Probation Circular

To provide guidance on how to become the provider of choice for the commissioner of services for offenders.

REFERENCE NO: 64/2005 ISSUE DATE: 16 August 2005 IMPLEMENTATION DATE: Immediate EXPIRY DATE: August 2006 TO: Chairs of Probation Boards Chief Officers of Probation Secretaries of Probation Boards CC: Board Treasurers Regional Managers AUTHORISED BY: David Griffiths, Head of the Business Development Unit ATTACHED: Annexe A: Business Development Strategy

Chief Officers and Board Members are asked to ensure that this circular is drawn to the attention of all relevant staff, in particular Assistant Chief Officers, Middle Managers and offender managers who may be involved with preparing a region for Commissioning and Contestability.

From April 2006 existing services for offenders will be translated into a purchaser-provider model with NOMS commissioning services from a range of providers in the public, voluntary and private sectors. In order that regions are able to compete effectively and successfully within these new arrangements the Business Development Unit has devised the attached strategy document. The Business Development Strategy document provides guidance to staff on the key tasks for 2005/06 to develop NPS capabilities in preparation for potential contests for contracts to deliver services for offenders.

Not applicable

Head of Business Development Unit: David Griffiths, 020 7271 0759, Business Development Manager: Sam Latham, 020 7217 8118,

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

Business Development Strategy National Probation Service 2005
The government agenda for Reforming our Public Services1 calls for increased choice in the provision of public services. The Carter Report2 and the Home Office response3 confirmed the government’s intention to establish NOMS with contestability and commissioning as key themes. From April 2006 existing services for offenders will be translated into a purchaser-provider model with NOMS commissioning services from a range of providers in the public, voluntary and private sectors. The NPS taking the role of a provider agency. This transition to a market tested environment will place increasing demands on NPS to compete to provide consistent high quality services and value for money.

1. The NPS will seek to become the “provider of choice” for the commissioner of services for offenders. This will be characterised by: • Success in competition for contracts for service delivery • Consistent and high quality delivery of specified services • Innovation in effective service delivery • Demonstrable value for money • Adhering to the principles of inclusive design and delivery 2. The NPS seeks a positive collaborative and effective partnership with the commissioners in order to achieve our goals of reducing reoffending, protecting the public and increasing public confidence. 3. Where beneficial the NPS will extend partnerships with providers in the public, voluntary and private sectors to add value to our services and to gain complimentary capabilities.

1 2

Reforming our public services (Prime Minister’s office of public services reform), 2002 Managing offenders, reducing crime, Patrick Carter, 2003 3 Reducing crime-changing lives, Home Office, David Blunkett, 2004

In order to achieve these goals the NPS requires greater business capabilities and acumen at an area, regional and national level. It is the role of the Business Development Unit to lead and support regions and areas to develop these skills and to ensure they are deployed through national, regional and area strategies. Business capabilities include the skills necessary for competing successfully; such as contract bidding, contract management, financial analysis, and market strategies. Whereas business acumen is focussed on how these skills are used, how resources are deployed, and what partnerships are engaged to ensure our success.

Business Development Plan 2005/6
The key task for 2005/6 is to develop NPS capabilities in preparation for potential contests for contracts to deliver service for offenders. As these skills are not evenly developed or distributed across the NPS key capabilities will be pooled within regions according to regional Business Development Strategies. The role of the Regional Manager, Chief Officer and Board Chairs will be key in implementing this strategy which will be led and supported by the Business Development Unit. This strategy will be implemented through the regions performing the following activities. • Establish a Regional Contestability Board. This team will provide a strategic steer to the region on the transition to a market tested environment. This Board will reflect its strategic purpose through the inclusion of Chiefs, Chairs and Regional Managers as members. Establish a Regional Contestability Team. This team will undertake relevant training and practical tasks to ensure the region is in a key position to compete successfully. This team will comprise Assistant Chief Officers and Middle Managers with relevant experience and knowledge. Membership of this team may need to be varied, depending on the nature of the bid. The Regional Contestability Team will undertake a mock regional contestability exercise to develop and assess the team’s capabilities. This exercise will be organised and led by the Business Development Manager Prepare bids for additional funding streams e.g., ESF, OLASS supported by BDU The region will undertake unit cost exercises, ensuring value for money identified, supported by BDU

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With guidance from the BDU will draft a regional Business Development Strategy (for approval by the Regional Contestability Board and BDU) that will outline: Regional negotiation strategies including agreement of SLAs Identify the single point of contact for all information requests from the ROM Frequency and nature of meetings with the ROM Information sharing protocol Specific regional contestability projects such as Approved Premises, or Unpaid Work, Extending partnerships with public, voluntary and private sectors at an area or regional level. Undertake unit cost exercises supported by BDU

To support this work the Business Development Unit will prepare and support regions through the following activities: • Assist in the selection and continued support of the Regional Contestability Team and Board • To provide a skills audit and training plan, to identify gaps and necessary training for the Regional Contestability teams and Boards • To organise and deliver mock regional contestability exercises with the Regional Contestability Team and external experts • To identify strengths and areas for improvements in Regional Contestability teams performance during the mock contestability exercises • To disseminate good practice in business development at area, regional and national level and provide support as necessary • To lead the Regional Contestability Team in the preparation, quality assurance and submission of bids for contracts under contestability • To monitor the delivery of services under contestability contracts • Represent the NPS/NPD on the NOMS commissioning agenda, including the commissioning and contestability programme board. • To assist regions in the Unit cost exercises and identify some standardised unit costings

The relationship with the ROM
The NPS region should seek a collaborative and equal partnership with the ROM in order to achieve our shared goals. It is crucial within this partnership that there are clear boundaries and that these are managed effectively to avoid these boundaries becoming barriers. The following needs to be considered in NPS regional relationships with the ROM: • The NPS regions will need to work in partnership with the ROM to agree the SLA’s for Offender Management and Interventions

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NPS regions will need to identify one single point of contact for all information requests from the ROM, this is recommended to be at the Chief/Chair or Regional Manager level. Only information in the public domain should be shared with the ROM, (guidance will be issued by the BDU shortly to clarify this) The NPS region and the ROM need to be engaged in working to deliver the objectives outlined in the Reducing reoffending Action plan