Specialist: Independent domestic violence advisor (Idva) training

Our specialist Independent domestic violence advisor (Idva) training provides additional learning to Idvas and domestic abuse practitioners on a range of further topics including police response, CPS, anti-racist practice, Sarc, and stalking.

Key course features

Our specialist Idva training looks at the role of an Idva in the multi-agency response to domestic abuse. The training is delivered with contributions from specialist guest speakers and aims to further your knowledge on the following topics:

  • Police response
  • CPS
  • Anti-racist practice
  • Sarc
  • Stalking

Course overview

Our specialist Idva training is designed for practitioners who have previously completed a SafeLives foundation course who wish to top up their knowledge by attending a shorter (four day) course in a new field.  The training can also be a great opportunity for non-DA professionals to gain CPD around the risks specifically around young people’s experiences of domestic abuse. SafeLives does however recommend that you have a strong knowledge of domestic abuse case management.

Successful completion of this accredited course will give you 6 credits.

The Idva Specialist 4 day course focuses on supporting victims of domestic abuse at high risk of harm. The course aims to enhance your practical knowledge to best support high risk victims of domestic abuse.  This ensures professionals are able to respond to victims deemed at high risk of harm to work within multi-agency framework to reduce risk and increase safety.

Topics covered in the course include:

  • Marac
  • Crown prosecution service
  • Police response
  • Probation
  • Stalking

The training is supported by relevant specialists from many different fields, including probation, Mappa and police.

For professionals who have not completed a SafeLives Foundation course, they can complete this as CPD. To qualify as an Idva you will need to complete a foundation course.

Idva foundation course

We are delighted to announce that, following an open competition, we have been awarded funding from the Ministry of Justice, under the Independent sexual violence advisors (Isva) and Independent domestic violence advisors (Idva) Training and Infrastructure Fund.

With this provision, we are now able to offer the Spring 2024 courses at a reduced cost – please see new costing below.

Time commitment

The Idva Specialist course comprises 4 days online training, delivered in four consecutive days; e-learning modules which must be completed prior to attending each block of training; and the completion of one assessed worksheets that is submitted online. 

You must attend all 4 days. 

The list below provides guidance on recommended study time you should allow: 

  • Guided learning (training blocks, pre-course reading and e-learning modules) – 40 hours 
  • Worksheets – 15 hours 
  • Notional study – 40 hours 
  • Total course time requirement – 95 hours 


Our specialist Idva course is available to practitioners who meet the following eligibility criteria: 

  1. Anyone with a current, active caseload supporting domestic abuse victims. This is to ensure that you have a variety of cases for practice reflection as part of your assessment. 
  2. Has a line manager or equivalent supervisor within an appropriate organisation. They should confirm your application details and support you for the duration of the course and whilst you are completing the worksheets. 

To promote diversity and widen our learners’ network, we generally limit the number of successful applicants from the same organisation admitted to one course to two spaces. 

SafeLives highly recommends non-DA professionals have a strong knowledge of domestic abuse case management 

Please consider this before you apply to avoid any disappointment. 

The variety of subject material and expertise shared both from the presenters and the guest speakers.  I feel I have a library of information, way beyond the requirements of the worksheets. I see this as added benefit going forward into the Idva role, identifying new sources of support and information.  This can only benefit the client.

Previous learner


£718.25 per learner. This training is tax exempt.


We’re pleased to offer a limited number of subsidised spaces for learners wishing to train with us.The reduced fee spaces are allocated by random selection from the pool of successful applicants who qualify. Please ensure that you complete the application as fully as possible as the answers provided on the application will be used to determine eligible learners.

Thanks to the additional funding from Ministry of Justice our subsidised spaces are currently being offered at an even lower rate.  

  • Subsidised spaces £60 (previously £600) - Learners from registered charities with an annual income of less than £1million. 
  • Super subsidised spaces £35 (previously £350) - Learners from registered charities with an annual income of less than £500,000. 

How to apply

Applications for the specialist Idva  Spring 2024 Course are now closed.

Register your interest in future training


We welcome learners of all backgrounds and abilities. We encourage you to share with us any details on accessibility and diversity needs so we can ensure the right support is in place. You can also contact us if you have any queries via training@safelives.org.uk.

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