Welcome to Sodexo’s first mobilisation update/Q&A document which is published to keep you informed of our progress in the Transforming Rehabilitation contract award programme.
Alongside meeting with your Chief Executives, Senior Management Teams and key stakeholders, we are currently assembling our full Mobilisation, Transition and Transformation team so that we can adequately understand the requirements of each CRC, meet with you at an appropriate time and feedback key messages to you at the same time.
We have decided to issue this first update, which answers some of your initial questions, and also allows us to communicate our plans for meeting you face-to-face over the coming weeks.
We are currently working alongside your Chief Executive on a schedule to allow senior Sodexo colleagues and members of our MTT team, to meet with you to present some of our forthcoming plans and for you to ask questions. We expect to finalise this schedule in the next week, and anticipate being able to meet with you face-to-face by the end of February. The dates of these meetings will be communicated to you via your local communication methods.
We will continue to publish a weekly update to inform you of our progress and to answer your questions. We still welcome any questions you have to be sent to AskCRC@sodexojusticeservices.com.
What are the priorities for “MTT” (Mobilisation, Transition and Transformation)
The first priority is to get to know you and understand your issues. That has started with your Chief Executive and Senior Management Teams and will continue with events at which you can meet us and ask questions. We are putting small local teams together to support the work of transition over the next 12 months. But it is crucial to understand that the CRC continues to be led by your Chief Executive and management team.
There are some significant pieces of work in the short term associated with the change of ownership on 1 February. These include a good deal of “due diligence” inquiry, where we need to understand the CRC in detail, its people, its finance, its IT, estates and its operations. The creation of a larger network of partners to deliver some aspects of services – the “supply chain” – is also an early priority.
But the priority throughout all the change over the coming months will remain delivering a safe and effective service to the community.
Who will be in your mobilisation team? How do they plan to work?
Our central team structure is shown on the PowerPoint which can be accessed on the link below. Locally, there will be up to 6 people working with you, specialising in HR, Finance, ICT, Estates and Operations. These local teams are taking shape at the moment, and your Chief Executive has identified key people in the CRC for them to liaise with. They will be temporary teams, based in the CRC to support the work of transition over the next 12 months.
What is the operating model?
We are currently planning events at which you can hear directly from us about our proposals and ask questions, so we will keep this response fairly brief for now.
Our model is based on desistance theory, putting both the quality of professional relationships and the offender’s own willingness to change at the centre of our approach. To make the step change in reoffending rates required of us, we need to spend a limited resource in the most effective way possible: that means not only identifying those who are likely to benefit from more intensive help, but also those who are best able to complete their sentence safely without it. There is no one intervention, or single group of offenders, that will generate the results on reoffending we have committed to deliver, so our operating model affects every aspect of the CRC’s work.
We have split our understanding of desistance theory into seven headings, all of which have operational and organisational consequences
A person-centred approach: fair, reasonable, individualised
We will use the freedom to innovate provided by the Rehabilitation Activity Requirement and the inclusion of the short term prisoner cohort to design plans with each offender that are uniquely tailored to their circumstances and ambitions. Within a strong data-driven framework for resource allocation, skilled face to face practitioners will have discretion to agree plans with individual offenders, with both parties held to account for meeting the commitments they make.
Motivation at its core – only the offender can choose to desist from crime
Our assessment and prioritisation tools will take account of the risk of serious harm and the likelihood of reoffending, but also a new factor, which we have called “closeness to change”. This is designed to reflect the crucial importance of the offender’s own motivation and commitment to change and this ensures that we can apply most resource to those offenders that both need it and are most likely to benefit from it.
Founded on strong and meaningful relationships
We shall ensure that every case will have a responsible officer, directly employed by the CRC, accountable to the court for the delivery of the order or licence requirements. But for some offenders, their main interface may be with a mentor or a key worker in another organisation with who we are in partnership. We are clear that relationships can only be nurtured face to face, and we want staff to spend more time with offenders and within their communities rather than in an office.
Providing practical help for a crime free life
We are committed to enabling and facilitating offenders to access a full range of support under the existing offending behaviour pathways. We will continue to identify criminogenic needs and achievement plans will reflect those that are most likely to promote desistance.
Achieving and sustaining the development of a non-criminal identity
Our approach will focus on the offender’s potential and opportunities and we will use ex offenders in our delivery both to inspire hope and to provide personal motivation and support.
Engaging the offender’s community
We will deliver some specific functions through a range of partnerships with other organisations in the voluntary and community sector. This stems from a desire to contribute to local delivery of services, reflecting local priorities.
We believe that, for most offenders, committing crime is only one of the ways in which they come into contact with partner services. We will work with individual offenders on the basis of everything we know about their circumstances and history, working with them and with others (including their families) to shorten their journey to complete desistance.
None of this undermines the continuing and critical importance of effective public protection processes, nor the need to deliver all the sentences of the court required of us. We will continue the work underway in all CRCs to deliver Community Payback, for example, in the most efficient and effective way possible. Effective joint working with the NPS and the police, including in IOM schemes, will remain central to the CRC’s success, as will full engagement with a wide range of statutory and non-statutory stakeholders.
This is the basis on which our bid was successful and forms the core of our contract. But the next phase of this process involves working through the practical implications of these principles in your CRC, with you and with local partners. We know there will be good practice that needs preserving, and particular local issues that must be taken into account in planning change. That is why we are recruiting small local teams to work alongside you during this transition phase to ensure the best possible fit to your circumstances. We plan to use the staff briefings to say more about the practical implications so that you can hear about them at first hand.
How quickly do you propose to get from our current operating model to yours?
We have developed a detailed project plan to implement changes across the business and we will outline the high level milestones of these changes when we meet with staff. However, some changes will need to happen fairly quickly as part of our mobilisation plans in order to meet legislative requirements.
What will the CRC organisational structure be?
In each CRC, the precise structure will be developed in collaboration with the CRC Chief Executive during transition.
How much do you propose to streamline and run on a regional basis?
Each contract exists in its own right and is subject to discrete requirements and performance measures. Our transition plans do not include regional posts except a very small number within the temporary mobilisation team.
As part of continuous improvement across the life of the contract there may be scope to consider organising some tasks and functions across more than one CPA, and we will certainly want to disseminate best practice and learning between the 6 CRCs Sodexo will own. But any structural changes would be subject both to consultation within CRCs and with the Authority (NOMS).How will TTG be delivered? Will it join up with other provision?
Our Through The Gate service will be delivered with an emphasis on early assessment of individual needs, timely pre-release resettlement planning and continuity of both provision and provider upon release.
The majority of our in-custody resettlement services and community provision will be delivered by the same providers, which will be drawn from the voluntary and community sector.. This will allow for a continuity of level of service, type of provision and, most importantly, key relationships. It will also provide access to a wide range of local services that are best placed to understand the needs of local offenders.
The contract requires resettlement services in prisons to be operating from 1 May, with the additional TTG services in place by the autumn. So this is an early priority and we have done a good deal of work before contract signature to identify partners and draw up a detailed specification.
What assessment tools will be used?
Our assessment tools will be different from current CRC practice in some respects. Continuity of service is essential, however, so there will be no immediate change in approach on 1 February. But we will work with you to introduce new tools during the Spring and Summer both to reflect the requirements of the Offender Rehabilitation Act and to prepare the ground for new ICT in the Autumn.
Will you continue to provide in house treatment programmes for service users, e.g. idap/tsp/bsr?
We will continue to provide programmes with a mixture of in-house and contracted provision.
Can you please clarify driving licence requirements for provision of community payback travel?
We are looking at this issue urgently with CRC colleagues.
What will your approach and timeline be?
We will work closely with NOMS contract managers to deliver contractual requirements to a timetable set out in our original bid. In practice, this will mean weekly meetings with your CEO and local contract management team to ensure we are on track against detailed project plans. The change will be driven by your leadership team, with support from central and local Sodexo resource.
In very broad terms, the Spring and early Summer will see us planning the detail of how our model fits locally and its impact on current roles and structures. New resettlement services in prisons must be operating from 1 May, and the most obvious changes on the ground, with new ICT and accommodation, will take effect from October 2015.
How will partnership between Sodexo and NACRO work – who will do what?
At a strategic level, the partnership will ensure a strong independent perspective across the whole of Sodexo’s TR operation, and inform the continuous improvement objective that is central to realising our joint ambitions across the life of the contracts.
Nacro is a significant delivery partner in a number of CRCs and will contract with Sodexo on exactly the same terms as other providers in that role.
Do you propose any reductions from current staffing levels, i.e. redundancies?
Your current position and role will continue unaffected at share sale on 1 February. However, changes to the number and nature of existing roles will become necessary. Sodexo will work closely with CRC Senior Managers to shape the delivery strategy in line with our bid proposals and forecasts. We also remain committed to working alongside your union representatives to consult fully and fairly with you about any organisational change proposals.
Will staff be able to access the VR scheme or will redundancies be only compulsory?
Through the mobilisation period we will be working with CRC teams to understand the way that voluntary redundancy processes have been implemented during the Transforming Rehabilitation transition process. We will then review the information and assess the next steps.
Will there be shared resources between the 6 CPAs?
Sodexo operates a Business Shared Services (BSS) centre in the UK and Ireland business, based in Salford, and provides a number of key finance support activities as well as the People Centre HR team. During the transition period, the CRCs will be supported through some dedicated Sodexo resources and some shared resources that will provide functional subject matter expertise. In the longer term, we would also expect CRCs to benefit from the shared services that Sodexo operates.
Will terms and conditions be affected?
Your contractual terms and conditions will be unchanged. This includes pay, working hours, holiday entitlement, continuous service and sick pay.
What is the workforce plan?
Sodexo will conduct a due diligence exercise and will be working alongside senior management teams to understand the existing operations and the whole workforce within the CRC. Sodexo will work closely with the CRC to shape the delivery strategy in line with our bid proposals and forecasts. We remain committed to working alongside your union representatives to consult fully and fairly with you about any organisational change proposals affecting any staff within the CRC.
Will CRC staff be employed by the CRC, Sodexo or NACRO?
Owner ship of the CRC will transfer to Sodexo by means of share sale; the CRC will continue to be a company and employer in its own right. CRC staff will therefore continue to be employed by the CRC after share sale.
What will happen to pensions?
Under the New Fair Deal arrangement, you can choose to remain in the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) or Principal Civil Service Pension Scheme (PCSPS) (depending on which scheme you were eligible to join prior to share sale).
Will New training opportunities be available?
We will work with the CRC teams to develop a Learning and Development strategy according to the needs of the workforce and requirements of each CRC. We will ensure that all employees of the CRC will have appropriate L&D support commensurate to their level of responsibility to ensure that they are fully equipped to perform the key role each of them play in the organisation.
Are you able to clarify the position for staff employed on fixed term contracts?
We will be working with senior managers and HR departments in the CRCs to conduct a thorough due diligence exercise which will include investigation into the current staffing situation. As part of this exercise we will request information about any employees on fixed term contracts. Employment on a fixed-term contract can be for a number of reasons such as covering for a period of extended leave of another employee, maternity cover or the completion of a specific project. Where a decision needs to be made regarding the extension of a contract, the relevant managers will review the continuing requirement for the role and make an appropriate decision in that particular case. If your contract is not renewed this will be discussed with you and you will be given notice in accordance with your contract of employment.
How will the appraisal process be affected?
We will be working with colleagues in the CRC to understand the existing appraisal procedures. These will then be reviewed to assess whether they are the most appropriate for the business moving forwards or whether an alternative mechanism will be implemented.
What will the approach to I.T. be?
We intend to introduce new technology and a new Case Management System. This technology will ultimately replace all of the existing Authority ICT that is currently in use. We have been working closely on this with our existing ICT provider in Sodexo prisons for many months and are excited that we will now have the opportunity to involve CRC staff directly in the testing of new tools.
What will the approach to estates be?
We plan to relocate from present property and use newly acquired property from August to November 2015. This will be one of the key changes on which we will involve CEOs and their senior teams closely from now. We want to create an estate that is fit for purpose and in the right places.
How do you plan to communicate with staff?
To maintain consistency for staff, we plan to use local CRC methods to communicate a weekly MTT update/Q&A document. We plan to publish this every Tuesday from week commencing 12 January 2015.
We are in the process of planning a number of events in the coming weeks that will allow CRC staff to be introduced to members of Sodexo Justice Services’ Executive team and MTT team colleagues, and to give some detailed plans about our approach. We will be discussing these events with you locally over the coming weeks.