Comparing two Primary Methods for Assessing and Managing Violence Risk: Actuarial Risk Assessment versus Structured Professional Judgment

Comparing two Primary Methods for Assessing and Managing Violence Risk: Actuarial Risk Assessment versus Structured Professional Judgment


1.5 Hours | 1.5 CEs (CEUs)

Program Description

This webinar on Comparing two Primary Methods for Assessing and Managing Violence Risk: Actuarial Risk Assessment versus Structured Professional Judgment is presented by Dr. Stephen Hart.

Largely in reaction to the problems with unstructured professional judgment when assessing and managing violence risk, two primary methods of structuring violence risk assessment have been developed over the last twenty-five years. Both methods have been the focus of extensive research and have been implemented in diverse settings around the world. In the first method, actuarial risk assessment, information is weighted and combined according to fixed and explicit rules. In the second method, structured professional judgment (SPJ), information is weighted and combined according to both guidelines and professional discretion. On the surface, these methods differ with respect to the degree of structure imposed on the assessment process. But in practice, there is a tremendous debate about the intended purpose of these methods, how they are implemented in practice and their effectiveness in preventing violence. This webinar provides an overview of the differences between these methods and the implications of these difference for both practice and the law.

Intended Audience

This webinar is intended for professionals that want to enhance their clinical understanding of threat assessment and risk management, including those working in criminal justice, security, health care, social service, education, and human resources settings. This webinar is for beginner, intermediate, and advanced level clinicians.

Upon completion of this webinar, participants should be able to:

  • Describe the two primary methods for assessing and managing violence risk
  • Describe the implications of using these two methods in practice and law

About Dr. Stephen Hart

Dr. Stephen D. Hart obtained BA, MA, and PhD degrees in psychology at the University of British Columbia. He has been on faculty in the Department of Psychology at Simon Fraser University since 1990, and has held the rank of Professor since 2001. He also has been a Visiting Professor in the Faculty of Psychology at the University of Bergen in Norway since 2000. His expertise is in the field of clinical-forensic psychology, with a special focus on the assessment of violence risk and psychopathic personality disorder. He has co-authored more than 215 books, chapters, and articles. He has served as editor of two scientific journals; a member of the editorial board of six journals; and ad hoc reviewer for more than 30 journals. He served as executive committee member of several professional organizations, including President of the American Psychology-Law Society and the International Association of Forensic Mental Health Services. He has received various distinctions for his professional work, including the Career Achievement Award from the Society of Clinical Psychology, the Saleem Shah Award for Early Career Research Excellence in Psychology and Law from the American Psychology-Law Society and the American Academy of Forensic Psychology, and the Distinguished Achievement Award from the Association of Threat Assessment Professionals. In Canada, he has been qualified to give expert testimony before various courts, tribunals, and review boards, including the provincial courts of British Columbia and Ontario; the superior courts of Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, and Ontario; Federal Court; and the House of Commons Standing Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs.

Webinar Outline

  • Unstructured Professional Judgment
  • Structured Professional Judgment
  • Implications and differences in practice and law
  • Assessing and Managing violence risk

“Dr. Hart is a fantastic presenter. He is engaging and shares relevant research clearly.”

“This webinar was very informative and the case examples provided were helpful!”

Continuing Education Credit

This Distance Learning Recorded Webinar is a Home Study Training Program. To earn CEs you are required to complete all course materials, quizzes, and the evaluation. No partial credit is available. A score of 70% is required to proceed; you will be able to re-take any quiz on which you score less than 70%. Participants will earn 1 CE hour upon completion of these requirements. Each participant will be able to download and print the CE certificate upon completion of the final evaluation.

Board Approvals: APA, ASWB, CPA, NBCC. Click here for state and other regional board approvals.

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