centres (SARCs) for ISVA posts. The ISVA role is now broadly very well supported and most agencies can see the value of having an ISVA involved to provide practical and emotional support. As a result, there has been a huge number of ISVA posts created up and down the country, without any further central funding support.While this in itself is excellent for the ISVA workforce, who are finally having the importance of their role recognised, sadly, it is a double edge sword.

There is no regulatory framework in place for ISVAs, nor any method of identifying how big the ISVA workforce has actually become. ISVAs do not have to be registered and they are not monitored (although some may be locally).  However, most worrying of all is that it is in fact impossible to guarantee the safety of services provided by ISVAs up and down the country.

Now, don’t get me wrong, there are some absolutely brilliant ISVAs out there doing some invaluable work with some of the most vulnerable people in our society. They are the very reason that the ISVA role is recognised as being an invaluable resource to invest in. They are the very reason that ISVAs are thought of as a vital service by a whole range of professionals and agencies supporting child and adult victims of sexual violence. But, there is also a fair few people out there, calling themselves an ISVA, who are not so great. They are the dangerous ones. Dangerous for themselves as professionals, dangerous for their clients and potentially disastrous for the ISVA workforce. They are the ones that will potentially muck it up for all and compromise an entire workforce.

Sound dramatic? Well let me give you a few examples. There is the ‘ISVA’ who attended the ABE interview with her client- just being there hearing the details of the case is a no no – but in her wisdom (and probably because she intended to help) she answered one of the questions put to her client by the police. Case over before it evens starts. Then we’ve got the ‘ISVA’ who works as an ISVA on a Monday and Tuesday, and a counsellor Wednesday to Friday and is also a Crisis Worker as and when needed. When asked if she has ever performed all 3 roles for the same client, the reply was ‘oh yes’. She thought it was a good thing for the client to have her involved in all aspects of her support, never having considered that any defence barrister could accuse her of coaching a witness. Case over. Then there was the ‘ISVA’ who supported her client so well, so well in fact that the client depended on her for everything and could not live without her….so she temporarily moved in with the ISVA and her husband. Marriage over (?!).

The ISVA role spans a whole range of different areas, including health and well-being, social care, police investigations and the criminal justice process. Some cases will involve all of the above and some will involve only some of the above. We have heard some people say the ISVA role is ‘not just about a court case‘, and they are quite right, it is about so much more than that. This makes ISVAs jobs so much harder, more complex, not simpler. In fact, An Audit of ISVAs identified for the first time the very complex nature of the clients that ISVAs are supporting, and their wide range of needs. I don’t think anybody quite realised the level of risk that ISVAs are dealing with – often at any one time, with high case loads of clients with a high level of support needed from them. ISVAs frequently find themselves as the only professional supporting their clients, particularly where there is gaps in service provision or where other services operate waiting lists.  It is vital that ISVAs understand the professional worlds that they operate in, and across, realising that their actions in one area can have an impact in another area. And it is this, exactly this, that makes their roles complex.

So how do we make sure that ISVA are doing a good job in all the aspects of their role? Well, we believe that training is the key. Just like it is for any other professional role. Yes of course, operational experience in doing the job is important, and of course there are some aspects of the job that can be taught. But that is the same for any professional role. We would not appoint somebody and expect them to get on with being a doctor, a lawyer, a counsellor or surveyor. We would expect them to be trained and if they were not, we would not allow them to practice. So what is different about ISVAs? Why are we allowing ISVAs to work untrained? Why is it that nearly 1/5 of the organisations that employ ISVAs across England and Wales think it is ok not bother to provide their staff with any training? Why are untrained ISVAs not demanding that they have access to training?

We’ve discussed this a lot on the Network of ISVA forum over the years and there have been a few people who say that their organisations simply can’t afford to send them on the training. In our view this is an unacceptable answer. If services cannot afford to send their staff to professional training, then they should not appoint to the post. They are doing themselves, their staff and their clients a disservice. Furthermore, the Home Office has funded ISVA training places for the last 3 years, so these services don’t even have to find the money themselves- merely submit a persuasive business case! Incidentally, we’ve also been informed that the Home Office’s training fund for ISVAs has had an underspend for every one of those 3 years, so the available funding pot has not even been appropriately utilised by the services that can’t afford the training!

We’ve also heard a lot from untrained ISVAs who bravely proclaim they don’t need to be trained as they have been doing the job for so many years. We are sure that, yes, some of them will be wonderful ISVAs, but some of them will be shockingly bad. We know because we’ve met some of them. LimeCulture has now trained over 160 ISVAs on the ISVA Development Programme, and while we are satisfied that the ones who have successfully completed the full course, are now providing an effective and safe service for their clients, we could not say this categorically about all of them at the beginning of their training. In fact, the ISVAs that we have been most concerned about are the ones who have been doing their jobs for years!

So how do you tell the difference between the untrained ISVAs doing a fantastic job, and the untrained ISVAs doing a dangerous and unsafe job. You can’t. That’s the point. So what is the answer? Well we think training is a good first step. The dangerous and unsafe ISVAs will either not pass the training or will learn through that training that they need to change, adapt and get better in providing safe support. That is the point of good practical training. It brings people together, it makes them think about the way they do things and it supports them to do it in a more effective way.

Interestingly, an Audit of ISVAs identified that the ISVAs themselves, ‘strongly supported the need to train their workforce’.  This means that ISVAs are beginning to understand that in order to protect their own workforce, ISVAs really do need to be trained. In fact, one of the Key Recommendations of that report is to:

‘Ensure that all ISVAs are trained to a minimum standard and can access Continuing Professional Development. Employers and Commissioners should ensure that accredited professional ISVA training is provided to all staff employed to undertake the ISVA role. It is further recommended that in order to protect (and improve) the professionalism of the ISVA Workforce, the title of ISVA should not be used by staff until they have successfully completed (and passed) accredited professional ISVA training’. There should be an increased focus on (CPD) and the availability of on-going training for ISVAs. This is particularly important for those who undertake specialist roles or provide specialist support’.

The good news is that LimeCulture has seen an increase in the number of people who are booking to attend the ISVA Development Programme, and indeed the Continued Professional Development training that we have developed in the Advanced Development Programme.  This is excellent as we need to ensure that ALL ISVAs are properly trained and have access to on-going professional development, just like other professionals roles do.

Last year, we successfully trained nearly 70 ISVAs and had to put on 3 separate courses to meet the demand. This year we expect to train a similar number of people. Our next course (starting in May) was fully booked within a couple of weeks. A further course will start in September (and run through till February 2016) and we have plans to add a 3rd course if the demand is there. The ADP, which we launched in July 2014, has been delivered to nearly 40 ISVAs. The next 3 day course will take place at the end of September 2015. We are also planning to develop further CPD events to support ISVAs over the coming months.

At LimeCulture, we believe it is time for the ISVA workforce to stand up and say that all of their professional peers must be trained before they can give themselves the title of ISVA. Those untrained ISVAs who have been doing the job for years (or even just months) should be pushing their organising to invest in their training, using the points raised above to support you. Your argument will be a strong one.


Lime logo_cmyk-reverse

LimeCulture CIC is the leading provider of training for ISVAs (including Children and Young Person’s Advocates) having now successfully training over 200 ISVAs across England and Wales. 


LimeCulture conducts Independent Review of Survivors Manchester ISVA Service

LimeCulture was thrilled to be commissioned by Survivors Manchester, a male-only sexual violence support organisation, to carry out an Independent Review of their pilot male-only ISVA service, which is both unique and filling a gap that is badly needed. While there are a very small number of male ISVAs operating in England, there are currently no male ISVAs providing support to only males. This makes the Survivors Manchester ISVA Service the first of it’s kind and we were very keen to explore how this ISVA Service has been set up and how well it has been received.

The first part of the review took place in January 2015. LimeCulture interviewed a range of key professionals from partner agencies (including representatives from the police, SARC, Youth Offending Team, CPS and voluntary and community sector organisations) to seek their views and perceptions of the ISVA Service, explore with them how the ISVA Service is working and to see if they could offer any suggestions as to how best to ensure the service maintains high standards of quality provision moving forward. The feedback from partners about the ISVA Service was overwhelmingly positive. The ISVA Service is clearly doing a great job of engaging with some really difficult to reach young men and all partners acknowledged the need for this vital ISVA service for males. The examples that were provided by other organisations are a testament to the success of the ISVA Service, which some very moving examples shared about how the ISVA Service has made a positive impact on males who have experienced sexual violence, and helped them to access other services. These examples are clear evidence of the impact that an ISVA can have to enable the most vulnerable people in our society to access the support they need.

Clearly all services can be improved and continue to learn and evolve. While Survivors Manchester have an excellent and innovative ISVA Service already in place, they were keen to hear what LimeCulture suggested in order to make the ISVA Service as robust, effective and efficient as possible. The interim findings and key recommendations from the Independent Review have now been published here by Survivors Manchester who are committed to transparency and to responding to our interim recommendations.

LimeCulture will conduct the final part of our Independent Review once the ISVA Service has reached the end of its Pilot Phase. We cannot wait to go back to Survivors Manchester to see how they have got on and find out about their progress.

Surviors Manchester LogoSurvivors Manchester are currently recruiting for a full time male-ISVA to work in their ISVA Service. The advert can be found here along with the job description and details about how to apply for the role. The deadline for applications is 16 March 2015. Due to the nature of the role and the service that it operates within, they are only accepting applications for males.

As there is not a very big pool of trained male-ISVAs in which to recruit from, Survivors Manchester have said they are happy for the advert to be shared far and wide in the hope that they find their perfect candidate for the male-ISVA role. Please do share this with anybody you think might be interested in taking on a challenging yet extremely rewarding career as an ISVA. It is a particularly great time to join this young and dynamic ISVA Service based within an inspirational charity.


Lime logo_cmyk-reverseIf you are interested in commissioning LimeCulture to undertake an Independent ISVA Service Review, please contact us to discuss your needs. Please remember, the value of an ‘Independent’ review of your service should not be underestimated! Funders and Commissioners are usually far more interested in the findings from external reviews of your service than relying on ‘you’ telling them how great ‘your’ service is!