16 April 2019

Call for practice: Developing guidelines to recognise and respond to vulnerability related risks

Are you a police practitioner or a trainer who teaches the skills required to support frontline staff to recognise and respond to vulnerability? If so, share your practice with us and help to inform this work.

The College of Policing is pleased to announce that the 'Recognising and Responding to Vulnerability Related Risks' Guideline team has launched a call for practice, aimed at collecting examples of police practice and interventions which support responders to:

  • identify vulnerable individuals at risk of harm
  • develop the communication skills needed establish rapport and build trust, particularly with vulnerable people
  • understand the actions the police can take to make individuals safer.

This is part of a series of calls to develop evidence-based guidelines, forming part of the new approach adopted by the College to ensure guidelines are grounded in evidence,  clear to understand and easy to apply in practice. This new approach makes sure that that guidelines are:

  • based on the best available evidence

  • co-produced by independent committees that include frontline practitioners

  • subject to public consultation allowing those affected by the guidelines to comment

  • to develop guidelines focused on recognising and responding to risk

The College is working with a committee of frontline practitioners and subject matter experts chaired by DCC Louisa Rolfe (West Midlands Police). The guidelines will be aimed at police officers and staff who have contact with the public, police leaders supporting officers and staff in frontline roles, and those with responsibility for training and developing frontline staff.

Head of Faculty David Tucker explains: 'So much of the work of policing is about recognising risk, assessing it and taking effective action to reduce or remove that risk. The College is working with forces to make recommendations that will support operational colleagues to make the best decisions about risk, based on the best available evidence. Whatever risk assessment tool is used, decisions will always involve the use of professional judgement and is unlikely ever to be a precise science'.

Therefore we are looking at for a range of practices which are utilised in forces to help officers effectively recognise and respond to vulnerabilities in order to enhance the professional judgement. This call for practice is specifically focused on material related to:

  • Training and development practices which, for example, encourage professional curiosity, challenging conversations, reflective practice and supervision, rapport building, displaying empathy, active listening, etc.

  • Any formal/force advice or guidance that is regularly used to inform action/behaviour for spotting signs of vulnerability generally.

  • Supervisory models and management techniques in place (for example, looking at leadership, learning culture, etc.).

To ensure we capture the full range of practice in use across policing, we are asking you to share examples of interventions or approaches that you are using in your force. We are particularly interested in interventions that address multiple vulnerabilities rather than those that focus on specific areas.

The College invites you to be part of this call for practice – for more information please read the attached information sheet and complete the practice form. Your practice example will ensure that we have a wide knowledge of the products and projects that are currently being carried out or have been conducted. We welcome submission of any supporting documents such as training materials, training feedback, implementation plans, review material, post-implementation reviews and evaluations.

The closing date for contributions is Friday, 24th May 2019.

If you have any questions please contact the team – risk.guidelines@college.pnn.police.uk.