Date Published : 29 May 2015
This week marks the one year anniversary of the creation of the National Probation Service.
I think it is important to mark this milestone by acknowledging the hard work of everybody over the past year. I know that it doesn’t always feel like it, but whilst also appreciating that much remains to be done significant progress has been made.
As an entirely new service, there is much to be proud of, in particular:
- collectively we have maintained core operational performance through a period of significant change
- we have achieved a significant, sustained improvement in the timeliness of case allocation.
- we committed to and have recruited over 600 new learners to the Probation Qualification Framework, the biggest investment in the service in a generation and a clear commitment to the future
- we have established and are embedding our own corporate processes, and are on track to be wholly self-sufficient from the Community Rehabilitation Companies in the next few weeks
- collectively we have maintained core operational performance through a period of significant change, with a continued focus on providing a good service to victims and offenders. The NPS offender and victims surveys completed in our first year were positive and we should be proud of this outcome.
I, and all of the Deputy Directors, have been very proud of the way that all of you have responded to the challenges and frustrations. I know that there is still a lot to be done to improve the way that we work and the systems that we operate. Throughout, you have continued to perform your crucial roles within the context of such large organisational change and together you are contributing towards changing lives for the better. This dedication, professionalism and resilience gives me great cause for optimism as we enter our second year.
Over the coming months our three priorities remain: maintaining performance, completing the NPS Stabilisation activity, and delivering the E3 Programme. This work will involve many of you directly and will help ensure NPS continues to build resilience and to ensure that we have the best possible systems in place to support us. We have work in hand to improve ICT, to improve support arrangements, to strengthen training and increasingly to share the benefits of being a national service and integrated part of the MoJ. None of this will deliver miracles overnight but we are building resilience and capability steadily across all aspects of our work and we need sometimes to remind ourselves of what has been done.
I’m also looking forward to the Probation Awards later this month where we will get the opportunity to showcase and celebrate some of the achievements of NPS staff. Although it has been a challenging year for everyone in NPS, these awards help to demonstrate there is so much excellent work going on across the whole organisation.
Director of Probation