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BEST PRACTICE ON DIVERSITY

Contents

Introduction
Towards Race Equality
Options for using the examples of good practice in your area 3

Section 1
Understanding Cultures
Working with minority ethnic communities 7

Section 2
Evidence Based Recruitment
Using assessment centres to improve the validity and reliability of recruitment 19

Section 3
Spreading the Net
How on-line information supports good practices and promotes race equality 31

Section 4
Building the Jigsaw
Towards race equality through monitoring and improving service delivery 43

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BEST PRACTICE ON DIVERSITY
Towards Race Equality
Options for using the examples of good practice in your area

The Probation Service is committed to the development of ‘What Works’ in all aspects of its work.
The pursuit of excellence and best practice and the sharing of knowledge are particularly critical in
the area of race equality.
The Thematic Inspection ‘Towards Race Equality’ highlighted the variety of shortcomings in our
employment and service delivery practices. The Report however identified a number, albeit few, of
examples of good practice. The Diversity Strategy Board is committed to an action plan which
requires the Service to identify, write up and disseminate periodically examples of good practice in
race equality. These are to include employment and service delivery examples.
This report is the first in a series of publications of such case studies. Whilst our starting point is
race equality examples, the long-term commitment is to the wider diversity agenda.
I congratulate all those whose examples are included here. I encourage a wide use of these
examples and look forward to more creativity as we aim for achievement of excellence in our
diversity objective.
I commend this report to you all.

Eithne Wallis

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BEST PRACTICE ON DIVERSITY
Towards Race Equality
Options for using the examples of good practice in your area

T
he enclosed case studies have been The four examples can be used in a number of
written with the help of five probation ways. They can be used
areas to provide examples of the work (i) individually when you are exploring
that is being done Towards Race Equality. specific issues
Each example also includes a number of
questions based on the European Excellence (ii) collectively as a resource and
Model (EEM) framework to enable you to (iii) as a basis for developing your own local
‘benchmark’ the progress you have made in examples of good practice.
your own area.
The following options are not mutually
exclusive and if you can think of wider uses
please let us know.

Individual examples
1 Evidence based recruitment
Human Resources Managers responsible for recruitment and selection could use this example
with appropriate colleagues to support a review and the development of the area’s own policies
and processes for recruitment and selection. Areas could also use the case to help explore the
possibility of developing an assessment centre approach to selection on a regional basis if they
have not got the resources to do it within an individual area.
2 Understanding cultures
This example could be used with partner organisations to encourage the exploration of local
issues and potential strategies for working with minority ethnic communities, or within the area
to encourage an assessment of local communities and possible strategies for working with
them. (This could be related to the area’s commitment to action under the Race Relations
(Amendment) Act 2000 and/or in response to the National priorities and be included in the Area
Business Plan)
3 Spreading the net
This example could be used to trigger discussion about the development of your own area (or
regional) database and valuable sources of data which can be accessed.
4 Building the jigsaw
This example could be used to explore your area’s mechanisms for monitoring and developing
services to minority ethnic offenders and their families and developing effective relationships
with voluntary and other agencies.

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All examples your area as part of preparation for EEM
assessment. The questions can be used as
✓ Put the examples on the intranet in your they are or adapted to more specifically
area for all staff to access whenever they reflect your own initiatives.
feel it may be useful reference material. You ✓ Use the examples to support developing
could add nationally available information joint approaches with partner agencies to
and local examples of good practice and inform/promote understanding and the
develop your own database. (You may wish development of joint strategies. This could
to highlight the availability of the material include agencies within the Criminal Justice
by newsletter or notice and use the System, voluntary organisations and/or
attached introduction or write your own.) those representing minority ethnic
✓ Copy the examples and hold them with other communities with whom you work or wish
research/learning material in your area’s to develop a working relationship.
resource centre/Staff Development ✓ Use the examples in publicity or at
Unit/Library to be freely available for staff use. conferences to raise awareness of the work
✓ Use the examples as case studies during being done in the service. (Please speak
staff, new manager and board member with the contact from the relevant areas
induction to enable them to involved in producing the examples before
using the examples in a public forum).
(i) explore the issues and discuss good
practice in Race Equality MOST IMPORTANT – make colleagues aware
that the examples exist, where they can be
(ii) identify their role in promoting good found and how they might be used to
practice in Race Equality and support and develop good practice.
(iii) develop their understanding of the
EEM model and how it can be used.
✓ Use the examples as case studies in Race
Awareness training (for example without
the questions, asking the group to generate
the questions they would ask in order to
benchmark good practice).
✓ Use any or all of the examples in
management teams to review current
practice in Race Equality and develop
strategies for developing/promoting diversity
in your area and/or developing and
monitoring services to minority ethnic
offenders and their families.
✓ Use any or all of the examples amongst
senior managers/those leading on EEM as
an example of how the EEM framework can
be used, or to evaluate current practice in

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Section 1
BEST PRACTICE ON DIVERSITY

Understanding Cultures
Working with minority ethnic communities
BEST PRACTICE ON DIVERSITY
Understanding Cultures
Working with minority ethnic communities

Summary the communities it serves. It includes the current


joint project with ITHAAD, a community
organisation based in Pendle. (ITHAAD is an

O
ne of the findings of Towards Race
Equality – Thematic Inspection, Urdu word for unity), the key elements of the
published in 2000 states: approach, its outcomes and the lessons learnt
by Lancashire Probation Service and ITHAAD. It
“It was apparent that all services had considerable also covers the subsequent actions taken by
work to do to improve their standing and gain the senior managers in the service to adopt this
confidence of local minority ethnic communities, learning, promote race equality and implement
both in terms of work with offenders and as a the recommendations in the report of the
potential employer. Partner organisations proved a thematic inspection.
valuable resource in providing culturally sensitive
services for minority ethnic offenders. Services There are two key learning points from this
needed to ensure that there was appropriate work. In order to work effectively with
consultation and communication with local communities, it is necessary to:
minority ethnic communities in devising and 1 recognise and understand the multiple
implementing strategies.” cultures that exist within them. For example,
Lancashire Probation Service – Asian different cultures based on country of
Offender Project Progress Report in origin, ethnic group, faith, age, family and
November 2000 states: personal values. Similarly, there are different
“East Lancashire contains a significant proportion cultures within various Criminal Justice
of its population from minority ethnic groups, Agencies and different attitudes, experience
and whilst striving towards a more representative and levels of understanding within staff
staff group, Lancashire Probation Service does groups in Probation Service and other
not currently have a staff group which reflects organisations; and
the communities it serves.” 2 gather detailed specific information about
This example explores the work that has been the issues, identify options for action and be
ongoing for a number of years with minority willing to address them in an innovative way.
ethnic communities in East Lancashire, in Other examples in this series will explore the
particular the community of Pakistani Muslim issues of effective service delivery and
heritage in Pendle. Starting before the current monitoring in more detail.
emphasis on effective practice and partnerships,
it illustrates an innovative and proactive For further information please contact
approach to building better understanding and Mary Whyham at Lancashire Probation
relationships between the probation service and Service on 01772 201209

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BEST PRACTICE ON DIVERSITY
Understanding Cultures
Working with minority ethnic communities

Background Opportunity policies at that time, they did not


always place great emphasis on race issues, there
was no co-ordinated forum in which to share

T
here is a well established and substantial
minority ethnic population in East Lancashire. experience and little or no monitoring to identify
It is primarily Muslim and of South Asian actual practice.
heritage. The Asian communities are However, in East Lancashire a number of
concentrated in Blackburn and Pendle, a developments were taking place. A strong, local,
significant community in Hyndburn and smaller multi-agency partnership (the Pendle Partnership)
communities in Burnley and Rossendale. The was being established with the purpose, initially,
largest community is of Pakistani heritage which, of bidding for Single Regeneration Budget
in some areas of the town of Nelson, represents money. Led by the private sector the Partnership
the majority of the population. There is a large involved managers from a wide range of public,
Indian community in Blackburn and small private and voluntary sector organisations.
Bangladeshi communities in other towns.
(Lancashire Probation Service – Asian A number of community based organisations
Offenders Project – Progress Report were also emerging including ITHAAD, which
30/11/00) was established as the result of a meeting in the
mosque to discuss the Muslim community’s
At this point, it is important to note that the
concerns following two murders in the area. The
Asian population in Pendle is almost uniquely
organisation has elected officers, an executive
Muslim and from one particular area of Pakistan.
committee and five area committees. Starting
It is, therefore, closer to being one community
from a small office in town (donated free by one
than the several communities that may be found
member) ITHAAD slowly developed a range of
in other areas. The initial work referred to in this
services for the community as well as a number
example was carried out within this specific
of initiatives to increase understanding between
community in the particular locality.
the Asian and white populations. These included
This work started before the 1991 Criminal introducing the local community to Pakistani
Justice Act, at a time when the population and Muslim culture and cuisine and organising
the number of prosecutions of Asian offenders functions and sports tournaments designed to
were increasing, but there appeared to be little engage young people in positive activities. It has
experience of working within the particular been able to develop and support its work by
requirements of a minority ethnic culture. (For attracting funding from a variety of sources. This
example the implications of a male probation has included an urban aid grant to transform a
officer contacting female members of a strictly derelict building into a Community Centre and
Muslim, Asian offender’s family.) Although most Manpower Services Commission funding to
Probation Services were developing Equal support community work. Current services

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include community development, advice on research conducted by Lancaster University into
welfare rights, Council Tax, housing and the Pendle team’s work, identified that their
homelessness issues, nationality and immigration practice did not take enough account of the
issues, diabetes awareness and drugs awareness. cultural differences of the minority ethnic
There is also a project to support Asian offenders community. For example, the contents of the
and their families, which will be described later. then Social Enquiry Reports varied significantly
dependent on the officers writing them, rather
than being based on the offence or the factors
surrounding it. An analysis of sentencing
The experience 1992-1998 outcomes showed the same discrepancies.

At this time within Lancashire Probation Service, Despite the apparent equality of a blanket
senior managers had identified the need to raise approach of treating everyone the same, it was
awareness in relation to working with minority obvious that offenders from different ethnic
ethnic communities. Following a report by backgrounds were experiencing differential
Meenakshi Sharma in 1992 covering treatment. For example, Asian offenders were
consultation with staff on anti-discriminatory more likely to get Community Service than
practices, a number of initiatives took place. This Probation Orders. (These findings are mirrored in
included awareness training throughout the the findings in the later Thematic Inspection –
organisation. A subsequent inspection by see section 4.26 in the report.) The reasons for
Lancaster University focused on race and gender this ‘bias’ were not clear although there are a
issues in Lancashire Probation Service, including number of probable causes. For example –
the way in which services were provided to stereotyping the Asian work ethic, the belief that
female offenders and those from minority ethnic potential language difficulties would inhibit
groups. The resultant action plan encouraged supervision but not Community Service
networking with local communities. supervision, or Probation Officers’ lack of
confidence in working with offenders from
Ian Galbraith had been appointed in 1991, as different cultural and religious backgrounds
Senior Probation Officer to lead the team in
Pendle. Previously as a Probation Officer in The team, which did not include any minority
Burnley, and then as a Senior Probation Officer ethnic staff, readily accepted the evidence of
in Greater Manchester, he had developed a the statistics and quickly took steps to improve
strong commitment to a community based their practice through gatekeeping (another
approach. At the same time, the experienced officer reading draft reports and providing
staff group in Pendle were becoming acutely constructive criticism).
aware of their own lack of knowledge of the The Asian Project
cultural and religious backgrounds of minority
ethnic offenders, and the ensuing difficulty in By 1993 a project was started to address the
working effectively with them. (In Pendle 50% issue of quality in work with Asian offenders. Its
of school leavers, and 30% of those sent to aims were to examine to what extent Service
young offenders institutions, were of Pakistani Delivery (i) satisfied the needs and requirements
Muslim heritage.) of those who use it within the Asian community
in Pendle and (ii) met the purposes for which it
Prior to the implementation of the 1991 Criminal was designed. Three surveys were conducted.
Justice Act, the introduction of Pre-Sentence
Reports and the related National Standards; 1 In 1994 a survey of a number of Asian

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organisations and community leaders It was by now apparent that increased drug
identified a clear need for the Probation use amongst young people in Asian
Service to improve its profile and communities was a problem. Whilst there
‘introduce itself’ to a community which was awareness of the problem among
had little understanding of, and felt distant groups working with young people, there
from, its work. was widespread denial within Pendle’s Asian
community. This created a barrier to
2 Also in 1994 a questionnaire was sent to developing appropriate services and in turn
South Asian offenders to examine their led to the project described below.
experience of the Probation Service (i) at
court (ii) at the probation office during the 3 A public opinion survey was carried out as
pre sentencing stage and (iii) whilst under part of the Brierfield Arts and Drugs Project,
supervision. When written contact yielded conducted in 1995-96 in conjunction with
virtually no response, a researcher from the Pendle Multi-Agency Group Network. The
South Asian community was employed to Arts and Drugs project had two aims (i) to
make personal contact (which was much increase knowledge and awareness of the
more successful). They discovered that the issues and (ii) to generate useful information
initial low response was due to the belief and inform the development of services able
among respondents that, if their experience to respond specifically to the needs of
was positive, they need not reply. The members of the Pakistani Muslim community.
findings from this survey raised some The project employed Asian researchers to
concerns about (i) the percentage of Asian conduct a survey of almost 100 Asian men and
offenders not seen after court appearance women. More than half were long term
(ii) respondents not always understanding residents in the area, 90% with children of
the nuances of what was explained to which a further 90% were over 17 years old. It
them. (They were reluctant to continually covered their communications skills in both Urdu
press for more explanation after probation and English, their perceptions of the problems of
staff had willingly explained procedures, young people and the effect of those problems
issues and the terms used in criminal justice on families. Within the wide range of problems
system.) (iii) some experience of racism and mentioned, drugs and unemployment featured
oppressive behaviour from an individual significantly. As well as demonstrating the level
member of staff (who has since left the of awareness of the drugs problem it also
area) and (iv) some experience of family highlighted that this issue was a source of
difficulty with those on Community Service. stigma/shame in this community.
This resulted in eight recommendations to Another feature of the project was a drama
improve service delivery. It also identified the based piece of work, developed and performed
difficulty at that time of establishing by young people in order to communicate
effective monitoring of minority ethnic messages to the older generations. Despite
offenders, largely because monitoring forms reservations from almost every quarter that it
only offered black or white categories, and would not work, young Asians from a local
Asians could not accurately identify school took part in a project to write and
themselves under either of these headings. perform a play about their culture and
(The monitoring forms now being used concerns. It was well supported when
have addressed this issue.) performed in a school and they also took it to

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the Barbican theatre in London. There was a organisations who express an interest in
great deal of publicity and support from local providing placements of offenders to clarify
TV, radio and press. It not only raised awareness roles, expectations and the aims of
of the issues but also provided a vehicle for Community Service and Probation (ensuring all
enabling discussion to take place on a very placements would be monitored)
sensitive subject.
• engage with the Asian community as an
There was also a visual arts project undertaken integral part of the Probation Service teams’
directly with women in the Asian community. anti-discriminatory practice
The art work produced by the women was used
as a backdrop for the drama presentation. • publicise the work of the Probation Service in
the Asian community through the press,
A specialist drama worker and a visual arts radio etc
worker were employed.
• develop anti-discriminatory training to raise
A further linked project called Ghar Ghar involved awareness of ideas, beliefs, customs, cultures
women volunteers from the local Asian and religions which differ from the white,
community. The women were trained in basic mainly secular, majority.
drug awareness and encouraged to communicate
their understanding to friends, neighbours and One of the responses to these recommendations
family. The approach of ‘education by word of was to draw up a specification inviting the
mouth’ proved very effective. associations within the Asian community in
Pendle to engage in a partnership. Two
In fact the whole project emphasised the value organisations tendered for the contract and
of using a wide variety of ways to make contact ITHAAD was successful.
with the Asian communities, because of the
significance of things like word of mouth, 1998 – 2001 A partnership contract
drama, poetry and art in their culture. For with ITHAAD
example, poetry is highly regarded in Pakistan
and therefore potentially more influential than This project is designed to build better
other means of communication. Similarly the understanding of their respective cultures
opportunity to use Asian radio to reach a wider between Asian communities and the Criminal
audience proved useful. Justice system, through the employment of a link
worker. She or he must be able to speak Punjabi
The Asian Project was accomplished by working and Urdu, write in Urdu, work with and deliver
with different agencies as small scale funding services to all parts of the Pakistani heritage
and/or resources became available. population within Pendle and demonstrate
The recommendations resulting from the familiarity with the issues and policies of the
research project were to: Probation Service. The contract provides for 60
hours a month direct work to
• develop formal links with Asian organisations
in Pendle • provide support to prisoners’ families

• work with them to develop awareness of the • provide support and advice to probation staff
aims and ethos of the Probation Service including Community Service (CS) and Family
Court Welfare (FCW) staff (by a female worker
• work closely with and train Asian where appropriate)

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• advice (to include potentially discriminatory probation service in some way, they still had
practice) on (predominantly Pakistani Muslim) limited understanding of its role. She continues
cultural and faith issues to promote awareness of the Pakistani Muslim
culture and emphasises that it is often the small
• a limited amount of translating and interpreting things that make a difference. For example,
• surgeries at probation offices explaining to a probation officer the specific
implications of Muslim religious teaching, rituals
• home visits (individual or jointly with and festivals, or explaining to families, clearly and
probation staff) in detail, the role of the probation service, court
and prison procedures. She adds that it is
• participation in team meetings and other events particularly important to be able to do this in the
• establish monitoring systems to track referrals, family’s first language both verbally and in writing
work completed and outcomes. at a time when they may be very distressed.

The agreement was initially for seven months,


and has subsequently been subject to annual
renewal. The direct work has always been good Outcomes
but at first the project was hampered by mobility
The partnership still has some difficulty with
of the staff involved, poor record keeping and
monitoring the level of activity in the project,
monitoring. (This is not uncommon in small
because advice given to probation staff is
voluntary organisations who have limited
significantly under recorded. Ad hoc advice and
resources and frequently have a different ‘ethos’
information tend to be excluded from the figures
to large public sector organisations). At the same
although they are invaluable. Similarly, although
time a survey of staff showed a “worryingly it is known that currently 20-30 offenders are
low” knowledge of the Asian community they seen over a year, it is difficult to be precise about
served, with very low levels of referral except the number of families seen, and family visits
from Community Service staff. (LPS Evaluation of made, as few visits are ‘one-off’.
the Partnership Report 1999)
The current link worker is an Asian woman.
Probation perspective
Appointed a year ago, she shares her time Although the percentage of commencements
between five probation offices as well as being still show higher numbers of Community Service
available to families in the ITHAAD office in than Probation Orders, the availability of a link
Nelson. She also conducts family visits, jointly worker is valued by probation staff. The quality
with probation staff if the case manager feels it of advice and guidance she provides on Muslim
is appropriate, or alone if it is more acceptable to cultural and religious issues enables probation
the family. staff to work more effectively and with more
confidence. This means that a better service is
Continuing the practice of regular community
delivered to offenders and their families, who
surveys, she conducted one of her own, which
get more information and are treated in a more
showed that the most common crimes were
understanding way.
drugs related, burglary and vehicle crimes. The
most common causes for these crimes were A member of staff from a minority ethnic group
identified as drugs, unemployment and alcohol. has now joined the team and there is a steady
She found that, although more than half the improvement in the use of the service provided
people surveyed had been involved with the by the community link worker and the agency.

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However, referrals are still low and only one ‘disapproving’ culture. The placement works
probation officer uses the project as the better now.
primary contact with offenders. To address this
the link worker is conducting a further survey
of staff understanding and needs in order to
encourage closer working and Lancashire Next steps
Probation Service now sets and monitors
specific targets to develop a steady growth in As Assistant Chief Officer Human Resources,
the use of this service. These include targets for with responsibility for Race Equality in
surgeries, numbers of referrals, offender Lancashire, Mary Whyham, leads management
contacts, family contacts and advice contacts as commitment to encouraging contact with
well as prison visits, interpreting sessions and minority ethnic communities and putting systems
referrals to other agencies. in place to enable that to happen. She is also
committed to continuing to use a wide variety of
ITHAAD’s perspective is that the project actions to promote race equality. A Diversity
definitely benefits the community. Manager was appointed in September 2000,
and recruitment is currently underway for a Black
A bilingual link worker available at the probation
or Asian Development Officer (in conjunction
service’s offices, ITHAAD offices or to undertake
with the Race Equality Council). There is
home visits, means that parents of offenders can
increasing representation of minority ethnic
more readily get information and help.
groups in staff appointment processes and the
(“Although probation staff are friendly and
understanding they do not speak other Black and Asian staff group is now meeting
languages. She can explain in an understandable regularly. A management Conference on Race
and digestible way what is happening to their Equality was held at the Gujarat Centre in
son, the potential consequences in court Preston in February 2001 and a community
proceedings, the availability of appropriate food survey will be carried out during 2001.
in prison, arrangements for prayer, visiting and Both Lancashire Probation Service and ITHAAD
so on” – Secretary of ITHAAD). recognise that more can be done to overcome
ITHAAD is involved in a range of projects, the difficulties inherent in building partnerships
provides various services and prides itself in between a large, predominantly white, public
working with confidentiality. This has sector organisation and a small minority ethnic
encouraged offenders’ families to use their one and building the capacity of minority ethnic
services and office, when they have been groups to work within the Criminal Justice
reluctant or too embarrassed, to go to the System. In the context of an annual review of all
probation offices, to get the help which is partnerships, to ensure they provide value for
available to them. The level of involvement money and contribute to service delivery, targets
varies, some families routinely use the project, have been set for ITHAAD for the first part of
others do not want to engage at all. 2001. These provide for continued steady
growth in the use of the project at both formal
There is also a Community Service placement and informal levels. Progress will be supported
within ITHAAD office. This is not without and monitored by the senior probation officer
difficulty. Given the strong sense of shame responsible for partnerships.
associated with crime within the Muslim
community, it was initially found to be more At the same time Lancashire Probation Service
difficult to serve a sentence within this has started work to “increase the number of

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partnerships with ethnic minority groups” and culture (for example drink, drugs and joy
“set up a partnership forum with minority riding) as well as that of their family
groups to prepare them for applications for members and community heritage.
partnership and increase their knowledge of the
service”. (Towards Race Equality – Action Plan 2 Develop a learning culture among
Lancashire Probation Service 2000) This is agreed staff. Much of the early progress in
by senior management and the Probation Lancashire stemmed from staff readiness to
Committee and will be reviewed in March 2001, examine and develop their working
with new targets being agreed as necessary. practices. They used feedback from surveys
Money for each operational cluster (group) has and analysis of their work to develop
been set aside in the current partnership budget, innovative projects to build understanding
to support work with minority ethnic groups with the minority ethnic communities.
which is linked to crime and disorder activity. However, roles and responsibilities change
This is to ‘pump prime’ initiatives and encourage and each individual has her or his own
greater visibility of the service working alongside personal beliefs, attitudes and behaviours.
partners to enhance services to Black offenders Continuous development takes sustained
and their families. effort including routinely challenging
‘casual’ racist remarks made by offenders
The Service is also actively involved in or staff, updating learning about minority
supporting existing Race Equality Councils, and ethnic communities and consistent
bringing new ones on stream. LPS staff sit on involvement of link workers.
the sub groups of these councils which deal
with racial harassment. 3 Provide training which models
working with different cultures. Staff
need raised awareness, basic and specific
information about race, culture and
Lessons learnt religions as well as training in anti-
discriminatory practice. Link workers need
1 Do not make assumptions about to understand the Criminal Justice System
community cultures. In order to work and Probation Service processes. Joint
sensitively and effectively with minority training with partner organisations will
ethnic communities, it is vital to really help to build both the relationship and
understand them and the key agencies mutual understanding. Managers at all
within them. Within any minority ethnic levels need to develop the relevant
community there will be a variety of norms competencies to understand their role in
and expectations. For some families with a supporting and promoting good practice.
South Asian heritage there are specific
expectations of men and women, 4 Develop a culture of investment as well
daughters and sons. For some there are as performance. The Probation Service is
different values, beliefs and attitudes to developing a performance management
crime and punishment as well as the culture based on the need to demonstrate
broader cultural and religious practices. effectiveness. There are policies, procedures
There are also likely to be significant and occupational standards to support
differences within the first, second or third equality in working with offenders and
generation minority ethnic groups. Young building partnerships. However, the drive for
people can be influenced by the youth performance, with increasing workloads and

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pressure on resources, runs the risk of development does not need to cost a great
minimising the time and energy it takes to deal, and the ability to respond quickly, as
build effective relationships with small amounts of money for local
communities. Consequently it is necessary investigations and initiatives become
for senior managers and Probation Boards available, can be very useful.
to provide appropriate levels of support for
this work. For example, a link worker and 7 Understand and bridge the gap between
probation officer jointly attending meetings organisational cultures. Whilst it is vital for
can either be seen as a waste of resources, public sector organisations to demonstrate
or a way to significantly enhance mutual accountability and adopt proper procedures
understanding leading to better in their relationships with partner
communication and more effective practice. organisations, voluntary organisations may
The recently published Probation Circular find it hard to match them in tendering and
4/2001 Joint Agreement on Priorities and performance monitoring procedures. They
Employee Care provides services with an may not share the same imperatives of
opportunity to revisit priorities and therefore keeping time logs and records so that basic
confirm their commitment to working with performance data may be hard to get. It is
minority ethnic communities as important to examine the appropriateness of
‘mainstream’ activity. probation processes for voluntary
organisations and build the capacity of the
5 Learning needs leadership. In most local communities, and their associations, to
organisations there are ‘nuggets’ or access resources and activities.
‘pockets’ of good practice. There is a clear
role for senior manager to provide 8 Build a partnership culture. Inter agency
leadership in demonstrating that such work working and funding is essential for success
is valued, expecting others to learn from it AND are increasingly available. In this
and adopt such practice themselves. instance a university, a health authority,
youth service and school as well as ITHAAD
6 Be willing to try innovative things. It is have all contributed to enabling the
hard to predict success and so it is important probation service to work with minority
to take time to find out what will work. For ethnic communities. Private sector
example, the cultural view of different art initiatives, public private financing, and
forms will influence what constitutes better more recent Community Strategies and
ways of communicating with different Community Safety Strategies, all provide
communities. Word of mouth, poetry, art opportunities for partnership working. This
and drama may be a great deal more needs different skills and practices to single
effective than more conventional notices, agency work. For example, a greater need
leaflets and other written communication. to clarify objectives, roles and expectations
Much of the success of the work done in in order to avoid potential
East Lancashire has been based on the misunderstanding and misguided efforts.
willingness to try more experimental
approaches to working with the particular 9 Independent agencies can be invaluable.
Asian community, as well as delivering the A major benefit of a bi-lingual, or multi-
mainstream probation agenda. lingual, link worker lies in providing a bridge
between minority ethnic communities and
Furthermore, as this case shows, the service, whilst being seen to be

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independent. Although accurate translation minority ethnic communities and probation
is important when communicating in a staff can flourish?
second language, what is more important is
that he or she can take account of nuances 4 What training, or other activity, have you
in language, ask informed questions and undertaken to enable staff to understand
provide insight and explanation. When the the various cultures within minority ethnic
potential for conflict, misunderstanding or communities and how to work with them in
stereotyping is high, sensitivity to, and a way that values diversity?
detailed knowledge of, cultural issues are 5 What do you do, or need to do, to ensure
vital to equitable service delivery. that learning from local initiatives is applied
10 Understanding – the first step. Whilst across the service?
better understanding between cultures is 6 What have you done to ensure that all staff
important, it represents only one step routinely use the support available to
towards greater representation of minority demonstrate their commitment to working
ethnic groups within the probation service, with offenders and their families from
more effective supervision of minority ethnic minority ethnic communities?
offenders and better services to their
families by probation staff. 7 How is work with minority ethnic
communities recognised in your service?
Furthermore, where minority ethnic groups
are very small it may be necessary to look 8 Is working with minority ethnic communities
beyond the local area for support and identified as a strategic aim in your service?
opportunities for joint working. Does it require more resources, and if so,
what steps have you taken to secure them,
or justify the appropriate level of funding?

Benchmark questions 9 Does your service have a clear policy and


strategy for working with minority ethnic
In reviewing and developing your work with communities, which is communicated
minority ethnic communities you may wish to effectively and implemented sensitively?
ask the following questions.
10 What steps have you taken to develop
1 What do your board members and senior effective partnerships with agencies which
managers do, or need to do, to are representative of the minority ethnic
demonstrate their active support and communities in your area? How is this
promotion of working with minority ethnic monitored? How can you build continuity
communities? into the processes?

2 Are minority ethnic groups represented on 11 Does your service, and any partner
the board and in senior management? Is agencies, have offices which are accessible
there a ‘champion’ for working with and welcoming to families of offenders
minority ethnic communities? from minority ethnic communities?

3 What do leaders, at all levels in your service, 12 Do you make appropriate information
do to create and sustain an environment available in relevant languages for minority
where better understanding between ethnic communities in your area?

17
13 What processes are in place to enable you References
to develop, deliver and review activity to
build and sustain better working with HMIP, (2000) – Thematic Inspection Report,
minority ethnic communities? Towards Race Equality, Home Office
14 What steps have you taken to Galbraith, I (2000) – Asian Offender Project
encourage/ensure that the service’s Report, Lancashire Probation Service
workforce more accurately reflects the
percentage of minority ethnic people in the Bellfield, E & Galbraith, I (1995) – Asian Project
local community? Lancashire Probation Service

15 What processes have you got to gain Frank B & Galbraith, I (1996) – Brierfield Arts and
feedback from staff about their own and Drugs Project Lancashire Probation Service
the service’s approach to working with
Lancashire Probation Service (1998) –
minority ethnic communities?
Specification for services to enhance Probation
16 Do you regularly seek, analyse and take Service provision for service users and their
action on feedback about your service families from the Pakistani community in Pendle.
from the minority ethnic communities in
Shazia Bibi (2000) – ITHAAD Asian Offenders
your area?
Project 1998-2000, ITHAAD Community
17 How do you monitor the extent to which Development Project
working effectively with minority ethnic
Galbraith I (1999) – An evaluation of the
communities can and does contribute
partnership between Lancashire Probation
directly to your organisational outcomes?
Service and ITHAAD, Lancashire Probation
18 How can you develop a culture of continuous Service,
learning, innovation and improvement in
Lancaster University and Lancashire Probation
working with minority ethnic communities,
Service (1995) Race and Gender Inspection
so that the links are integral and knowledge
is spread automatically? Whyham M, (2000) Race Equality Action Plan,
Lancashire Probation Service
Probation circular 4/2001 Joint Agreement on
priorities and employee care, Home Office

18
Section 2
BEST PRACTICE ON DIVERSITY

Evidence Based Recruitment


Using assessment centres to improve the validity
and reliability of recruitment
BEST PRACTICE ON DIVERSITY
Evidence Based Recruitment
Using assessment centres to improve the validity and reliability of recruitment

Summary committed to addressing this. The change in


approach took place after a careful review of
existing procedures, feedback from previous

R
ecruiting the best person for each job is
candidates and an examination of alternative
vital for the success of any organisation. It is
methods. The service wanted to build an
particularly important in public sector
integrated process focused not only on
organisations where the norm is for long term
recruitment but also identifying development
employment relationships, and especially true for
needs in order to help people to perform to their
management roles because of the impact
full potential.
managers have on the performance and
motivation of their staff, colleagues and It describes how they developed the approach,
ultimately the organisation as a whole. It is too the key features, benefits and costs of it and the
late to find out that a poor appointment has lessons learnt from their experiences.
been made when someone is already in post.
For further information please contact the
In a modern, effective probation service, Chief Officer – Human Resources at London
recruitment and selection needs to be (and be Probation Area on 020 7436 7121
seen to be) fair, equitable and effective, yet the
thematic inspection Towards Race Equality found
that 5 out of 10 services visited had no
managers from minority ethnic groups.
At the same time, although it is widely accepted
that the interview is an unreliable way of
recruiting people, it continues to be used as the
main tool for recruitment and selection in most
organisations. Assessment centres provide a
more effective mechanism for assessing and
matching a person’s capability and potential to
the competencies required in a specific post.
This example shows how Middlesex Probation
Service, has developed and used assessment
centres in the recruitment and selection of
managers for the past two years. It was clear
that, under previous arrangements, minority
ethnic staff were not being successful in
promotion and progression and the service was

19
20
BEST PRACTICE ON DIVERSITY
Evidence Based Recruitment
Using assessment centres to improve the validity and reliability of recruitment

Background simulations, feedback from peers and


psychometric tests”

E
very organisation has made a poor (Moule and Canton Vista, Autumn 2000)
appointment at some time or other.
However skilled the interviewers, interviews During the 1990s management recruitment in
remain notoriously unreliable as a predictor of Middlesex (and probably most other probation
performance, yet they continue to be the main services) was not very sophisticated. It was
method for recruitment in most organisations. In predominantly based on shortlisting by senior
the public service, the cost of making a poor managers, and a panel interview by, and a
appointment is particularly significant because of presentation to, committee members. Although
the probability of a long term employment committee members had received rigorous
relationship. For example, a manager employed training in recruitment and selection, and despite
on £25,000 per year for 10 years represents an every effort to make the process fair and
investment (or cost) to the organisation of £1/4 equitable, minority ethnic staff remained
million and, as important for the individual, substantially under-represented in management
equates to 10 years of their working life. This is roles.
a significant ‘mutual investment’. There are also
the consequential effects of the ‘wrong’ person By 1998 a number of factors came together
in the post. These include the time and cost highlighting the need to review the recruitment
incurred in their supervision, training and and selection procedures.
development, their impact on the performance
• Since her appointment the Chief Officer
and motivation of the staff they manage and the
Human Resources (Chief Officer HR) had
emotional cost to themselves of being in the
become increasingly concerned about the
‘wrong job’.
service’s recruitment and selection procedures
Assessment centres are increasingly used as a and in particular the split responsibilities of
more effective way to recruit people and can be senior managers and committee members
defined as follows
• The chair of the Probation Committee was
“An assessment centre is a fair, systematic also unhappy that the recruitment and
process for assessing or selecting staff. Better selection process did not sufficiently give all
understood as a process or event than a staff the opportunity to ‘put themselves
location, it involves a series of exercises or tests forward and be successful’. She also felt that a
designed to assess how competent a person is process based on an application form,
at present .....compared to the demands of a presentation and one interview, was not the
future job” (It should be) “an integrated best way to make informed decisions and
process of key components (which) includes good appointments. A more structured

21
approach would not only help candidates, it probation officers but no Black manager. The
would also help the panel review group decided to use these vacancies to
run a pilot assessment centre. The Divisional
• Human Resources Advisors in the service were Manager for the area was a member of the
also concerned, having experienced more
review group.
effective recruitment using occupational and
psychological testing elsewhere. With the support of a consultant, trained in
running assessment centres, they ran a pilot
With the full support of the Chief Probation
which provided a great deal of learning for
Officer, a review group was established and
everyone. The key points were (i) the need to
comprised of two Divisional Managers, the
prepare candidates for the experience (ii) the
Human Resources (HR) manager, Chief Officer HR.
importance of well constructed activities which
It was chaired by a Human Resources (HR) advisor.
were tailored to the job vacancy (iii) the
They agreed that any new process should importance of effective administration (iv) and
most important, the approach was much more
• include committee members continuing to rigorous and effective than interviewing alone.
conduct interviews
The leadership provided by the Chief Officer HR
• incorporate tools to really assess a person’s and her ongoing liaison with the committee,
appropriateness for, and competence in, senior management colleagues and trades
managing the service and people unions, was crucial.
• enable the recruiting panels to make a more The Probation Committee had already accepted
effective assessment of applicant’s abilities the evidence of under-representation of minority
• integrate recruitment and selection with a ethnic staff in managerial roles. They quickly saw
wider developmental process for all staff. the benefits of, and approved the proposed
change to, using assessment centres as an
Coincidentally, assessment centres for the integral part of new recruitment procedures. They
appointment of new trainee probation officers also acknowledged their own need to understand
had just been introduced and, given her how a centre would work, so that they would
involvement in the London Probation Training have confidence in the reliability of the
Consortium, the Chief Officer HR had an information it generated. Although this would
opportunity to become a trained assessor and mean a change to their own role, members were,
feedback her experiences to the group. The HR and remain, totally supportive to the new
advisor was also a trained assessor. process, as are the Chief Probation Officer and
It seemed a logical step that the process used to senior management team. The cost of running
appoint managers should be as rigorous as that the new procedure was carefully calculated and
used to appoint trainee probation officers. discussed at Senior Management Team and
Committee level and the budget required to set
up the new procedure was agreed.

The experience The then Chair of NAPO – Middlesex Branch


who was herself a successful candidate said, that
Piloting the process “NAPO locally and nationally does not yet
currently have a policy on assessment centres.
Two middle manager vacancies occurred in an However, NAPO would support appropriate
area where there were a number of Black methods to enable Black staff to achieve

22
promotion within the Probation Service, example the Afro Caribbean newspaper the
particularly into management grades.” Voice and Sunrise radio have been used.)
There is also the provision for existing
The development of the assessment managers to be considered, if they have
centre approach made a special appeal for redeployment as
the result of compelling personal reasons.
A number of potential providers of psychological
tests were interviewed and Saville and 3 Agree the material for applicants and
Holdsworth were chosen. (Their tests are also timetable for the next stages of the
used by the London Training Consortium for process. Brief information about the
Trainee Probation Officers.) recruitment process, may be included with
the advert. More information, including the
In September 1999 the first assessment centre dates and that exercises may be used, is
for managers was run with 18 candidates for normally included in the information pack
nine posts. This was unusual, they are usually sent to all applicants. Shortlisted candidates
run on a smaller scale (2-9 candidates). Since then receive detailed information about the
then seven events have been run, with 30 assessment centre and interview process,
candidates and 10 posts have been filled using including what will happen, examples of the
this approach resulting in 49% of managers psychometric tests which will be used and
appointed being from minority ethnic groups. possibly the topic for the presentation.

The new recruitment and selection 4 Shortlist applicants against the criteria,
invite successful applicants to attend the
process
assessment centre and make arrangements
The new recruitment and selection procedures for any candidates with special needs.
were adopted and guidelines for managers were Shortlisting is arranged by the selection
published in September 2000. These contain panel. A selection panel is identified in
comprehensive notes about the context for advance and comprises the line manager, a
recruitment, the process to be followed and representative from the HR department and
designated responsibilities. The key stages are: any other colleagues who may be useful in
making effective selection decisions. This
1 Check the job requirements. Having could be two or three people, with more
checked that the vacancy exists and that brought in for an assessment centre.
there is authority to fill it, the line Shortlisting can be done either by the
manager, with support from human selection panel collectively, or by individual
resource staff, reviews the job, the job members, and then agreed by all panel
description, the person specification members. Care is taken to ensure that
(updating them if necessary) and confirm there is both a race and gender balance in
the competencies required. the process. This was difficult in the past,
but using the assessment centre and the
2 Advertise. Human resources staff, with
panel interview as a whole process, this is
support from the line manager, research now achieved.
and decide where to advertise. The vacancy,
will either be advertised internally only, or 5 Design the assessment centre and
internally and externally at the same time, conduct the tests. Each event is designed
and the advertising media used are chosen based on a careful review of the role, job
to ensure the widest possible impact. (For specification and the specific competencies

23
required. Tools are chosen and activities are • An observation/question based exercise
developed based on the competencies to be (for example watching a video of a team
assessed. A combination of generic ‘scenario’ and answering questions to
occupational tests (verbal reasoning, assess the candidates’ sensitivity to the
numerical reasoning and data interpretation) issues and what they would do in a
and tailor made exercises are used to given situation).
provide ‘a fair and rigorous test of the
Some tests provide direct information
relevant attributes’ (Moule and Canton).
others secondary. (Moule and Canton refer
Every effort is made to ensure that all the
to the difference between ‘signs’ which are
tests are as inclusive as possible and generic characteristics inferred from behaviour and
tests are only used if they are essential to ‘samples’ which are directly observed
the assessment of key skills. Tailored behaviours.)
exercises are amended each time they are
used. This is to ensure that they (i) most Good preparation is essential and designing
accurately reflect the needs of the post to be valid and reliable tests is time consuming
filled and (ii) are valid and reliable tests of but necessary if they are to accurately
the relevant competencies. Test design also reflect the nature of the activity in the job
takes account of the level of managerial itself. Wherever possible all tailored tests are
responsibility for each post. (Tests for middle tested with colleagues before being used
managers would not be the same as those for assessment purposes.
for senior manager posts). Colleagues who are not candidates are not
Typically an assessment centre would last one currently involved in tests. Role plays have
day and contain five or six tests. For example not been used because, even with
professional actors, it would be almost
• Verbal reasoning impossible to ensure consistency, therefore
equity of the experience, for each
• Data interpretation (usually for probation candidate. If a vacancy arose for a post
practice managers) or numerical involving training, it would be appropriate
reasoning. The test is chosen depending to use a training activity/test to assess
on whether the job requires more competence and the service would then
interpretation of information or ability to consider involving people as an
understand and analyse numerical data audience/group of trainees.
• An intray or written exercise (designed to The service does use occupational tests for
see how candidates would deal with day other roles but recognise that there is more
to day work demands and with work to do to ensure tests are genuinely
conflicting priorities) appropriate for the job. For example it is now
less appropriate to ask for a speed typing test
• A group discussion /exercise (where there
for secretarial and administrative staff
are sufficient candidates) to assess oral
because they are now more likely to need
communication, teamwork, collaborative
quality checking skills and any test used
or competitive skills. The exercise would
should reflect accuracy rather than speed.
be designed to include leadership issues if
the ability to lead and motivate was also For managers the Occupational Personality
to be tested Questionnaire (OPQ32) is also used. It is not a

24
time limited test. It is a questionnaire which Line managers
uses similar questions framed in different
ways to indicate preferred behaviours (or Line managers are involved at all stages
styles) with regard to relationships with starting with the design of the activities to
people, thinking styles, feelings and emotions ensure that they are valid tests of the
as well as team types, leadership styles and competencies to be assessed. They also help
reporting styles. However, because it identifies with confirming the validity of the activities
preferences not actual competencies, it is (for example the realism of the intray
used as a developmental, not assessment exercise). The immediate line manager of the
tool. (It would only be used to inform the vacancy is always involved in the assessment
appointment decision making if two centre and other line managers may get
candidates were absolutely evenly scored on involved in marking the activities. The more
other tests.) The OPQ is usually completed as line managers are involved in design and
part of the assessment centre day but if all assessment, the more real, and therefore
the candidates are internal to the service, and beneficial, are the tests. Line managers do
there are a number of them, the test may be not mark proprietary tests (although they
completed beforehand to save time. The could be trained to do so given that some of
results of the questionnaire are discussed with them are already assessors for the trainee
both successful and unsuccessful candidates probation officers). Human Resources staff
as the basis for identifying strengths and provide advice and design the activities.
development needs.
As more minority ethnic managers are
Assessors appointed they automatically become
involved in the assessment centres and the
Eight human resources staff (three of whom whole process benefits. Lessons are
are Black) are now trained in occupational continuously being learnt about the need for
testing (level A). Four people, including the vigilance against unintended discrimination,
Chief Officer HR and HR managers, are also and how to improve and refine activities to
trained to score and interpret the OPQ32 ensure their validity and reliability as tests of
personality questionnaire (level B). They the required competencies.
operate under licence from Saville and
Holdsworth, and licences need to be 6 The selection panel interview. This
renewed annually. During the event each continues to be seen as an essential part of
test is rated against five criteria with both the process, consistently run in line with the
positive and negative evidence noted by the principles of the assessment centre. It
assessors. It can be tiring as assessors need consists of three trained committee
to concentrate all day, using listening, members, the relevant operational line
observation and evaluation skills in order to manager and the Chief Officer HR. The
accurately and consistently record each interview needs to be well structured, timed
candidate’s behaviours in each category. and conducted skillfully, based on good and
Scores are then collated against the relevant questions. It is now normal practice
competencies and a summary of the results for panel members to have examples of the
of all candidates is produced. Assessors key information they are looking for in
operate a gatekeeping process (written work response to their questions. However, care
is double marked and observations are cross needs to be taken to allow candidates
checked) to ensure consistency and fairness. enough time to formulate their answers.

25
The panel sees the collated results of the to date copies of all the relevant materials for
assessment centre tests after they have candidates, assessors and the interviewing panel.
completed the interviews, in order to inform She oversees the stock control of occupational
their decision making. tests, score sheets, calculators, stationery and
collation of all other materials including the
7 Provide feedback to (all) candidates. summary sheets of how candidates score against
Extensive feedback (1.5-2 hours) is given by the activities and how they in turn relate to the
the assessors to all candidates whether they job competencies.
have been successful or not. Different
people will attach different value to this Training is also provided for staff to learn about,
feedback. However, it is used to help new get experience of and feedback from the kind of
managers focus on their strengths and the tests that are used in actual assessment. (A
areas they need to work on in their new different provider is used so that the
role, and help unsuccessful candidates to occupational tests are useful but do not
identify and address their development compromise the real assessment process.)
needs. A review of the OPQ results is also
passed to the candidate’s line manager and
used on an ongoing basis in supervision and
appraisal as the basis for feedback and the Outcomes/benefits/costs
identification of development needs.
• The service has a more representative group of
8 Select the best person for the job and, managers and diverse management teams.
subject to medical clearance and satisfactory Since using assessment centres, as well as
references, appoint them. interviews, the percentage of minority ethnic
appointments to senior probation officers
9 Arrange start date and send letter of posts is 49%. Five of the nine SPO
confirmation. appointments from the first assessment
10 Induct the person in their new role. A ‘Role centre, were minority ethnic staff which was
Transition Group’ is there to support all new significantly different from the previous
managers and minority ethnic managers are process when they had either not been
invited to state if they would like additional shortlisted, or had been interviewed but not
support and if so in what form (for example appointed. An additional benefit is that with
group support, an individual mentor or more minority ethnic managers becoming
consultant or other options they may wish more involved in running assessment centres,
to suggest). the process will be better informed, ensuring
that it continues to develop sensitivity to, and
Administrative support is provided by the uphold the principles of, race equality
Chief Officer HR’s Personal Assistant and the
Administrator in Personnel. They are crucial to The Chief Officer HR points out that
the success of the process. There is a great deal “generally the managers appointed during the
of information and it is no mean feat to co- past three years have developed well and
ordinate it. They book dates and appropriate demonstrated an overall competence in the
venues for the assessment centre and interviews management role. It is certainly a fairer way to
based on the number of candidates. The Chief make appointments and better addresses the
Officer HR’s Personal Assistant organises secure issue of minority ethnic under-representation
storage and ensures that there are sufficient up perpetuated by the interview only approach”

26
• There are more opportunities for more people under perform at this stage, the results of the
and consequently a bigger pool of people for assessment process will be taken into account.
the service to recruit from. Having assessment By providing them with factual evidence to
centres as well as interviews has encouraged support their thinking, it also builds the
staff to ‘have a go’ for promotion, knowing confidence of the recruitment panel members
that whatever the outcome they will get
experience and valuable feedback on their • Broader issues get highlighted. For example,
strengths and areas for development. One consistent use of the numerical reasoning test
manager said “I had only been in the service will help to identify the general level of
four years, and in a specialist post. I was numeracy in the service. If it is lower than
concerned that I did not have ‘long enough’ desired it will have identified a general
service to apply, but the active support of my training need, and can trigger the
line manager and colleagues encouraged me development of appropriate training to ‘raise
and gave me confidence to try”. The chair of collective competence’
the committee says “I believe that people are
• The approach ‘feeds’ the development
entitled to find their level and develop their
process. Because the OPQ information is used
potential, some people need more help than
in supervision to look at strengths and
others. This process is not only fairer and more
identify development needs, it focuses on
open, it gives people an opportunity to
subsequent development
demonstrate their abilities, or if they are not
suitable for the post in question, they can be • Having trained assessors in-house gives the
helped to develop the relevant competencies”. service a valuable link to the British Institute of
Using assessment centres does not obviate the Psychology enabling it to keep up to date with
need for highly skilled interviewers and a good key developments in this field. Other services
procedure, in fact it reinforces it. The whole could buy in the skills or form a local
process must be coherent partnership if they prefer or are too small to
warrant trained assessors in-house
• The service has more enthusiastic and
confident managers as a result of an • The positive feedback from candidates
enhanced selection process. New managers undoubtedly contributed to the service’s
feel they have more credibility with colleagues, achievement of Investors in People status
and more confidence in themselves and each
other, because they have been appointed after • The main costs involved in running assessment
demonstrating their competence to undertake centres are time, materials and licenses. In
managerial tasks in a competitive way rather order to use occupational tests, there are the
than just talking about them. There is a initial costs to buy the test question and
developing network among those who have answer sheets, the scoring templates and get
shared the experience and the feedback they assessors trained. Running costs include
receive helps them with their own replacing stocks of answer sheets and other
development and supervision of their teams. materials, and re-licensing assessors. The
One manager said “we can all say we have principle cost of job specific, tailored tests is
earned this, and the number of black the time it takes to develop them and test
managers appointed is proof of a fair their validity. Intray exercises in particular
process”. The experience of the assessment require numerous copies of various
process may make candidates more confident documents, other tests may require videos,
in the interview, but if they are nervous and calculators, clocks etc., as well as basic

27
paperwork. There is the cost of assessor time tests. However, using occupational tests and
to establish marking schemes, mark the tests, activities designed specifically to test job
correlate the information for each candidate related competencies does lead to the
and provide feedback and the time to appointment of a more confident,
administer the process overall. Although if a enthusiastic and ethnically diverse group of
number of appointments are to be made, managers. It can also create a positive
there are economies of scale from running network of new managers who have shared
one assessment centre for several vacancies a common experience.
However, the service is convinced that these 2 Transparency is essential. An open,
costs are more than offset by the savings consistent approach is needed for people at
made from the appointment of more effective all levels in the organisation to have faith in
and enthusiastic managers. and trust the process (board members,
senior managers, existing and potential
managers, candidates, staff and HR
specialists). Gatekeeping at the assessment
Next steps stage, an appeals procedure for candidates,
Although all those involved with the approach in and monitoring of the process overall will
Middlesex are confident that it is much more identify any areas for concern that need to
effective than traditional methods, they are be addressed.
anxious not to be complacent. It is too early to 3 Committed and involved leadership is
accurately assess the predictive validity of the important. For those who have traditionally
process but early indications are that it is held sole responsibility for appointing
effective. There is already informal monitoring of managers the introduction of assessment
the process overall and the next stage is to set centres could seem undermining. Senior
up a system to review the process and its managers and committee members need to
effectiveness in accurately predicting be personally convinced of, and then
performance of the new managers. convince others of, the validity and reliability
As from April 2001 London will have a single of the process and how it contributes to
probation service. The five services that are effective and fair selection.
amalgamating will undoubtedly have different 4 Invest time in designing exercises to
recruitment and selection procedures, which will
ensure validity and reliability. Whilst
need to be aligned. Similarly with a new Board
simulations can never totally replicate all
structure, new members will need training in the
the circumstances of a real job, exercises
resultant recruitment and selection procedures.
can, and should, be designed to realistically
test various managerial tasks and be
tailored to the level and nature of the
Lessons learnt particular role. The job description and
person specification contribute to well
1 Evidence based recruitment and designed tests. Ideally every activity should
selection is demonstrably fairer and be tested with colleagues before it is used
more effective than relying on for assessment. Designers should be
interviews only. No process is perfect and prepared to adjust and develop material in
care must be taken in selecting and using order to give candidates the best possible

28
chance to demonstrate their competence. 7 Success takes time, good organisation
Shoddy exercises will ruin the event and and administration. Setting up an
people’s confidence in the process. assessment centre takes a lot of
Eventually there will be a saving of time, organisation, co-ordination and accurate up
but care must be taken not to re-use tests to date paperwork, in order for the process
inappropriately. to work well. Do not underestimate the
preparation time needed for all candidates
5 Equity does not come easy. No test or and assessors to have the materials they
process is ideal and it is crucial to remain need, when they need them. Effective stock
vigilant for unintended discrimination or control and security of tests, response
inconsistency. Any exercise may sheets, marking sheets, as well as the tailor
unintentionally disadvantage minority made exercises, is essential. At the same
ethnic candidates. For example, if it (i) time candidates need good information
refers to an inappropriate issue (ii) uses a prior to the event. In turn this needs to be
situation which may not apply to all well structured and organised to get the
candidates (iii) is experienced differently by timing of various tests co-ordinated so that
candidates (such as role play) or (iv) uses candidates do not get frustrated or nervous
words which may have a ‘cultural by being kept waiting for other candidates
background’ or nuance. Similarly, the to complete things.
process overall needs to include positive
role models and images for women, 8 Don’t underestimate the sensitivity/
disabled people and those from minority concern of other managers. Managers
ethnic groups, and ensure that these who have been appointed using other
groups are represented in the recruitment methods may need information and support
and selection proceedings. to avoid them feeling excluded from, or
demoralised by, a more confident group of
6 Good and well trained assessors are new managers. Existing managers who
essential. Whether they are internal or apply for a post now subject to the
external to the service, assessors need to be assessment centre process may be resentful
trained and qualified / licensed. They need at having to ‘prove’ themselves in this way.
to be highly skilled at listening, observing,
analysing and evaluating data. In addition, 9 Integrated processes and working in
they need to be able to question subjective partnership are necessary. Various
information in order to produce a realistic management processes need to be
assessment of competence. They also need integrated for this approach to work. Job
to be willing and able to provide support descriptions and person specifications need
and helpful feedback to both successful and to be current and accurate in order to
unsuccessful candidates after the event so identify relevant competencies. Supervision
that everyone receives positive recognition and appraisal processes need to work well
and useful learning. This means that for the feedback about strengths and
successful candidates are clear why they development needs to be used effectively.
have been successful and unsuccessful ones Line managers need to be involved at all
can use the information as the basis for stages and committee members, senior and
further development enabling them to line managers and HR staff all need to work
succeed in future. closely together for the process to work well.

29
Benchmarking questions 10 What steps have you taken to get feedback
from candidates about their experience of
In reviewing and developing your recruitment your recruitment and selection processes?
and selection processes you may wish to ask the 11 What evidence have you got to
following questions. demonstrate that your processes are
1 What do your board members and senior inclusive and do not (even inadvertently)
managers do, or need to do, to discriminate against minority ethnic
demonstrate their active commitment to candidates?
fair, equitable and effective recruitment and 12 Could/should you develop and use an
selection processes? assessment centre in recruiting managers?
2 What do leaders, at all levels in your service, 13 Or which other services or agencies could
do to create and sustain an environment you work with to develop a joint approach?
where all staff are encouraged to develop
their full potential, and have access to 14 How can you develop a culture of
opportunities to do so? continuous learning, innovation and
improvement in your recruitment,
3 What training and support do you offer to development and promotion processes?
staff seeking promotion?
4 How current, effective and inclusive are
your recruitment, selection and promotion References
procedures? How could they be enhanced?
5 What steps have you taken, or need to HMIP, (2000) – Thematic Inspection Report,
take, to ensure a race and gender balance Towards Race Equality, Home Office
in recruitment and selection panels and Moule, N. and Canton, R.(2000) – Towards a
processes? Probation Service Assessment Centre, Vista
6 How much time do you invest in tailoring Volume 6, Number 1, Autumn 2000
the recruitment process to enable you to Human Resources Department – (2000)
assess the candidates against the job Recruitment and Selection Procedures, Middlesex
requirements? Probation Service
7 How are line managers encouraged to
contribute to your current recruitment and
selection processes? What more could they
do?
8 What is the role of HR specialists and how
can they contribute to developing better
processes?
9 How well does recruitment and selection
link to other management processes such as
supervision, appraisal and training? How
could the connections be improved?

30
Section 3
BEST PRACTICE ON DIVERSITY

Spreading the Net


How on-line information supports good practices
and promotes race equality
BEST PRACTICE ON DIVERSITY
Spreading the Net
How on-line information supports good practices and promotes race equality

Summary openness. It had already established a group to


promote its commitment to Race Equality when
the Thematic Inspection Report was published.

T
he Macpherson Report (1999) acted as a
catalyst for many Probation Services to re- This example shows how this Service has
assess their policies and procedures regarding developed an effective and modern solution using
equal opportunities and anti-discriminatory information technology, and an intranet site, with
practices and the subsequent Thematic access to the Internet, as a means of addressing
Inspection – Towards Race Equality (2000) the issues identified above. The intranet provides
emphasised the need to support the re- them with the opportunity to access a substantial
assessment with actions. The recommendations database with information about the service, its
include improving service delivery to minority policies, procedures, performance and activities as
ethnic offenders, supported by effective well as the national framework within which it
recording and monitoring systems, the sharing of operates. In particular it can inform and support
good practice and relevant training for all staff. the commitment to working towards race equality
by providing the following:
At the same time, the past few years have seen
a revolution in information technology and its (i) relevant information/feedback about their
effect on the way organisations can work, with own and the service’s performance against
information available 24 hours a day. With the national standards – particularly in relation
appropriate hardware, infrastructure and ‘off to minority ethnic offenders
the shelf’ software, it is now relatively easy to
not only access the Internet, but also to create (ii) information about minority ethnic cultures
a tailor made intranet site. Intranets are ‘closed’ and faiths – to inform their practice
systems which means that they can only be (iii) training material and training opportunities
accessed by designated people, usually within – to develop their practice
one organisation, whereas the Internet is ‘open’
to anyone inside or outside the organisation. A (iv) a range of other relevant sites on the
significant feature of both systems is the ability Internet – to inform and develop their work.
to make a great deal of data available and
easily accessible to people at any level and Since launching the intranet in September 2000,
location in the organisation provided they have it has grown exponentially and staff are being
a personal computer. supported and encouraged, not only to use it,
but also to contribute to future developments.
As a small service, with staff spread over twelve The intranet is now complemented by a website.
different locations, Suffolk Probation Service has, This enables the service to share its approach
at times, had to find innovative solutions to and work more closely with other organisations
sustaining its commitment to equality and in the Criminal Justice System and to provide

31
information to the general public about its
services, its approach to race equality and
forthcoming job opportunities. Although it is
currently too soon to evaluate these initiatives,
early indications are that they will be successful.
For further information please contact
Martin Garside at Suffolk Probation Service
on 01473 408130 or Email him at
Martin.Garside@probserv.suffolkcc.gov.uk

32
BEST PRACTICE ON DIVERSITY
Spreading the Net
How on-line information supports good practices and promotes race equality

Background to policy and statutory responsibilities with


the Home Office, unions and the Central
Probation Council.

S
uffolk is a geographically dispersed rural
county reflected in a probation service 3 To facilitate the rapid implementation of
which employs 240 staff in 12 different improvements.
locations (four major sites and eight satellite
offices). The overall minority ethnic population Strong commitment and leadership from the
of 2%, could, if taken on face value, lead to an Probation Board and its chair is evident. Firstly,
attitude that race equality is not a significant the Chair of the Probation Board identified staff
issue. However, the Black and South Asian training in race awareness as a clear priority.
population in the town of Ipswich is 6% and Secondly a board member, Subhash Modasia,
there can be up to 30% minority ethnic took responsibility as chair of RESAG with the
offenders in the three prisons within the other seven members of the group being drawn
county. Furthermore, Suffolk Probation Service from a range of roles and ethnicity. RESAG has a
has long held the view that its commitment to sub group to examine effective practice with
equal opportunities is fundamental to its minority ethnic offenders and racially motivated
dedication to being fair and just to all service offending, which is chaired by the Assistant
users and staff, and working towards race Chief Probation Officer with responsibility for
equality is a central part of that commitment. effective practice. The main focus of this group is
on service delivery opportunities for minority
The Race Equality Strategy ethnic staff and staff training in race awareness.
Advisory Group (See recommendation 12 in the Thematic
Inspection Report.)
The publication of the HMIP Thematic Inspection
– Towards Race Equality emphasised the need to However, whilst recognising that all staff would
raise the profile of that commitment just as, benefit from training in race awareness, there
almost simultaneously, in June 2000, Suffolk were insufficient resources at that time to do it
Probation Service set up its Race Equality (no provision in the budget for the level of
Strategy Advisory Group (RESAG). RESAG has training that was anticipated). An innovative
the following objectives: solution was required and was found in the
information technology developing in the service.
1 To operate as a consulting group which
enables the Board to review a range of Information technology
race equality issues in the context of a two
way relationship. For a number of years Suffolk Probation Service
has had a non NIPSISS network with intranet
2 To establish and maintain links with regard access for staff in all locations (although this was

33
not used as fully as it might have been). The The experience
service had been purchasing personal computers
(PCs) slowly over a period of years and took the By the summer of 2000 a number of things had
opportunity to update its stock and complete the come together. ICMS proved to be an ideal
roll out during the process of ensuring Y2K database on which to build the service intranet,
compliance. With 150 PCs in 12 locations, most which was launched in September 2000, using
staff now have their own PC, generally less than the existing hardware, and Microsoft Internet
18 months old. Explorer 5 browser to provide access.
The service has been using the Integrated Case Given the sensitive and confidential nature of
Management System (ICMS) for some time probation work and the individual and
which enabled staff to access a comprehensive collective reports it generates, the intranet
range of practical reports including those on needs to be a ‘closed’ and secure system for
National Standards and Enforcements. this work. However, the facility also provides
references and links to ‘open’ Internet sites
Both Steve Porter as Senior Probation Officer which contain a wide variety of relevant
Information Technology, and Mike Vaughan as information, which is invaluable to staff, not
Database Administrator, were appointed at the least to inform their practice in working with
end of 1999. The service’s clear intent of minority ethnic offenders.
building its intranet capability and products was
reflected in their Job Specifications. The service was immediately able to identify and
capture the key content in four areas:
Once appointed, encouraged by the chair of
RESAG and the Board to be creative and look to 1 service delivery (from ICMS)
develop a capability, they explored various
2 the Shap calendar of religious events (a
options and, from their research, concluded that
number of copies had been purchased but
Macromedia Dreamweaver and Fireworks were
were not available to every member of staff)
the most appropriate packages for Suffolk
Probation Service’s needs. 3 the Association of Black Probation Officers
website
Again after careful exploration, Steve, Mike and
their colleagues in the Information Technology 4 a Practice Model or ‘Route Map’ to assist
Team all undertook an external eight week with Anti-Racist Practice
course of evening classes during the summer of
2000. The service paid for the course but staff Raising awareness of cultural and
did it in their own time. religious issues
With this and further training provided by The availability of information on the intranet
Macromedia, Mike Vaughan rapidly developed also provided the innovative training solution
the skills to take on the role of webmaster, mentioned earlier, a tool to meet training needs
designing the intranet site, links, pages and in a different way. It is obvious that information
associated logos and icons. Most pages have a is a key element in raising staff awareness and
standard format which was tested and reviewed understanding about the issues specific to
in house to ensure that staff were comfortable minority ethnic cultures and religions. It was also
with the design and that the screens were apparent that not much of this information is
perceived to be both useful and user friendly. readily available in books, even if the service

34
could afford to buy sufficient quantities of them Click on the Home Page for Suffolk
for a geographically dispersed workforce. On the Probation Service
other hand, the information part of race
awareness training could be delivered using the The Suffolk Probation Service home page has
intranet by creating a Race Equality page, behind 12 icons at the top of the page to choose
which is a wealth of information. This has been from in order to access further information.
described as “like having a reference library, with They are currently
shortcuts to using it, available on your desk”.
(The service is now in a position to
complement this approach with training They remain at the top of every subsequent
sessions in Race Awareness – see the next screen for easy navigation around the site.
steps section of this paper.) The home page also has an icon to invite
Initial training for staff to use the intranet did comments, questions and suggestions to be fed
not need to be extensive as the Microsoft system back to the web master.
it uses is well known and easy to follow. There are only two more steps to using the
However the Data Administrator initially visited intranet to explore information about
each site, met staff and attended team Race Equality.
meetings. There are also Team Information
Assistants at each centre to provide support to Click on the Practice Initiatives page
field staff if they need help in using the system.
This offers a further eight choices (the graphic
Because the intranet provides staff with access to
Icons have not been reproduced here)
information that would otherwise not be
possible, the main issue is to encourage them to
become accustomed to using the intranet as part
of their normal, everyday routine. They need to
see the intranet as their main reference point,
for accessing specific information when they
need it and general news when they want it. All Click on the Race Equality page
new staff now receive basic IT training as part of
their induction to the service, including how to This has a further nine icons to access useful
use the intranet. sites and more information

Using the intranet


All PCs are set up with a home page, which is
the entry point to one of three systems, the
Home Office Internet site, the County Council’s
intranet site and the Probation Service’s own site.
Samples from screens are shown below.
" Given that these pages provide the names,
dates and information about the main
religious festivals and observances of
different faiths, they could be an
appropriate source of research for a staff

35
member before working with an offender icon leads to a training notice board and
whose faith is unfamiliar to them. training information. The notice board
enables staff to see at a glance what
"" These pages contain material generated by training is forthcoming, when and where,
the Service which a member of staff may which not only reduces the number of
wish to check before or during work with a queries and reminders made to the training
minority ethnic offender, or a racially team, but more importantly, enables staff to
motivated offence. It could just as easily be book directly on to a course.
used in a conventional training setting but is
accessible as and when an individual needs % National standards and ICMS icons lead to
it via the intranet. pages which enable individual members of
staff to monitor their own performance
""" These pages provide up to date information against the service as a whole and national
about events and actions in the service standards criteria mentioned previously.
The remaining three icons provide the link to Whilst the vast majority of the information
websites of other organisations, most of which in these domains is accessible to all staff,
needed very little tailoring and no more than an some of the reports contained here are
hour’s work to link them to Suffolk’s intranet. restricted and accessible only to those with
appropriate passwords.
Click for other information
Maintaining the intranet
To use the intranet for other information it is
simply a matter of clicking on one of the other The Data Administrator updates the sites
icons at the top of the screen. regularly, two or three times a week. He has no
fixed routine but emphasises the importance of
keeping the content current, creating and
sustaining staff interest. The front screen has all
Examples the new information as it emerges and as
# The news icon links to any useful article or information here is replaced, it is moved to other
report from recent newspapers and the staff pages. Currently nothing is discarded so staff can
journal has an index of the latest issue and refer back to old information, which is regularly
back issues for staff to click on to access archived. He keeps his own calendar of events to
specific articles. Although they are still provide a prompt to removing items that are
available on paper the intranet provides past their date. He also keeps his own
news in a more readily available format to knowledge base up to date by regularly
all staff. attending the (free) seminars run by
Macromedia. At the same time the Chair of
$ The staff manual pages have all the RESAG and the IT manager meet regularly to
information referring to terms and explore how to move things forward.
conditions and employment practice
previously available in text form in a limited Although they invite staff to identify or provide
number of offices. content for the site, currently material is mostly
generated and collated by the IT Team in
☺ The meetings icon leads to dates, agendas, general, and the data administrator in particular.
membership and minutes of all the main However, they emphasise how important it is for
meetings held in the service. The training this to be reversed so that staff are the prime

36
source of information, ideas and other relevant Probation Service the intranet has been
websites. They provide continued described as “a catalyst, providing staff with a
encouragement for this, and when it happens it central, constant and consistent source of up
will represent the real, desired shift in the culture to date and accurate information (including
of the service. what is required to improve practice) in the
right format and correct level of detail, with
Moving onto the Internet improved speed of dissemination”.* The
system enables case recording to be updated
The intranet in turn provided an ideal platform
from which to launch the service’s Internet overnight, providing current information
website in December 2000. Currently a small rather than statistics at the end of the month.
site, it is developing rapidly with major steps This means that “this kind of database also
being taken as this case study is being written. provides information and a forum for
The home page provides access to three areas: professional practice which is both effective
and egalitarian”*
1 information about the service and includes
non sensitive and non confidential • Ready access to the case recording database
information from the intranet site; has made a significant difference to staff
practice and performance. It has forced better
2 information relating to staff vacancies and practice by highlighting the need to log all
recruitment and selection processes. There work. (If it is not on the system, it does not
have already been enquiries about vacancies exist for service reporting purposes, which in
posted on the Internet and interest in a future would almost certainly impact on the
forthcoming open day where limited access level of service funding). Initially with ICMS
to the intranet will be set up for visitors to information was available, but on a monthly
see and use; and basis. Now information that is captured daily
3 information about race equality from and updated by the central server overnight is
Suffolk’s intranet and links to other available to staff the next day. This has turned
relevant sites. attitudes to good practice on its head. Because
staff can access information about their own
Clearly it is vital that the closed system and data performance, their team’s performance and
it includes is not accessible from the Internet and that of the service as a whole, as well as
great care has been taken to ensure security examples of good practice, they can take steps
behind what is called a ‘firewall’. to improve their own outcomes. It has also
encouraged staff, who take a pride in getting
high levels in reports, to build on their success.
At the same time with a growing user base it is
Outcomes apparent in the service that sharing good
• The intranet represents a remarkable tool for practice is also easier. “...collaborative working
building a new culture in the organisation. It is a lot easier now”
requires a fundamental attitude to sharing • It has also re-awakened interest in, and
information, and a commitment to openness commitment to, Race Equality in the service.
that has not always been apparent in either
public or private sector organisations in the 1 The service is keen to publicise RESAG and
past, where the attitude that ‘information is provide and sustain a high profile for its
power’ could all too often be seen. In Suffolk work. With so many groups meeting it

* both quotes from Suffolk Probation Intranet – S Modasia and S Porter

37
could have been seen as ‘just another of change in the IT industry, they endeavour to
group’. The intranet (and the paper version keep up to date with technological changes.
of the Staff Journal) enables the service to An external review of the systems has led to a
raise awareness and the profile of the group number of enhancements and the service is
by publishing something every month. currently considering a major design upgrade
2 Ready access to ‘a library on line’ is useful • The intranet has already proved to be a
for any service, but invaluable to a small significant resource for training in the service,
one with very limited resources. Much of providing invaluable data for both existing
the information about the cultural and staff and new recruits. This will be even more
religious backgrounds of minority ethnic important in the coming years when it is
offenders is not in books. However, it is anticipated that more Probation Service
readily accessible from the intranet or Officers will be recruited and instead of the six
wider sources on the world wide web and Trainee Probation Officers in the past, there
is essential for better understanding will be 21 over the next two year period.
minority ethnic issues. Given that the site is Although there will be an increase in Practice
growing so fast and getting more Development Assessors, from two part time to
interesting, it has facilitated interest in four full time staff, accessing material on the
diversity in the widest sense. “We can intranet will be an essential part of the
interact much better if we understand development for all these staff and provide
ourselves and other people.” important backup to the training team.
3 This in turn has enabled staff, especially However, given that the vast majority of
those in more remote offices, who may school leavers and young people have higher
otherwise feel isolated, to work with more expectations and expertise in using computers,
confidence and assurance on these issues. building the intranet and Internet facilities in
Suffolk has 5% minority ethnic offenders in Suffolk is important
each type of probation order, which means
• Other benefits include saving resources.
that some staff may not routinely write
Although the information is growing
reports on, or regularly work with, minority
exponentially it is cheap to access.
ethnic offenders or those committing racially
“Information is at your fingertips, you are not
motivated offences. With information about
waiting for it nor wasting paper.”
good practice as well as cultural issues
mentioned in the last point, they can remind
themselves about cultural issues, make
better informed decisions and therefore Next steps
work more effectively with offenders.
Keeping up to date. Sustaining the progress
4 Access to Internet sites for groups such as
made is vital and simply keeping the content
the Association of Black Probation Officers
relevant and up to date takes resources;
provides important support to Black staff in
currently it is done by the Data Administrator
the service.
every 2-3 days but the task is expanding. The IT
• In order to sustain these outcomes the service team have already identified the need to
is committed to continuous improvement. understand more about copyright and other
The IT team are continuously developing their issues and have some concern that there is a real
experience and expertise and, despite the rate risk of the network architecture becoming out of

38
date. Keeping in the forefront of innovations in with limited resources and yet it has made
intranet design and use is essential. substantial inroads in this field in a very
short period of time. Provided that there is
Sustaining and expanding the user base. senior management commitment and a
Encouraging all staff to use the intranet more basic computer infrastructure in place,
regularly and effectively continues to be a suitable software is available. Webmaster
challenge. The service plans to make the Best skills can readily be learnt making it possible
Practice guidelines easier to use and interactive to develop an information and learning
with examples of good practice in specialist resource for staff.
areas readily available to users.
2 Leadership is key. It is essential that there
Complementing the information for staff is encouragement and support from Board
with training. The service has just started a level to try new things. The IT team had the
programme of race awareness training. A pilot capability to realise their potential and
course received very positive evaluation and develop the intranet site, but they needed a
the resultant two day training course for positive environment in which to do it. (This
everyone in the service is being rolled out over is true of many initiatives).
the next two years.
3 Continuous learning is the norm. The IT
Share the knowledge and experience. Suffolk team wanted to know more about the
is committed to continue sharing its experience principles and practice of the intranet and
with other services, agencies and the Home Internet. They undertook training together to
Office, seeking to impress on them the benefits form the foundation to move forward, but
of this approach. technology continues to develop
exponentially and keeping up to date is
Expanding inter agency communication.
essential. You need to ‘learn as you go’,
There are emerging opportunities to share
attending seminars and ongoing training.
information and work in partnership with other
agencies in the Criminal Justice System. For 4 An egalitarian and open attitude to
example the Government Secure Internet (GSI) information is essential. A well constructed
offers a way forward for organisations in the intranet site, let alone access to the world
Criminal Justice System to exchange information wide web, means that anyone (in the
within a secure environment. It is understood organisation) can access information, at any
that this approach is currently being explored. time. Some reports can have restricted access
via passwords but the principle is that such
information is only valuable if it is a dynamic
product of the organisation which owns it.
Lessons learnt
(This issue may be even more relevant in the
With only six months experience, the service future when it will be important to balance
believes it is too early to draw definitive lessons the need for security of confidential
from what they have done, however the information with the need for openness
following themes have emerged. about the work of the service, enabling
areas to learn from each other.)
1 Any service of any size could benefit
from this approach. Don’t assume you Furthermore, in order for the information to
cannot do this. Suffolk is a small service be kept up to date and therefore interesting

39
and relevant IT staff need to be able to take own site or provide reference on your site
decisions about what and how to edit to appropriate sites on the world wide web.
pages on a regular basis. Whilst it is clear
that senior managers need to agree in 8 Innovation in recruitment and training.
principle what to publicise and the process Without the equipment to log the number
protocols, they also need to be comfortable of hits on the Internet site, it is too early to
to delegate the daily decisions, not want to say how widely it is being accessed, but first
control them. feedback suggest that people will use it to
access information about job vacancies and
5 AND a secure system is important. then as another route to recruitment.
With a (public) presence on the Internet
you do need to be vigilant that The intranet already provides that flexibility
information, which should be kept to internal candidates as well as quicker,
confidential or within the confines of the easier access to information in the staff
service, can be kept protected. In fact you manual (about to be available on line).
need different layers of security for The intranet also provides a flexible
different information. The government is alternative to the information element in
able to overcome some of these problems traditional training, complementing other
by having its own secure Internet, but at
aspects of development. Good quality,
present access to this does not extend to
specific and relevant material can be
Probation Services so they cannot use it to
available to all staff and given that people
communicate more widely within the
have different learning styles, on screen
Criminal Justice System.
material (particularly if it is interactive) can
6 Culture change takes time. The active be a cheaper, more flexible and much more
participation by field staff in using the facility effective way for some people to learn.
has not been instant. The user base has
9 Beware the runaway train. The speed
developed slowly with broad use amongst
with which an intranet site can grow and
most staff within six months. There is a
the openness of the Internet raises issues,
question of whether they will take the next
particularly for a public service, about
step and become active creators and
quality control. There is a difficult balance
contributors to the facility or whether they
between promoting equality and openness
will expect it to remain IT led, particularly
in the accessibility of information and
when they are (and need to be) focused on
vulnerability to misuse of the medium.
practice development and National Standards.
Within Suffolk Probation Service a cross
7 You can tailor a reference library to grade “Information Group” has existed for
your needs. In a number of fields, like some time as a review body for issues
Race Equality, the information you may relating to both technology and information
need is disparate. Even if it were possible, it policy. This group has now assumed further
would be too expensive to collect all the editorial responsibility for both the intranet
relevant reference material. Using an and Internet, acting as a focus for creative
intranet site you can tailor the most development, issues of ‘relevance’ and
important information directly onto your necessary controls.

40
Benchmarking questions 10 How does /could IT support the
development of effective partnerships with
In reviewing and developing your use of other Criminal Justice Agencies in your area?
Information technology you may wish to ask the 11 What do you do, or can you do, to share
following questions. information about the Criminal Justice
1 What can your board members and senior System in general, and your service in
managers do to demonstrate their active particular, with neighbouring services?
support and promotion of developing 12 What processes have you got to gain
information technology (IT) to support race feedback from staff about the effectiveness
equality in service delivery and human of your current IT and how it can be
resource management and development? enhanced?
2 What do leaders, at all levels in your service, 13 Do you regularly seek, analyse and take
do to create and sustain an environment action on feedback about your service from
where IT can be used to facilitate the sharing service users and stakeholders? What is the
of information, in particular good practice? Is role of IT in securing this feedback? What
there a ‘champion’ for this work? impact could IT have on improving the
3 Does your service have a clear policy and feedback?
strategy for developing IT? Could it be 14 How does IT contribute to supporting and
enhanced? monitoring your organisational outcomes?
4 What protocols and skills have you got in How could it be enhanced?
your service to support this development? 15 How can you develop a culture of
5 How is the intranet in your service used by continuous learning, innovation and
staff? Is it seen as integral to developing improvement in working with information
good practice or separate to it? What is on technology?
it? Could its use be enhanced?
6 What steps have you taken, or could you
take, to enable all staff in all locations to References
have access to your intranet?
Modasia S and Porter S (2000) Suffolk Probation
7 What training, or other activity, have you Intranet – Suffolk Probation Service
undertaken to enable staff to develop their
confidence and competence in using IT? Modasia S (2001) RESAG Report February 2001
Does this include online support? – Suffolk Probation Service

8 What plans or processes have you got to


develop online support, and keep it
interesting and up to date?
9 What have you done, can you do to
encourage staff to use IT as a medium for
learning?

41
42
Section 4
BEST PRACTICE ON DIVERSITY

Building the Jigsaw


Towards race equality through monitoring and
improving service delivery
BEST PRACTICE ON DIVERSITY
Building the Jigsaw
Towards race equality through monitoring and improving service delivery

Summary ethnic offenders represents a small percentage of


the overall work of the probation service there.
However, its commitment to evaluating and

R
ecommendation 7 in the Thematic
improving services to minority ethnic offenders
Inspection – Towards Race Equality,
has been ongoing since the mid 1990s and their
identifies that Probation Committees and
approach is proving very effective.
Chief Probation Officers should “take action to
improve the overall quality of pre-sentencing In contrast, Greater Manchester is one of the
reports on minority ethnic offenders”. It goes on largest probation services in the country with
to identify how this should be achieved over 1000 staff covering the city and the
including, “collecting and using comprehensive surrounding towns. There are a number of
monitoring data” and “ensuring that quality substantial minority ethnic communities within
assurance measures address the particular the area. Greater Manchester also uses
circumstances of minority ethnic offenders”. monitoring as a key element in developing good
practice, together with encouraging staff to take
Recommendation 15 covers setting targets and
advice from, and work with, South Asian
implementing measures for the completion of
colleagues within a partnership contract. The
race and ethnic monitoring forms, and 16
evidence shows that the quality of pre-sentence
emphasises the need to ensure that monitoring
reports, sentencing outcomes and probation
systems are in place and the information
practice are all significantly enhanced by the
generated is used to inform and improve practice.
resultant better understanding of the issues of
Recommendation 9 states that services should culture, faith and ethnicity.
“demonstrate that as part of service strategies to
For further information please contact
meet the different needs of minority ethnic
Brian Clark in East Sussex Probation Service
offenders, the development of formal and
on 01273 669966 and/or Penny Jones in
informal partnerships has been informed by the
Greater Manchester Probation Service on
advice and expertise of local community groups”.
0161 872 4802
This example refers to how services in two very
different areas have addressed these
recommendations. It covers the background to
the approaches in each probation service, their
relative experience, outcomes and the common
and specific learning they have accrued.
East Sussex is one of the rural shire counties with
less than 200 staff and a minority ethnic
population of below 2%. Working with minority

43
44
BEST PRACTICE ON DIVERSITY
Building the Jigsaw
Towards race equality through monitoring and improving service delivery

East Sussex Probation through training of staff, gatekeeping of PSRs


and managers meeting once or twice a year to
Service review significant samples of PSRs against
National Standards. As a result of the review
Background process all PSR writers received detailed feedback
on their own performance and that of their
team, the division and service, together with

W
ith 189 staff, East Sussex is a small
probation service in a rural area with a help through supervision to make the changes
minority ethnic population of 1-2% necessary to improve their reports and therefore
(depending on the source used). As the Assistant the quality of all PSRs.
Chief Officer Brian Clark said “Given our
geographical location and identity as a shire
county it would be easy to become complacent”.
However the service has a long term
Experience
commitment to equality. In October 1999, East Sussex Probation Service
In1995 the service conducted an internal set up the Macpherson Task Group as a positive
inspection on Equal Opportunities, which response to the Macpherson report and as part
identified the importance of the Pre Sentence of the area objective to identify institutionally
Reports (PSRs) in setting the tone for how the racist practice within the area and take action to
service was experienced by minority ethnic address any poor practice or concerns. The
offenders. The inspection showed that at that group predominantly focused on service delivery
time Black offenders were more likely to receive but it took account of human resource issues as
custodial sentences than their white counterparts they arose. Its aim was to “compare indicators of
and of those offenders given community levels of service and quality in relation to white
sentences, Black offenders received more and black (and other) offenders” (other includes
Community Service Orders than Probation Asian and other European) (Report on
Orders. Two years later a further study showed Macpherson Task Group March 2000).
that although the difference had diminished it
The review covered five areas of service delivery
still existed. (These findings are very similar to
(i) PSRs (ii) Family Court Welfare reports (iii)
the later findings in the thematic inspection.)
National Standards compliance for offenders on
Between 1997 and 2000, with strong support Probation Orders, Licences and Community
from senior management and the endorsement Service orders (iv) Bail hostel acceptance and
of middle manager colleagues, a programme of completion rates (v) a survey of minority ethnic
continuous review was established to improve offenders’ experience of the service. It also
the quality of PSRs and so promote greater examined the completion rates for PREM1 (race
equality for all offenders. This was achieved and minority ethnic monitoring form).

45
A comprehensive review of PSRs was conducted of PREM1 varied between 71% and 93%. (Since
using the Integrated Case Management System then the Assistant Chief Probation Officer
(ICMS) to examine the numbers of PSRs and their (ACPO) with responsibility for race equality has
outcomes. PSR quality was checked by reading asked all managers to raise the issue at team
and assessment against the National Standards meetings, to remind officers of the importance
criteria. Based on an analysis of over 3000 reports of completing these forms and to report back to
over 15 months, the review showed that there him on their progress.)
was greater equity in proposals. Of those PSRs
proposing a community sentence, the figures
were 67% for minority ethnic offenders and
70% for white. Proposals for Community Service Outcomes
were 31% for each group, and for all probation
The Macpherson Task Group published its report
type orders 35% minority ethnic and 39% white.
In terms of quality, the Service had scored in March 2000 covering the evidence examined
consistently higher than the national figures, on the service delivered, and the survey of
between 77.8% and 94.6% on individual criteria offenders. Both the evidence and the feedback
and 81% overall (this is a satisfactory or excellent were very positive and, at the same time, the
rating). 3.9% of reports referred to minority service recognised that there was no room for
ethnic defendants. complacency. The report identified a number of
actions and recommendations, including training
A sample of 20 Family Court Welfare reports, for staff to raise their awareness and to enable
where one or both parties were of minority ethnic them to challenge racially motivated and racist
origin, were analysed against National Standards offenders. It also identified actions to improve
and a questionnaire designed to (i) identify PREM completion, monitoring and recording and
discriminatory language and (ii) assess how to continue regular reviews to identify and take
cultural issues had been dealt with in the reports. action to address institutionalised racism.
The review found that generally cultural issues
had been addressed in a fair and objective way. The service has also recognised the need to
Some improvements to practice were identified develop closer links with other agencies. For
which were shared with the team and dealt with example, minority ethnic staff were encouraged
in a team meeting. This involved exploring to join multi agency support groups because
complex issues of identity and how minority there were not enough people to develop a
ethnic parties are represented in welfare reports. group within the service. (The ACPO talked to
line managers, who in turn have made it clear to
Bail hostels had higher acceptance rates and staff that this can be done in work time.) Staff
significantly higher completion rates for minority working more closely with the police to log racist
ethnic defendants compared with their white offences, and working with the Commission for
counterparts. Although the service was pleased Racial Equality to review policies and strategies.
with the results it was difficult to draw
conclusions from the small numbers involved.
The survey of Black offenders to assess their Next steps
perceptions of the service was conducted
independently and concluded that it was not East Sussex Probation Service feels that this
perceived as racist. However it acknowledged review has established a baseline. West Sussex is
that mistakes did happen occasionally and aware of the issues and is also committed to
ongoing monitoring was instigated. Completion good practice in race equality and the two

46
services are working together in readiness for Trafford, as well as the city of Manchester itself.
merging in April 2001. It has a substantial and varied minority ethnic
population and a dedicated Equal Opportunities
Further quality monitoring of PSRs is already Manager who has responsibilities for every
being done jointly through examples from each aspect of race equality and diversity. This
service being examined by middle managers includes work concerning the Black offenders
from the other service against the National
group work programme, managing a mentoring
Standards. This is in order to share good
project and two formal partnerships – the Black
practice. Once the new service is established in
Prisoners Support Group and the South Asian
April, a review of all aspects of service delivery
Offenders Project, as well as liaison with Bury
will be carried out and will continue on a regular
Metro Interpreting Service. The projects are
basis. This will include a survey to identify the
substantial, well researched pieces of work. The
ethnicity of the beneficiaries of Community
Black Prisoners’ Support Project, for example, is a
Service projects as part of monitoring the impact
big partnership arrangement, focusing on work
of the service on society (following up
in prison. Unfortunately, it is not possible to
recommendation 18 of the Thematic inspection).
cover all these projects in this one paper, but
It will also include taking the opportunity to
should be noted that there is good liaison
review existing protocols with other agencies
between the workers who know each other and
and partners, especially the courts and
work closely together.
interpreter services.
This example focuses on the work of the South
It is anticipated that the recommendations of
Asian Offenders Project, which is run by the
future reviews will be incorporated into the
Service Area plan (linked to the ‘customer Pakistani Resource Centre. The centre was first
results’ element of the European Excellence established in 1966 to provide support to Asian
Model – EEM). men. Since then it has grown, become a
registered charity and now provides a range of
A revision of the Equal Opportunities Policy is in services to the South Asian communities in
hand and these actions will be integrated to collaboration with a number of public and private
provide reporting on the effective operation of sector organisations. (In this context the definition
the policy within the new service. (Work has also of South Asian relates to people originating from
been done on recruitment and retention, which Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka and Pakistan.)
is not covered in this paper, beyond noting that
regular monitoring of staff recruitment and The services include providing advice and
retention includes monitoring the ethnicity of support on housing, unemployment, racial
Community Service supervisors.) abuse, cultural alienation and immigration,
mental and physical health problems and work
with women and children on domestic violence
and child abuse. There are a number of paid and
Greater Manchester voluntary workers, one full time and one part
time on this project.
Probation Service
The South Asian Offenders and Families Project
Background is a formal contract renewable every three years.
Its aim is to “manage risk and public protection
Greater Manchester is a large probation area, through a cultural, linguistic and religious
covering Bolton, Wigan, Oldham, Bury and approach”. The project was started in 1996, but
Rochdale, Salford, Stockport, Tameside and initially, despite funding and senior management

47
support, monitoring showed that the service during that time his caseload has increased from
delivered to minority ethnic offenders was four to 75. He advises and co-works with
variable and probation staff understanding of Probation Officers on all types of offending and
cultural and religious issues was limited. Referrals at all stages from PSR to supervision and
were made only if the officer knew about the resettlement. Given an understanding of the law
project and thought it was relevant. and a South Asian background, he is uniquely
able to challenge offenders’ attitudes and
The Chief Probation Officer has made it clear behaviour and contribute to victim enquiry work
that as well as risk assessment and reduction of (exploring the impact of their behaviour on
offending, improved working with minority
victims). He does this by examining their
ethnic offenders is a service priority. This
perception of religious teachings, family and
commitment, and the feedback from
cultural expectations, exploring the principles of
monitoring, led in 1999 to a staff notice
Islam and how they can be interpreted
requiring staff to at least consult the project
differently, and in the context of British laws. For
when working with South Asian offenders. This
example, it would be much harder to challenge
lent ‘authority’ to the project, and was a
attitudes to women, family honour or the belief
breakthrough which was enhanced by the Equal
in spirit possession, without a detailed
Opportunities Manager and the project workers
understanding of the religious teaching, and
visiting teams to develop mutual understanding
wider concepts of family honour, dignity and
through case studies, and discussions about the
shame on which the community pivots.
implications of the staff notice.
Shabana Jamal uses her social work expertise and
The two workers from the project, a man and a
experience when working with offenders’ families,
woman, undertake direct work with service users
aware that many may be shocked, ashamed,
and share understanding of cultural and religious
colluding with, or denying the severity of, an
issues with staff. As Muslims of South Asian
offence based on cultural values and community
heritage they are able to offer an informed
norms. Families, especially children, may need
approach based on personal understanding and
information about what is happening to their
experience of the Muslim culture and religion.
relative. Parents may need to better understand
When working with offenders from other
the social context for their children living as young
cultures or faiths, they consult with colleagues at
adults within two cultures, the western youth
the Resource Centre who are of the appropriate
culture and the traditional South Asian culture,
culture or faith, or they undertake careful
and the stress that that can create. She is able to
research into the relevant issues. Other workers
challenge their perceptions of white eurocentric
from the Centre also provide support and cover
values as well as the relationship between the
for the project when necessary.
South Asian faiths and culture and the laws in
The project workers are also able to reflect Britain. She also advises and co-works with
and respect the sensitivities to gender in probation staff to develop their understanding of
communicating within many South Asian many different cultural and faith issues and
communities. As a law graduate and a social implications for offenders’ families.
worker they also bring particular professional
insights, and relevant skills and experience to Both Kamran and Shabana believe that their
this work. ethnicity and sensitivity to, and understanding
of, other cultures are essential to them being
Kamran Abassi has been undertaking offence able to use culturally appropriate scenarios in
focused work with offenders for three years and their work. By being from the same ethnic

48
background they can “get in close, break down co-worked interviews (nine at the PSR stage,
barriers and share experiences, even provide 48 with offenders on Community Supervision
positive role models for offenders and their and eight with resettlement offenders).
families, putting their faith and culture in the Although it could be better, this represents a
context of laws and host society” (Kamran significant improvement especially at the
Abassi). By working with probation staff to supervision plan stage
develop their understanding of offenders
cultural and religious backgrounds, they also • There is evidence of similar outcomes for
contribute to better informed, more confident white and South Asian offenders at the PSR
practice and consequently greater parity in stage. Recent monitoring shows that an
service delivery. They are enable to work enhanced understanding of risk and needs has
effectively in ‘building the jigsaw of good had a significant impact, leading to much
practice’ through shared understanding. more accurate risk assessments, more
culturally informed PSRs and sentencing. For
example, South Asian offenders have been
required to work with the South Asian
Outcomes Offenders Project to address the issues in the
PSR as part of their sentence
Evidence showed that in the past minority ethnic
offenders did not experience parity of service. • A recent questionnaire demonstrated that
White offenders were more likely to have their Probation staff have an increased
situations understood, their religious beliefs and understanding of the multiplicity of South
cultural norms recognised and taken into Asian cultures and faiths and how that
account, or researched, as a matter of course. affects the individual offender in their family
Monitoring throughout 2000 and the outcomes and the community. Feedback referred to the
against specific targets for the project show that project as very helpful and effective leading
this is changing. For example: to better outcomes

• Taking account of the type of offence, and the • A questionnaire to service users has started.
type of proposal, figures in three districts in Analysis of this to date shows that offenders
Manchester show a higher take up rate on have a raised understanding of the impact of
proposals for Black offenders than for their their offence, are positive about the support
white counterparts given to them and their families, and shows
that the community is becoming better
• There has been increased consultation or co- informed about the Probation Service.
working concerning all South Asian service
users to ensure “informed cultural perspective In addition
consistently and fairly applied”. The Pakistani • There is a significant impact on re-offending
Resource Centre staff provide consultation in rates. Where the project workers have been
person, by fax or telephone, prioritising directly involved, over three years and out of
referrals according to risk and need and will more than 300 cases (more than 50% of
co-work interviews at PSR, supervision plan or which were high risk), only three high risk
release stages. The quarterly monitoring for offenders have re-offended
July-September 2000 showed that there were
77 PSRs on South Asian offenders, which • Current programme work with Black and
converted in to 58 new cases. There were 67 Asian offenders to explore their cultural roots

49
and history has been well researched and is what needs to improve, and how it can
proving to be effective improve, is more important. Specific
feedback together with examples of good
• It has been possible to share experience and practice is what has enabled individuals and
raise the profile of the work of the project teams to develop the services to minority
with other local agencies and partnerships ethnic offenders and their families.
through a network of liaison and meetings.
This has been achieved nationally by 2 Leadership is a cornerstone to success.
presentations at conferences, publication of Both areas agreed that it is vital for senior
articles and a (pending) book chapter. managers to demonstrate to staff and re-
inforce to communities and other agencies,
their serious commitment to race equality. It
is equally important that there is one
Next steps designated manager to lead and co-
ordinate the work done in this field.
Despite the complexities inherent in effective
monitoring when the minority ethnic population 3 It takes time and planning to build the
varies so significantly across the area, detailed picture. It has taken both services 5-7 years
statistics are kept and will continue to be of continuous monitoring, surveys and
assessed. Information from ACE assessment will development to track the level of the
also be included in monitoring. services delivered to minority ethnic
offenders and their families. They have
A portfolio of good practice case examples, risk needed careful planning and preparation to
assessments, supervision plans and PSRs is near identify what constitutes useful information,
completion. This will be used for workshops, how to collect it and use it. It also takes
training and reference. time for staff to understand the implications
A local conference will be held in May 2001 with of religious teaching and cultural norms and
the aim of helping minority ethnic communities to integrate their raised awareness into
get a better understanding of all criminal justice everyday practice, then sustain good
agencies, with a view to improving recruitment practice in the light of that awareness.
from those communities. 4 Good information management is
The Community Service policy is currently being essential. The effectiveness of the
reviewed to ensure that minority ethnic information collection and management
communities benefit from Community Service system makes a real difference. Even with a
(recommendation 18 from the thematic small number of cases to monitor East
inspection). Sussex found using ICMS invaluable in
capturing and analysing data. Their analysis
includes checking why PREM might not be
completed and ensuring that organisational
Lessons learnt – Both services processes support completion. Greater
Manchester has significantly more cases
1 Good practice is about continuous over a larger geographical area. It uses the
improvement. Monitoring PSR quality may CM2001 system and has built an effective
lead to being able to demonstrate that your monitoring process. Over the past year
service is ‘fair’ but using it as evidence for detailed work to ensure meeting and

50
sustaining of targets in monitoring has more about the British legal system in
been very effective. There have been big general and the probation service in
improvements and the service is now on particular. In East Sussex the proposed race
target. Both services intend that new awareness training and beneficiary survey
information systems will enable them to will be used to develop services further.
generate and use the information
effectively as the basis for improving 7 A holistic approach builds a culture. No
services to these groups. matter what the size or location of the
organisation, it is showing commitment in
5 Involvement makes the difference. In
many different ways that delivers improved
East Sussex managers and staff at all levels
services to minority ethnic offenders.
have been closely involved in reviews
notably the work of the Macpherson Task Examples at the corporate level include a
Group. In Greater Manchester the Equal Chief Probation Officer highlighting this
Opportunities Manager and project workers work as a priority, the revision of Equal
have been closely involved with offenders Opportunity policies and procedures, clearly
and their families, as well as probation stated expectations of staff (in the staff
staff. This involvement has made a notice) and integrating findings arising from
significant difference to the level of reviews into future Area plans. Examples at
understanding of the issues and the team and individual level include using
commitment to good practice in race specific case studies to raise awareness and
equality in both services. confidence, the availability of advice,
support and co-working and feedback to
6 Positive feedback and learning together
leads to better services. Managers in staff to develop their practice. Like building
both services (and project workers in a jigsaw every person has a part to play in
Greater Manchester) are learning to assess monitoring current practice and developing
the quality of PSRs and to give helpful the behaviours which contribute towards
feedback to staff. This information race equality in service delivery.
combined with feedback from service users
8 Avoid stereotyping organisations. It
has been important in informing good
practice. Where monitoring shows high may involve different approaches but both
standards are being achieved staff benefit large and small organisations can develop
from positive recognition. Where it shows processes to effectively monitor and
room for improvement, feedback can be develop the services they deliver to minority
used to identify specifically what needs to ethnic offenders.
be changed. In Manchester staff learning
9 Be open to interagency working. In
from, and working with, the South Asian
Offenders Project workers has heightened Greater Manchester this has meant working
their understanding of the religious and in partnership with projects like the South
cultural context of offending, which has in Asian Offenders Project, and in East Sussex
turn led to better PSRs, more equitable it is working more closely with the police to
sentencing and experience of probation log racial incidents and with other local
orders. At the same time South Asian organisations to find ways to provide
offenders and communities have learnt support for minority ethnic staff.

51
Benchmarking questions accurate and effective are they? How could
they be improved?
In monitoring, reviewing and developing your 10 What systems have you got to review and
service delivery to minority ethnic offenders develop services to minority ethnic
and their families you may wish to ask the offenders? How effective are they? Can
following questions. they be improved?
1 What do your board members and senior 11 What resources have you got/do you need
managers do, or need to do, to to review and develop these services?
demonstrate their active commitment to
monitoring and, if necessary, developing 12 What steps have you taken to get feedback
services to minority ethnic offenders and from service users and beneficiaries about
their families? their experience of your service? What do
you do with the feedback you receive?
2 What do leaders, at all levels in your service,
do to create and sustain an environment 13 Have you got, or do you need to develop,
which encourages staff confidence in, and protocols with partnership projects and/or
commitment to, working towards race partner organisations (especially courts) in
equality in service delivery? the Criminal Justice System?

3 What policies have you got to underpin 14 What have you done, or need to do, to
equitable service delivery? Are they current ensure that Community Service projects,
and effective? Do they need to be reviewed and those who supervise them, reflect the
or updated? ethnicity of communities they serve?

4 What processes have you got to ensure that 15 How can you develop a culture of continuous
the policies are communicated effectively to learning, innovation and improvement in
staff and are implemented with sensitivity? service monitoring and delivery?

5 What training and support do you offer to


staff to raise their awareness of minority
ethnic cultural and religious issues? References
6 How do you encourage staff to use that
HMIP, (2000) – Thematic Inspection Report,
raised awareness in everyday practice?
Towards Race Equality, Home Office
7 What processes have you got to gain and
Clark B, (2000) – Delivering Race Equality in
use feedback from staff that the policies,
Probation Services, 1st Annual Report to the
training and support they have received
Home Secretary, East Sussex Probation Service
promotes good practice?
Clark B, (2000) – Report of the Macpherson Task
8 Which other services or agencies could you
Group, East Sussex Probation Service
work with to develop a joint approach to
monitoring, supporting or improving Jones P, (2001) – Report on the South Asian
services to minority ethnic offenders? Offenders Project, Greater Manchester
Probation Service
9 What systems have you got to collect and
analyse data about service delivery? How Pakistani Resource Centre Information Pack (2000)

52