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HMIP consultation on adult inspections

MA response

04 September 2020
HMIP consultation on adult inspections

The MA responded to a consultation by the HM Inspectorate of Probation (HMIP) looking at the future of adult inspections. The consultation paper set out a new delivery model which they are proposing to follow for inspections of the probation service from June 2021, once the government’s changes have been introduced. This consultation only considered the overall model and general principles: HMIP will be consulting early in 2021 on the details of the inspection model.

In our response, we support the general principles, although suggest they might want to consider referencing the important role that inspections have in supporting development in relation to good practice and quality service provision. We agree with the suggestions that inspections must be carried out at national, regional and Probation Delivery Unit level, with some standards needing to be assessed at all levels, and others being specific to a particular level.

In general, we noted that the Domain level standards were reasonable but we did make two suggestions. The first was for the inspections to look at whether there was a process in place which ensures there is a coherent line of responsibility for each offender, as this is very important for positive outcomes. The second suggestion was for inspections to consider any commissioning processes, including how gaps in provision are identified, and how decisions are then made to commission provision of this service. The new probation model to be introduced in June 2021 devolves commissioning power to different levels, and the increased flexibility offered by this approach will only be achieved if the processes in place are working effectively.

Although the consultation focused on the general principles and structures, we did propose some measures they may wish to consider in respect to assessing the quality of probation provision.

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