FAQs - Risk Assessment Reports


Who decides when an OLR should be given?

After conviction, if a Judge considers at his own instance, or on the motion of the prosecutor, that the risk criteria may be met, the Judge may issue a Risk Assessment Order. The High Court will then appoint an RMA Accredited Risk Assessor to carry out a risk assessment and report back to the Court in the form of a Risk Assessment Report (RAR). The Risk Assessor will have up to 90 days to complete the risk assessment. The RAR will allow the judge to make an informed decision on whether it is appropriate to impose an OLR.


What is the RMA's role in the OLR process?

The introduction of the OLR and all associated legislative provisions was handled by the Scottish Government. The RMA has a statutory duty to put into place the standards and guidelines for a risk assessment under the auspices of a RAO or an Interim Compulsion Order. The Standards and Guidelines is available to view on the publications page of this website. When a Judge is considering imposing an OLR he will order a Risk Assessment Order and appoint an RMA Accredited Risk Assessor to carry out a risk assessment and report back to the court in the form of a Risk Assessment Report (RAR). The RMA is responsible for accrediting and providing training to the Assessors who will prepare the RAR. THE RMA will also approve all Risk Management plans prepared during the nine months following the imposition of an OLR and annual reports for the duration of the sentence.


What is a Risk Assessment Order (RAO)?

Following conviction of an offence other than murder and that offence is:

  1. a sexual offence;
  2. a violent offence
  3. an offence which endangers life; or
  4. an offence, the nature of which or the circumstances of the commission of which, are such that it appears to the Court that the person has a tendency to commit any such offence as listed above at points (1), (2) and (3)

A Risk Assessment Order (RAO) may be made by the High Court where the Court considers that the risk criteria may be met. The Prosecutor has the function to make a motion to the Court for the Court to consider making a RAO, as long as the prosecutor has given the accused notice of his intention to make such a motion. Once a RAO is made, the Court will adjourn the case for a period of 90 days to allow an accredited risk assessor to carry out a risk assessment of the convicted person and prepare a Risk Assessment Report (RAR) for the High Court.


What is a Risk Assessment Report (RAR)?

A Risk Assessment Report (RAR) is the document prepared by an RMA accredited Risk Assessor to inform the High Court's judgement on whether an Order for Lifelong Restriction should be imposed. View the RMA standards, guidance and guidelines for preparing the RAR.


What is a Risk Management Plan (RMP)?

A Risk Management Plan (RMP) will be prepared by the lead authority for every offender who is subject to an OLR. The RMP sets out an assessment of risk, the measures to be taken for the minimisation of risk and how such measures are to be co-ordinated. The plan includes assessment and analysis of factors that may increase or prevent re-offending and gives recommendations for action. It requires inter-agency and multi-disciplinary working.


The Risk Assessment Report prepared for the High Court prior to sentencing should be developed by the lead authority, in the first months of the OLR being imposed, into a detailed Risk Management Plan (RMP).