Tuesday 30 June 2020

A Catalogue of Errors

Today, Justin Russell, HM Chief Inspector of Probation has published a 62 page damning review of issues arising from the case of Joseph McCann. The BBC make the following observation and in my view this whole tragic case must be viewed through the chaos caused by Chris Grayling's omnishambolic TR:-
In the first of two reports from his review, Mr Russell said: "McCann was managed by an unstable team, lacking experienced and skilled practitioners. They suffered from poor management oversight, high workloads, poor performance and high staff turnover. There were signs that he posed an increasing risk to the public. There was evidence of his potential for sexual offending."
Mr McCann committed multiple violent and sexual offences in April and May 2019. At the time of the crimes, he was under the supervision of the National Probation Service after being released from prison on licence. He was given 33 life sentences in December 2019.

The Justice Secretary asked HM Chief Inspector of Probation Justin Russell to conduct an independent review into this case. Today’s report is the first part of the review and focuses on the circumstances leading up to the offences. The second part of the review will look in more detail at recall policy and process:-

1. Foreword

The impact of violent and sexual offences for the victims may be life-long and cannot be underestimated. For the victims of Joseph McCann this impact is worsened by the knowledge he could have been in prison when the offences occurred. If the right actions had been taken by the probation service, he would have been kept in prison until the Parole Board determined he was safe to release. 

Joseph McCann was being supervised by the National Probation Service (NPS), following his release on licence from prison, when he committed a series of violent and sexual offences that resulted in him receiving 33 life sentences in December 2019. We have examined in detail the case management and policies in the period leading up to these offences in April and May 2019 and identified significant failings in local supervision but also some issues that need national attention. We make a number of recommendations in relation to these issues. 

A primary role of the NPS is public protection. To ensure the public are protected from offenders such as Joseph McCann, who present a high risk of serious harm to other people, the NPS has the authority to recall offenders from the community back to prison when they are in breach of the terms of their release or when it seems that their risk can no longer be managed in the community. Using this authority requires skilled judgement by practitioners and managers to decide when someone can continue to be managed safely in the community or when public safety demands they return to custody. 

In this review we found that serious mistakes were made and this judgment was not properly exercised. No fewer than eight opportunities were missed between 2017 and Spring 2019 to ensure Joseph McCann could not be released from prison without a further Parole Board hearing or to recall him to prison. Indeed, on two occasions a decision was taken to revoke his Imprisonment for Public Protection (IPP) licence but for a variety of reasons these were not executed. The individuals responsible for these failures in his supervision have rightly been held to account. We found, however, that their decisions were taken against a national policy context which emphasised that ‘alternatives to recall’ should be used whenever it was safe to do so, given increasing pressures on prison capacity in 2017 and 2018. 

Joseph McCann is a complex, dangerous offender who can be intimidating and controlling, yet was able to present himself positively to staff. Those making the decisions about him should have taken account of his long history of serious offending, his poor compliance with court orders, his behaviour in prison, and indications of his increasing risk. Information and intelligence about his behaviour was available but was spread between various criminal justice recording systems and not easily retrieved. Most worryingly, prison staff did not proactively share information with NPS staff responsible for his management. 

As a result, those managing Joseph McCann did not have a clear picture of who they were dealing with. Their decisions and actions were based on inadequate and incomplete assessment, were not scrutinised sufficiently and sometimes not implemented. 

Probation staff managing high-risk individuals require well developed skills: to interview effectively; to seek out and analyse information from a range of sources; to see beyond superficial compliance. They also need their managers to provide good oversight, investigative supervision and effective support. The supervision of Joseph McCann took place in an environment where, as we noted in recent previous reports, probation officers and managers were faced with intolerable workloads and little access to the necessary, high quality professional training.

Individual errors in the case have received appropriate attention. In this report we have highlighted the need for broader changes across the probation system to ensure that staff and managers have both the skills and the resources required to undertake the task of protecting the public from dangerous offenders. We have made a number of recommendations to HM Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS) and the NPS that we believe will improve the ability of the probation service to protect the public. 

Justin Russell 
HM Chief Inspector of Probation


16. Conclusion

As we have noted before, when an offender is being supervised in the community it is simply not possible to eliminate risk altogether, but the public is entitled to expect that the authorities will do their job properly, that is to take all reasonable action to keep risk to a minimum in order to protect actual and potential victims. That did not happen in this case. 

Mistakes and poor judgement by several individuals meant that JMc remained in the community when he could, and should, have been recalled to prison. These issues of individual professional negligence have been examined in the internal SFO review, and appropriate action has been taken. 

In our review, we have examined these individual failures within the wider context of probation policy, procedures and operational reality. Inadequately trained and overworked staff and managers, as identified in this case are not new findings; we have highlighted these issues in several of our core local inspections and in our report on the central functions supporting the NPS.

In this report we have also highlighted areas where HMPPS must take action to improve the role the NPS plays in protecting the public from dangerous offenders.


As far as I can see the key recommendations are:-

It is recommended that HMPPS should:
  • ensure that probation staff are able to access all relevant information about an individual, including from historical case records.
  • ensure prisons comply with the requirement to share all relevant information, including from prison security departments and records of prison behaviour with the Parole Board.
  • require prisons to share all relevant information, including from prison security departments and records of prison behaviour with probation offender managers in prison and in the community to assist with parole reports and recommendations and with planning for release.
  • ensure there are clear and responsive arrangements for emergency referral to approved premises where required to manage offenders who present a high risk of serious harm.
  • ensure there is sufficient capacity in the approved premises estate to accommodate all high risk of harm offenders who require a placement.
It is recommended that NPS should:
  • monitor the implementation of post release risk management plans presented to the Parole Board, including referral to MAPPA, access to relevant interventions, residence in approved premises, and move on plans.
  • ensure that the new recall framework is fully embedded in practice.
  • introduce quality assurance processes to review the consistency and outcomes of recall decisions. This should include cases where recall was considered but not instigated as well as cases where it was approved.
  • ensure that recall decisions are recorded and implemented regardless of staff absence. A digital prompt should be built into the nDelius system to keep automatically reminding offender managers and their line managers of the need to execute a recall until this action is marked as completed or cancelled by the relevant ACO.
  • review the Probation Instruction for case transfers (PI 07/2014) to ensure the exchange of all risk information; establish an effective communication framework between transferring areas, including clarity about roles and responsibilities; and to ensure cases are prioritised and transfer is expedited.
  • ensure that probation staff have adequate time to become familiar with complex cases for which they assume responsibility.
  • improve the professional training of qualified and experienced probation staff to enhance skills in interviewing; interpretation and analysis of information from different sources; and risk assessment.

A Ministry of Justice spokesman said: 

"These were horrendous crimes and we have apologised to the victims for the unacceptable failings in this case. We have greatly improved information sharing between prisons and probation officers and all probation staff have received new, mandatory training on when offenders should be recalled."

More Prisons Really the Answer?

Here we have the latest from CCJS:-

Great Britain is on course for a massive expansion in prison capacity, according to a new assessment from the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies, out today.

In England and Wales, nearly 22,000 additional prison places are being planned in the coming years, while in Scotland an additional 3,600 prison places are under development.

The governments in London and Edinburgh are planning to take approximately 10,500 of old prison place capacity out of circulation. But even when this is taken into account, this still means additional prison capacity of some 15,000 is planned in the coming years. Previous experience also suggests that prisons slated for closure often stay open.

The analysis is contained in the latest edition of UK Justice Policy Review, from the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies. It comes as the government in London reaffirms its plans to spend £2.5 billion building four new prisons in England.

Last year, the Justice Secretary, Robert Buckland told parliament that the new prisons model being developed at one site, in Wellingborough, was intended to take the prisons estate "into the 22nd century".

Speaking today, Richard Garside, the director of the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies and one of the report authors, said:

"While the governments in London and Edinburgh pay lip-service to the notion that a smaller prison population is desirable, all their actions suggest a commitment to further growth and a long-term commitment to unnecessary incarceration. Rather than attempting to build their way out of the current prisons crisis, they would do better to rethink some of their basic assumptions, developing a long-term strategy to prevent unnecessary criminalisation and tackle unnecessary imprisonment."


A useful reminder of how we got to where we are with probation:- 


The period under review was marked by a rapid series of developments in England and Wales. The events resulted in the scrapping of the failed probation arrangements introduced in 2015 and proposals for, what seemed to many observers, equally flawed new arrangements. There were no probation developments of a similar scale or significance in Scotland or Northern Ireland. This section focuses exclusively on the England and Wales developments.

Irredeemably flawed 

The Chief Inspector of Probation in England and Wales, Glenys Stacey, stood down in May 2019. She was replaced by Justin Russell, a longstanding Whitehall insider who had served under both Labour and Conservative governments. 

A couple of months earlier, Glenys Stacey had used her final annual report to launch a stinging critique of the ‘irredeemably flawed’ changes to probation: the so-called ‘Transforming Rehabilitation’ programme implemented in 2015 (see former UKJPR reports). Probation leaders, she wrote, had been ‘required to deliver change they did not believe in, against the very ethos of the profession’. The changes had delivered a ‘deplorable diminution of the probation profession and a widespread move away from good probation practice’. 

Stacey’s was but one of a series of interventions strongly critical of the ‘Transforming Rehabilitation’ programme. Also, in March, a National Audit Office report highlighted how badly wrong the government had got its sums (see Transforming rehabilitation?). Then in May, the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee concluded that the programme has ‘left probation services underfunded, fragile, and lacking the confidence of the courts’. Moreover: 
Inexcusably, probation services have been left in a worse position than they were in before the Ministry embarked on its reforms. 
Reducing the rates of recriminalisation and reconviction of those released from prison having served a short (under 12 months) prison sentences was a key government rationale for the ‘Transforming Rehabilitation’ programme. A report by the probation inspectorate in May 2019 found ‘no tangible reduction’ and ‘no material change’ in rates of recriminalisation, while ‘almost one in four are recalled to prison’. Rather than receiving ‘intensive and holistic rehabilitative supervision’, released prisoners were ‘locked in an expensive merry-go-round of criminal justice processes and the public are left at undue risk’. 

A Ministry of Justice statistical bulletin on deaths of offenders in the community, published in October 2019, pointed further to a general state of malaise. The number of deaths of individuals under probation supervision had doubled since 2015, and was at the highest number since recording had stared in 2011. This included a steep rise in the number of suicides (see Suicide under probation). 

New model for probation 

In July 2018, as UKJPR 8 notes, the then Justice Secretary, David Gauke, announced his intention to bring the disastrous probation changes to a premature end. Glenys Stacey had praised Gauke for this ‘bold decision’, in the March 2019 annual report. She also expressed doubt about his working proposals for a new model, which in her mind ‘would leave serious design flaws unaddressed’. 

Elsewhere in her report, Stacey set out four ‘design principles’, for use both in evaluating of existing probation services, and in guiding future system design. The four principles covered the importance of: evidence-based practice; meeting individual needs; system integration and professionalism; and instilling confidence among victims, the judiciary and the wider public.

Against these four principles, the current probation system fared badly. In day-to-day work, for instance, Stacey had found ‘a notable drift away from the evidence base for effective probation services’. This was a systemic issue with the current system, Stacey argued, as she made clear to the House of Commons Justice Committee in May 2019:
 …a model where companies are in different ownership hardly suggests that you are going to be openly sharing best practice. I know of no mechanism at the moment for that. Sodexo owns a good number of CRCs, and good practice can promulgate in that company, within that ownership arrangement, but it might not cross a boundary into Interserve or whatever. 
On system integration and professionalism, Stacey argued that provision of probation interventions was patchy, that there was a ‘national shorted of professional probation staff’ and that the profession as a whole had been ‘downgraded’. 

Looking forward Stacey argued that future probation arrangements needed a structure and culture that ensured consistent, evaluated, evidence-based practice. Professional judgement and consistent practice also needed to be at the heart of probation work. To rebuild confidence in the system, she argued for national strategies in areas such as estates, workforce planning and commissioning. She also called for effective integration of key probation activities ‘to ensure more consistent and effective supervision for ALL offenders’ (her emphasis - in bold). 

The Commission on Justice in Wales, which published the report of its two-year review in October 2019, was impressed enough by these four principles to argue that they ‘should be applied to the design of the new integrated National Probation Service of Wales’ (see Commission on justice in Wales). 

The response from the government in London was somewhat more muted. Stacey told MPs on the Justice Committee in May 2019 that the Ministry of Justice had not consulted her on its probation workforce strategy; an answer the Labour MP Marie Rimmer said left her ‘quite shocked’. Stacey’s apparently upbeat tone of her report’s reception could also not mask a somewhat downbeat note: 
[M]y report from March is fully accepted by the Secretary of State and by Rory Stewart, although he is no longer the Minister. No one has said to me that the report is in any way ill-informed or wrong. The issues are understood and, in large part, accepted. The question is where we go from here. 
Two days after Stacey’s appearance before MPs, the Ministry of Justice announced its ‘new model for probation’. It planned ‘to build on the successful elements of the existing system’, while introducing ‘fresh ideas and innovative new rehabilitative services from private and voluntary providers’. 

The government blueprint for the new model for probation, published in June 2019, went some way to meet the challenge posed by Stacey and others. In a nod in the direction of greater system integration, for instance, the model proposed that all those under community supervision would be the responsibility of the National Probation Service, working at a regional level. The blueprint also expressed a commitment to ‘recognising probation work as a professional vocation’, a commitment the government proposed to underpin via a ‘regulatory framework for setting qualification requirements and practice standards’. 

In other respects, though, the blueprint signalled an ongoing attachment to commercialisation and competition that many in the service, including Stacey, saw as part of the problem. The delivery of much probation work – including unpaid work and accredited programmes – would be undertaken by private or voluntary sector ‘innovation partners’, rather than by the probation service itself. To many this looked rather like the discredited community rehabilitation company model, albeit in reduced form. 

Seasoned probation observers in any case struggled to see the ‘successful elements’ in the existing system and were concerned that the new model looked like repeating the fragmentation of probation work that had bedevilled the ‘Transforming Rehabilitation’ changes. When the Financial Times reviewed the plans in early December 2019, they reported criticism of a ‘stack ‘em high and treat ‘em cheap’ approach, and concerns over the split tendering approach, which would mean probation officers ‘having to coordinate an individual’s probation plan with two separate organisations’. The [Vice] Chair of the National Association of Probation Officers, David Raho said: 
What is needed is an entirely joined up and integrated public probation service that frees up frontline professionals to tackle reoffending.

Monday 29 June 2020

The Value of Social Work

Lets be clear about this. Many of us, particularly those with a bit of time under our belt, know that being a probation officer is completely incompatible with being a civil servant. We also know that a social work ethos is desirable and almost certainly necessary in order to be effective. Social workers face many of the same issues and a recent essay competition has served to highlight this, such as the following, one of the winning entries from a student at Dundee University:-  

Working better together: How do we build stronger relationships between social workers and people using services?

Social work, though notoriously difficult to define, is a profession centred upon building relationships, fulfilling the innate human desire to help one another (Soydan, 2012). However, given its legally binding powers and duties, social workers are often caught between tensions, trying to uphold service users’ rights, whilst executing the state’s responsibility towards them, all under the scrutiny of the public eye (Horner, 2006). 

Relationship-based practice is an approach utilised by social work practitioners that views relationships as the principal feature of social work and holds service users at its heart, although arguably there is little alternative, given that almost all social work is carried out via relationships. Relationship-based practice is traditionally rooted in psychodynamic theory, which seeks to understand how our previous experiences impact our relationships and thus how we manage our emotions, and is increasingly underpinned by the concepts of emotional intelligence, empathy and the practitioners ‘use of self’ (Ingram and Smith, 2018). 

One would be hard-pushed to find social work literature that did not place relationships at the forefront of good practice, although the contemporary managerial context of practice, coupled with measures of austerity and gross inequality, increasingly inhibits practitioners’ capacity to centre their practice upon relationship building (McColgan and McMullin, 2017). The worker-service user relationship is not straightforward like those naturally occurring with a family member or friend; embedded in this relationship are legislative and organisational constraints and an intangible yet undeniable power imbalance (Hennessey, 2011). 

To build honest and constructive relationships with others, social workers must know themselves; this is known as ‘use of self’. It is this self-awareness which allows social workers to relate to and engage the people with whom they are working, in a way that is true to their personal and professional values, providing fertile ground for the development of beneficial change (Hennessey, 2011), in line with the British Association of Social Workers (BASW, 2012) Code of Ethics which states that social work is “focused on problem solving and change” and holds social justice and human rights among its core values. 

Intrinsically linked to the idea of ‘use of self’ is the idea of understanding one’s own emotions, or emotional intelligence. Emotions guide our reactions, behaviour and decisions and shape who we are. Developing emotional intelligence by understanding oneself allows practitioners to think critically and manage situations that have the potential to trigger highly emotive responses which are common in social work (Ingram, 2015). Greater understanding of one’s own emotions has been shown to allow better understanding of service user’s emotions (Grant, Kinman and Alexander, 2014). 

Empathy is another skill that allows for sound relationship building; it entails an appreciation of how another person is feeling, thus allowing for a greater understanding of their thoughts and behaviour (Howe, 2013). Interviewing is one of the most common activities undertaken by social workers (Kadushin and Kadushin, cited in Trevithick, 2012). However, for service users, an interview with a social worker may be daunting and evoke feelings of anxiety given the authority and power the practitioner’s position holds. Recognising this fact allows workers to practice in a way which does not feel oppressive (Thompson, 2016). 

An unquestionable majority of people who use services hail from less affluent areas (Cree and Smith, 2018). Beckford (2016), notes that those who live in ‘underserved’ areas, challenged by issues such as poverty, are at greater risk of developing mental health problems, and of becoming involved with the Criminal Justice System. Garbarino and Ganzel (cited in Russell, Harris and Gockel, 2008) consider poverty to be the ‘principal villain’ affecting parenting; the effects of poverty can often be seen to minimise parents’ capacity to protect and look after their children, and is a common thread linking families considered more likely to suffer abuse and neglect. Wilkinson and Pickett (2010) cite inequality as the common denominator of a multitude of social problems, including mental health, substance misuse and violence, and their statistically-informed argument is hard to counter. 

The current neoliberal hegemony pervading our media and political climate would encourage us to believe that individuals should be held accountable for their problems which stem from their moral inferiority. Working in this way however, would potentially give rise to a largely punitive and risk-averse rather than welfare-focused way of working, devoid of the values so important to the social work profession, such as social justice and respect for individuals and could put workers at risk of ethical stress, which can occur when one’s practice is incongruent with one’s values (Fenton, 2016).

Utilising a radical social work approach can promote better relationships; recognising the impact that societal and structural disadvantage has upon individuals, families and communities, rather than holding people responsible for their own circumstances and marginalisation, helps people who use services feel understood (Lavalette, 2011). Ecological systems theory is also useful for understanding the way in which a person is affected by the environment in which they live (Stepney and Ford, 2000). Despite previously unseen levels of material comfort, Great Britain is currently one of the most unequal societies in the world (Wilkinson and Pickett, 2010). Social workers must recognise that life is significantly harder for some through no fault of their own. By providing a voice and a platform for people who use services, social workers can utilise the privilege their position infers to challenge the barriers they face (Krumer-Nevo, 2016), in turn bolstering relationships by showing concern which people who use services notoriously desire (Lishman, 2009). 

To build strong relationships with people who use services, social workers must firstly understand themselves; this enables them to better understand each person they work with, in turn allowing them to tailor their assessment and intervention according to each individual. Social workers must ensure their practice is neither oppressive nor discriminatory, by recognising structural disadvantage and inequality and their effects, and employing a non-judgemental attitude. Drawing upon sound personal and professional values as well as knowledge and theory ensures that positive relationships can be used to inspire positive change where and when it is needed most.

Verity Clarke - University of Dundee

(References not included here.) 

Sunday 28 June 2020

Row Row Row Your Boat!

From yesterday:-

There's an awful lot of "don't mention the war" going on.

I always understood unions to be something people paid subs to for the protection of their terms & conditions in the workplace, NOT conditional terms & conditions that suit the unilateral arrangements made between the union and the employer, arrangements that members never get to vote on.

The White male Tory charabanc is off the marks and building up steam yet there seem to be increasingly fewer and quieter voices raising objection to the corruption, the lying, the deception, the contempt & the barefaced cashing-in of our citizenship for personal gain by a handful of spoilt brats. In fact there seem to be an increasing number of voices clamouring to be heard in defence of the heartless, soul-less, unscrupulous, immoral self-defined 'elite'.

The no-deal Brexit they are constructing will mean massive pay-days for the lying cheating privileged few, and penury for the rest of us.

The piss-poor management of the pandemic will mean massive pay-days for the lying cheating privileged few, and long-term life-threatening illnesses for the rest of us.

The pleasing of the simple-minded thorugh the premature opening of pubs, of air-corridors and the removal of quarrantine periods will mean massive pay days for the lying cheating privileged few, and protracted misery for the rest of us as the virus enjoys a resurgence throughout the population.

Everyone is expendable except for the privileged few, and even then its up for debate. If you're on the charabanc, you're quids in. But if you blot your copy book, you're out on your arse with the rest of us (although you've probably got a few more quid stashed away than most of us).

Once upon a time Napo was an irritating & painful thorn in the side of the Home Office/MoJ/NOMS. Now its barely noticeable as an innocuous blade of grass bending in the breeze.

Once upon a time Probation staff were angry, independent, creative professionals with flaws & irritating habits who nevertheless kept most of their caseloads in some sort of order.

SPOs were generally tough cookies who kept a team together & on-course regardless of the occasional rebellious spirit; more often than not turned into a force for good rather than thrown overboard.

The Chiefs often struggled to straddle the twin paths of hail-fellow-well-met versus canny Captain of a raucous but effective crew, but most managed it with good grace because they recognised the value of their crew.

Now? If you're wearing the expensive team shirt, nicely pressed-and-ironed to management standards, you get a seat in the boat. Whether or not you can pull your weight. Whether or not you know what to do. Just so long as you make the bosun feel in control and the captain's happy with the homogeneous presentation, you've got a seat.

"Oars at the ready, and... Stroke! Stroke! Stroke!"

Friday 26 June 2020

Latest From Napo 215

Here we have the latest mailout from Napo today, complete with yet another set of bloody letters - RRMP - from the command and control HMPPS:-

NPS Pay Talks Resume

Welcome news reached us this week during the NPS Joint National Committee, that discussions on Pay are to resume in the near future. Dialogue between HMPPS and the Treasury has taken place to discuss the pay remit and we expect to receive a formal invitation to meet with the NPS Pay and Reward team soon.

The delay in the payment of pay progression due in April and the failure by the employer to properly resource the competency based framework project (see below) has been a considerable source of anger for our members.

What’s been going on?

The pay year in the NPS runs from April to March in line with the financial year. The 2018 pay deal agreed by members, was for two years, 2018/19 and 2019/20 so members received payment for the second year of this in April 2019. READ IN FULL - or read below.

OMiC Update

Our regular meetings with members of the OMiC Board have resumed now that we are working towards recovery and some of the staff who were seconded out of the OMiC project will be returning to it. A final draft of the OMiC recovery EDM will be shared shortly for our final opportunity to consult on it but this week’s meeting was a useful opportunity to raise some of the issues that have really been highlighted by the Covid-19 crisis.

SPO line management arrangements

While the move to formal line management of prison SPOs by the Governor has not yet happened informal management arrangements most certainly are in place and there have been examples of tensions between the NPS approach to exceptional delivery and the prison service approach placing prison SPOs in an almost impossible situation. We have supported manager members to address these issues and in some cases escalated them to ensure that SPOs have the right level of support from their division in implementing the EDM and the NPS guidance on social distancing, hygiene and PPE that underpins the protection of health and safety during the crisis. We have insisted that these issues be taken into consideration as we resume discussions about the line management of the prison SPOs. For now issues should be raised locally via the divisional implementation board and if necessary referred to Katie Lomas.

The approach to recovery

Once the EDM is published each prison will develop a regime recovery management plan (RRMP) and local reps, both Napo and POA must be involved in consultation on this along with the associated Health and Safety risk assessments for the OMU and related activities. As reported earlier in the week Napo and the POA have agreed to work collaboratively on this and where there is no Napo H&S rep in the prison local branch reps will be able to liaise with the POA H&S rep and members working in the establishment.

Napo HQ


What’s been going on?

The pay year in the NPS runs from April to March in line with the financial year. The 2018 pay deal agreed by members, was for two years, 2018/19 and 2019/20 so members received payment for the second year of this in April 2019.

The pay deal included the commitment to developing a competency based framework (CBF) for pay progression to use from 2020/21 onwards. Our position has always been that the scheme needed to be agreed in time for it to be in place for a full 12 months before it was used to determine progression. So to determine progression in April 2020 it needed to have been in place by the end of March 2019. When it was clear that this would not happen we secured a further agreement from the employer that progression in April 2020 for the year 2020/21 would be automatic. When it then became clear that the CBF scheme would not be in place by March 2020 we secured a further agreement for automatic progression for 2021/22. These agreements stand.

In March this year, the employer explained to us that because the pay progression due in April 2020 had not been agreed by HM Treasury they would not be able to pay it on time and would have to wait until they were authorised to enter talks with the trades unions on any pay award for 2020/21.

All Government departments have to go through proper process in terms of pay. First they get the 'advice' from HM Treasury which is based on Government directives about public sector pay. This usually comes in the early part of the year. Then the departments submit a proposal to HM Treasury and then they begin negotiations with the Unions. Once we, as a union, get to a point where we have achieved as much as we feel possible by negotiations we put the offer to members in a ballot. If the offer is agreed the pay award is made. This negotiation is a completely separate process to pay progression.

Next steps

This year the process has been delayed because there was a General Election in December 2019 which meant that HM Treasury were later than usual in issuing their advice. We know that the advice has been issued to the employers in the last few weeks so we expect to start negotiations on the pay award very soon. The Trade Unions in any case submitted our pay claim in March 2020 so that the employers were aware of our position. You can see the claim on our website here https://www.napo.org.uk/nps-pay-claim-20202021 which also neatly summarises the position in relation to pay progression. This pay claim was developed in consultation and approved by Napo's Probation Negotiating Committee (PNC) who report to every NEC meeting which means that the reps on PNC and NEC will have been involved in the conversations about it. The pay claim was, as is customary, sent out to members and placed on the website for reference.

We have written to members in mailouts at the end of 2019 and in March and May 2020 to update you on the pay position which essentially is that the progression through pay scales will be automatic for 2020/21 and 2021/22 but that for this year progression will not be paid until the pay award negotiations have been settled. Once we resume pay negotiations we will let members know and will report progress, initially this will be in confidence to the Napo PNC. Once we have negotiated as much of our as possible, the offer will be put to members.

Winning Hearts and Minds

My flirtation with Good Morning Britain and especially Piers Morgan continues and was fascinated the other day to watch him arguing with co-presenter Susanna Reid who insisted on reading-out a government statement in lieu of a minister's appearance. 

Piers forcefully took the view that if the government were intent on continuing its boycott of the programme, why should they read out any prepared statement? I agree totally, but of course that option isn't available to the poor-old BBC with its cast iron commitment to 'balance'. Piers is refusing to play this game and just 'calls-out' bullshit, incompetence and lies when he sees it and it's why he and GMB continue to fascinate me. Most interestingly, it's something that appears to be resonating with the public too as viewing figures are climbing apparently, with a 25% share overall, rising to 35% at certain times. 

On Wednesday, former long-term BBC staffer John Pienaar took the opportunity of joining-in with a bit of banter mocking the beeb with it always having to 'on the one hand this; on the other hand that and another hand this' all the time and how much he was looking forward to Monday's launch of Times Radio. This digital-only station is Rupert Murdoch's contribution to the right-wing agenda of neutering the poor-old BBC, despite continuing allegations of right-wing bias and commitment to 'effing 'balance'! What is going on here? 

This from the New Statesman in February and pre-Covid-19 taking hold:-  

The arrival of Times Radio is as much about politics as media competition

As Rupert Murdoch’s new venture poaches BBC presenters, what does the future of British broadcasting look like?

And so the bleeding begins. The first big name has been lured from the BBC to Rupert Murdoch’s new venture, Times Radio, with John Pienaar, the corporation’s deputy politics editor, jumping ship. It is, for now, just one high-profile presenter. But it marks the opening of a new front against the BBC that has as much to do with politics as it does commercial competition.

As the Guardian has reported, Times Radio is targeting the BBC’s top names, including Chris Mason, recently anointed host of Radio 4’s Any Questions, and Today presenter Nick Robinson. 
The project is being run as a joint venture between Murdoch’s two high-end newspapers, the Times and the Sunday Times, and his radio operation Wireless, which already runs talkRADIO, talkSPORT and Virgin Radio. Both are owned, along with the Sun, by News UK, the company helmed by Rebekah Brooks, who returned to the role in 2015 after resigning amid the phone-hacking scandal at the News of the World.

Times Radio will eschew ads, meaning it can match one of the BBC’s main selling points, in favour of sponsorship and marketing opportunities to sell subscriptions to the Times online and in print. Its launch will be overseen by Stig Abell, the former Sun managing editor who currently edits the Times Literary Supplement.

The seeming viability of the whole project reflects the way the internet has broken down the barriers between different mediums. Just as broadcasters like the BBC long ago broke into the written word with hugely popular websites, technological advances have lowered the barriers to entry for newspapers and magazines to compete for our ears.

Video remains difficult – production costs are high and the skills required both in front of and behind the camera are very different. But audio offers much less of a challenging leap. The success of podcasts from print organisations has provided proof of concept – add to that the expertise and infrastructure from News UK’s radio stations, and the Times is in a strong position.

In this particular tussle, however, the backdrop of technological change is in many ways less important than our new political landscape. Years of Conservative rule have already taken their toll, and the BBC has been cutting costs, most recently announcing that 450 jobs are to go across its news division. Now Boris Johnson’s comfortable majority has given the Conservative Party a platform to revisit its old obsessions with more verve, and put people such as the virulently anti-BBC Dominic Cummings into positions of power.

The briefings coming from the government this weekend suggest a major ramping up of attempts to “whack” the BBC, proposing that the licence fee will be scrapped and a mass cull of TV channels and radio stations. Some Conservative MPs are already pushing back. They will argue, rightly, that there will be political repercussions to extinguishing well-used and much-loved stations and channels. There are many who would miss Radio 2, which is popular among middle-aged, middle-class voters, or CBeebies, pretty much the only major provider of high-quality educational programmes that parents feel comfortable dumping their children in front of.

While the more brutal proposals for the BBC are likely hot air, the return of former culture secretary John Whittingdale to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport as a minister offers a more concrete indication of where the government will go. Whittingdale oversaw the most recent negotiations for the renewal of the BBC’s charter in 2016. Then, apocalyptic briefings about the government’s plans for the BBC laid the groundwork for what could later be presented as a compromise – a compromise that included making half of the posts on the BBC’s ruling board government appointees.

A larger majority offers Whittingdale, long a critic of the licence fee model and the BBC’s overall size, another shot at pushing through further changes, but expect them to fall short of the more spittle-flecked anonymous pronouncements from No 10.

Whatever members of the government really want to do about the BBC, the biggest problem for anyone trying to curb its impact or output is the support it retains across pretty much every section of the public. As a brand, it has unparalleled recognition and trust. Its critics compellingly argue that this support is the result of its privileged position on the airwaves and funding tied to the licence fee. But that doesn’t change the fact that the BBC is still one of the UK’s most-loved institutions.

The strength of the BBC’s brand is the core challenge for its commercial rivals, its political enemies and, indeed, those who straddle both camps, such as Murdoch and the Barclay Brothers, owners of the Telegraph (the Telegraph, we should not tire of pointing out, until recently employed Prime Minister Boris Johnson on £250,000 a year).

Its broad base of public support means those who wish to diminish the BBC have only one option: to chip away slowly. Each familiar name that leaves, each show that has to rely on fewer reporters on pared-back production budgets, is one step towards convincing the public that the BBC “isn’t what it used to be”.

Every time a listener follows their favourite presenter’s voice over to a programme delivered by a competitor adds to the feeling that they “don’t listen to the BBC as much as I used to”. Add into that the impact of services such as Netflix and YouTube capturing younger audiences and chipping away at its broadcast foundations, and the cracks will inevitably begin to show.

To succeed, Times Radio will have to take a chunk out of the BBC, but many of those rooting for it see it as just one part of a bigger battle to cut back the national broadcaster.

Wednesday 24 June 2020

Latest From Napo 214

Here we have the latest mailout from Napo:-

Working with and for our members

In the Member mail outs that we have issued since the start of the C-19 lockdown we have tried to explain the work that Napo has been undertaking to help ensure the safety of our members in these extraordinary times.

We absolutely recognise the pressures and fears that our members (including those who hold management roles) are having to contend with, whether your work involves Face to Face contact or working remotely with Clients or in management or support roles. This why we value the feedback about how you are coping with the many challenges that have emerged during this period. This has reached us at Napo HQ via the Napo Homeworking Survey, and through the info@napo.org.uk inbox, as well as from your contact with Branch activists, NEC reps and National Officers.

The Government announcement yesterday to ease the Social Distancing measures are designed to allow different sectors of the economy to reopen with certain conditions, and we have been quick to engage with senior leaders in the employers we cover to lay down the benchmarks that we believe you would expect of us in this regard.

The correspondence attached to this mail out makes our position clear on issues that are understandably causing anger and concern and add to the imperative that we cannot afford to see any relaxation of the Social Distancing measures which result in an increased risk to members. They also provide a further example of how we are trying to work in partnership with employers to obtain the best outcomes.

Please keep up contact with Napo through the above channels as we enter a new phase of the C-19 emergency, your views will be considered carefully and acted upon.
NEC take action on NPS Special Payments Scheme

The divisive NPS special payments scheme was the subject of an emergency motion to our NEC last week. As a result we have made final attempts to seek a resolution to the issues as can be seen in the ATTACHED LETTER. The strength of feeling was clear at NEC and we will now prioritise work to address this.

Social distancing and safety

Many members will have understandable concerns in relation to the announcement made by Government yesterday. It is worth examining the text of the statement which has been published.

“Where it is possible to keep 2 metres apart people should. But where it is not, we will advise people to keep a social distance of ‘one metre plus’, meaning they should remain one metre apart, while taking mitigations to reduce the risk of transmission.”

Therefore it remains the Government position that, where possible, the 2 metre social distance should be maintained. In our discussions with HMPPS today we have agreed with the employer that there will be no change to the guidance on social distancing, PPE and hygiene that has already been issued and the plans for recovery will continue to use this guidance as the standard to be met. We expect that all CRC employers will adopt the same approach.

Members who are shielding

The Government also made an announcement on 22 June about those who are shielding. Again the relevant section is worth examining:

“Those who need to work and cannot do so from home will be able to return to work as long as their workplace is COVID secure, adhering to the guidance available.”

In response to this HMPPS are consulting us on guidance that will be issued in the coming days to staff which contains the following principle:

“In the first instance, if the employee can work from home they should. If not, they can return to work from 1st August onwards, providing they can comply with social distancing. Individual risk assessments will need to be completed to help identify what adjustments can be made to support staff with this.”

If you are concerned about your safety in returning to the workplace please contact your local rep in the first instance for help and support.

Napo HQ


Dear Amy and Sonia, 

Re: Special Payments Scheme and Annual Leave Buy Back 

We have raised concerns with you and colleagues over the recent months about the special payments scheme. We have now been consulted further with regards to the guidance on the annual leave buy back elements of the scheme. We write to highlight some of the most significant concerns that members have shared with us about both issues. At last week’s meeting of our National Executive Committee a motion was passed in relation to the special payments scheme which made clear the anger, upset and division it has caused. 

Special Payments Scheme 

We welcome the desire to reward the hard work involved in facing the additional challenges that the Covid-19 pandemic has brought. From the start however we have raised concerns about the design of the scheme and some inherent flaws which we detail here. 

The special payments scheme introduces a bonus (special circumstances payment) for those working in “offender facing roles” “in recognition of the unprecedented circumstances” and reflecting “that some aspects of the role will be temporarily more challenging”. 

It is hugely problematic that the NPS has chosen to define “offender facing” as being physically present in the room with a client or undertaking doorstep visits only. Those staff who are working at home but supervising clients, interviewing clients and undertaking assessments, carrying out victim liaison work, or maintaining contact with clients in the absence of an accredited programme by phone or video calls, are all working in a client facing role in very challenging circumstances. 

These members of staff are bringing their work and their clients into their home (albeit virtually) and are processing difficult and distressing information about the offences their clients have committed or been victim of. They are often having difficult and challenging conversations with clients all in their own home, often with other family members including children within sight or sound. 

For Probation staff one of the key ways to maintain emotional wellbeing and manage the impact of the work is to build a support network in the workplace and ensure that they keep work at work, leaving their home and family life separate. Bringing work into their home, which is their refuge from the pressure of work, is a special circumstance that is more challenging than usual. 

The design of the special payments scheme means that staff who are shielding due to underlying health issues (who are likely to be disabled) or who are caring for someone who is shielding and those who face additional vulnerabilities due to age or those from BAME backgrounds are not entitled to the special circumstances payment despite working in an offender facing role in circumstances more challenging than usual. This is manifestly unfair and is not covered in the equality analysis which was only shared with us today. 

Earlier in our discussions on this we asked you to consider defining “offender facing” to include those staff working at home but having a direct interface with clients.

The scheme also introduces bonuses for those in bands 1- 6 who commit to working overtime with a distinction made between committing to 4 weeks worth of overtime (£500 bonus paid) and committing to 12 weeks (£1750 paid). In one division we are aware that managers have sought to save money by redefining 12 weeks as 3 x 4 weeks and paying only £1500. This bonus in any case pales into insignificance when compared to the bonus for senior managers which is £1500 per month. While we accept that those senior managers are not eligible for paid overtime, the discrepancy is stark and creates further unnecessary division. 

We have only today had sight of the equality analysis completed on the scheme but the analysis is sadly lacking in that document. The fact that the scheme is designed in a way that prevents some staff from accessing the special circumstances payment solely due to their disability, age or BAME background making them more vulnerable to a virus is direct discrimination against staff on those grounds and this should have been highlighted during the development process. The fact that those with caring responsibilities are more likely to be excluded is likely to be indirect discrimination because women are more likely to have caring responsibilities. The fact that Napo’s representations on this, and our proposed solution (defining the term “offender facing” as detailed above) have not been captured anywhere in the analysis is deeply disappointing and evidences that this has not been treated as a live document. 

Those staff who are shielding or additionally vulnerable now face the prospect of returning to the workplace on 1 August despite the risk to their health in doing so as the virus has not been eradicated and no vaccine is available. They will not be entitled to the special circumstances payment because that part of the scheme has ended. They will face higher risks than their colleagues but will have been excluded from any benefits because of their disability, age, caring responsibilities or BAME background. 

Annual Leave Buy Back 

We discussed today in the weekly meeting the issues that the guidance on this has raised. We are very grateful to our colleagues from Unison in raising the concerns relating to statutory leave entitlement and that this has now been addressed. 

We are in agreement that annual leave is important, especially at times of high workloads and work pressure, but we appreciate efforts being made to compensate members for giving up some of their entitlement where this benefits the employer by creating additional resource. 

That said, we have concerns relating to the conditions being attached to the buy-back of annual leave. Many members have faced unacceptably high workloads, well in excess of their capacity for some time (some for years). With the current crisis and exceptional delivery models those members are facing unprecedented challenges in maintaining service delivery. At a time when many are stretched beyond their limits, suggesting that any annual leave sold back to the employer will bring an expectation that the staff member will contribute yet more additional work, is unthinkable. 

If annual leave is sold back to the employer by members who are working over their capacity or already absorbing additional work, it is our expectation that the additional resource this offers to the employer will be used to spread the burden fairly and not for it to simply land back on the individual. 

Morale and Wellbeing 

We cannot stress enough the impact that the implementation of this scheme is having on members who report low morale and division between colleagues as a result. Our aim in raising these issues is to avoid a situation where members need to individually and collectively take action, but all of our attempts to find resolution have so far failed. 

We remain committed to working with you to resolve the issues on behalf of members, however we are approaching the point where, unless we are able to make progress, we will have no choice but to escalate the matter. 

Yours sincerely 

Ian Lawrence General Secretary
Katie Lomas National Chair

Tuesday 23 June 2020

Latest On TOM

HMPPS have just published an update to the Draft Target Operating Model for probation services in England and Wales and as you peruse the following highlights, have in mind the following observation from the Prison Reform Trust:-
"The role of central government in probation in recent years has been entirely destructive. Whether that continues to be the case will depend on whether the ministry has the humility and good sense to devolve power to a local level. That rarely comes naturally to central governments of any persuasion. It’s too early to tell how this one will behave.”
3. Further detail on changes 

NPS delivery of Unpaid Work, Accredited Programmes and Structures Interventions 

3.1. Under our revised approach to probation reform, Unpaid Work, Accredited Programmes and Structured Interventions will no longer be contracted out to Probation Delivery Partners but will instead be delivered by the NPS directly. We consider that bringing these services into the NPS will put us in the best possible position to respond to any further disruption caused by COVID-19 and enable a smoother recovery out of exceptional delivery arrangements we have had to put in place. These services have been delivered by probation services in the past and as such, we have confidence in our ability to deliver these again. 

3.2. Our approach for all these services for Day 1 will be to move existing CRC staff and delivery models into the NPS with the minimum disruption with ongoing work thereafter to embed and improve service delivery. The transition to a level of service as envisaged by the draft Target Operating Model is likely to take time given the backlogs to Unpaid Work and Accredited Programme created by exceptional delivery arrangements as well as a likely spike in court orders once jury trials resume. This would be the case regardless of which organisation delivery sat with but we consider that bringing this work in-house gives us greater flexibility to deal with this. 

Unpaid Work 

3.3. The design intentions for Unpaid Work are primarily to address the issues with current delivery and to improve quality and sentencer confidence. Effective Unpaid Work placements are crucial in contributing to the Government’s manifesto commitment to toughen community sentences. 

3.4. We plan to achieve this through a focus on the following areas: 
  • Quality of assessments; 
  • Interface with Sentence Management; 
  • Sufficient quality placements with increased focus on education, training and employment (ETE); 
  • Local engagement and delivery; 
  • Effective administration and recording.
3.5. As detailed in the draft Target Operating Model, the current requirement to commence work within 7 business days does not provide sufficient time to assess and place appropriately and allowing 10 business days for the completion of the Unpaid Work assessment form will enable a full risk and needs assessment. We had envisaged that this would then be shared with the Probation Delivery Partner to match to an appropriate placement and that within 10 days, the Probation Delivery Partner would deliver a full Unpaid Work induction and instruction to attend a first work session. 

3.6. As the revised model removes the interface between the NPS and Unpaid Work, it provides a new benefit for single requirement orders compared to the previous model as these can continue to be managed by Unpaid Work teams. This will facilitate efficient delivery of orders primarily focussed on ensuring Unpaid Work hours are completed and the removal of the interface will speed up the process, enabling the starts timescale to be reduced from 20 to 15 business days. The Unpaid Work assessment form completed by the Probation Practitioner will be incorporated into OASys and so there is no proposed change to the completion of this. 

3.7. It remains a priority to increase the level and scope of work placements available to meet the requirements of the Court. Female service users will be offered a choice not to be placed in all male work environments and appropriate placements will be sought in the local community to meet diverse needs. Sufficient placements and some flexibility alongside other strategies will avoid short notice cancellation of work placements. It will be the responsibility of the Unpaid Work team to review all active cases at the 6 and 9-month stages of the Unpaid Work requirement to ensure all hours are completed within the 12-month period prescribed by the Court and to flag with Probation Practitioners where appropriate action is needed. 

3.8. Whilst the main pathway to address ETE needs remains with the Rehabilitation Activity Requirement as a specific element of the sentence, considerable potential remains within the Unpaid Work requirement for on the job training and skills development that can support future employment opportunities. A feature that defines a ‘good quality’ placement is one that can utilise the 20% allowance for ETE activities for those eligible and as outlined in the draft Target Operating Model we plan a renewed focus on placements providing ETE. Under the revised model we intend to review ETE provision that CRCs have in place currently and how we might continue effective arrangements as well as seeking additional opportunities to secure improved ETE. 

3.9. We will retain our commitment to limit travel time to Unpaid Work placements to a maximum of 90 minutes each way, of which a maximum of 60 minutes each way can be spent under supervision and credited against the sentence of the Court. CRCs are not always achieving this currently so further investment will be required in Placement Coordinators to source placements locally, undertaking local engagement and ensuring sufficient transport solutions. There are currently systems in place so that local people and community organisations can identify work projects for Unpaid Work teams to complete and these will need to be strengthened under the revised model, requiring Unpaid Work teams to actively seek the views of local people and organisations when adopting new Unpaid Work projects.

3.10. We recognise that we will also need to review logistics of Unpaid Work delivery including consideration of CRC estates and assets that we might need to meet locality requirements and how we capture relevant data on placements and scheduling from CRC systems and record this going forward. We will also need to consider how we manage administrative support for which there is not a uniform model under CRC contracts. 

Accredited Programmes and Structured Interventions 

3.11. Accredited Programmes are the intervention of choice for HMPPS, as they are supported by a robust evidence base. The NPS currently deliver specific Accredited Programmes (e.g. for sex offenders) which will ease the transfer of other Accredited Programmes to the NPS as there is already expertise in this area and we anticipate that there will be eligible staff for transfer with similar expertise. By bringing these under a single organisation we will also benefit from synergies in delivery of these programmes. 

3.12. Eligibility and suitability checks will continue to be undertaken by the NPS to ensure those meeting the criteria get the opportunity to attend an Accredited Programme. Delivery of the Thinking Skills Programme (TSP) and Building Better Relationships (BBR) Programme in all regions can be achieved by the NPS. In the short term other Accredited Programmes addressing needs such as Resolve and Building Skills for Recovery which are currently being delivered in some locations can continue, subject to review of the delivery suite by the Regional Probation Director to ensure local needs are met. Design intentions to meet equality requirements and timely completions can also be met through our revised approach and will be supported by the recently approved flexible delivery model, which allows for remote and one to one delivery to meet specific needs. 

3.13. We stated in the draft Target Operating Model that the maximum time that an individual would be expected to travel to attend an Accredited Programme or Structured Intervention would be 90 minutes each way. To achieve this under the revised model we will need to secure suitable local accommodation that meets Correctional Services Accreditation and Advice Panel requirements. 

3.14. Further scoping of the CRC and NPS estates is required to understand whether this can be met through existing provisions as well as a review of those arrangements put in place by CRCs that will need to continue (e.g. providing drivers to transport individuals to interventions because of public transport challenges). As with Unpaid Work, we will also need to ensure we have appropriate systems and processes in place to provide a record of the delivery of interventions which can be quality assured. 

Staff transfers and regional structures 

3.15. - 3.16. We expect that CRC staff who deliver Unpaid Work, Accredited Programmes and Rehabilitation Activity Requirements in the three need areas which will become Structured Interventions will be assigned to transfer to the NPS, which will mean many more staff coming into the NPS than under the previous model. There will be some staff in mixed roles which are part Sentence Management and part interventions where decisions on role allocation will need to be made.

3.17. To oversee and deliver this work we will need to have dedicated teams within the regional structure. Further work is required to determine roles and structures within these but we anticipate that there will be a new regional senior leadership role to oversee teams focused on Unpaid Work and Interventions. For Unpaid Work, we will need to consider arrangements for delivery of ETE and peer mentors, which in some instances may be sub-contracted under current CRC contracts. Similarly, for the delivery of the BBR programme, we will need to consider arrangements for the Partner Link Worker role which some CRCs currently sub-contract. Revised approach to Dynamic Framework 

3.18. To support preparation of procurement activity, our development of the Dynamic Framework design had progressed since publication of the draft Target Operating Model. Under the previous model we had planned to let over 200 contracts at PCC level for rehabilitation and resettlement support for Day 1 in the following need areas: 
  • Accommodation; 
  • Education, Training & Employment and Finance, Benefits & Debt; 
  • Dependency and recovery; 
  • Personal wellbeing; 
  • Women’s services; 
  • Services for young adults in Wales. 
3.19. Delivery expertise of much rehabilitation and resettlement support sits in the market as these services have not routinely been delivered by probation in the past. We consider that the Dynamic Framework continues to be the most appropriate mechanism to secure this. This is because it establishes the foundation for future procurement of these services locally and enables delivery of specific and consistent requirements. 

3.20. We recognise though that the impact of COVID-19 on many organisations’ ability to bid along with our own internal capacity to run the competitions, evaluate them and support mobilisation means that we need to revise the scope of what we can procure via the Dynamic Framework for June 2021. 

3.21. - 3.22. To balance the need to reduce the complexity of our initial call-off plans with ensuring sufficient specialist services are still in place for Day 1, we have revisited whether alternatives are available in the short-term to avoid the need for call-off competitions across some categories of need for Day 1. For instance, for some of the original intended Day 1 scope, there are existing alternative sources of provision that Regional Probation Directors are better linked into, and can commission or co-commission directly. 

3.23. Our decision on what to continue to procure for Day 1 has been informed by the following considerations: 
  • Where statutory or alternative provision is weakest; 
  • Ease of delivery in-house (including opportunity for co-commissioning by regional teams, staff skill-set and physical delivery capability – e.g. whether premises are required); 
  • Current usage – both levels and how it is delivered; 
  • Extent of need (e.g. is there a specific pre-release resettlement requirement as well as post-release rehabilitative need). 
3.24. For Day 1 we have also considered where it might be appropriate to procure services at a regional level rather than at a PCC level, thereby reducing the number of lots and making delivery for June 2021 more viable. A regional approach does not preclude local delivery. We intend to discuss with Regional Probation Directors the geographical footprint required in their regions for effective service delivery and how we can facilitate this (e.g. co-location with probation offices), as well as considering locality and responsiveness of services in our evaluation of bids. 

3.25. We will open qualification for all categories of need under the Dynamic Framework, even if some are no longer in scope for our initial phase of Day 1 procurement activity. This is important, as our ambition for a wide range of service needs to be able to be met via the Dynamic Framework remains. 

Impacts on staff 

3.26. Supporting staff through this process is critical to its successful transition and delivery. Our approach remains to work closely with Trade Unions, current employers and staff to support the transition and minimise impacts on people’s roles. Whilst we need to do a more detailed review, using updated data returns from CRCs around specific staff impacts of the new model, changes in respect of Unpaid Work, Accredited Programmes and Structured Interventions mean we envisage that staff currently delivering equivalent services under CRCs will be assigned to transfer to the NPS. This provides certainty for a significant group of staff that would otherwise have been reliant on outcomes of the Probation Delivery Partner competition to inform what would happen to them. 

3.27. As outlined in the draft Target Operating Model, we will protect staff terms and conditions following transfer and most new staff compulsorily transferring into the NPS will be eligible to join the local government pension scheme post transfer. The exception is those who retain eligibility to participate in the civil service pension scheme. 

3.28. The practicalities of bringing an increased volume of staff from an increased number of employers into the NPS will necessitate renewed Trade Union negotiations and longer lead in times for enabling activity such as payroll build and testing and vetting. It is also likely to mean that we will need to focus on getting fundamental requirements in place for Day 1 and implement further changes such as restructuring post transfer. As part of the transition we will ensure that those staff moving into the NPS are fully orientated and supported. 

3.29. The establishment of a separate workforce programme, working in close collaboration with probation reform, to develop and build our workforce is in recognition that our people are our most valued asset. We acknowledge the likely increase in training needs created by this change and remain committed to identifying and addressing learning, development and experience gaps for our staff. 

3.30. We recognise the anxiety that staff will be feeling around change to this new system and want to be able to support them through it. This includes providing stimulating work that motivates and engages staff. We want to build a positive work environment that attracts, retains and develops skilled people and champions positive behaviours and practices. We intend to publish our Workforce Strategy shortly, which will set out intentions in more detail and ensure that wider changes happening in probation go hand-in-hand with positive changes for our workforce.

4. Next Steps

4.1. We will very quickly reprofile the probation reform programme to reflect the revised model. This will include reprioritising resource to those areas that will support a smooth transition and reviewing key milestones to June 2021 and beyond to ensure successful implementation and embedding of the changes. 

4.2. We intend to publish an updated version of the Target Operating Model for the future of probation services early in 2021 to provide further detail on the new system, informed by the changes that we have announced as well as the opportunities presented by new ways of working that we have had to introduce as a result of COVID-19. 

4.3. We will develop a revised illustration of the changes to support engagement with colleagues and stakeholders to promote awareness and participation in the future changes. 

4.4. We will continue to work with senior leaders within NPS and CRCs to explicitly address the culture(s) we currently have and what we are aiming for in the future. This work will be inclusive and recognise the diversity of our workforce and delivery. 

4.5. We will continue to engage closely with stakeholders and partners across the criminal justice system in developing our plans.