Domestic abuse advocacy (Idaa) training, Scotland

ASSIST, Scottish Women's Aid and SafeLives are working in partnership to deliver a professional development award (PDA) in domestic abuse advocacy for practitioners working in Scotland.

Our domestic abuse advocacy (Idaa) training is designed to equip managers or practitioners in domestic abuse services with the knowledge and skills to offer a consistent, safe and effective response to high risk victims of domestic abuse.

About the course

Our domestic abuse advocacy (Idaa) training is led by Mhairi McGowan with co-delivery by ASSIST and Scottish Woman's Aid, along with contributions by specialist guest speakers.

Through these expert speakers and relevant topics, this course aims to help you:

  • Feel equipped to increase the safety of victims of domestic abuse
  • Increase your confidence levels through group work
  • Improve your career prospects with a professional development award on completion
  • Share experience and best practice with other Scottish domestic abuse practitioners in a learning environment

The professional development award (PDA) for Scotland has been tailored to meet the needs of a Scottish audience and validated by the Scottish Qualifications Authority.

In all the years I have worked in this field this is by far the best training I have ever been on!

Delivery Information

This training is delivered online via Zoom, across four different blocks with a total of 12 training days (plus a 1.5 hour assessment and resource session before day 1).
Each training day takes place on a Wednesday (except for Block 4, Day 3 which is on a Thursday) and runs from 9.30am – 16:30pm.


£1,652 per learner (includes registration fees with SQA).


The course is specifically tailored to those practicing within Scotland. The broad range of topics covered on this course means it is suitable for experienced practitioners and those who are new to the role. This includes those who are:

  • Currently working as an independent domestic abuse advocate or domestic abuse practitioner
  • About to start work as an independent domestic abuse advocate or domestic abuse practitioner
  • Managers of a domestic abuse service with a caseload

If you are providing support to victims in a voluntary capacity, this course is unlikely to be suitable for you. If you have any doubts about whether you are eligible for the training, please get in touch with our training team.


If you are interested in future courses, please leave your name and email here and we will be in touch when applications open for Autumn 2024

Training Schedule =

Block 1:

  • Weds 6th March (10am - 11:30am) This 1.5 hour session will be seperate to the normal training sessions, covering important assessment and resource information. 
  • Weds 13th March (9:30am-4:30pm)
  • Weds 20th March (9:30am-4:30pm)
  • Weds 27th March (9:30am-4:30pm)

Block 2:

  • Weds 17th April (9:30am-4:30pm)
  • Weds 24th April (9:30am-4:30pm)
  • Weds 1st May (9:30am-4:30pm)

Block 3:

  • Weds 15th May (9:30am-4:30pm)
  • Weds 22nd May (9:30am-4:30pm)
  • Weds 29th May (9:30am-4:30pm)

Block 4:

  • Weds 12th June (9:30am-4:30pm)
  • Weds 19th June (9:30am-4:30pm)
  • Thurs 20th June (9:30am-4:30pm) *The final day is on a Thursday, not the following Wednesday as normal. 

Please note, you will need to attend all 12 training days in full (as well as the introductory assessment and resource session on Weds 6th March), in order to receive accreditation and will need to participate throughout.

If you cannot make the above dates but are interested in a future course, please submit your name and email here. We will be back in touch once we have further dates - likely for Autumn 2024.

Please note, spaces are not first come, first serve and applications will be judged on a case by case basis. Please only apply for yourself and not on behalf of somebody else. When completing your application form, please ensure that you answer every question in full.


Course content

Block 1:

  • Context and skills of Idaa role
  • Pro-social modelling, active listening, stages of change and motivational interviewing
  • Domestic abuse and health
  • Housing options

Block 2:

  • SafeLives Dash and safety planning
  • Marac and multi-agency risk management
  • Case management from referral to closure

Block 3:

  • Criminal justice – input from Police Scotland and COPFS
  • Civil law
  • LGBT+ clients
  • Black, Asian, and racially minoritised clients

Block 4:

  • Children and domestic abuse
  • Adult support and protection sexual abuse
  • Male clients and perpetrator screening
  • Substance use and domestic abuse
  • Vicarious Trauma

Assessment Information

Each block has an adjoining worksheet assessment (four in total) that takes between 6 – 14 hours each to complete, dependant on ability.

You have 4 weeks after the end of each block to submit your first attempts and have three attempts in which to pass, by course closure.

You will be assigned an assessor who is there to support you should you need it.

To receive your accreditation, you need to pass all x4 assessments by course closure.


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.

IDAA Block 5 - Domestic Abuse Court Advocacy (DACAA)

We are currently accepting expressions of interest for the SQA-accredited Domestic Abuse Court Advocacy training.

The new training block will launch in Autumn 2024 and is designed for Domestic Abuse Court Advocacy (DACA) workers and service managers. 

In the first instance, priority will be given to individuals who have completed the Idaa qualification and who are working in domestic abuse court advocacy roles, and to services who are seeking to be accredited via the DACA Accreditation programme.

If you are interested in applying for the course please submit your name and email address here and we will be in touch with further details when the course opens.

Contact us

For queries about eligibility, pricing or any other questions, call our training team on 0117 403 3224 and ask for Hannah Birch, or email scotland@safelives.org.uk. More information is also available via the below: