Multi-Agency Workshops on Public Protection


When did you first introduce the innovation?

More than 24 months ago

Please describe the innovation you have developed

Multi- Agency workshops on Public Protection engaged students from two universities and 5 different health and social care disciplines; education students and Police Scotland Police Officers.

The format for learning comprised a blended approach using an interactive tool Collaborative Outcomes Learning Tool (COLT) developed as a partnership between the university and Police Scotland

Students interacted in mixed discipline groups including a police officer in each group and studied a case study using COLT relating to a family with ‘protection’ issues affecting their health and well-being. They developed their perspectives on the case, sharing similarities and differences from their professional stances. They presented their views on the film clip they had studied to an expert panel comprising an inter-agency group from police; health and social services and fielded questions.

They were asked to pose a question regarding their case to the panel.

The learning outcomes enabled the participants to:

  • Recognise each contributor’s professional expertise in relation to their given scenario
  • Demonstrate multi-agency working with regard to adult protection
  • Achieve team collaboration in the production of an oral presentation
  • Share their learning with each other, raising their awareness of different professional roles and responsibilities and the impact of this on their own professional working.

The plenary session at the end of the workshop was open to the wider academic community and included representation from Police and Fire Services; the academic communities; NHS and Social Services.

What prompted you to develop this innovation?

The interprofessional education (IPE) programme has been well established in Aberdeen since 2003 ( and it was the introduction of the Adult Support and Protection Act Scotland in 2007 that prompted greater interest in the education and training provision on public protection. The IPE lead formed an inter-agency group of educators and collaborators from the University of Aberdeen, Robert Gordon University; Social Services Aberdeen City Council and Police Scotland.

Their vision is:

  • To be a local community of practice for multi-agency educational perspectives on public protection.
  • To retain a wider perspective combining all aspects of protection education to include: adult; child; gender-based violence; substance and alcohol misuse; mental health; suicide; PREVENT, honour based violence and female genital mutilation.
  • To develop our expertise and professional development in this area and disseminate to colleagues in our own organisations.

It was through the formation of PIPE that the multi-agency workshops were developed and implemented

In your view, what is it about this innovation that makes it different/important?

This was the first time that an inter-agency group of staff from the organisations mentioned developed learning material relevant to the Scottish Public Protection, primarily for undergraduates and police officers.

Students working together with the police officers proved mutually beneficial and specific community roles became very visible through the analysis of the case study, for example the role of the community pharmacist and the police. Students and police officers evaluated the workshops very well. Facilitators were drawn from the different inter-agency organisations and members of the PIPE group. This collaborative working proved very beneficial to all concerned, as they developed learning material and delivered the workshops together.

This initiative has been instrumental in implementing the health and social care agenda as stipulated by the Joint Working (Scotland) Act 2014. The benefits of multi-agency education and training on public protection has been further evidenced by a research project funded by the Scottish Institute for Policing Research (SIPR)

To what extent does your innovation make use of existing approaches, resources or technologies?

This innovation enabled the use of the COLT interactive learning tool that had been developed by Robert Gordon University and Police Scotland. The tool depicts a dysfunctional family using interactive film clips for group discussion. It was nominated as a finalist for the Learning on Screen Award by the British Universities Film and Video Council and is showcased on the JISC website

To what degree has this innovation led to changes in education or clinical practice?

Along with evidence from the research project funded by SIPR the multi-agency workshops that were an extra- curricular activity are becoming part of mainstream IPE for final year undergraduate students. Learning in the workplace has also been informed by this innovation as the facilitators from the inter-agency group have reported their experiences of implementing these workshops. Potentially this innovation will impact on the safe guarding of adults and children in society as newly qualified practitioners embark on roles with deeper insights into public protection.

What evidence do you have of the impact of the innovation?

Evaluation evidence from students, facilitators and the expert panels from the workshops.

Research evidence from the SIPR funded project

Anecdotal evidence from final year students who have attended job interviews and tabled their attendance certificates from the workshops. These students reported that the discussion on the workshops had impacted positively on their new employers and had affected their CV development and employability.

To what degree has the innovation been disseminated in your organisation or elsewhere?

This innovation has been disseminated locally, nationally and internationally. Locally the inter-agency facilitators and PIPE members have raised awareness of public protection issues within health, social services and the Police. Through SIPR the innovation has been disseminated nationally on their websites and annual reports. The lead academic is Vice Chair of the Centre for the Advancement of Interprofessional Education (CAIPE) and this innovation has been disseminated throughout the UK via CAIPE Corporate Forum Meetings and newsletters. Internationally there have been conference presentations by PIPE members in The Netherlands and USA at Public Protection conferences in 2014.

Please provide details of any plans you have to disseminate the innovation in the future.

A peer reviewed journal publication is planned.

The lead academic is assisting with the embedding of the innovation within mainstream IPE programme.

An impact event combining this innovation with the research findings from the SIPR funded project is planned for 17th Dec 2015 at the Scottish Parliament.

The first IPE conference in the Middle East will take place in Doha, Qatar from 4th-6th Dec 2015 and an oral presentation on diversity in IPE, including this innovation has been accepted.

In 2015 the PIPE group have raised staff awareness on public protection issues such as Radicalisation and Female Genital Mutilation. The wider academic community have attended these sessions including the NHS; Social Services; Police and the Independent and Voluntary sectors. Further sessions are planned on Human Trafficking and Honour Based Violence.