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The Ask and Act programme continues to be a key priority for the Welsh Government. Following the Senedd election in May 2021, the Welsh Government published its Programme for Government (Welsh Government, 2021) identifying its key commitments and priorities for the next 5 years. One of the key priorities is to expand the Ask and Act training.
Objective 5 of the Violence Against Women, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence (VAWDASV) National Strategy states:
relevant professionals are trained to provide effective, timely and appropriate responses to victims and survivors
In line with these commitments and in recognition of the importance of training in preventing all forms of VAWDASV and protecting and supporting victims and survivors, the Welsh Government is expanding the delivery of the Ask and Act programme to those who fall outside of the definition of ‘relevant authority’ within the VAWDASV (Wales) Act 2015.
Section 14 of the VAWDASV (Wales) Act 2015 defines ‘relevant authorities’ as:
- a local authority
- a local health board
- a fire and rescue authority in Wales constituted by a scheme under section 2 of the Fire and Rescue Services Act 2004 (c.21), or a scheme to which section 4 of that Act applies
- a National Health Service trust established under section 18 of the National Health Service (Wales) Act 2006 (c.42)
The Welsh Government VAWDASV policy team has received a number of approaches over the years from those who are not considered to be ‘relevant authorities’ under the Act, to ask whether they can deliver Ask and Act training to their staff members. We are now able to offer Ask and Act to this wider group, for example any organisation which is not listed as a relevant authority, and will refer to them as ‘additional authorities’ throughout this document. This is not a term set out within the Act and does not have a statutory definition.
This document is created to support the delivery of Ask and Act training to those 'additional authorities' not within the statutory definition of the VAWDASV (Wales) Act 2015. There is no statutory requirement for ‘additional authorities’ to participate in Ask and Act Training. This has been extended on a purely voluntary basis.
Recommended guidelines to consider for the delivery of Ask and Act to additional authorities
The provision of Ask and Act training to relevant authorities is to be prioritised. Delivery to additional authorities is advised to be undertaken once all regions have had sufficient time to become confident in delivering the Ask and Act programme.
The Welsh Government provides funding to all regions in Wales who currently deliver Ask and Act training via the relevant authorities.
The delivery of Ask and Act to additional authorities will be delivered via regional ask and act coordinators, based on the following recommendations.
Only accredited Ask and Act trainers will be permitted to deliver training to additional authorities. Accredited trainers are advised to ensure that they are using the most up to date training package, incorporate any amendments and ensure any refresher training is completed within the appropriate timescale.
Only accredited Ask and Act trainers will be able to promote and deliver training to additional authorities as part of supporting the wider national Ask and Act rollout to relevant authorities.
Work to support the rollout to relevant authorities should be prioritised and time commitments to this training should never be cancelled to deliver training to additional authorities. Accredited Ask and Act trainers are advised to continue delivering sessions for relevant authorities as agreed within their regional training plans which are funded through access to the local Ask and Act regional allocation.
It is advised that access for additional authorities to Ask and Act training is facilitated through the relevant regional team to ensure that access is non preferential. Additional authorities will be able to search their local/regional area for a provider where there are accredited “Ask and Act” trainers and contact them directly.
It is advised that costs to deliver training to an additional authority are based on a standard training day rate to ensure uniformity of approach across providers and across Wales with additional costs agreed for travel and subsistence.
In order to prevent late cancellation of training sessions, Ask and Act coordinators will be able to allow additional authorities to attend a planned relevant authorities session where there has been a decrease in attendees 1 week prior to delivery of training.
Quarterly updates (as part of the quarterly Ask and Act grant claims) are required to be provided to the Welsh Government VAWDASV mailbox VAWDASV@gov.wales via the regional consortia to monitor how many people are being reached through the delivery of training to additional authorities. Completion rates need to be broken down, so it is clear how many relevant authority and additional authority participants have completed the training.
In order to determine the reach of this expansion to Ask and Act training delivery, numbers of additional authority participants should be included within the submission of the annual training plan by regional consortia.