Category Archives: Real Life Rickter

Saints Foundation in partnership with CDG–WISE Ability: How we used Rickter to shape our employability course

Marching Towards Employment participants pictured with Rickter Scale Practitioner Keith Mitchell (far right) and SaintsAbility+ Project Officer Robert Pearce (far left) at the Southampton V Sunderland match on 27 August 2016. Photo by Matt Watson/SFC/Digital South.

Saints Foundation is an independent charity aligned to Southampton Football Club. Harnessing the passion of the club and its fans they aim to INSPIRE, SUPPORT and DELIVER positive change and equality of opportunity for young people and vulnerable adults across Southampton and surrounding areas. They work across six key themes: Youth inclusion, Lifelong Learning, Health and Wellbeing, Education, Schools and Enterprise and Football and Sports Development.

CDG – WISE Ability delivers the Work Choice contract through its experienced and knowledgeable supply chain across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. Their core purpose is to support people with disabilities and long term health conditions who are unemployed find worthwhile and sustainable employment and improve their quality of life. The aim is to deliver a service that meets the needs of the customers, ensuring both a high quality and excellent service.

During 2016 both organisations met up and working in partnership created an Employability Course aimed at young people with disability/health conditions that needed help and support in taking their next steps towards employment goals.

Calling the course “Marching Towards Employment”, participants were invited to join and in the week before starting came in for individual Rickter Scale® sessions. From this we identified key areas of development, as well as individual goals relating to employment. We were then able to tailor the course specifically around these areas – as opposed to just delivering an “off the shelf” course on what was presumed they would need to learn.

The results spoke for themselves with the follow up assessments showing improvement, development and achievements across the board with all the participants.

Keith Mitchell, Employment Adviser, CDG –WISE Ability

How Finchale will be using the Rickter Scale® to support veterans

We were recently fortunate to work with the team at Finchale, an independent charity in Durham providing specialist progression support for people with multiple and complex barriers to employment.

Echoing the whole ethos of Rickter, Finchale provides holistic, person-centred support, focused on helping people develop the skills they need to succeed. The side effects of Xanax are sleepiness and delayed reaction. Avoid taking Xanax if you know that you’ll have to drive a car. The medication also leads toloss of orientation/coordination, state of euphoria and in a dequate perception of reality.

Support is tailored to the individual’s requirements with a comprehensive range of assistance available, from helping with CVs or numeracy skills, to addressing addictions, social isolation or mental health difficulties, to supporting the entire family unit – Finchale have it covered.

An impressive 90% of the clients who start to work with Finchale go on to complete their programme.

Andy Wildish, Veterans Service Team Leader at Finchale, was aware of Rickter’s previous work with Finchale College and contacted us with a particular interest in how Rickter could be used as an outcomes measure within the Veterans Support Service:

“Having used Rickter Scale® a number of years ago, I was aware of the benefit it could have for our veterans and recording processes. Not only can Rickter Scale® help us to easily record the progress of our clients and their “distance travelled”, but it also provides us with a platform to work from which can then motivate and encourage our veterans to look at their own progression, plan ways in which to impact their lives and set goals to achieve in a number of areas.

The Rickter Impact Management System will also allow me to produce charts and graphs indicating the progression of our veterans, which can be used in our reports and monitoring forms to funders. The ability to do this could be vital in securing future funding to continue this extremely valuable work.”

The Veterans Support Service is available to anyone who has served in the armed forces and is having difficulties moving on in civilian life.

Our Director of Operations, Nan Wood, delivered the Rickter Scale® training session for Finchale:

“I had a very interesting day with the team at Finchale who are supporting veterans to get into employment. 

It was great to hear the staff talk about their work with such enthusiasm and I hope that using the Rickter Scale® will not only aid them within their role, but also help the individuals to gain more success.”

The Rickter Scale® will be applied on entry to the service using the Lifeboard to help the individual self assess with regards to identifying positive aspects of their life and also the areas where they want to make changes. Following this, the Employment Development Organisers will use an overlay tailored to the specific needs around employability skills. This will help to inform Action Plans and to measure movement towards their individual goals.

Finchale also have to evidence soft outcomes to their funders and are using the Rickter Impact Management System to collate information and form reports.

We look forward to supporting this proficient service in assisting veterans to move forward.

To find out more and read some inspiring stories from service-users, please visit and you can follow Finchale on Twitter @Finchale_Org

A case study: using Rickter to increase engagement with young people

We recently spent a very enjoyable day delivering Rickter Scale® training for Glasgow City Council’s Activity Agreement Service Team.

It was really interesting hearing about the positive support available to vulnerable young people who have become disengaged from work and learning.

The group were looking for ways to increase engagement with the young people and to be able to help them reflect on their progress. It was a pleasure to work with them and share experiences.

One of the Practitioners commented on the day that Rickter is something she will use for the rest of her career.

We caught up with Brendan Dafters, Activity Agreement Coach, about their experience of Rickter so far:

“Our department works with disadvantaged young people aged 15-21 who are disengaged from education, employment and training. We offer a comprehensive and diverse range of employability activities designed to support young people into positive and meaningful destinations. The Rickter Assessment has become a vital component within our delivery model and its value is already evident.”

Case Study:

Service User 1 (SU1) was referred to our service after almost 12 months of refusal to attend school and offending within the community. As part of our 3 session assessment SU1 completed a Rickter Assessment with their Coach. It was apparent that the service user’s network of support, peer group and literacy skills were key areas of concern. The goal-setting aspect of the assessment allowed the practitioner to facilitate the design of an action plan which would help the service user overcome their barriers and work towards their goals.

SU1’s barriers were addressed over the next 12 weeks by means of focused workshops and literacy and numeracy support. They completed a stage one 8 week programme which covered community contribution and citizenship. The positive relationships SU1 made within the centre also positively impacted on their offending and antisocial behaviour.

A follow-up Rickter Assessment showed the progress the young person felt they had made during their time within our service. Headings such as ‘Core Skills’, ‘Social Networks’ and ‘Team/Groupwork’ increased by more than 5 steps. In this particular case, the Rickter Assessment was pivotal in assessing the needs of this service user and it greatly contributed towards empowering them to work towards a set of goals.

Here at Rickter we are passionate about people having choice and access to the necessary support enabling them to make positive changes in their lives. It is great hearing how the Rickter Scale® has contributed to this young person now having a vision of a future away from offending and one that involves more positive choices.

We look forward to our continued work with Glasgow City Council’s Activity Agreement Service Team.

FIRST’s Rickter Experience

The Rickter Company has been fortunate to work with FIRST in Fife since 2003.

FIRST provides a Community Rehabilitation Service to clients with substance misuse issues via one to one, group (activity and issue based) and volunteer support.  Clients are seen weekly by their Rehabilitation Worker for support with their drug/alcohol misuse.

We spoke with Service Manager April Adam, about the impact using Rickter has made over the years:

FIRST’s Rickter Experience

“We use the Rickter Scale® to initially baseline and thereafter assess progress of the client and they themselves use the board for this purpose. Quarterly reviews are undertaken and clearly demonstrate progress made by the client in a meaningful way which is easy to view and understand.

Clients appreciate how this assessment tool can evidence to them how well they are doing and achievements made when viewing the graphs. They are also given real ownership of the assessment process through their direct involvement with the Rickter board.

As well as evidencing progress made by the clients, to the clients, Rickter also affords the Service the opportunity to clearly evidence what outcomes have been achieved to our funders.

Rickter does without doubt play an essential part in ensuring we are making a positive difference to the lives of our clients and in addition that we as a Service are meeting the requirements of the Quality Principles.” 

To find out more about this invaluable service please visit the website or join FIRST on facebook:

You can also read Grant’s story here

Grant formerly accessed services at FIRST and is now a Practitioner himself, using the Rickter Scale® to help others at FIRST to move on in their lives – a true inspiration!


Rickter helps Stoke City FC Community Trust achieve its Goals

Stoke City Community Trust, Rickter Scale Training 2016

Stoke City Community Trust, Rickter Scale Training 2016

Stoke City Football Club’s Community Trust was founded in 1989 and became a registered charity in 2004.

The Trust’s work is around engaging with people in the community to support them to realise their potential, both in their personal and professional development.

Sport plays an important role in getting people to be more active, helping create a positive impact on health and wellbeing. In particular the Trust uses football as a way to engage with people of all ages, abilities and social backgrounds. The Trust is committed to inclusion, promoting health and wellbeing, and improving education.

The staff team at Stoke City Community Trust are using the Rickter Scale® to engage with participants across the many areas they work in, including within schools and helping young adults undertake Lifelong Learning.

“All our Education staff are now trained to use the Rickter Scale. Great person-centred assessment tool to help support our young people to progress towards their goals.”

David Bartrum, Education & Lifelong Learning Manager at Stoke City Community Trust.

Stoke_group2Rickter’s Director of Operations, Nan Wood delivered the training for the Trust and said:

“I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to the Britannia Stadium to take such a motivated and professional team through Rickter Training to become licensed practitioners. Straight away they saw the value of Rickter in connecting with individuals, but also how it evidences the soft outcomes to show a person exactly how far they have come on their journey towards their goals. The group are keen to be able to use Rickter to demonstrate their outcomes and good practice for funders. We look forward to being ardent supporters.”

Find out more about the work of Stoke City Community Trust here or follow them on Twitter @StokeCity_CT

The Ultimate Rickter Interview

With 15 years experience of using the Rickter Scale, we asked our Director of Operations Nan Wood  for her top tips to accomplishing an effective Rickter Scale interview.

“On training days I often receive positive feedback on my skills when interviewing.  These usually centre around how at ease I am, the tone of my voice and how good my recollection is when I reflect back.  I have to say that most of this comes with practice and perhaps a few things I have picked up over the years of using Rickter.  Believe me when I started, I had the same challenges and worries as everyone else! I thought it might be useful to share what I consider to be my tips for using Rickter effectively.”

  1. After your Practitioner training read all of the handouts, especially the “Rickter Steps” document, to help get the process of the interview clear in your head. Don’t feel that you have to learn the Baseline Profile Questions off by heart, familiarity will come through using them. There is more chance of making mistakes if you try to rush things. Don’t cut corners, stick to the language and the process as you learned it on training.
  1. Think about who you are going to interview first and if you have a choice in this, ask an individual that you know and with whom you have already established rapport.
  1. Prepare for the interview by having all of your resources ready. If you are using an overlay, ensure you have printed off those questions, the recording sheets and Action Plan. Put your resources in the room before the interview, laying them off to the side on a small table if possible, but within reach.
  1. Think about where you are going to do the interview and set up the space to be as user-friendly as possible i.e. chairs in ten-to-two position, handkerchiefs and water. I try to sit on the left of the individual because this enables me to read the headings on the board and acts as my prompt. Make sure you are safe by working with someone and letting them know where you are and how long you plan to be.
  1. Be welcoming to the individual you are going to interview and help them feel at ease. Their first big step may be coming through the door to see you.
  1. Practice your introduction, keeping it simple and explaining the reasons that you are using the Rickter Scale and what you hope the individual will gain from it. Remember to protect yourself and the individual by explaining the service rules of confidentiality and disclosure.
  1. Think about your body language, the tone of your voice and about this being a shared experience. Try to be observant as you go through the Rickter process, watching the individual’s body language. This can lead to you asking additional questions, or if you see distress or agitation it is about asking whether they are okay to continue. You don’t want Rickter to be a negative experience, so always remember to offer choice.
  1. Remember the individual is the expert on themselves, you simply have to listen and value what is being shared with you. Don’t panic over reflecting back by putting barriers up in your head, where all you are thinking about is that you have a terrible memory. Reflect back only what you have heard and not your own opinions. Bear in mind the individual is sharing in this process and will help you to recollect if necessary.
  1. Record the Action Plan and help make the steps for the individual small and achievable. If they can complete the first step, they will be encouraged to move forward and see the impact this has on the rest of their lives. Make sure you explain this is an ongoing process and set a date for the review before they leave the first interview. Record the interview data. This evidence is there not only for the individual’s progress, but also to demonstrate the work you are doing and your service provision. It may even help you to keep your job secure by demonstrating good practice to help gain funding.

10. Ensure that you have support from line management. You need to know that you have someone to talk with and share how you feel if you have a particularly challenging interview, but it’s also good to share and celebrate those positive outcomes. Remember too that we are always here to support you and we like to hear of the positive effect Rickter has too. Knowing you have this should help to build confidence.

I hope these tips help as you are using the Rickter Scale and if you have any to add, we are always open to learning.

Nan Wood, Director of Operations

Grant’s Story

Rickter ScaleI was delivering Rickter Scale Training in Edinburgh recently for a group of practitioners from a variety of services.

On his introduction, one young man made a huge impression on me and as we talked during the day, I was so interested in his story that I thought you would be too. So I asked him if he would mind sharing it with others and he said, “If I can help one person that helps me”.

We are delighted and grateful to Grant that he took the time and has written the following inspiring story of his personal journey:

Hi my name is Grant Taylor, I had a drink problem for about 27 years but I started to get serious help for it in 2010 when I went to F.I.R.S.T (Fife Intensive Rehabilitation & Substance Misuse Team) and that was the day that changed my life.

I had a great rehabilitation worker, we did relapse prevention and all sorts of work. But one thing that really helped me was the Rickter Scale. It was a great tool to let me see where I was in my life. Here I was in control of it, in control of my answers and it made me feel important.

In the beginning I was very low and had no interests, but after using the Rickter Scale I felt a lot better. When I got my Rickter Scale review a few months later, I was over the moon to have a look at where I had been and where I was now. I only moved up 1 or 2 places, but to me that was a big, big step and to see it there in front of me was amazing!

When I got to the end of my support I had secured all my goals through the Rickter Scale and I can honestly say it changed my life for the better. I am now a support worker myself and thanks to hard work, my rehabilitation worker and the Rickter Scale, I made it.


Grant is now a Rickter Practitioner himself and is using the Rickter Scale to help others to move on in their lives – a true inspiration!

Nan Wood
Director of Operations

Making an Impact: Moore House Care and Education

PSI Worker and young person in the Throughcare service.

PSI Worker and young person in the Throughcare service.

Moore House Care and Education is an independent organisation in Scotland that specialises in the provision of high quality child care and education services for young people between the ages of 11 and 18 years who have additional support needs because of the social, emotional and behavioural challenges they face.

The Psychological Services and Intervention (PSI) team have been using the Rickter Scale® since 2005 to support and motivate young people to make positive lifestyle changes and to measure outcomes following periods of intervention.

Getting it Right for Every Child (GIRFEC) was introduced by the Scottish Government following a review of the Children’s Hearings System in 2004. This national policy and programme requires all agencies in touch with children and young people to play their part in making sure they are healthy, achieving, nurtured, active, respected, responsible, included and, above all, safe. Working together with families and local authorities, Moore House are using the Rickter Scale® to help practitioners focus on what makes a positive difference for young people, and how they can act to deliver these improvements. Supporting a positive shift in culture, systems and practice across the organisation, the Rickter Scale® has become central to the driving and evidencing outcomes of care and education planning. Regular reviews of Child Plan progress is promoting a shared approach and accountability that builds solutions with and around young people and families. The Rickter Scale® allows us to clearly evidence the positive outcomes that we achieve during a young person’s placement at Moore House.

Having noted the potential benefits for using Rickter Scale® with staff, Lead Practitioners within Moore House are now using the tool to support new staff through their initial induction period and as an aid to ongoing support and supervision.

PSI are now providing psychological assessment, intervention and consultation to external local authority child care agencies and foster families. For more information see our website; or contact Stephen Drysdale (PSI Manager) on 01506 652 312.

Moore House

The Rickter Scale: worth its weight in gold

Last week I delivered training to Extern Recycle in Northern Ireland and while there I met a gentleman who shared his thoughts on Rickter with me. He has previously represented service users and Extern Recycle by speaking at a conference and what follows are his words, thoughts and feelings:

“My name is Hugh Graham. I am originally from Newtownards, but have been living in Centenary House which is a Salvation Army hostel since the 2nd June 2010; this was following the death of my mother.

At this time I had depression; I’d been kicked down by everybody so much so that my confidence had been torn apart. I had no motivation; I was drinking heavily and couldn’t see a way out of my situation at the time.

Then, I heard about Extern Recycle from other residents within the hostel who were attending and I thought I would see what it was like.

Following speaking to my key worker an arrangement was made to visit the site. During the tour I seen the Catering and French polishing departments and thought I would like to give them a try, so started my time with Extern Recycle on the 8th July 2010.

During my first few days I felt a little unsure of myself, like a fish out of water. With the support of the staff and other service users I began to make head way. I had my first Rickter meeting, where my supervisor explained the process; she showed me the Rickter Scale® and explained we would meet regularly on a 1-2-1 basis. My supervisor asked ‘where would you like to be in the future?’ This question stumped me for a few moments and I began to realise that here was being presented a chance to change things around. I had done general kitchen work before so why not further this line of career.

I was maybe a little unsure at the start, but after a few Rickter meetings I knew of where I wanted to be.

Through time my confidence started growing, I started taking on additional responsibilities and felt more confident about myself and my future. I got a real boost from looking back and seeing how far I had come on the Rickter Scale®. Having the 1-2-1 Rickter time with my supervisor meant I could build a better rapport more quickly with her. This process made me feel part of something and that I was doing something worthwhile, not only for myself, but for the other service users in my department.

To date, I have completed my manual handling, food hygiene and health and safety certificates. I have only 2 units left to complete my NVQ 2 in Professional Cookery. I attended courses in ‘realising my potential’ and life skills. Just the other weekend I was rock climbing, abseiling and dangled from a high wire, all part of a weekend away with other residents from the hostel. I have gained a work placement within a busy kitchen, this is giving me hands-on experience which will hopefully help in my job search.

I had the opportunity of a getting a house and I took it, I moved out of the hostel last Tuesday. I am continuing to look for full-time permanent employment in catering (hint, hint, guys).

I am now a lot more confident, a year ago I would never imagined being up here for a start. In fact you couldn’t have paid me to stand up here, but now I’m more self assured and more assertive, I have an ambition and a goal to aim for and the confidence in myself now to achieve it. I’ve realised that I don’t need drink to help me to get there.

The Rickter Scale® is worth its weight in gold, it’s a double boost to look back and see the marked improvement people make in themselves.

Before, when I was knocked back, say, at a job interview, I would have been annoyed and angry. Now I know its part and parcel of the way forward in life so I don’t look back but keep trying. If you fall of a horse you don’t just lie there, you get back on the horse.

It has helped me to get my life back on track and I hope it will go on to help many other people in a similar situation.

Thank you for your time and I appreciate your attention.

By the way, my C.V will be handed out after this presentation and all job offers will be gratefully accepted!  Thanks.”

I personally would like to thank Hugh for being such an advocate of the Rickter Scale® and in his own unique way, for breaking down barriers for other people who are feeling low in confidence and self esteem, perhaps encouraging them to take a chance on something that is going to help them make a change in their lives.

Nan Wood