Universities

LimeCulture are proud to have worked with a number of universities to support the development of their strategic response to sexual misconduct, associated policies and procedures, risk management approaches, and case management.  

LimeCulture offers training and consultancy services to universities and Higher Education Institutes (HEIs) to ensure they are able to respond effectively and appropriately to members of their communities of staff and students, who are victims of sexual violence or misconduct.  

In addition to an accredited training programme, we can work with you to deliver the required project or services that you want and need. If you would like to discuss your requirements in further detail, please contact us or email universities@limeculture.co.uk

Bespoke Strategic Development Days

It is clear that each University and Higher Education Institution (HEI) has a responsibility to their staff and their students to respond appropriately to any disclosure of sexual violence or misconduct. 

Over and above supporting a victim in relation to their educational needs, a university will also need to consider the wider support needs of a victim / survivor following sexual violence.   This might include access to a forensic medical examination, psychological therapies and mental health support or sexual health services. It could also include a police investigation and potentially a criminal court case, as well as internal disciplinary proceedings.  

Importantly, each University and HEI will need to ensure that they have acted appropriately and their involvement has not done anything to undermine a future criminal prosecution or contaminate evidence relating to the sexual offence in the event that the victim wants to report the matter to the police at any point either now or in the future.  Because university staff could potentially be called as witnesses in a trial, robust record keeping will need to be in place to account for any involvement the University or HEI has had in relation to a sexual assault.

As part of the strategic work that LimeCulture CIC has undertaken separately with individual universities, Universities UK, and AMOSHEE we are able to assist universities and HEIs to develop sexual violence strategies, and successfully implement their policies.

LimeCulture offer a one day workshop to universities who wish to work on developing their local response (both internal and external) to sexual violence or misconduct. To make the most of the session representatives from across the university should attend. The university is best placed to decide who should attend. However LimeCulture would recommend as a starting point representatives from:

  • Student Services
  • HR
  • Academics
  • Counselling services
  • Student Union

Each workshop is carefully designed around the specific needs of the host university, which will be discussed in the planning phase of the workshop.

During the day we begin with input from LimeCulture facilitators looking at the policy context, the role of universities in responding to sexual violence, and the national picture.  Next, we spend some time discussing the local picture at the host university, leadership, current provision, identifying gaps in service and agreeing what else needs to be put in place.

If required, we can focus the workshop on developing an overarching strategy, encompassing partnerships, referrals and case management. Informed by local requirements, we deliver a session about developing and delivering a strategic plan, working together to identify the key challenges, understand what effective service models might look like, and developing innovative solutions.

The workshop also includes a final session where LimeCulture facilitates some action planning, supporting local leaders to identify responsibility for delivery against their requirements, and looking at how attendees might work together to deliver the plan. The aim of this part of the workshop, is to capture the agreed elements of an action plan so that the host university is able to harness the energy and commitment of the workshop and move forwards with this crucial area of work.

The cost of the Development Day is £2,000 + VAT.

This will include:

  • The services of two experienced facilitators for one day
  • A planning and development session with the facilitators and the event organisers beforehand.

“LimeCulture’s Strategic Development Day has acted as a catalyst for change within our University.  The expertise of Kim and Stephanie was clear to everyone who attended – our facilitators offered focussed, challenging guidance, supporting us to identify practical and meaningful actions need to create a cross university strategy which responds safely and effectively to sexual violence. The opportunity to bring members of the University community together in this way has been incredibly valuable and the impact continues to be felt months afterwards – the day creating a lasting awareness for all who attended with colleagues using the day as a clear way-marker, a central point around which to focus our continuing change.” London South Bank University January 2017

If you think we can help or you would like to discuss this further please email us on universities@limeculture.co.uk

Sexual Violence Liaison Officers / Sexual Misconduct Liaison Officers

SVLO / SMLO are university staff who have undergone specific, specialist training to enable them to support students or staff members who report that they have been subject to sexual misconduct.  The SVLO / SMLO is uniquely placed to be able to offer advice about relevant policies and procedures in place at the university, and can help reporting students / staff make informed choices about their options relating to their education/work and other aspects of their lives.  They can also ensure that reporting students / staff are aware of the support available to them in the community, whether that is specialist sexual violence support or other mainstream services.

SVLO / SMLO staff will usually work in another role at the university, and have these responsibilities in addition to their core role, although they should always have dedicated time available to do the role, and appropriate supervision.  The structures in place at a University to respond to reports of sexual misconduct and manage risk often work more effectively when SVLO / SMLO teams are in place.

LimeCulture is delighted to be able to share with universities and HEIs a copy of the model job description for SVLO/SMLOs.  Please click here to download a Word version. 

LimeCulture offers accredited training to SVLO / SMLO, please click here to learn more about the course and to book a place.

If you need further information about our training courses, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

“Sexual Violence Liaison Officer (SVLO) roles are downplayed, overlooked and underestimated. University and institutions call it doing their job, but I call it saving a life.”
IW, University Student, 2018

Case Management

During Spring 2018 LimeCulture CIC and Intersol Global Limited worked with colleagues at Keele University to conduct a comprehensive review of the introduction of a case management approach at Keele as a part of the University’s response to sexual misconduct in the University community. 

The review looked in particular at the role of the case manager, the interface of the case manager role and the SVLO role and the management of sexual misconduct cases in light of the Pinsent Mason guidance. The report highlights what worked well, where there were gaps and made recommendations to enhance the current process.

It is the view of LimeCulture and Intersol that the Student Services team at Keele University, led by Ian Munton (now at Staffordshire University) and Claire Slater, should be commended for their proactive and ground-breaking approach to tackling sexual misconduct in their University community.  It was clear that there is overwhelming enthusiasm and commitment from both the University and Student Union staff at Keele to ensure victims / survivors of sexual misconduct from the University community have access to a safe, effective and accessible service to support them following their experience of sexual misconduct, and to provide an appropriate organisational response to the management of risk and the provision of appropriate actions under the University disciplinary code for students.

Keele has taken a difficult role at the forefront of developing the higher education sector response to issues of sexual misconduct and continues to share the learning from their experience with the sector by publishing this report for the benefit of colleagues also working in this field.

If you have any questions please email universities@limeculture.co.uk

The report is available to download by clicking this link Keele Report Publication

Sexual Misconduct Proceedings

It is vital that staff who carry out any form of disciplinary process on behalf of their organisations can ensure that cases of sexual misconduct are handled appropriately.

For universities administering student conduct cases, there will be cases where the organisation has responsibility for the reported or responding person, as well as having responsibility for the individual student or member of staff who reports sexual misconduct.

This means that the management of proceedings addressing reports of sexual misconduct will require the organisation to strike a balance in order to meet the needs of either or both parties as well as the organisation’s responsibilities. Such cases can only be achieved through careful handling of the case (case management), clear organisational processes that are meticulously applied and concluded with open and transparent findings.

Staff in these roles will need to have the skills and knowledge to ensure that their actions in such proceedings are clearly documented, evidenced and robust against challenge.

We can work with your organisation to ensure that your staff who may be involved or required to carry out sexual misconduct proceedings are equipped to do so sensitively, fairly and practically to meet the needs of all parties involved. We can work with your staff to ensure that any work undertaken as part of sexual misconduct proceedings does not have a detrimental impact on potential future court proceedings.

For further information or to discuss your requirements please email universities@limeculture.co.uk

Risk Assessment and Management in Universities

The Changing the Culture report published by the Universities UK Harassment Taskforce (2016) identified that universities needed to ensure that there is effective data collection, appropriate governance, robust risk management and regular impact assessments.  The Changing the Culture One Year On (2018) report found that a risk assessment approach is commonly used, however the interpretation of what this means in practice seems to vary, from formally documented and reviewed assessment by an individual or panel with formalised review points, to a case-by-case approach with limited documentation.  The report goes on to say that the risk assessment will commonly have a focus on the context between the two students, whether they are in the same accommodation or learning spaces, with a focus on avoiding contact.

It is clear that within (and between) universities a consistent approach to managing individual risk would be beneficial and that, in addition, a tool to support universities to ensure that they have robust processes to identify and manage risks to their own organisation and the criminal justice system would be helpful. 

The most effective response will therefore enable the university to have a clear understanding of risks as they relate to the organisation itself, including legal, reputational and risks to the wider university community, the reporting student (or staff member), and the risks to the criminal justice process. 

LimeCulture is delighted to say that we have had some initial discussions with UUK about a project to develop a risk tool for universities.  The project would include consultation with universities to ensure that any tool builds on current approaches to assessing and managing risk.   We will publish any updates to this project when they happen. For further information please email universities@limeculture.co.uk