Our Statement of Purpose and Values

Statement of Purpose

We are an independent Inspectorate, funded by the Ministry of Justice and reporting directly to the Secretary of State. Our purpose is to report on the effectiveness of work with adults and children who have offended. This is aimed at reducing reoffending, protecting the public, and improving the wellbeing of children at risk of reoffending, whoever undertakes this work. We inspect the quality and impact of services provided, and make recommendations designed to enable providers to continually improve the effectiveness of their services.



We work in an independent, honest, open, professional, fair and polite way.


We are reliable and stand by the evidenced conclusions we reach. We will always fully account for our actions.


We report and publish inspection findings and recommendations for improvement, focused on service practice quality and impact, in good time and to a high standard. We check the impact of our inspections. We disseminate widely to enable improvement across England and Wales.


We promote attention to diversity in all aspects of our work, including within our own employment practices and organisational processes and are committed to pursuing equality of outcomes for all.

What are we trying to achieve?

  • We seek to assure Ministers and the public that adult and youth offending work is being delivered effectively
  • We will challenge poor practice and the barriers to positive impact wherever we find them
  • We seek to contribute to the development of effective practice of the organisations whose work we inspect
  • We will identify and disseminate widely what works in practice based on inspection findings in order to enable improvement in probation and youth justice
  • We will contribute to the development of sound policy that enables and facilitates effective practice and avoids unnecessary duplication and bureaucracy
  • We will contribute to the overall effectiveness of the Criminal Justice System, particularly through joint work with other inspectorates
  • We will actively promote diversity, both within our own organisation, but also in the organisations whose work we inspect.

Our Mandate

HM Chief Inspector of Probation’s responsibilities are set out in Section 7 of the Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000, as amended by the Offender Management Act 2007, section 12(3)(a). This requires the Chief Inspector to inspect (section 1) and report to the Secretary of State (section 3) on the arrangements for the provision of probation services.

Under Section 7(6) of the Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000, HM Chief Inspector of Probation is also conferred to inspect and report on Youth Offending Teams, established under section 39 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998, and bodies acting on their behalf.

We are the independent source of fair comment for Ministers and the public on the effectiveness of the work of probation and youth justice providers.

Based on our independence, expertise and experience we are able to uniquely focus on the identification of best and effective practice. We identify if success has been achieved, and how it has been achieved, but also why it has not.

We test the effectiveness of the provision and provide assurance. Critically we make recommendations designed to identify and disseminate best practice, challenge poor performance and encourage improvement. We provide evidence based intelligence for commissioners and providers, designed to play a key part in facilitating and encouraging improvement in effective service delivery.


The history indicates the way that HMI Probation has evolved and adapted to changing times and demands since its foundation in 1936.