The original AIM Initial Assessment model was based on Morrison’s (2000) adaptation of work by Ryan (1999) to develop a continuum of responses ranging from early community based intervention with low risk cases to intensive work with the most high risk groups, often in out-of-home settings. This model was introduced in 2001 across Greater Manchester. It provided a common inter-agency and holistic model for the initial assessment of young people who display sexually harmful behaviour. The model supported practitioners matching information gathered during the assessment process against a continuum of criteria as to which of four outcomes was indicated:

High concern/ Low strength

High concern/ High strength

Low concern/ Low strength

Low concern/ High strength

The model was evaluated in 3003 by Helen Griffin from the Youth Justice Trust and Professor Anthony Beech from Birmingham University. The report was published early 2004.

Revised AIM2  November 2012

 The 2012 version of the AIM2 assessment guidance manual has been updated from the edition printed in 2009. Changes have been made to update some of the research used to underpin the model and try and clarify some issues raised in feedback from users.

The revised guidance manual is intended to provide an updated reference to those trained in conducting AIM2 initial assessments. It is anticipated that workers using this model will have been trained by either AIM project authorised associates or G-Map staff.

AIM2 assessments conducted by practitioners who have not completed such training should be considered unacceptable and invalid.


The model was originally designed to assist early stage assessments of young males of mainstream ability aged between 10 – 18 years, who are known to have exhibited sexually harmful behaviour. This age range was revised to be relevant for those aged 12- 18 years.

The model is based on four domains:

*Harmful sexual and non-sexual behaviours;



* Environment.

Thus the model links with the Core Assessment process used in the Safeguarding arena, where the focus is on the last three domains and the ASSET tool used within the Youth Justice forum, where focus includes the first domain. In this way it is intended that the model has relevance to both systems and draws on the knowledge and skills of the professionals involved in each.

A particular benefit of the AIM2 model remains its scope to identify an individuals needs identified by the dynamic factors (changeable thoughts, feelings, behaviours and external factors) which will be significant in planning a programme of intervention.

This revised AIM2 is therefore able to offer an initial, evidence based tool that can be used to begin to consider the level of supervision that is required for an individual, together with their developmental and intervention needs.

The model has now been found (following research studies 2009 and 2012) to be useful in assessing young people with an intellectual disability, females and non white populations

The manual also includes guidance for those young people who are misusing new technologies and considers how such cases link with the AIM 2 assessment model; it offers guidance for managers who are supervising staff undertaking AIM2 assessments and finally it addresses the wider issues of community safety and offers relevant pointers for assessment and reflection by the assessors. 


The AIM2 model addresses the young persons pathways to sexually  harmful behaviour, their therapeutic needs and the level of management and supervision they require.  However, this information needs to be located within an integrated response which considers Safeguarding policies and multi-agency decision making. The AIM procedures and assessment models seek to ensure that the outcomes of the assessment are shared with the relevant services so that the needs of the young person can be adequately addressed and that societal and victim safety concerns are also understood and responded to as part of the overall outcomes.

AIM3- Work in progress

The AIM Project recognises the importance of keeping its assessment frameworks up to date in terms of both the evidential base and also taking into account emerging concerns around the changing nature of Harmful Sexual Behaviours. The existing AIM2 is being replace by the new AIM3 framework which will be due to launch late spring 2019. Please see this website News and Events section for updates on progress. For advice on maters relating to the AIM2 framework please contact the project.