Training for domestic abuse service managers: FAQs

About the course

How much does it cost?

Due to Covid-19, the Service Manager course will be delivered online with a subsidised fee of £595 instead of the normal £795.

Who can apply?

This course is aimed at service managers and lead practitioners (senior level staff or team leaders) working within domestic abuse services (e.g. Idva, Idaa, outreach, floating support, and refuge).

Service manager training is the first step on the road to gaining Leading Lights accreditation. If this is your intention, services are asked to submit an application for the SafeLives Leading Lights programme within a year of training.

What is the link between the training and Leading Lights?

The course forms the first part of the SafeLives Leading Lights accreditation programme for domestic abuse services. Service managers who pass this course will be able to put their service forward for assessment and accreditation by SafeLives within a twelve-month time window, following the course.

Can I attend the service managers training without applying for Leading Lights?

If you are not considering applying for the SafeLives Leading Lights programme, but still wish to learn how to make your service more effective and sustainable you may still apply for this course.

Is the accreditation awarded to the service manager or the service?

Accreditation for the service managers training course is a nationally accredited, portable, progression qualification for the individual being trained.

By passing the course, service managers will be able to put their service forward for SafeLives Leading Lights assessment and accreditation within a twelve month timeframe. If successful, the Leading Lights accreditation will belong to the service and is therefore not portable.

What is the time commitment?

  • 7 sessions (1.5 hours) of online delivery

  • Video resources and pre -reading in preparation for sessions

  • Portfolio of work to be submitted evidencing how the learning has been applied to practice.

  • The course is assessed through the completion of a service self-assessment against the Leading Lights service standards and the submission of a portfolio of evidence. Please note that this will require a significant commitment of time and this should be considered prior to application.

What accreditation level is the course?

The course is accredited as OCNLR Level 4 Certificate in Progression (QCF). The number of credits for this is 12.

To achieve OCN accreditation you must have attended the full course and completed the assessment to the required standard.

About the assessment: Your work will be assessed and moderated by both an internal and external moderator.

If there are circumstances which make it difficult for you to meet a deadline, you will be able to contact the lead trainer or training co-ordinator to discuss this. Extensions are considered on a case by case basis.

What are the training requirements?

To ensure you get the most from your training, we ask that all applicants:

  • Attend all online sessions

  • Have a quiet and private space in which to access the online sessions

  • Understand, speak, and write good English to understand the training materials and be able to fully participate in exercises and complete assessments

  • Complete all compulsory assessment exercises within the timescales agreed

  • Use IT skills and have access to a current version of Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, and the internet (to access the SafeLives online learner centre to submit assessment worksheets online and receive email communications)

  • Be able to access Zoom

  • Commit to all the pre-read requirements and to watching the video resources ahead of each session

Who are the course trainers?

Kathryn Hinchliff, Leading Lights Programme Lead

The SafeLives Leading Lights Programme Lead is Kathryn Hinchliff who has worked with SafeLives as a coach and assessor for Leading Lights since 2010. Prior to this, Kathryn set up and managed an Idva service, and has worked as an Idva service manager and refuge worker in Norwich.

Kathryn has delivered countywide training across Norfolk including a course specifically for trainee nurses at the University of East Anglia and a domestic abuse awareness course to frontline police officers.

Deborah Cartwright, CEO, Oasis Domestic Abuse Service

Deborah has been in the role as CEO for Oasis Domestic Abuse Service since 2008. Deborah has been responsible for developing the service into an organisation committed to robust systems and infrastructure.

Deborah also established and developed a Leading Lights accredited Idva service which now leads a consortium delivering a Kent-wide Idva service since April 2013.

Deborah has wide experience of both strategic and operational management. She regularly delivers training to agencies within Kent and has recently completed her PG Dip Voluntary Sector Management at CASS Business School.

She has been the chair of the Thanet domestic abuse forum for several years and a trustee of Kent Union since July 2013 with special responsibility for governance and appointments.

Zoë Jackson, Operations Manager, Aurora New Dawn

Zoë is one of the founding members of Aurora New Dawn, a domestic abuse, sexual violence and stalking advocacy service based in the south of England and has been in post as Operations Manager since the service’s inception in 2011.

Zoe has worked in the sector for over 10 years, starting her career working frontline with victims of domestic abuse as a SafeLives-accredited Idva and managing the Idva/Isva team at Portsmouth City Council before moving to Aurora.

Zoë has overseen Aurora’s operational growth from a new service with just 4 members of staff to a Leading Light service with 11 members of staff in just 4 years. She sits on the Wessex CPS Violence Against Women and Girls scrutiny panel and is currently studying for an MSc at the University of Portsmouth, with a focus on the identification and management of serial perpetrators of domestic abuse. 

How is the course structured? What does it cover?

Learners are encouraged to be open and honest about the challenges they have faced in implementing changes to practice and policy. They are supported to work together to explore solutions and share best practice.

Block 1

Session 1 & 2: Governance and leadership

  • Engaging and motivating the board

  • Governance and leadership theory

  • Managing organisational risks

  • Strategic and operational planning.

Session 3: Commissioning

  • Engaging with the commissioning cycle

  • Working in partnership/consortia building

  • Outcomes monitoring

Session 4: Support and supervision

  • Supervision theory

  • Supporting frontline staff

  • Types of supervision

  • Vicarious trauma

Session 5: Case management

  • Case management from intake to closure

  • Auditing case files

  • Conducting case reviews

Preparing for Block 2

Learners will:

  • Conduct a case file review on 5 files using the audit tool (provided on session 5)

  • Prepare & deliver a 10-minute presentation on an agreed topic, identifying actions needed to address gaps

  • Begin to complete the self-assessment process for their service against the Leading Lights standards.

  • Attend a Marac (or other appropriate multi-agency meeting) and conduct a review of the meeting which identifies strengths and areas for improvement

Block 2

Session 1

  • Reflective Practice.

Session 2

  • Improving the multi-agency response


About the application process

How do I apply?

By clicking on the “Apply now” application link on our website and filling in the application form.

Please note this is different to the Expression of Interest (EOI) link. The EOI only asks you a few basic questions to register your interest while the Application is an elaborated form. 

What happens after I apply?  

Our training team will review each application individually and get in touch with you regarding the outcome.

When will I hear if my application has been successful? 

Whilst we strive to allocate spaces as quickly as possible, we cannot give a firm date. This is because each application is considered on an individual basis. Results will be announced before 1 September 2020. Email enquiries on the status of the application will not be answered. 

My application has been successful, what is next?  

If successful, you will receive an email containing a registration link. This link will take you through an Amazon-like check-out process. This will include providing details for payment, such as a purchase order number and nominated order contact. The order contact is the person who will receive the invoice, they may have a job title like Finance Administrator. 

Once the registration is completed, an invoice will be sent to your nominated order contact. Payment terms are 10 working days from date of invoice. You space is not secured until the fee is paid. 

My application has not been successful, what can I do?  

We do not give individual feedback because of the high calibre of applications. As spaces are allocated among eligible applicants on a first com first serve basis, you may be put on a waiting list. In this case, we will let you know and contact you when a place becomes available. If you are simply unsuccessful, you are welcome to put in an application in a future course when you feel you have met our criteria better. 

I have completed an expression of interest (EOI) form, do I need to complete an application form? 

Yes, you need to still complete an application form for the specific course you wish to attend. This is a more detailed form than the EOI. Filling in the EOI only means you receive an early-bird email about the application link.  

Will my name be placed on the waiting list? 

If you are eligible for the course, but have not been allocated a space, we will add your name to the waiting list, but a space is not guaranteed.

Who is the nominated order contact for registration? 

This is the person that should receive the invoice. It is your responsibility to ensure that the correct details are entered. If you choose for the invoice to be sent to yourself, it is your responsibility to make sure that it is forwarded on to the person/department who will make payment. 

Failure to make payment within the 10 working days after the registration link has been sent will mean you are liable to lose your space. 

Do I need to provide a purchase order? 

Please speak to your Finance department and ask if they use purchase orders. If they do, they will need to raise a purchase order for you. Please add the purchase order number when going through the check-out process. 

What happens if my organisation does not use a purchase order system? 

That is fine. Please enter ‘0000’ when prompted for a PO number. If your organisation does use purchase orders and you do not add one to your invoice, the invoice will be rejected, and you may lose your place. 

How do I pay? 

If your application is successful, you will be sent a registration link that will take you through the steps to raise a digital invoice. See above. An invoice will be sent to whomever you nominate as the “order contact”. The order contact is responsible for ensuring the invoice is paid according to the instructions on the invoice. Payment needs to be received within 10 working days of the registration link being sent to you. Until payment is received your place is not secured. 

What if I have a disability?  

We encourage applications regardless of ability. We do ask that this is disclosed from the application process for better support to be provided. If you are successful, before the course starts, we will be in touch with a private and confidential email to discuss necessary arrangements.  

Do I need to attend all 7 training sessionss? 

Yes. You need to attend all training sessions to be accredited. Please see the terms and conditions for more information. 

What if my internet does not work? Or if there are extenuating circumstances?

It is your responsibility to ensure you have a working internet connection and equipment before joining the course. In extenuating circumstances, please contact the training team.