Probation Circular

VOLUNTARY, COMMUNITY AND PRIVATE SECTOR ALLIANCES
PURPOSE
To advise areas that a target of 5% of the main resource grant for 2006/07 (excluding Approved Premises and TPO grants in England and Wales and also excluding Basic Skills grant in Wales) must be used to deliver services to offenders by providers from the voluntary, community and private sectors. (Boards will need to use the indicative figures as provided by NOMS Finance in February in the interim, pending final confirmation)

REFERENCE NO: 07/2006 ISSUE DATE: 9 March 2006 IMPLEMENTATION DATE: 31 March 2006 EXPIRY DATE: February 2011 TO: Chairs of Probation Boards Chief Officers of Probation Secretaries of Probation Boards CC: Board Treasurers Regional Managers Regional Offender Managers Director of Social Justice, Welsh Assembly Government AUTHORISED BY: David Griffiths, Head of Business Development ATTACHED: Annex 1; Baseline Template

ACTION
Areas to submit attached template by 31/3/06 in order to establish the level of engagement with voluntary, community and private sectors, and update every six months thereafter.

SUMMARY
This initiative supports the NPS Business Development Strategy that has a key goal of developing alliances to enhance NPS competitive advantage through improved service delivery. Therefore all Areas should focus on how they can provide Regional Offender Managers with a range of services that incorporate the complementary capabilities of the voluntary, community and private sectors

RELEVANT PREVIOUS PROBATION CIRCULARS
PC 64/05 – The Business Development Strategy (2005) PC 93/05 – The Probation Service Value for Money (VFM) Programme: VFM in Boards – Releasing Resources for Front Line Services

CONTACT FOR ENQUIRIES
anton.obholzer@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk or 020 7217 8316

National Probation Directorate
Horseferry House, Dean Ryle Street, London, SW1P 2AW

The Government has given a clear and consistent message on the importance of the plurality of providers in public services. This message has been reinforced recently by the Five Year Strategy for Protecting the Public and Reducing Re-Offending: “We want to harness the dynamic talents of a broader range of innovative and effective providers from the public, voluntary, community and private sectors”. In order to deliver the Government Policy the NPD is launching a new Alliances initiative to increase Area engagement with the voluntary community and private sectors to improve service delivery. This will build on many years of successful partnership working and will require all Areas to achieve a minimum level of engagement by the second half of 2006/7 and to extend beyond this target. This Alliances initiative is consistent with the NPS Business Development Strategy, PC 64/05, and Areas should use it to enhance their competitiveness through the development of long-term business alliances with other providers who bring complementary capabilities. Therefore this should form part of the work of regional Business Development Boards as they are well placed to advise Areas and support joint commissioning either regionally or with the other services such as Her Majesty’s Prison Service. The principles of value for money, added value and service innovation should be applied to assess the appropriateness of the proposed alliances. Added value is most likely to be achieved through innovation to address gaps identified by the Reducing Re-offending Delivery Plan and the regional plans for the seven pathways. Voluntary and community sector organisations have been particularly successful in developing services for victims or offenders from Black and Minority and Ethnic communities or hard to reach groups. Best practice in contracting should be adhered to including the key principles of: • • • • • Early engagement with potential providers to inform service specifications and ensure equality and diversity elements are met Procurement processes appropriate to the size of contract so as to avoid unnecessary barriers to smaller providers Appropriate balance of shared risk between Areas and providers Full cost recovery, including management overheads Areas are advised to contract for a minimum of 3 years to enable planning and stability for the service provider

Area representatives on the NPS Alliances Reference Group will be developing more detailed guidance on best practice consistent with these key principles that will be issued by the summer of 2006. Areas are advised to discuss their proposals under this initiative with the Regional Offender Manager to ensure that added value is being achieved against the commissioner’s priorities. Areas are also advised to discuss proposed changes to existing service delivery with trade union representatives in advance of any substantial moves to extend engagement with the voluntary, community and private sectors. In order to support the NPS in this activity the NPD has established the Alliances Project with support from the NPS Alliances Reference Group that has representatives from all regions to draw on the considerable knowledge and experience of partnership working across Areas. In the first phase of this project the group has determined a target of 5% of the main resource grant (excluding TPO and Approved Premises grants) be used by the second half of this financial year to deliver services to offenders through the voluntary community and private sectors. In Wales this excludes the separate grant for Basic Skills. All resources deployed to voluntary, community and private sector organisations for service delivery including payments under contract, grants, and dedicated resources in kind such as seconded staff, or training are eligible against the target. Where these services are funded by external resources such as the European Social Fund or Invest to Save, only the PC07/2006 – Voluntary, Community and Private Sector Alliances 2

proportion of services delivered by voluntary, community and private sector agency is eligible against the target. Services for enforcement and compliance are eligible. Area support services such as finance, HR, estates, IT and Facilities Management, and legal services to the Probation Board are ineligible as are resources to support YOTs. Inevitably there will be areas of ambiguity or issues of concern and in these cases guidance should be sought from the Alliances Project Manager as early as possible. • All Areas are required to include within their business plan arrangements to achieve the target and undertake monitoring and reporting in accordance with details in Annexe 1. This target will not be included in the weighted score card in the first instance. All Areas are required to review their Partnership Strategies to ensure they are consistent with this initiative and the development of business alliances. During 2006 further guidance will be issued drawing on examples of best practice identified by the NPS Alliances Reference Group, addressing: alliance strategies, procurement; contracting and examples of innovative service delivery with the other organisations. All Areas are required to achieve the 5% target. Where Areas are unable to achieve this due to financial or other constraints, Areas must draft an action plan to extend their engagement with the voluntary, community and private sectors against agreed milestones. Where areas exceed the target they should seek to extend their engagement further.

The first return from the monitoring arrangements will be used to establish the baseline for current NPS engagement with the voluntary community and private sectors and to identify best practice. Returns should be made to Anton Obholzer anton.obholzer@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk by Friday 31st March; returns should then be updated every six months thereafter.

PC07/2006 – Voluntary, Community and Private Sector Alliances

3

Voluntary, Community and Private Sector Alliances – Area Reporting Template
Completion Notes
Please read these notes before completing the template This template is designed to establish your area's level of engagement with the voluntary, community and private sectors. It supports the NPS Business Develo Strategy's key goal of developing alliances to enhance NPS competitive advantage through improved service delivery. For more information, please see PC07/2006 It is very important that you complete the template as fully as possible, using accurate and up-to-date figures. The template should be completed biannually, on 31 March and 30 September. As the template will be used to create a database, there are restrictions on what you can enter in certain fields. Please follow carefully the instruction which appear when you click on each cell in the spreadsheet. Many fields have drop-down menus: please select one of the options where applicable, following the instructions which pop up. If you select BME as a target gr please also complete the adjacent field with a more specific category. Where the drop-down menu is inadequate, you may use the Notes column to be more spe but please do so sparingly and in addition, not instead (remember, the returns will be read by a computer). The Pathways field refers to the following categories: 1: Accommodation 2: Education, Training and Employment 3: Health 4: Drugs and Alcohol 5: Finance, Benefit and Debt 6: Children and Families 7: Attitudes, Thinking and Behaviour OM: Offender Management - excluding unpaid work. This may refer to enforcement, compliance, management of risk, mentoring etc. UW: Unpaid Work If a provider operates in more than one pathway, and funding is split unevenly between these, please state this in the Notes column If you have any queries about this template, please contact Anton Obholzer (020 7217 8316) Please now click the tab marked "Progress template" at the bottom of this window, to begin completing the template electronically. Once completed ; return it to anton.obholzer@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk (Please note this address will only be active from 3 April 2006 please do not send returns before t

Voluntary, Community and Private Sector Alliances – Area Reporting Template
Date completed Area Partnership manager Phone Fax e-mail Area main grant 2006-07

Please refer to completion notes on previous sheet

Providers
Private or VCS?

Pathways
Target service users

Name of organisation 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25

e-mail address

Phone

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

OM UW

BME

26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50

Outline of service and KPIs

Expected volume Length of of service users Contract contract 2006-07 or grant? (months)

Contract end date

Value in 2006-07 (£)

Notes