The Structured Professional Judgment (SPJ) approach to risk assessment holds many points of differentiation from the actuarial approach. Whereas the actuarial approach uses actuarial tests that are developed in one setting and may not be predictive in other settings, the SPJ approach uses instruments that have been developed on the basis of empirical research that identifies the most relevant risk factors to consider in a given context. Evaluators using the SPJ approach are guided in their case formulation by empirical evidence and a strong literature and research base. Several instruments using an SPJ approach have been developed for various aspects of threat assessment and risk management. Dr. Stephen Hart is a leading authority figure, researcher, and clinical scientist who has shaped the evolution of the SPJ approach to violence risk assessment.
The Evolution of the Structured Professional Judgement Approach to Violence Risk Assessment
At the International launch for Version 3 of the HCR-20 in Edinburgh, Scotland in April 2013 internationally known researchers and clinicians presented a one-day conference on Structured Professional Judgment and the HCR-20 Version 3. In this video, Professor Stephen Hart speaks about the evolution of the Structured Professional Judgement (SPJ) approach to violence risk assessment. He presents the interesting history of this approach and the differentiation between the SPJ approach and the actuarial approach to violence risk assessment. In this video, Dr. Hart uses the example of taking the pilot out of the cockpit to describe the differences between the SPJ and actuarial approaches. It is a must-watch for anyone who is involved in risk assessment or threat management.
Professional Training in the SPJ Approach to Threat Assessment and Risk Management
Dr. Hart and his colleagues, Drs. Kelly Watt, Kevin Douglas, and Randall Kropp, have presented professional training workshops on threat assessment and risk management using an SPJ approach around the world. A number of these workshops have been developed into online professional training programs, providing both didactic as well as interactive training activities in an online format. More information on the professional training programs available on this topic can be found here. We continue to develop more professional training programs an resources in this important area of the field.