Victim Awareness Course (VAC) – Information for police forces

Who is the course for?

The Victim Awareness Course (VAC) is designed for people over 18 who have committed an offence such as theft, criminal damage, low level public disorder or assault where no serious physical injury has occurred. It can be used as part of a Conditional Caution (CC) or Community Resolution (CR).

Please refer to our Guidance on Suitability to refer VAC for further information.

What courses are available?

  • Virtual VAC – for Conditional Cautions, payment of £75 required by participant.
  • e-Learning VAC – for Community Resolutions involving criminal damage, public order, common assault etc, payment of £25 required by participant.
  • e-Learning Business Crime VAC – for Community Resolutions involving theft, shoplifting, assault on shop workers etc, payment of £25 required by participant.

All of the above require the participant to have the means and ability to complete the course online so it is important that this is established when setting VAC as a condition.

What is the course about?

VAC was created to reduce reoffending by improving attitudes and thinking about crime, increasing victim empathy, reducing crime-supportive attitudes, increasing motivation for change and increasing ability to accept personal responsibility.

The course is designed to give participants the opportunity to:

  • explore the impact of crime on victims, both direct and indirect
  • explore how they feel about crime
  • reflect on choices they may have made in the lead up to and during their offence.

The course is not designed to embarrass or judge participants for the offence they committed. During the virtual course the trainer will not ask them to tell anyone in the group about what they have done.

Who delivers the virtual course and where?

Virtual courses are delivered by Victim Support. Trainers deliver the course online using Zoom generally on either a Mon, Tue or Wed evening from 6pm to 8pm.

How to make a referral

The OIC/Custody Sgt will need to include VAC as a requirement on the CC or CR; something like:

    CC’s: You are required to attend a Virtual Victim Awareness Course run by Victim Support and pay £75.

    CR’s: You are a required to complete a Victim Awareness Course online and pay £25.

The OIC will need to set a date by which the participant must complete the course, we refer to this as the critical date. We suggest allowing 3 months where possible as this should give plenty of time to book, pay and complete the course.

Your CJ Department will collate the referrals and send them on a weekly basis to our admin team using our CJSM email address

The number of courses that we run is dependent on the number of referrals received from each police force.

How do participants book and pay?

Participants will receive a letter advising them how to book. They will be provided with a unique reference number to allow them to log into our booking system, select a virtual course date or e-Learning, whichever is relevant to them, and make payment.

Participants are required to make a payment of £75 for CC’s and £25 for CR’s. They will have the option to pay online or over the phone with a debit/credit card or cash at a Lloyds bank. Those required to pay £75 will also have the option to pay a maximum of three instalments if required.

Once paid, participants will receive the details about their course.

Monitoring compliance

Victim Support monitors compliance, can provide updates and will answer any questions you have in relation to VAC. We will provide your CJ team with updates when participants have completed a course and will also advise if someone is failing to engage.

If someone has failed to complete a course within their critical date then they will be referred back to the CJ team who are likely to contact the OIC to discuss further action.

Can someone attend more than one course?

We suggest that participants should only retake the course providing a three year gap has elapsed since the last course.

If you require any further information please email