Workshop in the SAPROF (Adult Version): Assessment of Protective Factors for Violence Risk

In this workshop we will focus on protective factors for violence risk. The Structured Assessment of Protective Factors for violence risk (SAPROF; De Vogel et al., 2009; 2nd Edition, 2012) is an assessment tool for the evaluation of protective factors. It is a structured professional judgment checklist designed to be used in combination with risk-focused tools, such as the HCR-20 / HCR-20V3. The addition of the structured assessment of protective factors aims to complement the risk assessment process creating a more balanced assessment for future violence risk. The dynamic factors of the SAPROF are helpful in case formulation, establishing positive treatment goals, evaluating treatment progress and stimulating well-informed risk communication. In doing so, protective factors enable a more positive approach to violence prevention.

Research results with the SAPROF in samples of violent and sexually violent offenders show good interrater reliability, concurrent validity and predictive validity for no violent recidivism after treatment as well as no violent incidents during treatment (De Vries Robbé, 2014). Multiple SAPROF ratings demonstrate significant changes during treatment on protective factors. Moreover, improvement of the protective factors during treatment shows to be predictive of reductions in violent recidivism after treatment. Most importantly, in clinical practice the SAPROF shows to provide a valuable additional dynamic approach to treatment, offering new guidelines for positive treatment interventions and new possibilities for treatment evaluation.

This workshop will focus on the value of protective factors for clinical practice. Participants will be introduced to the SAPROF and will be trained in using the SAPROF in combination with risk-focused assessment tools by means of a case study example. Advantages for risk assessment and risk management will be discussed and latest research results with the SAPROF will be presented. 

Learning Objectives:

Learn about protective factors for violence risk

Learn about the SAPROF for the assessment of protective factors

Practice working with the SAPROF


Michiel de Vries Robbé is a psychologist working as a senior scientific researcher at the Van der Hoeven Kliniek, a forensic psychiatric center in The Netherlands. Since 2004, his research has focused on violence risk assessment that is applicable in treatment practice. He is specifically interested in protective factors for violence risk. In 2014, he obtained his doctorate degree for his thesis ‘Protective factors. Validation of the structured assessment of protective factors for violence risk in forensic psychiatry’. In addition to being author of the SAPROF–Youth Version, he is co-author of the SAPROF, of the Female Additional Manual (FAM; a risk assessment tool for violence in women), and of the Dutch translation of the HCR-20V3. He is the coordinator of the international SAPROF and SAPROF-YV protective factors project.


Ed Hilterman is a sociologist working as a senior scientific researcher at the GGzE Center for Child & Adolescent Psychiatry. Since 2008, he is director of a consultancy company specialized in applied research in the justice system in Barcelona, Spain, and teacher at the Catalonian Open University. He has worked as a scientific researcher in the TBS system in The Netherlands and in the juvenile justice system in Catalonia. His research focuses on risk assessment and risk management and he has translated several tools into Dutch and Spanish. Ed is co-author of the SAPROF-Youth Version and also of the DIARI, a need assessment tool for victims of intimate partner violence. He also collaborated in the translation of several risk assessment tool into Dutch and Spanish.

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