20 Hours | 20 CEs

This self-paced training program on the Evaluation of Risk for Violence using the HCR-20 Version 3 is presented by Drs. Stephen Hart, Kevin Douglas, & Laura Guy and in partnership with Protect International Risk and Safety Services, Inc. 

The HCR-20 (Version 2; Webster, Douglas, Eaves, & Hart, 1997) is the most commonly used violence risk assessment measure across 44 different countries. It helps professionals in correctional, mental health, and forensic settings make decisions about who poses higher versus lower risk for violence, either within institutions or in the community, and to devise and monitor violence risk management plans. The HCR-20 (Version 2) has been evaluated in more than 100 studies and implemented or evaluated in at least 32 countries. Version 3 of the HCR-20 (Douglas, Hart, Webster, & Belfrage, 2013) was released in 2013.

Version 3 maintains the basic features of Version 2, but has additional features that will help decision-makers to determine which risk factors are most relevant at the individual level, how to produce a meaningful case formulation, how to develop helpful risk management plans, and how to make decisions about the level of violence risk. Some items have been changed as well.

  • The trainee is taken through the foundation for structured professional judgment, how to rate the presence and relevance of each of the HCR-20 Version 3 items, how to formulate risk scenarios, how to consider case management issues for the evaluee, and how to conceptualize and provide summary judgments regarding the evaluee’s overall risk
  • This training program typically takes about 20 hours to complete and includes a review of the training videos, reading the HCR-20 Version 3 Manual, working through the case illustration, and scoring a clinical case using the HCR-20 Version 3.


This training program focuses on the revised HCR-20 (now called HCR:V3) and describes why and how the HCR-20 was revised; how Version 3 differs from its predecessors; initial research validation of Version 3; what its risk factors are and how to rate them; and how to complete case formulation and risk management planning using Version 3. Participants also have the opportunity to complete the HCR:V3 on a practice case. Professionals who do not have a solid foundation in threat assessment and risk management may wish to register for the Foundations of Violence Risk Assessment and Management training program before registering for this program but this is not a requirement.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this course you will be able to:

  • Describe important historical movements in the violence risk field that led to the development of the HCR-20 Version 3

  • Describe the strengths & weaknesses of actuarial and unstructured clinical prediction

  • Describe how Structured Professional Judgment (SPJ) differs from the actuarial & unstructured clinical prediction

  • Describe the importance of risk management in the SPJ approach

  • Describe how the HCR-20 Version 3 differs & improves upon from the HCR-20 Version 2

  • Describe case management issues for the evaluee

  • Describe how to conceptualize and provide summary judgments regarding the evaluee’s overall risk

  • Apply the HCR-20 Version 3 to actual case analysis

  • Describe and score the HCR-20 Version 3 items

Presented By

Kevin S. Douglas, PhD, LLB

Dr. Kevin S. Douglas received his law degree (LL.B.) in 2000 from the University of British Columbia, and his B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. in clinical (forensic) psychology from Simon Fraser University. He spent three years on faculty at the University of South Florida in Tampa, and has been on faculty at Simon Fraser University since 2004. He currently is Professor and Associate Chair, Department of Psychology, Simon Fraser University. He is also a Guest Professor of Applied Criminology at Mid-Sweden University, and a Senior Research Advisor at the University of Oslo.

Stephen D. Hart, PhD

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.

Laura S. Guy, PhD

Dr. Laura S. Guy obtained her BA in psychology at McGill University in Quebec, MA in clinical (forensic) psychology at Sam Houston State University in Texas, and PhD in clinical (forensic) psychology at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia. She completed a two-year post-doctoral fellowship in forensic psychology at the University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS). She has Board Certification in Forensic Psychology by the American Board of Professional Psychology and is registered to practice psychology in Canada and the United States.

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  • Intended Audience

    This self-paced course is intended for mental health and other allied professionals.

  • Experience Level

    This self-paced course is appropriate for beginner, intermediate, and advanced level clinicians.

  • CE / CPD Credit

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

Course curriculum

  • 1

    Welcome

    • Review Before Proceeding

  • 2

    Course Overview and Introduction

    • Lesson 1 Video

    • Risk Assessment And Communication

    • Lesson Quiz

  • 3

    Identifying Risk Factors

    • Lesson 2 Video

    • Lesson Quiz

  • 4

    Conceptual Framework- Part 1

    • Lesson 3 Video

    • Vantongeren Exercise

    • Lesson Quiz

  • 5

    Conceptual Framework- Part 2

    • Lesson 4 Video

    • Lesson Quiz

  • 6

    Combining Risk Factors

    • Lesson 5 Video

    • Formulation of Violence Risk

    • Lesson Quiz

  • 7

    Structured Professional Judgement- Part 1

    • Lesson 6 Video

    • Lesson Quiz

  • 8

    Structured Professional Judgement- Part 2

    • Lesson 7 Video

    • Lesson Quiz

  • 9

    Introduction to the HCR-20

    • Lesson 8 Video

    • Lesson Quiz

  • 10

    Development of the HCR-20-V3

    • Lesson 9 Video

    • Lesson Quiz

  • 11

    Administration of HCR-20-V3

    • Lesson 10 Video

    • HCR-20 V3 Manual

    • Case: Loren Huss

    • Lesson Quiz

  • 12

    Case Review: Mr Huss

    • Lesson 11 Video

    • HCR-20 V3 Worksheet Submission

  • 13

    Case Discussion

    • Lesson 12 Video

  • 14

    Course Evaluation

    • Course Evaluation

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