LimeCulture Invites ISVAs to Consultation Workshops in October 2016

Development of a Risk & Needs Assessment Tool for ISVAs: LimeCulture invites ISVAs to Consultation Workshops in October 2016

LimeCulture Community Interest Company (CIC) are aware that there is currently no risk and needs assessment tool for victims of sexual violence available. Consequently, in some cases, ISVAs are not carrying out any form of risk or needs assessment with their clients leading to potentially unsafe practice.

LimeCulture CIC has been awarded a funding grant of £37,500 from the Home Office Victims Support Fund to develop a bespoke Sexual Violence Risk and Needs Assessment Tool for use by Independent Sexual Violence Advisers (ISVAs) working across England and Wales in support of victims and survivors of sexual violence. Once developed and tested, this bespoke Tool will be available (free of charge) to all ISVAs.

We are keen to consult with ISVAs in the development of the new bespoke Tool to ensure that it is:

  • fit for purpose (i.e., identifies individual risk and needs of victims/survivors of sexual violence),
  • meets the needs of ISVAs,
  • dovetails with existing tools used by ISVAs to measure risk or need.

As part of the development phase of the project, we are arranging 2 Consultation Workshops during October 2016 in order to consult with ISVAs on their views and suggestions around:

  • optimum scope of the bespoke Tool (i.e., what should be included, not be included)
  • look and feel of the Tool (and accompanying Toolkit)
  • how best the bespoke Tool is used/rolled out.

We will be holding workshops in the following locations:

  • Manchester – Wednesday 5 October 2016- 2-5pm
  • London- Wednesday 12 October 2016- 2-5pm

If you would like to attend, please email who will send you the location details. Places are limited and therefore will be allocated on a first come first served basis, so we advise you to confirm your attendance as soon as possible with Tahera. Unfortunately, we are unable to assist with travel costs so please check with your employer/manager before you confirm your attendance.

Risk & Needs Assessment Tool Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Why is LimeCulture developing a bespoke Risk and Needs Assessment Tool for ISVAs?

A. We know that ISVAs do not have access to a bespoke tool that allows them to identify the individual risk and needs of their clients. As a consequence, we are aware from the Audit of ISVAs (conducted by King’s College London & LimeCulture in 2014/5) that many ISVAs do not feel confident that they are adequately risk assessing their clients. ISVAs routinely tell us that this is of concern to them. ISVAs have been asking us to develop a bespoke Tool designed for ISVAs to use when supporting victim/survivors of sexual violence for a number of years. This funding provides us with the opportunity to do this work for the first time.

 Q. Will ISVAs be able to contribute to the development of the Tool?

A. Absolutely. LimeCulture want to consult with ISVAs throughout the development phase of the bespoke Tool to make sure that it works for ISVAs. Our key priority is to make sure that the tool is fit for purpose, and works for the people that will use it. Therefore, we are keen for ISVA’s to share their ideas with us and tell us their views. The purpose of the two Consultation Workshops is to provide ISVAs with the opportunity to do that.

Q. Why are the Consultation Workshops in London and Manchester (& will there be any more)?

A. We know that unless ISVAs are based in the cities where the workshops are taking place that most people will have to travel to attend the workshops, which can be challenging. Therefore, we have picked Manchester (in the north) and London (in the south) based on their great travel connections. The funding for this project only allows for 2 workshops so we cannot hold more in other locations unfortunately.

Q. Can I contribute to the development if I can’t attend the Workshops?

A. Absolutely. Even if you are unable to attend the workshops in person, we would love to hear your views on what the tool should include. You can contact us by email ( or you can post on the closed Facebook group ‘Network of ISVAs’ (

Q. LimeCulture has put out a ‘Call for Tools’, why?

A. While we know that the majority of ISVAs do not currently use any bespoke tools to assist them to identify or manage individual risk and client needs, we are also aware that some ISVAs have either adapted existing tools (such as DASH risk assessment) or have created their own tools or paperwork. We want to ensure that the bespoke Tool that we develop dovetails to any tools that ISVAs are already working with. We do not want to create something that means that ISVAs services have to overhaul their systems in order to implement it. We want to make the Tool as good as it can be and if ISVAs are already using something that works well, then we’d like to ensure that it is not lost or forgotten.

Q. LimeCulture got the funding for the development but by asking ISVAs to share their tools does this mean the hard work has already been done for them?

A. We have been funded  to consult with ISVAs in the development of the Tool, which includes reviewing and assessing the existing tools that ISVAs use. We know that some ISVA services have worked hard to develop the tools they use, and we appreciate this, but we do not think the work has already been done. Quite the contrary, the majority of ISVAs do not have access to bespoke tools at all and where ISVAs have developed their own they tell us they are not sure they are as good as they can be. However, we do think it is important that the bespoke Tool that we develop dovetails with tools that are already being used. We want to capture the hard work that some ISVAs services have already put in to developing their own tools, not disregard it or steal it. Where ISVA Services share their tools with us, they will be acknowledged but we will not make their tools available to others unless they want us to.

Q. Will the Tool be tested?

A. Yes it will be tested by ISVAs. Once we are a bit further into the development phase, we will start looking for “pathfinder sites’, which are volunteer ISVA Services to test the Tool with their clients. Only after the testing phase will we make the tool available to all ISVAs.

Q. Will the Tool be formally evaluated?

A. We are engaging with academics in order to arrange for the Tool to be formally evaluated. The formal evaluation is not funded as part of this project but we are keen to see that it happens and have developed plans to put this in place later on.

Q. When will the Tool be available to use by all ISVAs?

A. We expect the Tool to be available from Spring 2017- so our timeframe is short. As soon as the testing phase has been completed and we are content that it is ready for use by all ISVAs, we will make it available.

Q. Will ISVAs be supported to use the risk and needs assessment?

A. Yes, we will be running regional training events to support ISVAs to use the risk and needs assessment. We will also be developing a written toolkit which will support ISVAs to use the Tool.

Q. Will ISVAs be forced to use to the Tool?

A. No of course not. It is entirely voluntary. However, we believe that most ISVAs will want to use it if it assists them to identify and manage the individual risks of their clients.

Q. Will ISVAs have to pay to use the Tool?

A. No, this funding allows for the Tool to be rolled out free of charge. LimeCulture CIC is a not-for-profit organisation so do not conduct any of our work for commercial purposes. This includes the development of the Tool. We want it to be free for all ISVAs to use.

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