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The Evolution of the Structured Professional Judgement Approach to Risk Assessment (Video)

Professor Stephen D. Hart

I recently had the chance to travel to Edinburgh, Scotland for the International launch of Version 3 of the HCR-20. For those of you who don’t know, the HCR-20 is an assessment instrument, developed to evaluate risk for general violence. First published in 1993 and then updated in 1995, the HCR-20 quickly became the most commonly-used risk assessment instruments in the world. Since 1993, an amazing database of research studies has developed using the HCR-20 in multiple countries throughout the world. On April 15, 2013 the third version (V3) of the HCR-20 was released and, to kick it all off, a one-day conference was held at the Royal Society of Edinburgh. Each of the authors of the HCR-20 V3 (minus Chris Webster who had other commitments and was unable to attend; we missed you, Chris) spoke about various aspects of the new version of the risk assessment instrument. I was able to capture this all on video and will release these videos over the course of the next few weeks. First up, Professor Stephen Hart.

The Evolution of the Structured Professional Judgement Approach to Violence Risk Assessment

In this first video, Professor Stephen Hart speaks about the evolution of the Structured Professional Judgement (SPJ) approach to violence risk assessment. This is an interesting bit of history that has its roots in my homeland– Oh Canada! This truly is a case of East v. West (literally; a strong group of Western Canadian researchers advance to the SPJ approach to risk assessment whereas a group of Eastern Canadian researchers promote the use of the actuarial approach). This video describes this interesting evolution and Professor 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.

Hope you enjoyed the clip. Next week, I’ll share Professor Hart’s overview of the HCR-20 V3’s administration procedures.

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