Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Lets Look at E3 (10)

Chapter 9 Other Supporting Activity

Throughout the work of the E3 programme we have gathered and noted the requirements for ICT and estates. 

We expect to see improvements in the effectiveness of our ICT systems as a result of digital improvements and greater in-house investment. Throughout the programme a common theme has been that the functioning of nDelius affects operational efficiency and that improvements are needed to its speed and efficiency. This will continue to be a priority for the NPS. Specific IT requirements are a key element in the success of the proposals in several work packages – e.g. laptops for staff working in courts and seconded to youth offending teams, a single case management system for victims work and an electronic referral process for Approved Premises. Work will continue to ensure that these are in place in tandem with the E3 changes. 

9.1 Facilities and Estates 
Over the last two years there has been a great deal of work on estates resulting from Transforming Rehabilitation. We will continue to work with the MOJ to ensure alignment of our needs and the estate, and specifically the needs identified under the E3 programme. These include sufficient space in every HM Courts and Tribunal Service (HMCTS) court building to facilitate an NPS co-located Court Services team, and locations for the hubs proposed under the enforcement, victims, Approved Premises and foreign national offender proposals.

Our estate will change significantly over the next two years as a result of the estate implications of the Transforming Rehabilitation Programme. CRCs have set their own estates strategies and in many areas this will see them move out of buildings that are currently shared between the NPS and CRC. We have developed our own strategy in response to our emerging business needs and CRC plans. The guiding principle in that strategy has been to ensure an operationally viable estate while taking opportunities to reduce the overall cost of the estate. Every pound spent on buildings is a pound that is not available to invest in services to offenders. 

We will for example close some of the offender contact centres from which we currently work, and open some new buildings. This programme of moves has started and will continue over the course of the next two years. 

Throughout, we will maintain an estate that is sufficient to meet our operational needs.

Specific Estates Requirements 
The proposal to create administrative ‘hubs’ will require space to be found in the MOJ/wider Government estate to locate these small teams. The location of those hubs within the division has not been agreed but there is an argument to co-locate with the current divisional operational support hubs where space allows or with MOJ colleagues. 

The proposal to develop group interventions for offenders would require an increase in the number of group or programme rooms in the estate. With planning and some re-modelling it is envisaged that there will be sufficient capacity in the estate following the implementation of the TR Estates Programme to increase the number of group rooms. Further work will be required to identify specific local requirements and estate and IT cost implications.

Space at Court 
HMCTS has undertaken a consultation on proposals to close a number of courts. It is likely in the future that there will be fewer courts but each hearing a higher number of cases. We will require sufficient and suitable space in courts, underpinned by more modern ICT equipment, if we are to produce the majority of court reports on the day which that kind of case turnover will require. We are working with HMCTS, ICT and MOJ Estates to achieve that requirement. 

Approved Premises 
The AP estate operates at or close to full capacity. Through E3 we have started work to review the current AP estate and identify opportunities to increase bed spaces, through both remodelling of current facilities and identification of new sites that are suitable and where securing planning permission is potentially realistic. We are also comparing caseload forecast by region to the estate supply to ensure we seek to invest in the areas that need it most. This work will produce a future estates strategy for AP that we aim to have completed by April 2016. 

Facilities Management 
Facilities Management services, which includes services such as security, cleaning, maintenance and, in some APs, catering, are currently provided to us by Amey, Interserve and Sodexo through a contract held by the Home Office. 

We are working with MOJ Estates to secure a tighter grip on these contracts and to ensure they better meet our needs. The current contracts will be transferred from the Home Office to MOJ by April 2016. This will bring contract management closer to the operational frontline and allow us to better voice our views on service delivery.

In parallel, we are contributing to work to replace these contracts early in 2017 and there may be options to link these with existing NOMS contracts so securing better value. We have run a series of workshops with staff already to highlight what is and isn’t working in current provision. An Operational Reference Group will be set up to contribute to both finalising those requirements and evaluating bidders’ proposals through 2016. 

Learning and Development, CJL 
We appreciate that there will be a need for support and development for some staff in some areas of the work. This is particularly the case for PSOs working in courts and community supervision in parts of the country where they will be taking on tasks they have not previously undertaken. We are committed to ensuring that all staff have the skills to fulfil their roles well, and planning is already in hand to provide this. 

The new probation qualification scheme, Community Justice Learning (CJL), will be launched in April 2016. This will replace the current Probation Qualification Framework (PQF) and open up potential progression opportunities for staff in NPS and CRCs. It will be a work based programme comprising vocational qualifications and academic awards in a modular system. Employers will be able to sponsor learners to achieve the level of accredited competence required for the role and there will also be the opportunity for individuals to invest in their own progression, if they choose to do so. The academic awards will be accredited by universities and the procurement exercise to award those contracts is in progress to ensure a seamless transition for PQF to CJL. The numbers of learners recruited and sponsored through CJL will be determined by local workforce planning.

Chapter 10 Implementation Approach

The most important consideration in the implementation of any change programme is safeguarding operational delivery. We need to ensure the services we provide to the courts, offenders, and victims are prioritised throughout. Our approach to implementing the E3 proposals will put operational stability first. 

That does not necessarily mean going slowly. Some of the changes we propose to make are to address current issues. They will improve service delivery and we should put them into place as quickly as we can. While this will mean the pace of change will be relatively fast our view is this is more effective than spreading the changes over a long period. 

But wherever a change requires other things to be put in place first to prepare the ground we will do this. For example, suitable training for staff whose role is changing. 

The exact timeframe for implementation will not be set until we have confirmed the design. But our starting point is that we want to start to see changes adopted from April next year. That will require intensive activity between now and then. 

Many of the changes are inter-related. Ensuring we have the right staffing levels in court will require the release of staff from elsewhere in the organisation. Because of that, many of the changes will need to be implemented as a whole rather than phased.

Implementation will be managed at a divisional level to both provide assurance that the business is ready to make the changes and to manage the dependencies between different change activities. A change of this scale needs specialist support and we will be recruiting a temporary team to help managers implement these changes locally.

Chapter 11 Engagement

A number of different mechanisms have been put in place during the planning stage of the Programme to include staff input into the operating models outlined in the Blueprint document. Staff engagement activity has been taking place throughout the lifetime of the Programme and this will widen significantly during the mobilisation and implementation phases. Work package areas focusing on aspects of the operating model (e.g., courts, community supervision, etc.) have been largely made up of operational and management leads from each division working directly in that given area. In some work packages there have been focus groups of operational staff. This has allowed valuable input into designs from subject matter experts right from the start of the E3 Programme. Engagement with the wider staff group has been necessarily more limited. 

We are publishing this document to provide a basis for staff and stakeholders to give us your views on the changes we propose and how they might best be implemented. 

Feedback on the Blueprint and the E3 Programme more generally can be provided through a variety of different means. 

One mechanism for capturing feedback will be via an online survey. This will ask for your view on a series of specific design questions. 

Alternatively, you can send more general questions or feedback directly to the E3 Programme team via

A further valued resource for feeding back E3 related issues is via our Divisional staff E3 Champions. Our Champions have been working directly with the Programme to cascade key messages out to Divisions and also to encourage feedback from staff back to the E3 Programme team. 

A series of national events have been organised to allow staff at all levels to comment and ask questions on the Blueprint. These will be held on 9th, 13th, 16th and 20th November. Divisional events will also be taking place locally to allow more specific Divisional awareness activity. 

In addition to your individual thoughts, we are encouraging discussion of the Blueprint in teams with briefing material available to support managers to discuss this document.


Readers will no doubt be pleased to know that's it - the E3 document in its entirety, but short of two pesky diagrams that I don't have the wherewithal to copy. I make no apologies for publishing the whole damn thing because it's clearly an important document that many will say confirms that 'probation' as we have known it really is on a fast track to oblivion. It will be absolutely fascinating to see what Napo makes of it and I really don't see how the Probation Institute can pretend to ignore what's happening for much longer. 

Does anyone feel abe to say how the four national events went last November? Are there any feedback documents people feel able to share? 


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  2. D3 - a dismal, dirge of a document.

    What cost to the taxpayer in terms of resources has it taken to produce the smoke & mirrors called E3? No doubt a team of civil servants aided & abetted by seconded senior managers & extensive consultancy fees - yet more hidden costs to the TR sham.

  3. If I may stray with some rewind quotes from Grayling & Wright, just to keep the thread of why we're having to put up with this TR/E3 rubbish:

    "The Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice (Chris Grayling):

    July 2014: This is not about handing probation to big companies, but bringing in the right expertise from the private, voluntary and community sectors to reinforce the work of the public sector, and to bring new ideas and approaches to rehabilitation...

    Nov 2014: On the point about public protection, the national public sector probation service we are establishing will, of course, be responsible for risk assessing all offenders supervised in the community and will retain the management of offenders who pose a high risk of serious harm to the public, who have committed the more serious offences and who require multi-agency supervision...

    Jeremy Wright, Nov 2014: As I have said, it will be a simple process. The national probation service team will be responsible for risk assessment. They will have a duty to carry out a new assessment when a person’s circumstances change, and it will be the duty of the provider to notify the team of any material change of circumstances. They will be co-located, and when an offender becomes a high-risk offender, they will be taken back under the supervision of the national probation service. This is about people sitting in the same office and working together, just as people work together in any office environment..."

    1. The only experts they've brought in are asset-strippers & global pickpockets. The NPS do not risk assess every case supervised in the community. And its very evident that NPS & CRC are not or very shortly will not be co-located; "Our estate will change significantly over the next two years as a result of the estate implications of the Transforming Rehabilitation Programme. CRCs have set their own estates strategies and in many areas this will see them move out of buildings that are currently shared between the NPS and CRC."

      Lies, lies, & more lies, etc etc etc. If it were not actually happening, no-one would believe it.

    2. Some CRCs moving out next week.

  4. I met my ACE this afternoon and she looked at me with something akin to disgust when I asked her if she supported the joke that is E3, my god they really believe in this's incredible

    1. Face to face contact with offenders scares both my ACE and SPOs

  5. Don't hold your breath for Napo of the Probation Institute to respond as they are both a part of E3. This paragraph indicates the end of the probation officer qualified status. What once required a social work degree or criminal justice degree now only seems to require what will probably be completion of a few NVQ's.

    "The new probation qualification scheme, Community Justice Learning (CJL), will be launched in April 2016. This will replace the current Probation Qualification Framework (PQF) and open up potential progression opportunities for staff in NPS and CRCs. It will be a work based programme comprising vocational qualifications and academic awards in a modular system."

    Shame on the NPS directors, the PI and Napo for allowing this!

  6. I was apart of formulating E3. It's a great working document. Embrace this great opportunity.

    1. Mr Gove is that you?

    2. Unlikely, I expect Gove knows how to spell "a part".

      Same old boring trolling.

    3. Hi Chris, how's the new job as the spokesperson of the Get out of Europe campaign going?

  7. Certainly not! I wouldn't make such a poor grammatical error as "apart."

    1. Sorry for implicating you Mick.

      On an off-topic note, haven't my former probation director minions done well with E3? The TR train rolls on!!

      / Chris G

  8. More lies? This from Gove today:

    "... but we are just 12 months into the transforming rehabilitation programme initiated by my predecessor, and it is only appropriate that we acknowledge that that programme has already seen an increase in the number of frontline probation officers, again of more than 500."

  9. At least Liz McInnes tried to put a case for probation:

    " The probation service, however, suffers from a staffing crisis as a result of cuts and reforms. The Government have split the service in two, outsourcing the least complex work to privately run groups known as community rehabilitation companies or CRCs. In 2015, at least 1,200 staff left the probation service as a result of planned redundancy, retirement and career changes due to disillusionment. I should like to quote a senior probation officer, who has chosen to remain anonymous:

    “Collectively the service is having a nervous breakdown and my guess is that at least 80% of staff are just looking to get out by any means. The damage is done; there’s worse to come and there’s absolutely nothing that can stop it. I’m pessimistic about the future and it will take a couple of serious murders, prison riots or similar for politicians and the public to take the slightest notice”.

    Those are the words of someone working in the probation service, and I truly hope that they do not come true. I hope that we can address the crisis in the probation service. The staff and the work that they do are valued, but they are struggling with an excessive workload and loss of expertise, which has had a detrimental effect on complex cases, including those involving sexual and domestic violence."

  10. But according to Selous, all is rosy in the garden:

    "Reoffending has been too high for too long. That is why we have brought together the best of the voluntary, charitable and private sectors to join our excellent public service probation workers in bringing in our probation reforms. That has meant that we have extended probation supervision to some 40,000 short-sentence offenders who did not get it before. We have also introduced a through-the-gate service, joining up probation from prison into the community.

    We have created the National Probation Service, and I should tell Members that 19 of the 22 CRCs are being run with a staff mutual or a voluntary, charitable or social enterprise sector body alongside their owners. We monitor their performance very carefully indeed, and the October 2015 performance figures showed that we are advancing in performance in almost all areas. South Yorkshire CRC has developed an action plan to deal with the issues it faces, but I can tell the House that no CRC is in a formal remedial plan. I can also tell the House that there are 560 more probation officers than there were 12 months ago. That is the largest intake of newly qualified probation officers for some considerable period."

    1. Probation Officer28 January 2016 at 00:36

      560 trainee probation officers that are unsure if they will have jobs at the end of their training.

      560 probation officer that may get jobs in the NPS or CRC's at a time when CRC's are making sweeping redundancies and the NPS is set to replace qualified probation officers with probation service officers who are unqualified.

      So no, all is not rosy in the garden as Gove and Selous would like us all to believe.

  11. Why do people think PSO's will replace PO's? PSO's before the TR shambles wrote PSR's. They just won't write certain PSR's which will still be given to PO's. I think some in here are suffering from historical amnesia, lol.

    I don't see what the fuss is all about. As a PO I look forward to writing less reports so I can focus on my cases.

    Please take a chill pill ladies and gentlemen.

    Happy PO :)

    1. You "don't see what the fuss is all about"? Heard about TR and E3? You probably won't be writing any reports or managing any cases. FDR/short reports will replace PSR's as PSR's will be reserved for high risk or harm and dangerousness. PSO's will man the Courts and probation offices, with PO's only supervising high risk of harm cases. A new tiering model will be introduced and we'll probably have directed decreases in risk so more cases for PSO's and less for PO's. Custody cases to be managed by the prison OMU and PO's to be directed to prisons to carry out the paperwork and assessments on them.

      This is just for starters. There's nothing to be happy or chilled about when the powers that be are deprofessionalising and dumbing down the work we do.

  12. 01:30 your opinion just like mine is just guess work. We dont really know how it will end up. However, I will remain chilled, positive and happy as I have hope for a brighter future. Negative people stay in your corner.

    Jim thanks for keeping this blog running and giving all of us a chance to voice our opinions.

    Happy PO.