Refuge team celebrate achieving first ever Skills for Justice Level 3 Award in ‘Supporting Survivors of Domestic Violence’

Ten of the frontline team at Refuge became the first to pass a new qualification this week – the SFJ Awards Level 3 Award in Supporting Survivors of Domestic Violence (QCF).


This award was the first Ofqual-accredited qualification for domestic violence practitioners.  It has been developed by the practitioners at Refuge, the country’s largest provider of specialist domestic violence services, who have over 43 years’ experience in the field of violence against women and girls. The learners were presented with their awards by Jane Keeper, Refuge’s director of operations, at a ceremony at Refuge’s head office on Tuesday 14 October 2014.

The successful learners and Refuge's Jane Keeper

The Award ensures that those who receive this recognition have the skills, knowledge and understanding required of practitioners working directly with survivors of domestic violence.  The learning units include: understanding the dynamics of domestic violence; making risk assessments; determining survivors’ needs; and responding effectively to support survivors. These competencies are required of all Refuge’s specialist domestic violence practitioners, but this is the first time that their vocational knowledge and skills have been recognised formally in a national qualification.

Four additional learners were also awarded the SFJ Awards Level 3 Certificate in Assessing Vocational Achievement (QCF), and two were awarded SFJ Awards Level 4 Award in Internal Quality Assurance of Assessment Processes and Practice (QCF).

Jane Keeper, Refuge’s director of operations said: “Refuge has been running internal training for its frontline staff for many years.  We pride ourselves on ensuring our team are domestic violence experts.  I am delighted to have worked alongside the Skills for Justice team to enshrine our training in a formal qualification.  It is great to know that into the future anyone undertaking this qualification will develop the essential competencies needed to effectively respond to a woman, and her children, who experience domestic violence.  I would like to thanks the Skills for Justice team, and say a heartfelt congratulations to all of our qualified learners on their achievement.”

One of the learners who was presented with the Level 3 Award said: “I am truly grateful to have had the opportunity to gain further training in my field. It has been an excellent learning experience that has enhanced my work greatly. The skills and knowledge I received during the training have given me much more confidence and grounding in the work I do.  I am so pleased to have been awarded the qualification, as well as be recognised for supporting and empowering women and children who access Refuge’s services – it really is a job that I love doing.”

An SFJ Awards spokesman said: “SFJ Awards are very proud to have worked with Refuge in the development of this Award and of its contribution towards providing practitioners with the specialist skills to support individuals and families in difficult circumstances.”

If you are a domestic violence practitioner interested in finding out more about the qualifications on offer, please contact Sharon Erdman, senior operations manager.