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Probation

Circular

REPORT ON ENHANCED REFERENCE NO:


COMMUNITY PUNISHMENT SELF- 47/2005

ASSESSMENT EXERCISE: ISSUE DATE:


NOVEMBER – MARCH 2OO4/05 27 June 2005

IMPLEMENTATION DATE:
PURPOSE:
• To outline the major national issues highlighted by the self assessment Immediate
exercise
• To enable lessons to be learned for this exercise which can inform future EXPIRY DATE:
quality assurance arrangements June 2006
• To provide areas with a template incorporating some findings from the
exercise relevant to completion rates
TO:
Chairs of Probation Boards
ACTION:
Chief Officers are asked to bring this report to the attention of staff in Unpaid Chief Officers of Probation
Work units and to make use of the completions template. Secretaries of Probation Boards

SUMMARY: CC:
The self-assessment exercise provided ample evidence of the Enhanced Board Treasurers
Community Punishment scheme in the 41 areas and highlighted some Regional Managers
excellent practice especially in:
• Provision of high quality placements AUTHORISED BY:
• Staff supervision, appraisal and training Martin Copsey, Head of
• Portfolio preparation Community Reintegration
• Quality Assurance of schemes by Quality Assurance Managers
The main areas for improvement were: ATTACHED:
• Increase in number of placements which contribute directly to community Appendix 1: Report on Enhanced
safety Community Punishment Self-
• Improvement in targeting and liaison with sentencers to reduce the Assessment Exercise
number of offenders with a low likelihood of reconviction Appendix 2: Performance Criteria
• Increase in throughput by ensuring offenders begin orders within the Appendix 3: Unpaid Work
timescale and work consistently at the rate prescribed by National Completions Template
Standards
• Consistent supervision/sentence planning and review
• Equitable access by offenders to skills learning.
• Good liaison in multi requirement orders

RELEVANT PREVIOUS PROBATION CIRCULARS


PC57/2004

CONTACT FOR ENQUIRIES


Janet Corcoran, 214 Horseferry House, Tel: 020 7217 8877
Email: janet.corcoran@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk

National Probation Directorate


Horseferry House, Dean Ryle Street, London, SW1P 2AW
Although the exercise was successfully completed and many areas fed back that they had found it a helpful process,
there are a number of recommendations for future quality assurance of Unpaid Work:
• Performance Standards specific to Unpaid Work should be published in advance of the exercise and piloted in a
number of areas prior to national rollout.
• A new framework should focus on a smaller number of criteria to make the exercise more manageable and ensure it
does not impede service delivery.
• A clear and robust scoring mechanism should be incorporated in a new framework to enable NPD and areas to make
firmer judgements about performance and to measure improvement.

PC47/2005 – Report on Enhanced Community Punishment Self-Assessment Exercise: November – March 2004/05 2
Report on Enhanced Community Punishment Self Assessment Exercise
November – March 2004/5

1. Introduction: The Self-Assessment exercise provided ample evidence of


the successful implementation of the Enhanced Community
Punishment (ECP) scheme across England and Wales. It was clear that
areas had been successful in retaining a focus on this area of work in
the period following implementation, a creditable achievement in the
face of so many other competing demands. Area staff entered into the
exercise with commendable commitment and demonstrated an
impressive level of service and a strong commitment to the principles
which underlie the ECP scheme.
2. Process:

The ECP self-assessment framework was introduced to areas through


Probation Circular 31/2004: ‘Quality Management of Enhanced
Community Punishment’ in June 2004. This contained the self
assessment guidance and checklist to be used by areas and laid out a
timescale for the completion of the process. This fell into three parts:
• July-September 2004: Five one day briefing events to be held for
area staff to provide further detail and to give the opportunity for
questions to be raised and suggestions to be made whilst there was
still time to influence the exercise.
• October-December 2004: Each area to carry out an exercise to
identify available evidence in relation to the performance criteria. It
was not necessary for areas to physically collect the evidence but
simply to cite its availability and be ready to produce it for
verification if required during the next phase of the process. A case
file reading form was provided for areas to use for a prescribed
number of cases and the results of this were used as evidence in
relation to a number of criteria.
• January-March 2005: Nine Regional Validation Events to be held to
consider the evidence and the scoring.
Forty one areas completed the exercise. It was originally envisaged
that the process would be led by the Quality Systems Manager.
However, due to a change in role this was not possible and the
responsibility for this passed to the Community Reintegration team at
NPD. This represented a reduction in the total resource available to be
invested in the exercise by NPD. Additionally, it was originally intended
that the Inspectorate would attend all events but it was only possible
for them to attend four of the nine events. They provided valuable
experience, guidance and advice
3. Issues raised: At the Regional Validation Events, areas were asked to
identify a number of issues and action points to be addressed:
• As an area
• Within the region

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• By NPD
Some of the action points related to remedying gaps which had been
identified by the exercise, whereas others were identified as means of
developing still further practice which was already of a high standard.
There were broad similarities between the issues raised at the different
events and it was possible to identify a number of common themes.
Area Actions:
• Meet demanding completion targets: It was recognised that this
process began in court and that improved dialogue with sentencers
was necessary in order to ensure that sufficient orders were made
to meet targets, but that the numbers did not become so excessive
that local operational arrangements were unable to manage these
successfully. A number of area identified the importance of
persuading courts to make short orders, wherever this was
appropriate so that most offenders could complete their orders and
move off the caseload as quickly as possible. An issue of critical
importance is the issue of reducing the occasions on which
offenders are not instructed to work in line with National Standards.
Many areas, especially those with high employment rates, report
difficulties in recruiting supervisors and, on occasion, resort to not
working offenders each week because of unanticipated supervisor
absence. Most areas where this was a problem were acutely aware
of it and of the damaging effect on staff morale. A number of
actions were identified with the potential to improve this situation,
including more determined and imaginative approaches to
recruitment, more flexible deployment of supervisors across areas,
more evening placements to reduce the demand for weekend work
and also more rigorous checking of offenders’ employment status
so that weekend work could be restricted to those who genuinely
had no alternative.
The issue of improving compliance was raised in a variety of forms.
A number of areas identified a particular problem within Community
Punishment Units in that whilst the introduction of ECP had
enhanced the role of the supervisor, that of case manager was
sometimes perceived to have declined and to involve little contact
with offenders. The approach to enforcement had therefore
become largely administrative with case mangers seeing
themselves as having limited opportunities to encourage and
motivate offenders. Some areas considered that if this group of
staff retained more face to face contact with offenders, there would
be a beneficial effect on compliance. Whilst the structure of Unpaid
Work Units will be affected by the introduction of Offender
Management, this is an important lesson to bear in mind.
• Improve Supervision/Sentence Planning: This emerged as a
weakness in many areas. Within the new arrangements for Unpaid
Work it is unnecessary to have anything other than standard

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objectives for offenders at low likelihood of reconviction. However,
it is clear that areas recognise the importance of clear and
measurable objectives, including, where appropriate, Vocational
Skills Learning. It will be even more important to improve practice
in this area with the introduction of the multi requirement
community order.
• Increase the number of projects which contribute to Community
Safety: Whilst some areas had good relationships with CDRPs,
others recognised the need to strengthen their liaison
arrangements. Inconsistencies emerged across the country as to
how community safety was defined and it was generally felt that
there should be an agreed national definition. Allied to this issue
was the need to improve service delivery to minority groups. Some
areas did have good liaison with local faith groups and those
representing the black minority ethnic population. Some areas
raised the possibility of enhancing the role of the placement
manager by equipping them to liaise with community groups and
giving them a broader community safety role..
• Ensure that Unpaid Work retains the quality improvements brought
about by ECP: There was widespread concern that the move to
Unpaid Work might place quality in jeopardy and many areas took
the view that self-assessment should be a continuing process rather
than a discrete exercise, as this had been.
• Continue to develop appropriate vocational skills and basic skills
provision: It was widely recognised that where this was available, it
considerably enhanced the purpose of the order to the offender.
Information from the Offender Questionnaire supported this view.
There are also indications that involvement in this activity boosts
compliance rates. Areas recognised the importance of having
sustainable schemes and of boosting take up rates amongst the
relevant target group. Some areas advocated the use of contracts
with offenders and others identified the need to make this provision
more visible.
• More systematic use of the Offender Questionnaire: Where areas
did use and analyse the information from this tool, it was
recognised as providing useful management information. Offenders
often gave clear pointers, for example, to aspects of the scheme
which helped them to complete their order, such as consistency of
supervisor and work placement and provision of skills learning
Regional Actions:
• More systematic sharing of good practice: Regional co-operation
was widely valued and the view was expressed by some that this
opportunity should be provided to practitioners as well as
managers. It was seen as a means of ensuring quality and of
introducing good standardised practice in sentence planning etc by
adopting the best models in the region. The sharing of problems,

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ideas, paperwork, developmental work, costings, recruitment
practices etc were all seen to have value.
• Regional Unpaid Work conferences: East Midlands held a
conference in June and some other regions suggested that this
would help Unpaid Work to retain a high profile in their areas.
• Ensuring Quality: A continuing theme throughout the discussions at
the events was the concern of areas that the introduction of Unpaid
Work would lead to the loss of the gains in quality which the
introduction of ECP had been seen to bring about. Whilst areas
recognised the need for some change to enable areas to deal with
the large number of orders made there seemed to be a consensus
that a return to what is regarded as ‘straight Community
Punishment’ for all offenders would be a retrograde step. Regional
collaboration was regarded as a means towards ensuring that
Unpaid Work remain developmental and progress on quality is
sustained.
• Analysis of Offender Questionnaires. This was widely regarded as a
useful activity and it was clear that some areas were making more
use of its potential to provide local management information than
were others. Regional analysis and pooling of results was seen to
have value.

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• Diversity: This was seen as an issue which required creative and
innovative thinking. Some areas had made more progress towards
ensuring that placements met the needs of all sectors of the
community than had others. It was considered that practice could
be moved on regionally. In practical terms where many areas have
a wide variety of languages spoken, the sharing of information
about interpreter services was regarded as useful.

National Actions:
There were a range of suggestions for NPD actions, almost all of which
fell broadly into the following categories:
• The preparation of a self-assessment scheme to be used in relation
to Unpaid Work which incorporates the lessons from this
experience. There was a consensus that self-assessment is an
essential underpinning of the scheme and one area described the
importance of :
‘ Establishing a process whereby realistic self-assessment becomes
a normal and everyday part of assuring quality at all levels of the
organisation, creating a culture of quality assurance’.
It was also seen as a means of defending high quality service
delivery in a climate of contestability and an opportunity for areas
to provide tangible proof that they are delivering to these
standards. However, there was a message that NPD should take
account of issues such as rurality in setting standards and targets.
In setting the frequency of such exercises, NPD should also
recognise that time taken carrying out self-assessment exercises is
time which cannot be spent on service delivery.
• Greater clarity on the Offender Management/Interventions split and
the implications of this for Unpaid Work. The future of the role of
the Quality Assurance Manager was seen as especially problematic.
Unsurprisingly, this concern took high priority at all events,
although it was recognised that this could only be done in the light
of broader decisions about the constitution of the service.
• A national definition of Community Safety and guidance on what
type of project can be seen to make a valid contribution to this.
Many areas welcomed the prominence of the Civil Renewal agenda
and the move to ensure that areas engage with communities in
identifying and prioritising projects. There was concern that the
good work already undertaken in many areas should be recognised
and inform national thinking on this issue.
• Improved communication between the centre and areas on Unpaid
Work issues, especially with operational managers. It was felt that
not all communication should go through senior managers.

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Alongside this should be improved consultation with staff delivering
on the ground.
• Greater clarity on the implications of the Criminal Justice Act for
Guided Skills Learning and the appropriate use of the ETE activity
requirement. Since these events, guidance has been issued which
will be updated as the operation of Unpaid Work gets underway.
4. Findings:
This section gives the main headline findings for each of the six
sections. A summary cannot do full justice to the wealth of detail and
practice examples which the self-assessment exercise produced but
these were discussed in depth at each of the Regional Validation
Events.
• Section A: Committed Leadership and Supportive Management:
Most areas were able to provide sufficient evidence to indicate that
ECP schemes were well managed by both senior and operational
managers. The evidence of course dated from the period
immediately following implementation when all areas gave a high
profile to ECP. In future exercises, it will be important to measure
whether there is an equally explicit ownership of Unpaid Work. A
number of areas surpassed scheme requirements and national
guidance in the information provided to sentencers, some updating
them regularly on the details of wok projects. This will take on even
greater importance in the context of increasing the visibility of
Unpaid Work. The varying scores in A3 indicated an inconsistent
approach to sentencer surveys, some areas administering them
regularly, others acknowledging that they had continued to use a
format which predated ECP.
• Section B: Scheme Management Responsibilities:
Scores were generally high on B1-4 with most areas scoring the
maximum, indicating that they had the basic systems in place for
the safe and effective delivery of the scheme and monitoring of
offender attendance. Many areas were more self-critical in regard
to B5, 6 and 7, dealing with issues of cancellation and disruption of
sessions. It was clear that most, though not all areas, were not
always able to offer all offenders the minimum of five hours each
week for the duration of the order. Areas were clearly putting
measures into place to deal with this e.g. a more rigorous approach
to supervisor recruitment; introduction of weekend working to take
the pressure off weekends; undertaking seasonal planning to
provide wet weather placements.
The use of Assessment Centres and Job Descriptions was
consistent. Most staff were fully trained after appointment although
there were clear concerns that this provision might not always be
available. Many areas also reported good practices in training staff

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in supporting skills – First Aid and Motivational Interviewing
frequently occurring.
The completion of Portfolios did not take place in some areas, a
casualty of operational pressures. Many though, had commendable
portfolio practice, some routinely incorporating this as an objective
in the appraisals of Quality Assurance Managers. A number of areas
e.g. Wales (all four areas) and Teesside mentioned award
ceremonies. Arrangements for appraisal indicated good practice
which could be more systematic in some areas.
• Section C: Quality Assurance Management:
Most supervision practice appeared adequate although there were a
small minority of areas who did not offer regular supervision to
supervisors. Sometimes the process was weakened because audio
and video monitoring systems were not in place or were not
consistently linked with supervision of the individual. Targeting was
a difficult area with many areas reporting a high percentage of
offenders with low OGRS scores. Whilst there seemed to be general
recognition of the value of the Quality Assurance arrangements
assessed in this section, some areas cited the combination of high
workload and insufficient staff as a reason why they could not be
consistently applied.
• Section D: Quality of Delivery:
Guided Skills Learning provision was inconsistent and patchy. A
small minority had no provision at all. Others had provision but not
across the whole area. The nature and number of awards achieved
varied widely. This should not be allowed to obscure some very
good practice, some of which will be identified in the forthcoming
NIACE ‘Directory of Promising Practice’. However, it is clear that
GSL has not become a truly national scheme and, through the
course of its development as part of the CJA sentencing framework,
it will be important to monitor the equity of the opportunities
offered to offenders. The failure to make GSL universally available
does not, in most cases reflect badly on areas many of whom have
made considerable efforts to establish schemes but have
experienced difficulties in attracting funding for these.
The vast majority of areas had substantial evidence to demonstrate
their provision of high quality placements with very few in active
use which scored poorly according to ECP Placement Quality
Standards. Where areas used as evidence the information they had
provided for the NPD Placement Provider survey, it reflects
creditably on them with high levels of satisfaction reported.
Areas took very seriously the need to incorporate diversity into their
schemes and there was a good deal of progress towards this
through local networks

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• Section E: Integrated Case Management
Many areas scored poorly on E1, relating to Supervision Planning.
This appears to stem from incomplete OASys coverage. Some areas
e.g. Cambridge and Thames Valley use standard ECP related
objectives. Many areas however did not prepare Supervision plans
at all or did not review them, although there was a widespread
recognition that improvement in this aspect of work would be
beneficial, especially in encouraging and monitoring GSL take up.
Effective liaison in CPRO cases was also scored low by many areas.
Where there were Supervision Plans, the assessments of the two
elements of the order were often prepared separately and did not
reflect an integrated approach. A number of areas suggested that
CPRO training needs should be better integrated in ECP training
and this will be addressed in the design of the training to support
Unpaid Work.
• Section F: Outcomes:
It was anticipated that areas would not score very highly on this in
the initial round of self-assessment since they would not routinely
be collecting the relevant information. Most areas did however track
down the evidence required to score well in a number of sections.
Many were able to cite the percentage of hours worked which
contributed to Community Safety through internal monitoring
though discussions suggested that they were working to various
interpretations of this. This highlighted the need for common
definitions, an issue which was specified as an action point for NPD.
Good evidence was provided about the more flexible use of staff
across areas and across roles.
The Offender Questionnaire was used systematically by most areas
and results suggested that the scheme was perceived as beneficial.
There were indications that the scheme boosted compliance levels .

5. Evaluation of the Process and Recommendations for Future Self-


Assessment Exercises:
Overall Comments:
The exercise took place largely in accordance with the timescale
outlined in PC31/2004. There were some minor exceptions to this
where areas sought a brief extension because of other pressures such
as HMIP inspections but the process was completed, as planned, by
the end of March.
The self–assessment exercise took place during a time of considerable
change. The Criminal Justice Act 2003, and the implementation of
Community Orders from April 2005 altered the legislative framework
and Unpaid Work replaced Community Punishment. The need to give
areas greater flexibility in managing workloads resulted in NPD

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guidance with the implication that the ECP scheme need no longer be
universally applied. The introduction of the offender management
framework potentially changed the shape of the delivery of Unpaid
Work. Whilst areas showed remarkable tenacity in adhering to the self-
assessment method, it was clear that the relevance of this specific tool
to the future of Unpaid Work was in doubt.
Briefing Events:
The briefing events were well attended with participants from all but
one of the probation areas. They generated considerable discussion
and debate and participants showed a commendable willingness to
engage with the process. Criticism was constructive and clearly offered
in a spirit of wishing to improve the exercise. It was possible to
incorporate many of the suggestions in the final version of the
framework and this did appear to enhance areas’ commitment to and
ownership of the activity. Further guidance, which dealt with issues
which had emerged at the Briefing Events, was issued in late
September. Feedback suggested that participants did find it a good
use of their time to engage with the material in advance of the
exercise.
Area Self–Assessment exercises:
The completed checklists evidence the fact that areas approached this
exercise with rigour. Many report investing a considerable amount of
time in both planning and carrying out the assessment in order to
make it a meaningful activity. Many areas acknowledged the
usefulness of the exercise in enabling them to gain a clear picture of
their ECP operation and to plan for the future, but most argued that
the amount of time and resource which it took could have been
reduced if the assessment tool had been more concise and more
closely fitted to the purposes of ECP.
There would be great value in any further self-assessment tool being
based in published Performance Standards which have been developed
specifically for use with Unpaid Work activity and being piloted in one
or two areas before being rolled out nationally.
Regional Validation Events:
These were well attended with representatives from all 41 areas who
had undertaken the exercise. Feedback sheets were completed which
made a valuable contribution to developing the format of the event to
reflect what other regions had found useful. Participants showed
familiarity with their evidence and had clearly translated the findings
from the exercise into action points. A decision was made to depart
from the format of the accredited programme events and not to rerun
a file reading exercise. It was thought that it would be more useful for
participants to reflect on the exercises and to refine future plans for
action. The events were certainly invaluable for NPD staff as a means
of developing a fuller picture of ECP, eighteen months after
implementation and engaging with current issues. Many participants

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commented that they found it very useful to meet as a region and to
share the detail of practice. Where there is regional co-operation, it is
often at senior management level and these events suggested that
staff at all levels would benefit from regional fora. Some areas felt that
they had already done the work required to identify their areas of
strength and areas for improvement and to plan for the future. Other
areas found it useful to have the time to focus on this.
Whilst, overall, these events seemed useful and were valued by
participants, there were flaws in the design of the day. It was
recognised that the scoring system had not been sufficiently robust for
a meaningful validation exercise to take place. Participants were all
concerned with the changes which were taking place in Unpaid Work
and an exclusive concentration on practice as it had been some
months earlier seemed inappropriately constraining. The focus of the
day was therefore sometimes unclear – was this a validation or was it
an exercise in future planning? This seemed in part to be a result of
faults in the assessment tool and in part an effect of the unusual and
unsettling time in which this exercise was being conducted. It is to the
credit of area representatives that they dealt with this ambivalence and
entered into constructive dialogue with each other and with NPD.
Recommendations:
• Briefing Events appear to be a useful way of helping areas to
engage with the process. It is important that these should be
scheduled sufficiently in advance of the self-assessment so that
issues can be clarified and suggestions incorporated in the process.
• Performance Standards, specific to the delivery of Unpaid Work,
should be published in advance of the exercise. Whilst it would be
desirable for them to be in a format consistent with those used for
the Quality Management of other interventions, it is most important
that the content is designed to reflect Unpaid Work and not simply
adapted from other frameworks. It would be helpful to pilot these
in a few areas before proceeding to national rollout.
• The delivery of Unpaid Work is a complex activity and this will
inevitably be reflected in its Performance Standards. However, in
designing a new framework, it will be important to identify and
focus on the critical criteria in order to make the exercise more
manageable and ensure that it does not impede service delivery.
• A new framework will require a clear and robust scoring mechanism
which will enable NPD and areas to make firmer judgements about
performance and to measure improvement.
• The role of the Regional What Works Managers has been invaluable
throughout this process and they were successful in promoting a
high level of ownership of the self-assessment process. In the light
of recent changes to their role, it will be necessary for NPD to

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identify what support is available to deliver a future self-assessment
exercise.
• Regional Validation Events appear to have been a useful way for
areas to pool their findings and share practice as well as to promote
dialogue with NPD. It will be important however, if the decision is
made to hold similar events in the future, for there to be greater
clarity about their structure and their purpose.

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Performance Criteria

A: Committed Leadership & Supportive Management

A1: Committed Leadership (Mandatory): The senior management of the area should be
openly and explicitly committed to the proper running of the scheme through policy and public
statements.
A2: Management Structure (Important): Effective line management structures exist for the
proper operation of the scheme, integrating this within case management structures.
Adequate time should be set aside for the effective management of the scheme.
A3: Effective communication with sentencers resulting in Sentencer Satisfaction
(Important): There is high quality, proactive communication with local sentencers and clerks
to the justices about the scheme, including written information. As a result sentencers have a
good understanding of the scheme and are confident in the outcomes of the scheme.

B: Scheme Management Responsibilities

B1: Resources and facilities for pre-placement work sessions (Important): Suitable
resources and facilities to be available, consistent with the Estates Standards Manual, to
enable the delivery of each element of the scheme.
B2: Resources and facilities for work placements (Mandatory): Provisions of good quality
projects meeting the requirements of Placement Quality Standards (PQS), with a safe
working environment for staff, offenders and third parties suitable for the delivery of the
relevant elements of the scheme.
B3: Provision of information about the scheme (Important): There should be a set of
leaflets for offenders, sentencers and staff clearly describing the scheme and its
requirements.
B4: Managing attendance (Mandatory): Offender attendance and absence are managed to
achieve the required National Performance Management target for offender completions.
Attendance is managed to achieve coherent delivery with full impact for all undertaking the
scheme.
B5: Avoidance of cancellation or disruption to lessons (Important): Sessions are not
cancelled or disrupted owing to offender crises, high workload or other pressures, and
arrangements exist to deal with crises outside of the scheme.
B6: Timeliness (Important): All offenders commence the scheme within the specified period.
For CPO’s the timing may be different on occasions to permit other work to be completed,
e.g. a programme of drug detoxification, completion of accredited programme. Details are
given in the scheme’s guidance on integrated case management and this sequencing must
be followed.
B7: Size of work parties (Mandatory): For group placements, the optimum group size is 6
offenders to one supervisor.
B8: Staff selection (Mandatory): A staff selection procedure meeting the requirements of
the scheme’s manual is in place and only staff meeting the defined criteria are selected to
deliver it.
B9: Staff roles and competencies (Important): Differences in roles between grades or
posts are reflected in job descriptions. A defined set of competencies exist for each staff role
involved in the scheme, using those specified in the core manual for the scheme.
B10: Training arrangements for new staff (Mandatory): Training courses are available for
all roles involved in delivering the scheme. The training delivered conforms to the EPC
training manual. All staff are required to undertake this training before delivering the scheme.
B11: Staff knowledge of the theory, concepts and methods used in this scheme
(Mandatory): All relevant staff have a knowledge of the scheme theory, evidence, objectives
and methods used sufficient for the effect delivery of the scheme.
B12: Staff appraisal (Important): All members of staff involved with the scheme have their
competence to perform their assigned role assessed annually through the appraisal process.
Staff whose performance is assessed as below the acceptable standard but making progress
should be given further training and other assistance to improve their performance and a date
set for review. Staff who are not making progress in achieving the required standard of
performance should not take any further part in running the scheme.
B14: Implementation of monitoring and evaluation design (Mandatory): Interview and
observation show that monitoring and evaluation arrangements are working as intended and
are understood and supported by all members of staff involved. This should include both input
and feedback of data to managers and practitioners at local level.

C: Quality Assurance Management

C1: Staff supervision and quality of practice (Mandatory): All staff involved in the scheme
receive support and supervision at a frequency specified in the core manual. This will enable
skills to be developed and problems resolved.
C2: Supporting skills necessary to run schemes (Important): From interview,
observation, appraisal and training audits all relevant staff have supporting skills sufficient to
deliver the scheme.
C3: Assessment of offender suitability (Mandatory): Routine monitoring results confirm
the profile of those entering the scheme is consistent with the schemes design in relation to
criminogenic needs, the level of risk of reoffending and the level of risk of
harm/dangerousness.
C4: Offender knowledge and understanding of the scheme’s requirements (Important):
The requirements of the scheme are clearly communicated on at least two occasions to each
offender verbally and in writing, and there is evidence from signed consent forms, observation
and/or interview that offenders know and understand the requirements.
C5: Adherence to scheme’s core manual (Mandatory): All elements of the scheme should
be delivered in line with the core manual and demonstrate close adherence to the aims and
objectives.
C6: Practice is informed by monitoring and evaluation evidence (Important): Consistent
use is made of monitoring and evaluation information, as it becomes available, by those with
most direct responsibility (e.g. scheme managers giving regular consideration to attendance
and completion information, supervisors to offender feedback on the quality of work
undertaken, and tutors regarding progress in guided learning).

D: Quality of Delivery

D1: Pro Social and Cognitive Skills Modelling (Mandatory): Staff are applying pro social
techniques and modelling practical problem solving skills with offenders.
D2: Guided Skills Learning (Mandatory): The provision of Guided Skills Learning where
identified in the Post Sentence Assessment Interviews. In these cases the delivery of Guided
Skills Learning should be specified in the supervision plan.
D3: Placement Quality Standards (Mandatory): All placements conform to the ECP
Placement Quality Standards.
D4: Personal communication skills (Mandatory): Effective engagement and
communication with offenders. Pro social attitudes and practical problem solving skills are
skilfully modelled by staff. This includes challenging pro criminal or anti social attitudes and
behaviour.
D5: Scheme delivered addressing race equality and wider diversity issues (Mandatory):
Race equality and wider diversity issues are effectively addressed, whether arising from
scheme delivery or offender response. Staff are alert to these issues, they always respond
appropriately and show that they have considered and developed strategies for responding.
D6: Group management skills (Mandatory): Supervisors and tutors manage groups
effectively to facilitate learning by offenders. Disruption by participants is minimised.

E: Integrated Case Management

E1: Initial supervision plan sets relevant objectives for the offender (Mandatory):
Specific objectives are set for the offender and are recorded in the initial supervision plan and
regularly reviewed.
E2: Effective liaison arrangements (Important): There should be effective liaison between
the Case Manager, scheme staff, and placement providers to ensure the delivery of the
supervision plan.
E3: Supporting the offender through all phases of the scheme (Mandatory):
Management of the scheme ensures that opportunities are taken to motivate and support
offenders at every stage of contact.
E4: Understanding and knowledge of scheme methods (Important): Case Managers of
CPO’s and CPRO’s have an understanding of the aims and objectives of the scheme and the
skills to undertake the role, e.g. address poor offender motivation or engagement.
E5: Monitoring of attendance and enforcement (Mandatory): Responsibility for the
monitoring of attendance and the enforcement of orders is clearly defined with appropriate
systems in place. There is evidence of effective enforcement in all cases.
E6: Documentation (Important): The case record shows that all relevant documentation is
completed.
E7: End of scheme review (Important): There is a supervision plan review at the end of the
CP work for each offender. Objectives are identified in appropriate cases to strengthen and
build on the progress made and to achieve successful community reintegration.

F: Outcomes

F1: Highly valuable reparation work for local communities (Mandatory): ECP orders
have a visible effect on reparation work within local communities. Work is of benefit to the
local community.
F2: Taxpayers receive excellent value for money from the ECP Scheme (Mandatory):
ECP provides is value for money and provides benefits to the taxpayer.
F3: ECP Scheme Offender compliance (Mandatory): ECP orders meet the National target
of compliance of 70%.
F4: ECP Scheme has been beneficial for offenders (Mandatory): Offenders regard that
the scheme was beneficial to them.
F5: Staff ownership of the scheme (Mandatory): There is full ownership of the scheme by
managers, supervisors and the other relevant staff, e.g. court personnel and Case Managers.
ECP staff have high level of morale/job satisfaction from their role in EPC scheme.
F6: Maximising inclusion (Important): The scheme is designed for a broad range of
placements for offenders. Assessment and support arrangements should exist so that
women, black, ethnic minority and offenders with disabilities can fully participate in the
scheme.
Unpaid Work Completions

Information collected from the ECP self-assessment exercise suggests that the factors listed in the second column have an impact on
completion rates. Use the third column to comment on the extent to which this is a relevant issue in the area and indicate the impact of
specific local issues. The right hand column should be used for to identify planned improvements.

Local Issues Plans for Action


Section A: Committed Effective liaison at senior
Leadership and Supportive management level with sentencers
Management in order to influence sentencing
practice in relation to:
• Number of orders/requirements
made
• Length of orders/requirements
made
• Types of orders made (Multiple
requirements?)
• Types of sentences given
following breach action.
Communication between senior
management and areas staff to
ensure that there is understanding
of:
• Area targets and their meaning
e.g. what constitutes and Unpaid
Work completion.
• Priority given to Unpaid work in
Area Plan
• Current information about
performance and workflow

1
Section B: Scheme Capacity to offer all offenders a
Management minimum of six hours work each
Responsibilities week. This is assisted by:
• Policy on instructing offenders
and managing shortfall in
supervisor capacity
• Arrangements to ensure that
there is the minimum possible
delay between sentencing and
starting a work placement.
• Contingency plans to provide
work in bad weather
• Rigorous and regular checking of
offender employment status to
ascertain whether there is any
alternative to weekend working.
• Provision of evening placements
to take pressure off weekends
• Availability of sessional
supervisors to cover for absence
at short notice
• Flexible use of supervisors
across areas
• Use of larger workgroups for low
risk offenders when supervisor
capacity is limited and health
and safety considerations permit

2
Section C: Quality Provision of high quality supervision
Assurance Management and practice development for
supervisors working with offenders
with OGRS scores of 41 and above
to boost job satisfaction and
retention rates.

Section D: Quality of Provision of high quality placements


Delivery where placement providers have
confidence in the Probation Service.
Issues which appear to influence
completion rates include:
• Area policy on transport to
placements
• Having placements in the right
places i.e. areas with the highest
offender populations
• Consistency of placement for
offenders
• Consistency of supervisor for
offenders
• Offender commitment to
Vocational Skills Learning/ ETE
provision

3
Section E: Integrated Case Effective liaison in the management
Management of CPROs/ multi requirement
Community Orders whereby the
Offender Manager gives the Unpaid
Work element appropriate priority
and manages the order in such a
way as to increase the likelihood of
successful completion